Wednesday, February 5, 2014

SoCon Saturday Previews

A daily preview of all the SoCon games.

Saturday Thought

Davidson, Wofford and Western Carolina are all in pretty easy games on Saturday. Chattanooga-Samford and Georgia Southern-Elon are the two most interesting games. The bye race is critical in this one.

Appalachian State at Western Carolina

The Mountaineers have played reasonably well in recent weeks, going 2-2 with two close losses to Elon and UNCG. With The Citadel on Thursday, a win there would get them to 3-6. After Thursday against The Citadel, Appalachian State plays their next six games against three teams, Western Carolina, Samford and Wofford. That's not an easy stretch, but wins in those games would quickly close the gap for the bye spot. The Catamounts have not been playing particularly well, losing three out of four. They have Appalachian State and Furman this week before going to Chattanooga next Thursday. That makes it important for the Catamounts to win each game this week, setting up a bit of a showdown in Chattanooga. They provide some tough individual match-ups to the Mountaineers. James Sinclair and Brandon Boggs could put up very good numbers. Catamounts 81, Mountaineers 69.

Furman at Davidson

The best chance for Furman? Hope that Davidson's game at Samford on Thursday night goes to multiple overtimes and that they lose focuse when they come to take on the Paladins. The Wildcats beat the Paladins by 17 at Furman earlier in the year, and they have been very good. Stephen Croone was the only Paladin in double figures that night. He scored 21. Chris Czerapowicz had one of his best games of the year, scoring 21 points for the Wildcats. Brooks and Ferrara could be a good match-up, but the Wildcats are so much better, they will win this one with ease. Wildcats 75, Paladins 59.

Chattanooga at Samford

Tim Williams vs. Z Mason is a very interesting one on one match-up in this league. In their first match-up, Williams had 15 and Mason had 16, with Mason scoring most of his points from the line. The Mocs got to the free throw line 41 times compared to 21 for the Bulldogs and that was the main difference in the Mocs nine point win. The Mocs jumped out to an early lead and really just held on after that. This match-up should be interesting with the Bulldogs playing better now. If Connor Miller is knocking down threes and Williams is dominating inside, this could be a tough one for the Mocs. Look for the Mocs offense to exploit the Bulldogs defense again, though. They may not score 90 points, but they'll get into the 80s and that will be enough this go around. Mocs 81, Bulldogs 78.

Wofford at The Citadel

The Terriers beat The Citadel in overtime in Spartanburg back in early January. But the Terriers are playing much better right now than they were then, and the Bulldogs are playing much worse. Will the Bulldogs show up and match up again with the Terriers and steal one at home? It seems unlikely. Lee Skinner may be neutralized to a point by the interior play of the Bulldogs. But the Terriers are playing so well offensively right now to go along with their good defense. The Terriers will see Spencer Collins and Karl Cochran lead the way to an easier win than the first time around. Terriers 65, Bulldogs 55.

Georgia Southern at Elon

The Phoenix have the obvious inside advantage with Lucas Troutman. The Phoenix will need to get it to him often on the offensive end and hope that they can slow down Jelani Hewitt and Tre Bussey on the other end. If the Eagles guards are hot, this team can be a very difficult out for anyone in the league. But their size problems are really evident, and playing against a guy like Troutman should only make it more obvious. The Eagles are not going to have an answer for Troutman and that's going to be the difference in this one. Phoenix 74, Eagles 68.

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