Tuesday, January 7, 2014

SoCon Saturday, 1/11/14

A daily preview of each game.

Saturday Thought

This is the first day with a full slate of games. Five SoCon games will happen on Saturday night. Wofford's trip to Chattanooga and Western Carolina's trip to Georgia Southern could both have long lasting effects on the conference race. That's the most important part of this day. Furman, The Citadel and Appalachian State all have to go on the road and try to find a way to come up with upsets.

Western Carolina at Georgia Southern, 2:00 PM

Trey Sumler. Tre Bussey. Jelani Hewitt. Three names that everyone should know in the SoCon battle it out in this one. The Catamounts were so impressive against Elon and UNCG that they have become a very trendy pick to win the SoCon.  The Catamounts will need someone other than Sumler to step up. They need Tom Tankelwicz and Tawaski King to step up on the road. Georgia Southern is so guard-oriented and are the shortest team in the SoCon. They are a solid team that is trying to prove that they belong in the SoCon championship discussion. This is their chance to prove how far they've come. Still, something just tells me that Western Carolina is playing so well right now that they find a way on the road. Western Carolina 71, Georgia Southern 70.

Furman at Samford, 7:00 PM

The Paladins and Bulldogs both have an aversion to defense. How will the Bulldogs contain Stephen Croone? I'm not sure. Croone is something else and very tough to contain for any defense. One of the underrated battles in the SoCon will be Kendrec Ferrara of Furman against Tim Williams of Samford. Those are both solid performers and should be entertaining. Williams is very good. That being said, Raijon Kelly and Tyler Hood should be too much for the Paladins to handle. Croone vs. Kelly? That should also be a very intriguing match-up. Bulldogs 79, Paladins 74.

Wofford at Chattanooga, 7:00 PM

This is going to be a battle. The Terriers defense is very good and they will challenge the Mocs, who are offensively challenged. The key may be how the Mocs do on the offensive boards compared to the Terriers on the defensive boards. The Mocs rank 100th in the country in OR% and the Terriers rank 138th in DR%. That will be a key in the game, as the Mocs are unlikely to score much otherwise. Can Lee Skinner or CJ Neumann contain Z Mason? Karl Cochran and Spencer Collins, as I've said repeatedly, like to shoot. If they're on, they'll be tough to defend. But they are not the type of offensive skill players that have been giving the Mocs problems this year. Neither team will score much and the Mocs eek out a home win. Mocs 60, Terriers 59.

The Citadel at Elon, 7:00 PM

The Bulldogs will need to come up with a way to slow down the Phoenix. How do they stop them? They are bigger and more physical. One of the few ways they can win this game is for the Bulldogs to try to control the offensive glass. They are a decent offensive rebounding team, while the Phoenix are a good defensive rebounding team, but a terrible offensive rebounding team. If they can score on some put backs and get some easy baskets, maybe they can get this one somehow. That being said Lucas Troutman at 6-10 should completely dominate this one. The Bulldogs have no answer. Phoenix 76, Bulldogs 56.

Appalachian State at Davidson, 7:00 PM

I know that I think Jay Canty can make a difference for the Mountaineers. But to expect Canty to make a difference in Belk Arena would be something else. Yes, the Mountaineers have played well in Belk before, but this team is not a particularly good collection of talent. If the Mountaineers lose to UNCG on Thursday and lose this one, there is a chance Capel is fired by Monday. Davidson will need to maintain focus and not show up in a bad state of mind. They have done that sometimes this year. If they are focused and ready to go, it's hard to come up with a way that the Mountaineers stop DeMon Brooks or Tom Droney. Wildcats 85, Mountaineers 68.

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