Friday, November 14, 2014

Daily Starter: November 14

Friday's Slate

VMI vs. The Citadel in West Point, NY, 5:30 (All Military Classic)
Hiwassee at Chattanooga, 5:30 (SoCon Digital Network)
Western Carolina at Mississippi State, 6:30 (SEC Network)
Chowan at UNCG, 7:00 (SoCon Digital Network)
Samford at Purdue, 7:00 (Big Ten Network)
Piedmont College at Mercer, 7:00 (ESPN3)
College of Charleston at Furman, 8:00 (ESPN3)
ETSU at Valparaiso, 8:30 (Horizon League TV)
Wofford at Stanford, 10:00 (Pac 12 Network)

So, What's The Story?

It's the opening of basketball season! That's the story. With the SoCon Digital Network making nearly every home SoCon available free of charge on the internet for the first time this year, the ability to watch conference teams play a lot of games adds a level of excitement to this season.

With Mercer, VMI and ETSU all joining the conference and playing their first games as SoCon members, this should be an exciting day. The best one of those games is ETSU's trip to Valparaiso. Take some time to watch a bit of that one on the Horizon League TV page.

Wofford, the league favorite, also gets a shot at a Pac 12 team in the opener. Can the Terriers possibly go out to the West Coast and upset the Cardinal, who was a Sweet Sixteen team a year ago?

Can Furman beat old SoCon member, College of Charleston in a game that the SoCon would love to have?

Possibly most importantly, can Chattanooga, UNCG and Mercer all avoid the upset bug against non-D1 teams? It is always bad when the SoCon can't even beat the non-D1s. Avoiding that upset today would be a nice start for the conference.

Of course, the All Military Classic is really interesting. It features two military schools from the SoCon squaring off in the first round in a non-conference game. VMI and The Citadel hook up this evening. One will play for a championship tomorrow night. One will play for third place.

The road to redemption for last year's dismal 30th ranked RPI relies on winning some games they shouldn't. That all starts right here and right now.

Game of the Day- College of Charleston at Furman

Anthony Stitt vs. Stephen Croone. Adejhi Baru vs. Kendrec Ferrara. Does it get better than that? Maybe not.

The Cougars had a very disappointing first season in the CAA and then fired Doug Wojcik in the offseason. They will be relying on the guard play of Stitt and the inside play of Baru to get things turned around. This is a team very hungry to prove that last year was a fluke.

The Paladins are in their second year under Nike Medved. This team is young, but should be improving. With guys like Croone and Ferrara, the Paladins should be improved this year. Croone may be the best player in the SoCon and this should be a pleasure to watch as the SoCon season progresses.

This is a chance for the Paladins to pick up a key win for them and for the conference. They did not perform well in their exhibition game, but this game should get the Paladins to raise their game to another level. We'll have to see if that results in a big win or not.

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