Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wofford Rising

Here come those crazy Terriers! Wofford is now sitting at 8-3 in SoCon play, having won six in a row in SoCon play.

It's easy to dismiss Wofford, a team that began 2-3 in SoCon play with a loss to Davidson and two losses to Chattanooga. It's easy to dismiss a Wofford team that had struggled so much offensively for most of the last year and a half, despite the fact that they were doing well defensively.

Karl Cochran, under a 40% shooter for his career prior to this stretch, has shot 50.5% from the floor and is currently leading the Pomeroy SoCon Player of the Year race. I have been as guilty as anyone of calling Cochran one of the SoCon's more overrated players. Now, I think he may not deserve to be Player of the Year, but he has put himself into the discussion with his recent performance.

Spencer Collins, also a below 40% shooter for his career prior to this stretch, has shot 51.8% from the floor. Suddenly, he has become one of the more dangerous players in the SoCon as well. With both him and Cochran playing well, this Terriers team suddenly becomes a significant offensive threat.

Lee Skinner has always been an underrated inside presence. During this stretch, he is shooting 47.1%from the floor and averaging ten rebounds per contest. With him playing that well, and throwing Cochran and Collins into the mix this is a legitimate offensive threat of a team. Then when you throw in that they have always been a good defensive team, suddenly, Wofford looks like a legitimate threat to win the SoCon.

Are they the favorite? Quite possibly. Yes, Davidson has the better record. Yes, Davidson won by 15 in Spartanburg. Can Wofford return the favor at Davidson? There is a trip to Appalachian State and a home date with Furman prior to a Saturday showdown at Davidson on February 22. Then the Terriers go to Elon on February 27 before hosting UNCG to end the year. The Terriers should certainly win their next two games before the Davidson game. How the Terriers fare against Davidson and Elon will determine exactly how highly regarded the team is heading to Asheville. Of course, how they fare in two road games heading to a neutral floor may not matter that much. But this is the team that is making me believe they might even be the SoCon favorite.

Team to Watch This Week- Samford Bulldogs

Samford is heading to Appalachian State and Elon this weekend. The Bulldogs are in big need of coming up with a couple of SoCon wins. They need to win both games to try to get into a position for a bye. If Samford wants to come up with the bye, they need to win both of these games. Elon is one of the teams they are chasing. The Bulldogs can ill afford to drop a game to the Phoenix or the Mountaineers this week. The trip to Elon is probably their toughest remaining game.

Something You May Not Know....But Should

Over the last nine SoCon Tournaments, three have been in Chattanooga. The Mocs have gone 6-1 in tournaments in Chattanooga. In the other six tournaments, the Mocs are 4-6 with just one advancement past the quarterfinals. Since winning the tournament in 2005, the Mocs have advanced past the quarterfinals just twice in eight years. Since advancing to the tournament final in 2006, the Mocs have advanced just once past the quarterfinals, in Chattanooga in 2009, when they won the tounament. The last four years, they have gone 1-4 in the tournament, and have not won a game in the last three years. The fan base believes SoCon runs in the tournament are a birthright. Will Wade's first team will be judged on how they perform there as much as they are judged on their regular season finish.

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