Sunday, February 23, 2014

Scanning the SoCon- Week Seventeen

Scanning the SoCon is in the third year and hopefully this will be the best year yet. Several bloggers  and fans from around the SoCon answer questions each week.


Samford at The Citadel
Elon at Furman
Georgia Southern at Furman
Chattanooga at Western Carolina
UNCG at Davidson
Wofford at Elon
Appalachian State at Samford

Davidson at Elon
UNCG at Wofford
Georgia Southern at The Citadel
Appalachian State at Chattanooga
Western Carolina at Samford


1)      Davidson 88 (8)
2)      Elon 78
3)      Wofford 66
4)      Chattanooga 65
5)      Western Carolina 63
6)      UNCG 43
7)      Georgia Southern 39
8)      Samford 38
9t) Appalachian State 20
9t) Furman 20
11) The Citadel 8


DeMon Brooks, Davidson- 3 votes

Others Receiving Votes- Trey Sumler, Western Carolina (1 vote), Karl Cochran, Wofford (1), Lucas Troutman (1), Kyle Cain (1)


Davidson at Elon- 4 votes

Others Receiving Votes- Wofford at Elon (3 votes), Chattanooga at Western Carolina (1)


Sum up your team.

Georgia Southern- Things are still pretty much the same as they have been all year in Statesboro. When Hewitt and Bussey are on top of their game GSU is as good as any team in the league. But when those two are off GSU can be beat by any team in the league. The Eagles showed that this week when Hewitt and Bussey combined for 49 points in a win over UTC and then combined for only 29 in the loss to Elon. A recent bright spot has been the rebounding of Marvin Baynham who has had back to back double digit rebounding games. Freshman Kyle Doyle was starting to becoming another low post scoring threat for the Eagles after scoring double digits in three straight games, two of which he had double-doubles, but a nagging elbow injury forced him to sit out a couple games. If GSU is going to try and pull off a miracle run in Asheville they will need Doyle as close to 100% as possible. The Eagles still have almost no bench and usually play only 7 guys for the most part. For a team that isn't going to be getting a first round bye in the conference tournament that's an uphill battle to be facing.

Samford- Disappointing. There are signs that there are some talented young players with potential to make noise in the SoCon on the team. There have been two constants this year: One is inconsistency, the other is Tim Williams. He may be the best player in the SoCon.

The Citadel- When the local beat writer is reduced to having to interview members of The Citadel's 1953-54 squad, you know it's been a long season. At least Leo Zack wasn't coaching scholarship players; Chuck Driesell doesn't have that excuse. Just a miserable, miserable year.

Western Carolina- Western Carolina is now 5-1 during the month of February, and seems to show signs of coming together down the stretch. at 17-12 with two regular season games to go (one home and one on the road) the Cats have a valid chance of hitting the 20 game win mark this season. The Cats will face Chattanooga on Thursday, in Cullowhee where the Cats are 10-1 this season, playing a Chattanooga team that has lost 5 of their last 7, and four of their last 5 games. Then ending the season on the road at Samford.

Dean Keener talked about the National Letter of Intent in Dean’s List this past week.  What are your thoughts on this?

Georgia Southern- I wouldn't have a problem with allowing student-athletes to sign a NLI earlier than they can now, but I think that there should be a clause that allows the player out of the NLI if the head coach either leaves or gets fired.

Samford-Regarding national letters of intent, I think the idea of letting players commit when they are freshmen or sophomores is an absolutely stupid idea. Rather than encouraging coaches to recruit prospects (13, 14, 15 year old children) and "sign them" sooner, why not delay it. I would prevent coaches from making contact with players until after their junior season and then have an early signing period their senior year for those who don't want to go through the recruiting process during their senior season and a late signing period for those who want to wait.

The Citadel- Wait, he wants to lock in players for a full two years? Why should a player sign a document that is binding to him but not the institution? Good players should never sign an NLI; instead, a player with options should settle for nothing less than scholarship papers that have to be honored by the school.

Western Carolina- I don't think the NLI process will change anytime soon. There will be problems with any procedure and the current process works fine in my opinion.

Tournament style play is different. How do you think your teams style will play in Asheville?

Georgia Southern- I'm still holding out hope that Jelani Hewitt and Tre Bussey catch fire in Asheville and GSU goes on a miracle run. They will need help from Angel Matias and Kyle Doyle down low as well as either Brian Holmes or Curtis Diamond having above average games. But the reality is that GSU is a team that basically only goes 7 deep and if Hewitt or Bussey have an off night it's season over for the Eagles. I think GSU's style of play will be just fine for the tournament but the team is going to have a tough time making a serious run.

Samford- Samford has not faired well in conference play in recent years. It would be progress just to win a tournament game. Samford's style requires a lot of energy, with a relatively short bench. That doesn't bode well for having enough energy in the tank for multiple games in a row. Samford struggles with energy and effectiveness on the defensive end as it is--winning three or four games in four days is ambitious.

The Citadel- The Citadel will make an appearance in Asheville, and will probably be on time for the 4pm tip on Friday.

Western Carolina- The Cats play an aggressive style defense, which can result in high personal foul numbers. If the Cats can control their fouls, and continue with their offensive scoring capability, they have a legit chance to go deep in the tournament. This group of seniors wants a championship, I guess we'll see how bad they want it.

In honor of the Big Three in the NBA, name the top trio on a team in the SoCon.

Georgia Southern-Looking at it, there are several teams who have a very good trio leading the way. Answering this question also made me realize what separates Davidson from the pack....they have more than 3. I'm going to go with UTC's trio of Mason, Jones, and McGhee though. I'll put them slightly ahead of Williams, Williams, and Kelly from Samford; Troutman, Koch, and Isenbarger from Elon; Sumler, Boggs, and Sinclair from WCU; and Hewitt, Bussey, and Matias from GSU.

The Citadel- Eh, I'm not buying that any team in the league has a legit "Big 3". If I had to name one, I would probably go for Isenbarger/Beaumont/Troutman at Elon.

Western Carolina- My selection for the "Big Three" in a SoCon team is Lucas Troutman, Ryley Beaumont, and Jack Isenbarger of Elon. These three seniors were named to the SoCon preseason all conference team and are major reason why Elon was selected by both the coaches and media as favorites to win the conference title. All three are 1,000+ scorers and Elon is currenlty sitting in second place in the conference standing with one week to go in the season.

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