Saturday, January 4, 2014

Mocs 72, Paladins 63

And this is getting closer and closer to what we envisioned.

The Mocs showed up on Saturday afternoon and played a very solid basketball game in Greenville, beating the Paladins by nine. Their heart and hustle showed through again.

Earlier this year, I would have never expected the Mocs to win while shooting under 40% from the floor. The defense has improved drastically in the last two weeks, and I think part of that is related to the switch to zone defense. They have been playing the zone defense since the UAB game and have looked good three times in the last four games.

This is an evolving team. They are evolving into a team that can come up with stops on the defensive side of the ball. The effort is not changing, and now, finally, they are healthy. Rico White scored thirteen points. Z Mason collected twenty points and thirteen rebounds to go along with six blocks. Those guys both were injured up until the Dr Pepper Classic and they have made a huge difference in this three game win streak.

Casey Jones scored thirteen points, had thirteen rebounds and eight assists, not to mention three steals. He had a tremendous game and deserves accolades for it. He has been at the top of his game lately, and that has been a major difference.

Gee McGhee seems to have discovered his role. He was really struggling to score back before Christmas. He has knocked down a couple of threes in recent weeks and that has helped him drive the lane with more consistency. That's his strength, but when he's knocking down his shot, he's more capable of doing that.

The Mocs got 23 offensive rebounds, which is the reason they were able to win this game. That continues to display their effort and energy.

Can the Mocs collect their second road win of the SoCon season in just two tries? Maybe. The Citadel on Monday is a winnable game. We'll have to see if they can come up with it, but this is a great time for the Mocs. They really seem to be turning the corner.


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