Sunday, February 24, 2013

Scanning the SoCon- Week Seventeen

Each week, twelve bloggers/message boarders (one representing each team) all will vote on a Game of the Week and Power Rankings. At least four will answer a series of questions on their team and around the SoCon. Don't forget to check back Monday through Friday to read Daily Dribbles from around the SoCon here on MocsMania. Also, don’t forget to play SoCon Pick ‘Em!

Appalachian State- Yosef's Cabin T-Dog
Chattanooga- Mocs Mania- JohnMoc
College of Charleston- King Kresse CougarSurf11
Davidson- Davidson Cats Message Board David Sink
Elon- Elon Pendulum Student Newspaper- Tyler Ash
Furman- The UFFP Message Board- SoConJohn
Georgia Southern- GSU Fans Message Board half-n-half
Samford- Samford Bulldogs Message Board AP
The Citadel- The Sports Arsenal- Sandlapper Spike
UNC-Greensboro- UNCG Basketball Fan DashSpartan
Western Carolina- Purple & Gold Jerry Love
Wofford- Terrier Fans Message Board

Davidson at Elon
Georgia Southern at UNCG

Samford at Appalachian State
Chattanooga at Western Carolina
Furman at The Citadel
Wofford at College of Charleston (ESPN3)

Georgia Southern at Davidson
Chattanooga at Appalachian State
College of Charleston at Furman
Samford at Western Carolina
UNCG at Elon
The Citadel at Wofford


1) Davidson 132 (11)
2) College of Charleston 117
3) Elon 114
4) Samford 97
5) Western Carolina 87
6) Appalachian State 78
7) Chattanooga 60
8) UNCG 50
9) Wofford 48
10) Georgia Southern 42
11) The Citadel 21
12) Furman 12


Davidson at Elon (6 votes)

Others Receiving Votes: Samford at Appalachian State (4 votes), Samford at Western Carolina (1)


Sum up your team.

Chattanooga- The SoCon is full of wildly inconsistent teams. I’m not sure if there is one more inconsistent than the Mocs. They lost by nearly thirty points at home by UNCG. Then they beat Elon a couple days later. Explain this? I can’t. The Mocs have Gee McGhee and Z Mason, who are both among the Top 15 or 20 players in the league, I think. McGhee has been a pleasant revelation that has only gotten better as the year has gone on. The Mocs could beat any team in the SoCon at the tournament, but lose to any team by twenty as too.

Furman- It's been an unprecedented season for all the wrong reasons for Furman basketball, as the Paladins have suffered season-ending injuries to starters Stephen Croone and Charlie Reddick since I last wrote, bringing the total to three starters now down with season-ending injuries. Croone and Reddick are joined by Dominic Early and Jordan Loyd, with the Paladins now being without four significant pieces that head coach Jeff Jackson planned on having from the outset of the season. Jackson's 20 losses in 2012-13 now affords him some a record he would rather not be recognized for. He becomes the lone coach in Furman's basketball annals to record three 20-loss seasons in a career, and with only seven players dressing for the Paladins, the Paladins could match the 24-loss campaign in Jackson's third-year as head coach. On a brighter note, Furman's Colin Reddick continued his strong senior season, and is coming off a 22-point performance in the Paladins' most-recent outing against Georgia Southern. He's been just about the only offense as of late, with the losses of Charlie Reddick and Stephen Croone to season-ending injuries.

Georgia Southern- Thing are so bad in Statesboro that twice as many viewers were watching a rain delay during our baseball game yesterday than were watching the basketball game that was going on at the same time. So yes, most people would rather watch it rain than watch GSU play basketball right now. This team lacks any desire or intensity and is just downright boring to watch. Coach Young and his staff have done a great job of bringing in some very good basketball players, but the results once those players get on campus have been terrible. GSU is 32-82 against D1 opponents under CY and that will leave the new AD with an interesting decision to make in a couple weeks. Is he willing to have his first big move since being hired be firing a coach who is not only a fan favorite but also a former GSU basketball player?

Western Carolina- Like many SoCon teams this season, the roller coaster ride of wins and losses continue for the Catamount.  In the last three weeks, the Catamounts have gone 4-4, losing to App State, Davidson,  Elon, and Charleston, but picking up wins against GSU, Wofford, and UNCG, as well as winning their BracketBuster game against Coastal Carolina in a convincing fashion.   I think the Cats may be jelling at the right time, dispite a 1-2 record in their last three games, as the Cats took Elon (at Elon) into overtime and lost to Charleston by 2 in a game that could have easily gone the other way.  The Cats have won 4 of their last 6 but the next two games will give me a good indication they are peaking. If the Cats can pick up wins at home over a resurgent Chattanooga and the current #2 team in the North Division (Samford), I think Western’s prospect for running deep in the tournament are good.

Everyone knows Davidson, Elon, and College of Charleston are the top three teams. Which team other than those three do you not want in your half of the bracket?

Appalachian State- Davidson. I would rather be a #6 and be with CofC and Elon than a #4 or #5 and possibly play Davidson in the semifinals. I saw my team play Davidson twice in person and everything went wrong both times. Only way I want to see them is in the finals because we'd be playing with house money at that point.

Chattanooga- I would probably prefer to avoid Wofford. Their style of play does not suit the Mocs particularly well at this juncture in the game. The Mocs were blown out twice by UNCG, but I still think the Mocs could beat UNCG if they played them again. But the Terriers could be a very bad match-up for the Mocs, particularly since they are playing better right now. I don’t think anyone really wants to see them in their bracket thanks to their tournament success in recent years.

