Checking in on… the SoCon

Posted by Brian Goodman on January 2nd, 2011

RTC welcomes Clark Williams, our new Southern Conference correspondent.

[ed. note: this post was written prior to Friday/Saturday games]

A Look Back

I hope everybody had quite the festive and merry holiday. Let’s talk SoCon basketball, shall we? Furman’s month-long win streak has come to an end, after the Paladins fell to the Golden Knights of UCF on Wednesday in the first round of the UCF Holiday Classic. Also on Wednesday, Georgia Southern came back from a 27-point halftime deficit and nearly upset the Auburn Tigers, but eventually fell 88-84 in overtime. I realize Auburn is one of the worst power-conference teams out there, but it’s always nice to see the SoCon bottom dwellers keep up with the SEC bottom dwellers. The cold streak continues for UNC-Greensboro, as the Spartans’ record fell to 0-12 after Duke demolished them, 108-62, in Greensboro. The game was the highest-attended athletic event in school history, with a crowd of 22, 178.

Power Rankings

1. Furman (8-3, 2-0) – Despite their five-game winning streak coming to an end, the Paladins possess the top spot. They are undefeated in conference play, and easily defeated South Carolina last Wednesday, something they have not done since 1980.

A Look Ahead - The Paladins continue playing in the UCF Holiday Classic, and take on the Huskies of Northeastern on Thursday night.  Then, a warm-up game against NAIA foe UVA-Wise, which will be the Paladins’ last non-conference game of the year. On January 6, Furman will square off against College of Charleston, with whom they currently share first place.

2. College of Charleston (8-4, 2-0) – The Cougars earned the number two spot, after nearly defeating the Tigers of Clemson last Wednesday. Charleston hasn’t played since. Andrew Goudelock continues to impress; the senior guard is averaging 23.4 points per game.

A Look Ahead - The Cougars will be on ESPN on New Year’s Eve, as they take on the Volunteers of Tennessee, in Knoxville. Then, a game at Morehead State, followed by a conference clash at Furman on January 6.

3. Wofford (5-7, 2-0) – A popular preseason pick to win the SoCon, the Terriers have struggled at times this season. However, they seem to be more talented then their record indicates. They have played a combined five overtime periods already, and have taken on six power conference teams, playing all of them relatively close.

A Look Ahead - The Terriers play their last non-conference game against Cornell on Thursday night, then have conference foes Citadel and College of Charleston at home. Wofford needs to make a statement in both of those games, if they really are the team pundits believed them to be at the beginning of the year.

4. Chattanooga (7-6, 3-0) – The Mocs are the sole possessors of first place in the North division of the SoCon. What has impressed me the most about the Mocs so far is their rebounding ability — Chattanooga ranks #23 in the nation in rebounds per game with the amount of assists they’ve racked up.  Still, it’s hard to tell what this team will be like in February and March. The Mocs’ last two opponents have been NAIA teams, and they have not played a D-1 team since December 17.

A Look Ahead – Chattanooga has Georgia State on December 30, in-state rival Austin Peay on January 3, and then squares off against the winless Spartans of UNC-Greensboro on January 8.

5. Davidson (6-5, 1-1)- The Wildcats are getting better by the day. Since their December 2 conference loss to College of Charleston, Davidson is 3-1. They easily defeated The Citadel, Charlotte, and Saint Francis (NY), and nearly beat Saint John’s.

A Look Ahead – Davidson travels to Nashville to take on a talented Vanderbilt team on January 2.  Then, it’s a duo of in-state rivalry games, as the Wildcats host Appalachian State, then travel to play Western Carolina.

6. Samford (8-5, 1-1) – The Bulldogs continue to be plagued by a lethargic offense, as Creighton easily defeated the Bulldogs, 58-40 on December 22. This marks the fourth game the Bulldogs were held to less than 60 points. Their rebounding has been no better, and ranks 333rd in the nation in rebounds per game. Samford has, however, been able to move the ball around very well. Four players are averaging more than eight points per game.

A Look Ahead – Samford has a New Year’s Eve date with Eastern Michigan, then hits the road for three consecutive conference road games. First up is UNC-Greensboro, then Elon, and then Chattanooga.

