The Mocs will open the 2013-14 season with a new coach, a new lower bowl of the arena, a new philosophy and new optimism among the fan base. People will be gathering to watch the Mocs trying to instill their new brand of Chaos to the college basketball world.
Sure it will only begin with the DIII Covenant Scots. But every beginning is a big one.
The Scots lost at Kennesaw State in an exhibition 95-66. They trailed by just four 43-39 with 15:53 left in the game, though. These are both exhibition games for the Scots, before they get into their true schedule against other DIII opponents.
Against Kennesaw State, nobody played more than 26 minutes. Colton McGriff played those 26 minutes. He shot just 1 of 7 from three point range, but scored 14 points. He also collected six rebounds. McGriff scored 11.3 points per game a year ago, the only player in double figures a year ago. He is the tallest (and heaviest) player on the Scots roster at 6-6, 215 pounds. He's a junior. That makes him the team elder- there are no seniors on the Scots roster.
Chris Boyd is also 6-6. He was the other Scot in double digits against the Owls. He scored 11 points, but collected just three rebounds. Nate Frierson lead the team in assists with five. He averaged 1.8 assists per game a year ago, the highest average of any returning player.
Kennesaw State outrebounded Covenant 50-35, and held them to 33.9% from the floor and 22.2% from three point range. The Owls shot 51.4% from the floor.
So what does all this mean for the Mocs? The Mocs are not exceptionally big with TJ Williams at 6-8 and Z Mason at 6-6 their two biggest players. But they are playing the Scots, who are also not big. That means that the Mocs should have a big advantage on the boards. The Mocs need to bring that effort on the glass and dominate that. If they dominate the offensive glass (as they should in this game, and is also one of the key points of Chaos), then the Mocs should win with relative ease.
Mason and Williams (in his first collegiate game) should be able to get into the game and be very good. That will help Williams with his confidence moving forward. Gee McGhee also ought to be very good. McGhee is an excellent player that I believe is slightly underrated by most people around the SoCon. I think McGhee could wind up being 1st team All SoCon by the end of the year.
I'm curious about what the Mocs do in this game. Do they put the system on full display heading into Radford on Monday? Or do they hold something back to not put it on film? I'm just interested in how they play this game. The Mocs SHOULD be able to handle this one with relative ease. Of course, you always have to show up and play the games.
LEAD PIPE LOCK PREDICTIONS THAT ARE SURE TO GO WRONG
--The Mocs will dominate the offensive glass.
--Coach Will Wade won't believe in keeping anything off film in this one, and Chaos will be on full display.
--Early on, the energy of the new season and the Chaos system will lead to an explosive early lead.
--The second half will be played a little more nonchalantly and the Mocs will coast.
--Mocs 91, Covenant 72. Covenant will outplay the Mocs in the second half, leaving plenty for the Mocs to work on. The Mocs will definitely be showing some flaws and some reasons to be concerned in the second half, but the first half will leave many Moc fans excited about the future. The scoring and stats will be balanced. I'll go out on a limb and say Williams will wind up the player of the game as long as he does not put too much pressure on himself and plays within himself. That probably won't continue, but just a hunch. Lance Stokes and Casey Jones will also shine with their length and athleticism. Eric Robertson will add several threes. Mason will even knock down at least one three.