Furman- There's actually two teams I don't want to see on my SoCon Tournament bracket, with one of those teams being Western Carolina and the other being Samford. The Catamounts will have a huge throng of faithful followers at the Cintas Center once again this season, and with the way the Catamounts shot the basketball with that rowdy backing, and with a player like Trey Sumler, they have a shot against anyone--even Davidson. They say it's always dangerous to play a team with nothing to lose. That's Samford in a nutshell--a team that no one really expects to win the tournament, but a team athletic and young enough to do just that. With Clide Geffrard, Jr, Raijon Kelly, and Tim Williams offering a pretty powerful freshmen-sophomore trio.

Georgia Southern- Samford. Teams that are well coached and have a good offensive big man give Georgia Southern fits. Probably because we don't have either of those things. Plus we already lost to them back in December when they weren't even playing well.

UNCG- Wofford seems to somehow turn every game with UNCG into an ugly, awful affair. I'd prefer to see them as far away from my Spartans as possible.

Western Carolina- I’m going to be a homer here, and pick WCU. I think I answered the why in my last answer, but I believe the Cats will protect the home court, and pick up difficult wins over UTC and Samford.  I think UTC and/or Samford will knock off ASU.

Of those three (Davidson, Elon, and College of Charleston), which team do you think your team has the best chance against?

Appalachian State- Elon. Should have won down in Alumni Gym and beat them solidly in
Boone. I like our chances on a neutral court.

Chattanooga- I think the Mocs match-up reasonably well with College of Charleston and Elon
both. The Mocs actually beat Elon, and I think they are capable of beating the Cougars. I guess I would go with Elon, because the Mocs can outrebound the Phoenix, and if they are not hitting their threes, the Mocs would have a chance to win again against them.

Furman- With seven players, Furman has no shot against any of those three. However, I think if I have to pick which one will offer the least margin of victory, I guess I choose CofC, as Colin Reddick ate the Cougars alive in the paint in the first meeting, with a season and career-high 25 points.

Georgia Southern- Elon or Davidson. Charleston is the only team in the conference that is on the same page as Georgia Southern athletically. GSU has already shown this year what can happen when they spread the floor and force teams like Davidson to defend us 1 on 1. They can't do it and that's why Georgia Southern beat Davidson this year. Unfortunately GSU makes it easy for opponents by using a terrible high ball screen offense with no movement and it defeats the purpose of having all that athleticism. This is why GSU will most likley get bounced early from the SoCon tournament because they couldn't crack 60 points.

Western Carolina- I think that Davidson would be the most difficult for the Cats to match up with, and the Cats have proven in the last week they could compete with both Elon and Charleston.  I do think, if the Cats were able to control their fouls, and not put good foul shooting teams on the charity strip, they can beat all three team.  The free throw line is where Davidson, Elon, & Charleston beat the Catamounts in their final game with each.

With BracketBusters now officially dead, prepare for us a eulogy to discuss them.

Appalachian State- Oh Bracketbusters, a product of its time. It was great in the first 2-3 years, but got so saturated that like all once-good ideas, it needed to evolve or die. With top mid-majors scheduling each other on a regular basis now, it lost a purpose. It did what it needed to do in creating connections among the little guys and making each other stronger. Farewell Bracketbusters, it was magical for a while.

Chattanooga- The BracketBusters were always one of my favorite days of the college basketball season. I loved watching the best mid-major teams in the country playing each other all on one day. It was fun. They lived a good life, but were at their best in their younger years, when they did not have so many mid-majors playing each other. I will miss the BracketBusters now that they are gone. They did not live quite long enough. However, maybe there is a fraternal twin brother out there that will be really good for mid-majors too.

Furman- Well BracketBuster, it has been fun...Thanks for the memories of College of Charleston-George Mason (2009), Appaalchian State-Wichita State (2007) and this past year's meeting between Davidson-Montana. Three of the best Bracket Buster meetings I can ever remember, with that D.J. Thompson tear-drop lay-up with only seconds to play shocking the shockers being my most vivid memory of the SoCon's involvement.

Georgia Southern- I will be sad to see the BrackeBusters go away because it was nice for the midmajors to get some recognition. I'm really hoping that ESPN or somebody else will set up a midmajor tournament early in the season each year. By now a lot of these "mid majors" are name programs and I think a lot of people would tune in to watch a tournament that had Butler, Gonzaga, Murray St, Davidson, Memphis, etc. playing in it.

Samford- "I'm glad the Bracket Busters are done. It's high time these games were sent to the dustbin of history. All they do is complicate travel and planning during crucial conference games. They have overstayed their welcome." --Jimmy Tillette. "We survived longer than you, professor." --Bracket Busters

Western Carolina- BracketBuster is gone, let it rest.  BracketBuster had good and bad points, the main problem, teams had to sign up for BracketBuster prior to the start of the season, not knowing what kind of season they’d actually have.  For those teams that were doing well and with good RPI’s, BracketBuster could bring them an opportunity against another good team with a good RPI, and a victory over that out of conference game, could make a difference come NCAA tournament time.  However, those teams with poor records (hello WCU) drew other teams with just as poor record and RPI. If you lose to that other out of conference team, in the midst of your conference play, it can be a big distraction for the team, the saving grace there was, it added another D1, out of conference game to your schedule, especially for those teams that have difficulty scheduling D1 out of conference games, including for the following season.

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