Wednesday, January 1, 2014

SoCon Saturday- 1/4/14

A daily preview of each SoCon game.

Saturday Thought

Four very competitive games on Saturday. Three new coaches make their SoCon premieres on Saturday, with two facing off against each other. Western Carolina gets another shot against a top SoCon team at home, Davidson and Wofford renew their rivalry, while Samford heads to Georgia Southern to find out if either of them could make their way to the top of the SoCon.

Samford at Georgia Southern, 2:00 PM

Jelani Hewitt of the Eagles is one of the top players in the SoCon. Raijon Kelly of the Bulldogs is another very good player. Hewitt vs. Kelly? That's the sort of thing that we all dream of seeing in SoCon play. How Georgia Southern controls Tim Williams inside may be the real question? The game is at Georgia Southern, where the Eagles are 4-1 (though just 1-1 against D1 teams). It's tough to figure out how Georgia Southern is going to slow down Williams, but their guard play is among the best in the SoCon. Prediction: Georgia Southern 78, Samford 71.

Elon at Western Carolina, 2:00 PM

The Catamounts get their second straight home game against a legitimate SoCon contender. That's why this week is so critical for the Catamounts. They have to win these kinds of games at home. Elon is a potentially bad match-up for Western Carolina. Elon is big, with Ryler Beaumont at 6-7, Sebasian Koch at 6-8 and Lucas Troutman is 6-10. However, this is one of the worst rebounding teams in the country, particularly on the offensive glass. Western Carolina is not a big team, however. They may have a hard time containing the Elon offense. Trey Sumler will have to be lights out. What else is new? Prediction: Elon 74, Western Carolina 69.

Chattanooga at Furman, 4:00 PM ESPN3

Will Wade and Niko Medved are each coaching their first SoCon game. The Paladins have Stephen Croone, one of the best driving guards in the SoCon. The Mocs defense has been very susceptible to that so far this year. Can the Mocs stop him? I doubt it. On the other hand, the Paladins defense has not been good. The Mocs offense has not been great, but if Z Mason plays like the SoCon Player of the Year candidate he is, then they could win in Greenville. But Croone is too much. Prediction: Furman 82, Chattanooga 77.

Davidson at Wofford, 7:00 PM

The Wildcats have not been good defensively this year. The Terriers defense is very good. That makes it interesting. De'Mon Brooks is back and will provide a challenge to the Terriers defense, though. Will Chris Czerapowicz make his threes? How will Karl Cochran make his shots against this Davidson defense? Cochran can shoot the Terriers right out of a game. If he is making his shots at Wofford, this team will be almost unbeatable. This may be the most unpredictable game of the whole day on a day full of them.  Prediction: Davidson 68, Wofford 67.

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