Saturday, December 21, 2013

SoCon Monster Game of the Week: Western Carolina at Georgia

Georgia concludes their tour of the SoCon (beat Wofford, Chattanooga and Appalachian State, lost to Davidson) by hosting Western Carolina on Saturday evening. The Bulldogs are one of the SEC's lesser teams, while Western Carolina joins Elon and Davidson as the tri-favorites in the SoCon. Will the SoCon leave Georgia with two losses, or will Georgia survive with just one SoCon loss?

Georgia began the year 1-4, with three losses and an eighth place finish in the Charleston Classic. The losses were to Davidson, Temple and Nebraska. Not particularly bad losses, but still three losses. Since that time, the Dawgs have reeled of four straight wins against Appalachian State, Chattanooga, Lipscomb, and Gardner-Webb. They have games at George Washington and at Colorado before the beginning of SEC play.

This is the third time we've covered a Georgia game in this blog. The previous two were Appalachian State and Chattanooga.

Nemanja Djuristic is averaging 11.6 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per contest. He is shooting 58.2% from the floor, including the most threes on the team. He has made 13 of 24 from three point range on the year. At 6-8, he will be a beast for anyone on Western Carolina to cover. Charles Mann is averaging 13.5 points per game, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. He leads the team in points and assists. Donte Williams leads the team with 6.3 rebounds per contest. This Georgia team is not particularly big, but there bigs have been playing OK.

Western Carolina relies on Trey Sumler. He leads the team in scoring with 17.8 points per game. He is second on the team in assists with 4.4 assists per game. He is third on the team in rebounding with 4.4 rebounds per game. The senior has been playing very well since he came back from an early season suspension.

Tom Tankelwicz has made 35 threes on the year. He is scoring 11.1 points per game. He was my favorite Catamount a year ago, and remains so. He is a real threat to make a lot of threes. Brandon Boggs and Tawaski King are the two leading rebounders. Both are guys that can do dirty work when necessary.

This Catamounts team is a team that shoots a lot of threes. They also have not won two straight games against D1 teams. They beat Charleston Southern earlier this week, so this would be two straight wins if Western Carolina could get it. They only have one game against Milligan before they get into conference play. They are 6-7 on the year. A win in this one would more than likely mean an 8-7 record heading into SoCon play, along with a very positive three game winning streak.


This is a team that Western Carolina likely matches up with pretty well. They don't need to be huge....and they aren't. They need to be shooting lights out from long range, and they are capable of that. Yes, Djuristic is going to be a tough match-up for anyone on the Catamounts to cover. That being said, I smell an upset. Sumler and Tankelwicz shoot lights out and give Western a huge upset. Western Carolina 76, Georgia 75.

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