7. Appalachian State (4-7, 1-1) – The Mountaineers continue to get fantastic play from senior guard Donald Sims, who is averaging 22.4 points per game, and forward Omar Carter, who is averaging 15 points per game. Unfortunately, his stellar play has not translated into victories. Appalachian State has struggled as of late- they have lost their last three games by a combined score of 42.

A Look Ahead – The Mountaineers will take on the Wildcats of Davidson on January 5. Then, it’s Georgia Southern, followed by UNC-Greensboro.

8. The Citadel (4-8, 1-1) – The Bulldogs haven’t played since the December 23, when they lost to SIU-Edwardsville, a recent addition to D-1 basketball. The Citadel has managed to play well in games against fellow mid-majors, but has been absolutely destroyed against any higher competition. They lost by 42 to Richmond, 28 to Colorado, and 26 to New Mexico.

A Look Ahead – The Citadel starts the New Year with four tough road trips in South Carolina. The Bulldogs will play at Clemson, then Wofford, then Furman, and will finish at College of Charleston. If the Bulldogs want to stay competitive in conference play, they need to win at least one of these games.

9. Elon (5-7, 0-2) The Phoenix of Elon are doing a fine job putting points on the point, as they rank 55th in the nation in points per game. However, their talented offense hasn’t been able to compensate for their lack of defense of rebounding. Elon has been the cupcake of choice for the ACC thus far, and haven’t been completely embarrassed in games against Wake Forest, Maryland and Duke. Hopefully, the experience from these games will help them find their own winning ways.

A Look Ahead – The Phoenix will travel to New York City for a game against Columbia, then will face off against another ACC foe, NC State. Elon will resume conference play at UNC-Greensboro, on January 10.

10.  Georgia Southern (4-10, 0-2) – The Eagles finally got their first victory over a D-1 opponent, beating Georgia State in overtime, on December 22. The “momentum” created by this victory carried over to their next game, as they overcame a 27-point halftime deficit at Auburn to force overtime, where they eventually fell.  Freshman guard Eric Ferguson is wasting no time making his presence felt. He is averaging 14.4 points per game, and 6.4 rebounds.

A Look Ahead - The Eagles will start 2011 with home games against Eastern Kentucky and Western Carolina, and then travel to Appalachian State. The Eagles are the only team in the South division of the SoCon without a conference win. If the Eagles have any shot at turning this thing around, this trend must end, and quickly.

11. Western Carolina (4-10, 0-2)- Things are not getting any easier for the Catamounts. Western Carolina has dropped their last six games, and hasn’t won since late November. The strangest part of their winless December? The Catamounts lost to the Fighting Camels of Campbell by 23, but only lost to #2 Ohio State by 15.

A Look Ahead – The Catamounts will travel to Georgia Southern, then host Davidson, Elon, and Appalachian State. Here’s hoping their January goes better than their December.

12. Ah, the loathed 12th spot. This is reserved for the hapless Spartans of UNC-Greensboro, a team still searching for its first victory. In their defense, the Spartans have played a brutal schedule, and seem to be getting better each game. Before the Duke disaster, the Spartans played Wake Forest, Clemson, and Richmond, losing by ten or fewer in each game.

A Look Ahead – It doesn’t get any easier for the Spartans, as they resume conference play. They host Samford on January 6, and continue their search for that elusive first win. Home games against Chattanooga and Elon follow.

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Around The Blogosphere: December 13, 2010

Posted by nvr1983 on December 13th, 2010

If you are interested in participating in our ATB2 feature, send in your submissions to rushthecourt@gmail.com.

