Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Georgia Southern Preview: The Fight For Second

The Mocs have a shot for the number one seed in the SoCon Tournamet still. It will take a minor
miracle at the hands of Davidson losing two of their last three and the Mocs winning out, but the possibility is there. The chance to tie for the regular season title is very real, as Davidson could lose once and the Mocs win out. But the real thing the Mocs are fighting for is the second seed. That is the prize at the end of the rainbow right now.

The Mocs need to go just 2-2 to get into a two or three seed. A 3-1 mark would secure the number two seed. That makes every game important to the Mocs as they strive to get to the two seed.

On the other hand, Georgia Southern is in a desperate situation. The Eagles are driving for the #6 seed, which is a huge advantage in Asheville over the eight or nine seed. With all four teams so clumped together, every game is absolutely critical from here on out for the Eagles.

The Eagles rely heavily on Jelani Hewitt. He is averaging 20.4 points per game on 41.8% shooting from the floor and 36.5% shooting from three point range. He also leads the team in assists with 3.3 per contest and 2.3 steals per game. He also averages 4.7 rebounds per game. The 6-2 junior guard has become everything you could possibly expect. He is so good.

Tre Bussey is a 6-3 senior guard. He is the only other Eagle averaging double figures. He's averaging 15.5 points per game and shooting 39% from three point range. He is shooting 44.1% from the floor. Bussey is almost as important to the Eagles as Hewitt is.

Angel Matias is a 6-4 junior. He is 225 pounds. He leads the team in rebounding with 7.2 boards per contest. He is averaging 8.0 points per game. He is not a great scorer, but he is a very good rebounder, even if he is undersized. Marvin Baynham is the Eagles tallest player at 6-7. He averages 5.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest.

The Eagles rank 347th in the country in height according to Pomeroy, which is actually lower than the Mocs 339th rank. That's out of 351 teams. That means the Mocs actually have the size advantage on Georgia Southern, which is really unusual. Georgia Southern is an OK rebounding team, but they have been pounded in the paint. Opponents have shot 51.7% against the Eagles from two point range, the highest in the conference. The Eagles have scored 29.8% of their points from three point range, second most in the conference. They have shot 33.9% from three point range on the season. Mocs SoCon opponents have shot 29.2% from three point range, the best in the SoCon. They have given up the lowest percentage of points from three point range of any team in SoCon play.


This seems to be a very good match-up for the Mocs. They are playing a team that likes to shoot threes and score from three point range. The Mocs are very good at defending the three. The Mocs are used to playing teams taller than them, yet they are finally facing a team shorter than them. It's hard to imagine how the Eagles are going to slow down Casey Jones, Z Mason and Lance Stokes. The Mocs could have problems containing Bussey and Hewitt driving the paint, but this shapes up as the type of game the Mocs should be able to win, especially at home. Mocs 75, Eagles 65.

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