Friday, March 6, 2015

SoCon Day One Review

UNCG 81, Samford 76

Player of the Game: Diante Baldwin poured in 19 points with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. He shot 7 of 15 from the floor. Baldwin has been a great asset as a point guard for the Spartans and has been a key player. He was the best player on the floor.

Stat of the Game: UNCG collected 37 rebounds and Samford got just 26. The Spartans size clearly bothered the Bulldogs and helped them come up with the big win.

Where Samford goes from here: Tyler Hood and Michael Bradley both are gone, but this team is clearly on the rise. Christen Cunningham is one of the top freshman in the league, Darius Jones-Gibson will be a Player of the Year candidate next year and Evan Taylor has been showing improvement. Give Scott Padgett time, and this team will be a contender in the SoCon- possibly as early as next year. They are coming.

Where UNCG goes from here: Now, the Spartans get a chance against Wofford in the quarterfinals. This team certainly has the talent to beat the Terriers, even though they will be substantial underdogs. The Spartans continue to play good basketball. They were really not a good team in January, but in February and now March, they have turned into one of the SoCon's hotter teams. Their game with Wofford is deserving of being called a semifinal match-up.

Furman 73, The Citadel 56

Player of the Game: Stephen Croone scored 27 points. He was amazing in this game. Croone is one of the best players in the SoCon, and he showed it in this one. No one gets to the basket like he does. Croone is a special talent.

Stat of the Game: The Citadel committed eighteen turnover and Furman had just eight. The Paladins dominance in the turnover battle was one of the key differences in this game.

Where The Citadel goes from here: Ashton Moore went out with a dud. Brian White and Jake Wright are young players going forward. The Bulldogs took some steps this year, but, in the end, the steps were minimal. Chuck Driesell may be on his last legs as the coach for the Bulldogs and may be the most likely coach to not return next year in the SoCon. This team was one of the worst defensive teams in the country and showed some major offensive flaws tonight.

Where Furman goes from here: The Paladins head to the quarterfinals to take on the second seeded Chattanooga Mocs. The Paladins played really great basketball in this one. If they continue to play like they did tonight, this team can win another game or two in this tournament. This was impressive all the way around. Geoff Beans and Devin Sibley played very well in their first tournament game for the Paladins.

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