Sunday, November 10, 2013

Scanning the SoCon- Week Two

Welcome to Scanning the SoCon. Each week. We've scoured the internet hunting down fans from around the SoCon. There are people from school newspapers, message boards and bloggers. We've come together once again to try to provide a weekly comprehensive look around the SoCon. This is our third year of Scanning the SoCon. Hopefully, it will be the best year yet. If you have any suggestions, feel free to e-mail me or comment.


UNC-Asheville at Western Carolina
Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Davidson (ESPN3)
Georgia Southern at Miami, FL (ESPN3)
Chattanooga at Radford
Emory & Henry at Wofford

East Carolina at UNCG
Gardner-Webb at Furman
Campbell at Appalachian State (Global Sports Shootout)
Presbyterian at The Citadel
Samford at Texas-Arlington

Western Carolina at Oregon

Elon at UNC-Charlotte
Florida Gulf Coast at Furman (CSS)
Western Carolina at Virginia Tech
Samford at Indiana

Virginia vs. Davidson in Charlotte
Wofford at Iona
Appalachian State at Cincinnati (Global Sports Shootout)
Montreat at Chattanooga
Western Carolina at Liberty
North Greenville College at The Citadel
Toccoa Falls at Georgia Southern

Chowan at UNCG


1) Davidson 104 (4)
2) Elon 101 (5)
3) Western Carolina 85 (1)
4) Samford 77
5) Wofford 63
6) Chattanooga 58
7) Appalachian State 56
8) UNCG 52
9) Georgia Southern 27
10) Furman 24
11) The Citadel 13


Samford at Indiana - 3

Others: Elon at UNC-Charlotte (2), Western Carolina at Virginia Tech (2), Florida Gulf Coast at Furman (2), UNC-Asheville at Western Carolina (1)


Tim Williams, Samford- 2.5 votes

Others: Brian White (The Citadel)- 2 votes, Kayel Locks (UNCG)- 2 votes, Larry Wideman (Furman)- 1 vote, Kyle Cain (UNCG)- 1 vote, Lucas Troutman (Elon)- 1 vote, Jelani Hewitt (Georgia Southern)- .5 vote


1) Sum up your team’s early news and performance

Appalachian State- Got worse before it started. News came in that Jay Canty is suspended the first nine games due to academics and true freshman Aaron Scott is suspended indefinitely for a non-academic incident. The season opener at NC State was about as expected (98-77 final), although the Wolfpack scored more points that one would think. App's leader is the lone senior Tevin Baskins, who went for 24 points and 6 rebounds. Concerning news is that the junior guard duo of Tab Hamilton and Mike Neal went a combined 7-22 from the field and 2-9 from three. Perennial bench player Tommy Spagnolo played 38 minutes, which might be more than last year combined, and did decent with 10 rebounds and went 4/5 shooting for 8 points. Capel's starting off the year with an 8-man rotation.

Elon- Elon tipped off its season in style with two blowout victories over the weekend. Elon pummeled Division III Washington & Lee University, 114-64, in front of a packed home crowd at Alumni Gym on Friday night. Filling in for injured guard Jack Isenbarger, sophomore guard Tanner Samson posted 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from behind the arc. Senior forward Sebastian Koch also connected on five three-pointers, leading all scorers with 22 points. Overall, the Phoenix knocked down 12 three-pointers and finished 20-of-23 from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Lucas Troutman had a perfect shooting day, connecting on all seven of his attempts from the field and all four of his attempts from the free-throw line. The 50 point drubbing marked the largest margin of victory during Matt Matheny's tenure as Phoenix head coach. With Isenbarger still sidelined, Samson got his second consecutive start on Sunday night against the Marist Red Foxes, recording a game-high 17 points in Elon’s 75-48 victory. Troutman added 16 points and two blocks in the victory. The Phoenix distributed the ball far better than the Red Foxes, who registered just one assist on the night in comparison to Elon’s 17 dimes.

Furman- Furman looked pretty good in spurts in their season-opening win over Sewanee, and one thing this team has shown early on against inferior competition is the ability to score points in bunches...That will obviously change soon, as the Paladins face a scrappy Gardner-Webb team and FGCU, who of course made the Sweet 16 last year, in a pair of non-conference games this week...Two sophomores that have really played well early are Stephen Croone, who posted 32 points in an exhibition against North Greenville, while Larry Wideman produced a career-high 25 points in the season opener against Sewanee. Niko Medved's young Paladins are still a work in progress, but should be much more of an offensive threat this team than the team that struggled to break 60 last season...Remember, Furman is still playing without its best player and most veteran leader, in Charlie Reddick, as well as missing Jordan Loyd, who remains sidelined with back problems.

2) Which performance was most surprising/disappointing in Week One?

Appalachian State- UNCG's win over High Point was the best of a small list. Having been blown out by HP last year, to come out and get the win this year year shows growth despite the loss of Trevis Simpson.

Elon- Davidson’s lackluster showing against the touted Duke Univeristy Blue Devils was the most disappointing performance from a Southern Conference team over the weekend. The Davidson Wildcats surrendered a whopping 111 points to the Blue Devils as freshman sensation Jabari Parker and transfer Rodney Hood were a combined 17-of-20 from the field, draining five of Duke's 13 3-pointers. Duke shot an otherworldly 70.4 percent from the field in its 111-77 trashing over the Wildcats.

Furman- Appalachian State--They were able to hang with NC State until early in the second half despite missing its best player, Jay Canty...A 21-4 run early in the second half proved to be the difference...With Canty, it might have been much closer.

3) Which current SoCon player has the most professional basketball potential?

Appalachian State- Not in this country but Tim Williams of Samford. He has a true
center presence and he can offer muscle to European teams who play a more finesse game with little defense.

Elon- Southern Conference preseason player of the year De'Mon Brooks appears to have the most potential of any player in the league. Brooks was able to showcase his talents in the Wildcats’ lopsided defeat against the Blue Devils, totaling 24 points.

Furman-De'Mon Brooks and Tim Williams...Both are decent ball-handlers, possess good athleticism, and have good mid-range games.

4) How do you think the newly emphasized rules regarding fouls and defense will impact your team and college basketball in general?

Appalachian State- I expect App State, a team who already fouls too much, to have more
issues with fouls this year. The rule helps out the floppers and small three-point shooting teams and IMO, won't help speed up the game because the enforcement will be suspect. It could effect player development toward NBA careers as it makes the gap between college and pro rules that much wider.

Elon- The new NCAA rules require officials to call all hand-checking on the perimeter. Another rule change mandates officials identify offensive attack before defensive positioning. I can’t say for sure how these new rules will impact the Phoenix, other than increasing the importance of smart defensive play. Elon cannot allow the new rule changes, however, to deter away from its aggressiveness on the defensive end.

Furman- Players are less likely to take a charge now, and it takes away the element of sacrifice for your team...For so many years the charge rule has been something bigger programs like Duke and Purdue, when it had Bryan Cardinal, have been able to rely on to change momentum of a game late...That won't be the case now with that particular call now favoring the offensive player.

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