Checking In On…The Southern Conference

Posted by EMoyer on February 10th, 2012

Eric Moyer is the RTC correspondent for the Southern Conference and Atlantic Sun Conference and a contributor to the RTC SEC Microsite. You can follow him on Twitter @EricDMoyer.

Reader’s Take

 

Looking Back

  • Taking a Break: On Monday, College of Charleston head coach Bobby Cremins said he was physically exhausted and was advised by his doctors to take “drastic changes or risk jeopardizing his long-term health.” In his absence, Mark Byington has gone 3-2.
  • Hot ‘Dogs: Samford earned its first-ever win against Davidson, a 77-74 decision on Jan 28, handing the Wildcats their lone SoCon loss of the season … After earning their first ever win against Davidson, the Bulldogs beat Wofford on Saturday for the first time since 1982.
  • Going Streaking: UNC Greensboro extended its win streak to seven straight before losing to Furman on Saturday. The streak marked the Spartans’ longest since stringing together eight consecutive wins during the 1995-96 season.

From the Notebook

  • On Saturday, The Citadel head coach Chuck Driesell started Marshall Harris III, Lawrence Miller and Jordan Robertson in their contest against Elon. They became the first three freshmen to start for the Dogs since Jan. 14, 2008.
  • Davidson has used the same starting lineup (Jake Cohen, De’Mon Brooks, J.P. Kuhlman, Nik Cochran and Tom Droney) in every game.
  • Since being inserted into the starting lineup eight games ago, Elon’s Jack Isenbarger has averaged 20.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.4 RPG while shooting 48.5 percent from the floor.
  • The Citadel’s Mike Groselle has 12 double-doubles this season, tying The Citadel’s single-season record. His 20 career double-doubles are three shy of tying the Bulldogs’ all-time mark.

B.M.O.C.

  • Andrew Lawrence, College of Charleston: The junior guard from London averaged 28 points in two games last week. He played all 50 minutes in a double overtime contest at Elon in which he scored 32 points, dished out eight assists and shot 10-of-16 from the floor. He followed that performance with a 24-point, seven-assist night in a win at Appalachian State. Combined, he shot 63 percent (17-for-27) from the floor, 64.7 percent on 3-point tries (11-for-17) and missed only one free throw in 12 attempts.

Bob McKillop and Davidson Sit Atop Our Latest Power Rankings (AP)

Power Rankings

  1. Davidson (19-5, Previous Ranking: 1): Despite a three-point loss at Samford, the Wildcats remain atop the power poll as they own a three-game lead in the standings. They pace the SoCon in scoring, scoring margin, rebound margin, free-throw percentage and both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage.
  2. Georgia Southern (12-12, Previous Ranking: 6): Sophomore Jelani Hewitt is averaging 16.2 points per game over last five games and made the game-winning 3-pointer against Chattanooga on Jan. 28. In his first 19 games, he averaged 9.4 points per game.
  3. Elon (13-11, Previous Ranking: 3): The eight SoCon wins are the most in the three-year Matt Matheny era. The need one win to tie last season’s win total. Jack Isenbarger became the first Phoenix to earn SoCon Player of the Week honors after winning for the week of Jan. 31-Feb. 6. On Monday, the Phoenix scored their first win against Appalachian State since Feb. 14, 2008.
  4. Wofford (15-11, Previous Ranking: 2): The Terriers had worked their way back into contention in the South Division with a six-game winning streak, but back-to-back-to-back losses to Samford, Davidson and Georgia Southern put Wofford five games back of the pace-setting Wildcats.
  5. UNC Greensboro (10-15, Previous Ranking: 5): The Spartans pushed their winning streak under interim coach Wes Miller to seven – the program’s longest in 16 years – before falling to Furman. Trevis Simpson has averaged a team-leading 19.0 points per game under Miller, up from 15.2 points per game prior to Miller taking over.
  6. College of Charleston (15-10, Previous Ranking: 4): Interim head coach Mark Byington comes in with high credentials. In the fall, CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman conducted conference-by-conference polls of the top assistant coaches in league and Byington received the honor for the SoCon. He has started 3-2 in five games as interim head coach.
  7. Samford (9-15, Previous Ranking: 11): After starting 3-11, the Bulldogs switched from a man-to-man defense to a matchup zone. Since making the change, they have gone 6-4 and have allowed only 65.0 points per game as compared to 71 points per game in the first 11 contests. Samford’s opponents are shooting 39.7 percent from the field as compared to 45.6 percent prior to making the change.
  8. Furman (12-12, Previous Ranking: 9): The Paladins experienced their first three-game road winning streak in five years before dropping a 64-57 game to Georgia Southern. Brandon Sebirumbi has averaged 14.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game over Furman’s last nine outings, including a career-high tying 20 points on Saturday.
  9. Appalachian State (10-14, Previous Ranking: 7): In his last nine games, Isaac Buttshas converted 72.2 percent of his field goal attempts. The senior has made 26-of-36 attempts. Butts’ shooting percentage sits at 59.6 percent. Only two Mountaineers have finished with a percentage of 60.0 percent or better (Ricky Nedd, 69.0/Donte Minter, 61.4).

    Isaac Butts and Appalachian State Will Be A Part Of The Highly Anticipated BracketBusters On Feb. 18 (AP)

  10. Chattanooga (10-16, Previous Ranking: 10): Like the Mocs, forward Drazen Zlovaric has enjoyed significant more success at home. The Mocs are 10-4 and Zlovaric is averaging 11.6 points per game while shooting at a 59.8 percent clip. On the road, the Mocs are 0-12 and Zlovaric’s numbers drop to 8.4 points per game and he’s shooting only 44.2 percent.
  11. Western Carolina (10-16, Previous Ranking: 8): WCU has lost six straight road SoCon contests and have not won away from home in league play since downing Samford, 75-71, in Birmingham, Ala., in its SoCon opener on Dec. 1.
  12. The Citadel (4-20, Previous Ranking: 12): Center Mike Groselle, who ranks second in the SoCon in scoring (17.2) and first in rebounding (9.5), has a chance to be the first player to lead the league in both scoring and rebounding since Aron Stewart (Richmond, 1972-73).

Looking Ahead

Here are a couple of games in the coming days for fans to keep an eye out for:

  • Davidson at College of Charleston, Saturday, February 11: When the Wildcats and Cougars met last month, the two were competing for the top spot in the South Division. Since that time, the Wildcats have seized control while that loss began a stretch where the Cougars would lose five of eight.
  • BracketBusters, Saturday, February 18: Four SoCon schools (Davidson, Appalachian State, College of Charleston and Wofford) will be competing in the 10th annual Sears BracketBusters. Davidson earned one the spotlight games, facing Wichita State at noon on ESPN or ESPN2. SoCon schools went 5-0 in BracketBusters last year and are 17-12 overall.
EMoyer (47 Posts)


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