Tuesday, January 21, 2014

SoCon Thursday Preview- 1/23/14

A daily preview of each SoCon game.

Thursday Thought

Wow. What a night. There are two absolutely tremendous games this Thursday night. Elon's visit to Chattanooga and Davidson's trip to Western Carolina could be a preview of the semifinals in the SoCon Tournament. That's as good as it gets. This is a huge night in sorting out th conference power rankings. Wofford, Georgia Southern, UNCG and Samford all have important games in sorting out as well. This is really the best day of SoCon basketball yet.

Elon at Chattanooga

Wow. This is going to be interesting. Remember last year in the final home game for Chattanooga when Gee McGhee drove the ball all night on the Phoenix defense? Can he do that again? He hasn't done it this year as consistently. How about the Z Mason against Lucas Troutman match-up? Mason has been so good. Another interesting match-up is the Mocs rebounding and the Phoenix rebounding. The Mocs rebound on the offensive glass very well, while the Phoenix are very good on the defensive boards. The Mocs will be inspired in front of their home crowd and come up with their best win yet. Mocs 75, Phoenix 72.

Wofford at Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern have alternated wins and losses against D1 teams in every game since November 23. They lost their third straight on November 26 and since then have not been able to win two in a row or lose two in a row. The Eagles are due for a win in this one. Jelani Hewitt and Tre Bussey should be very good in this one. The Terriers, which normally rely on the guard play of Karl Cochran and Spencer Collins, should lean heavily on Lee Skinner in this one. He can take control of this game. In Statesboro, things should be close and interesting the whole way, but the Eagles pull one out at home. Eagles 62, Terriers 61.

Davidson at Western Carolina

The Wildcats and the Catamounts match-up in what could be one of the premier match-ups in the conference this year. The Wildcats were exposed a bit by Elon last week. They are the worst offensive rebounding team in the league and rank 7th in DR% in the SoCon. That's not good. DeMon Brooks is the reigning SoCon Player of the Week and will be a handful for the Catamounts. He has been very good in SoCon play. Western Carolina is the top defensive team in league games according to Pomeroy. They are not a great shooting team, but make up for it with their effort on the offensive glass. That helps them to be better offensively. The Catamounts will need Trey Sumler to be on his game, and will need the White Out crowd behind them. I think Western pulls it off and avoids the two game losing streak. Catamounts 74, Wildcats 70.

Appalachian State at The Citadel

These are supposedly two of the worst teams in the SoCon. If you watch the Bulldogs play, it's hard to believe that they are the lone team without a SoCon win. They've lost their five conference games by a combined 26 points, including two overtime losses. That's rough. They've been outscored by eighteen in regulation in five SoCon games and have no wins to show for it. Matt Van Scyoc is their best shooter, and the Mountaineers have a hard time guarding shooters sometimes. The Mountaineers finally got a conference win by 13 points against Georgia Southern on Saturday. They can actually get back into the bye race with a win over the Bulldogs on Thursday night. With Mike Spagnolo playing like he did last weekend, the Mountaineers have a chance. But they just struggle to score so much, I'll take the Bulldogs at home. Bulldogs 74, Mountaineers 72.

UNCG at Samford

The Spartans are very good on offense, but not much on defense. In other words, this game should see plenty of offense. Kyle Cain and Kayel Locke in the paint against Samford's Tim Williams should be very entertaining. The Bulldogs have not been good on the defensive side of the ball either. In other words, look for this game to be high scoring. The Bulldogs are trying to inch their way back into the SoCon bye race, and beating the Spartans at home would certainly get them back into the mix. The Spartans are trying to establish themselves as part of the upper crust of SoCon teams. This game would certainly help to establish their position. The Bulldogs just are not consistent enough to win this one. Did I really just say that the other team wasn't consistent in a UNCG game? Yep. Risky move. Spartans 81, Bulldogs 76.

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