Saturday, March 8, 2014

SoCon Saturday Tournament Preview

Davidson vs. Samford, 12:00 PM

The Davidson Wildcats are lead by DeMon Brooks, and Brooks has been unbelievable. He is the best player in the SoCon. However, Tim Williams of Samford is the sort of player that can give Brooks trouble- more so than a guy like Z Mason (Chattanooga). Williams may not be quite as good of a player as Mason, but he presents more challenges to the Wildcats. The Wildcats also score a lot of points. Brian Sullivan is a hot shooter and can score plenty. The Wildcats scored a ton of points at Samford just a few weeks ago. The problem is that Samford also scored a ton of points. Raijon Kelly and Isaiah Williams are very good players. Michael Bradley also played very well against Appalachian State on Friday, and that was a significant change for the Bulldogs. If Bradley continues playing well, Tim Williams scores, and Kelly along with Isaiah Williams can hit some shots, this team will score points. Truthfully, I think Samford will score points on Davidson's defense. Will Davidson be able to score to keep up with them? I think that will depend on if Sullivan and Tyler Kalinoski and Tom Droney are knocking down their shots. This is a very dangerous quarterfinal game for Davidson. Still, I think Davidson does knock down enough shots to come up with the win. Wildcats 86, Bulldogs 75.

Elon vs. Western Carolina, 2:30 PM

The Phoenix and Catamounts are the two most senior-laden squads in the SoCon. That makes this game very intriguing. Which group of seniors will lead the way? Lucas Troutman for Elon will need to controlled by Tawaski King of Western Carolina. King will need to keep Troutman under control if the Catamounts are going to win this one. He can score, but can not put up massive numbers. Tanner Samson scored 15 points in the second match-up (which the Phoenix won) but was held scoreless in the first one (which the Catamounts won). Samson and Ryley Beaumont will need to each play well for the Phoenix. On the other side, Trey Sumler is no secret. He's one of the best players in the SoCon. Brandon Boggs and James Sinclair need to play well as well. Can Tom Tankelwicz make some shots? These two teams matched up twice during the year, each winning relatively easily on their own home floor. They have not played since January 30. Both teams have been pointing to this year for several years as the year that they were going to be great. One is about to have their season end in the massive disappointment of losing in their first SoCon Tournament game. This is a total toss up, and I have no idea who wins. Since the Catamounts have been playing slightly less well down the stretch, I'll take the Phoenix. Barely. Phoenix 70, Catamounts 69.

Chattanooga vs. Georgia Southern, 6:00 PM

The Eagles hammered the Mocs in Chattanooga just two weeks ago. They won despite the Mocs leading by 12 late in the first half. They did not just win- they won by 17 points. The Mocs have struggled with teams with superb guard play all year. We all know that Georgia Southern has that, with Jelani Hewitt and Tre Bussey. The Mocs are actually bigger than the Eagles, but both teams are small, even by SoCon standards. The Mocs will need to work hard and play hard, something they did not do in the first meeting between the two schools. Z Mason and Gee McGhee looked very good early in the contest the first time these two teams met. Marvin Baynham can be a very important player for the Eagles. This game should be a very interesting game. But I think the Mocs have been hoping for this game so they can avenge their earlier loss. If the match-up is such that the Mocs are capable of beating the Eagles, they will. Mocs 78, Eagles 74.

Wofford vs. The Citadel, 8:30 PM

The Bulldogs have suddenly won three straight games. Quite suddenly. Matt Van Scyoc and Ashton Moore both have been playing so well, and they played excellent basketball against the Spartans on Friday afternoon. PJ Horgan is playing better and better . This team is playing with so much confidence right now. Let's not forget that the Bulldogs actually took the Terriers to overtime in Spartanburg earlier this year. They then lost by 21 in Charleston. So, what can the Bulldogs do here? They can only hope to match-up with the Terriers and try to keep it close and hope for a chance to win at the end. Lee Skinner is an important Terrier player in this one. He is a better offensive player than any of the Bulldogs inside player. Obviously, Karl Cochran and Spencer Collins are the biggest scoring threats for the Terrier offense. When Cochran is making shots, the Terriers offense can be dynamic. When he's not, the Terrier offense isn't nearly as good. Cochran needs to be on. With how good the Bulldog offense has been lately, the Terriers will likely need to score in this one. I think the Terriers will win, but this one may be closer than Terrier fans are hoping for. Terriers 76, Bulldogs 69.

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