The Mocs lost to Radford on Monday evening. Since then, they have had time to look at the tape, and try to figure out where to go from here. They have been working on getting better. The tape would be invaluable to them....and I'm sure it has been.
Now the Mocs come home. I've talked about the importance of this two game home stretch for the Mocs season. They play an NAIA DII school Montreat and Kennesaw State, two winnable games. To win both, they've got to win the first one, making his game important to the Mocs. It also gives the Mocs a chance to get the fanbase energized by their performance. This is a critical game.
It also comes after the Samford-Chattanooga football game in Birmingham on Saturday afternoon. My bet is that the attendance will be down due to the football game. It could be a celebratory crowd if the Mocs have won, clinching the SoCon title. It will be a down crowd if the Mocs have lost.
Montreat is high scoring, good shooting (particularly from three point range) and very good rebounding team. La'Bris Adams the 6-3 senior guard is averaging 24.5 points per game. He scored 25 in each of his last two outings. He is shooting 59.7% from the floor and 7 of 15 from three point range. He is also 73.9% from free throw range. He is also averaging 3.8 rebounds per game.
The Cavaliers as a team are shooting 51.5% from three point range. Now they only shoot 13.6 threes per game from the floor. They shoot 53.2% from the floor. They are a very good shooting team. They are averaging 88.6 points per game. Those are very solid numbers, and could create problems for a Mocs defense that allowed Radford (one of the worst shooting D1 teams a year ago) to shoot over 50% from the floor.
Kerigan Farley and Josh Foster are each averaging in double digits. Farley is 5-10 and Foster is 6-2. Farley is averaging 13.6 points per game, while shooting 62.9% from the floor and 56.3% from three point range, and also is averaging 4.2 assists per contest. He is also averaging 3.8 turnovers per game. Foster is averaging 11.6 points per game. He is shooting 56.4% from the floor. No one else averages in double figures.
The Cavaliers are outrebounding their opponents by 8.8 boards per contest. Opponents are shooting 42.5% from the floor and 36% from three point range. Melvin Irvin and Lamar Seymore is averaging six rebounds or more per contest. They are 6-4 and 6-3. Ryan Bethoney is 6-5 and Shaquille Seymonte is 6-6. Those are the tallest players on the roster.
The Cavaliers have not played a team as tough and physical as the Mocs. TJ Williams collected double digit rebounds against the last non-D1 the Mocs played. He should be big enough and physical enough to play like that again. Z Mason will be the biggest physical presence they have faced. The pressure defense could cause some real havoc to gusy like Farley who turn the ball over a lot.
The Mocs offense, which has been better than many (including myself) expected it to be this year, should have a pretty good day. The Cavaliers are giving up 77.6 points per game. The Mocs should be able to score points against the Cavaliers. Gee McGhee, Greg Pryor and Casey Jones should be able to score points against this team. I'd like to see a little bit better three point shooting from this squad- particularly the starters.
The question is if the Mocs can slow down the Cavaliers. This is going to be difficult. This is a good shooting team. The Mocs need to prove that they can slow down a team that is a good shooting team.
The Mocs will force a ton of turnovers. That will be how they slow them down. Remember that Covenant turned it over 34 times. Similar numbers should be expected here. Mason will also play very well, and expect the Cavaliers to struggle with the quickness of Pryor and McGhee. Also, Anthanee Doyle should be making his Mocs debut. The offense will explode, the Mocs will outrebound the Cavaliers, but the intrigue really comes from how they will do defensively. We'll see. Mocs 98, Cavaliers 71.