Top 25 Games

  • #2 Ohio State 85, Western Carolina 60: “As expected, Thad Matta’s basketball Buckeyes showed a bit more emotion out of the gate and overwhelmed the Western Carolina Catamounts 85-60 this afternoon in venerable St. John Arena.” (Eleven Warriors)
  • #8 Georgetown 89, Appalachian State 60: “It’s always interesting to see how a team reacts to a heartbreaking loss. Today’s game for the Georgetown Hoyas was that test. In addition, this team has had the reputation of playing down to competition in the last few years.  Today, none of that mattered. The Hoyas outworked, outmuscled and outhustled Appalachian State in an 89-60 victory.” (Casual Hoya)
  • #16 Illinois 86, Northern Colorado 76: The Fighting Illini won despite a lackluster defensive effort. (Hail to the Orange)

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RTC Conference Primers: #16 – Southern Conference

Posted by Brian Goodman on October 20th, 2010

Justin Glover is the RTC correspondent for the Southern Conference, but he is moving on and therefore we are seeking a skilled, knowledgeable writer familiar with this conference.


Predicted Order of Finish

North Division:

  1. Appalachian State: 21-11 (13-5)
  2. Chattanooga: 17-14 (11-7)
  3. Western Carolina: 16-15 (9-9)
  4. Samford: 14-18 (9-9)
  5. UNC Greensboro: 9-23 (7-11)
  6. Elon: 8-23 (5-13)

South Division:

  1. Wofford: 25-10 (14-4)
  2. College of Charleston: 21-13 (13-5)
  3. Furman: 17-15 (10-8)
  4. Davidson: 16-17 (8-10)
  5. Georgia Southern: 13-19 (6-12)
  6. Citadel: 10-21 (3-15)

All-Conference Team (key stats from last season in parentheses)

  • Andrew Goudelock (G) – College of Charleston (19.4 PPG)
  • Donald Sims (G) – Appalachian State (20.4 PPG)
  • Amu Saaka (F) – Furman (15.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG)
  • Tim Johnson (F) – Wofford (6.1 PPG, 8.0 RPG)
  • Noah Dahlman (C) – Wofford (16.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG)

6th Man

Omar Carter – Appalachian State: The Charleston Southern transfer will look to contribute early on as a junior. While in the Big South, he was freshman of the year in 2007-08.

Impact Newcomer

James Carlton - College of Charleston:  One of the top prospects out of the state of North Carolina, Carlton played in the 2010 NCCA East-West All-Star Game and Carolinas All-Star Basketball Classic. Carlton averaged 15 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and four blocks per game as a senior at South Central High School and is rated as a three-star power forward by Rivals.

Wofford head coach Mike Young has his Terriers on a mission in 2010-11.

What You Need to Know

  • Not surprisingly, the losses of Stephen Curry and Andrew Lovedale from Davidson led to a slide from the Wildcats, who made major strides under Bob McKillop in the latter part of the decade.
  • All 24 men’s and women’s teams will take part in the annual SoCon Tournament, the longest-running conference tournament in the nation.  McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will serve as host during March 3-7.
  • The Southern Conference ranks as the fourth oldest major college athletic conference in the United States. Only the Big Ten (1896), Missouri Valley (1907), and Southwestern Athletic (1920) are older.
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Summer School in the SoCon

Posted by Brian Goodman on July 30th, 2010

Justin Glover is the RTC correspondent for the Southern Conference.

Mike Young's Terriers Look to Lead the SoCon Again

Around The SoCon

  • Former Citadel coach Ed Conroy moves on to coach Tulane University. The Bulldogs hired former Maryland assistant coach Chuck Driesell, who was with the Terps for four seasons under head coach Gary Williams.
  • The Mountaineers hired former UNC star forward Jason Capel, who becomes the youngest head coach in Division I at 30 years old, to replace Buzz Peterson, who departs for UNC-Wilmington.
  • The Georgia Southern Eagles made a splash in its recruiting class coming in, ranking sixth among mid-major programs, according to ESPN.com.
  • Asheville, North Carolina, has been awarded the league’s men’s and women’s basketball tournament for 2012-14, to be held in the Asheville Civic Center, just a stone’s throw away from the Western Carolina campus. The facility will undergo a considerable renovation to prepare for the event.

Power Rankings

The Southern Conference will likely be a one-bid league in 2010-11, but the recent NCAA tournament expansion will certainly add motivation for teams on the rise to perform. With the return of forward Noah Dahlman (16.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG last season), Wofford is the early favorite to repeat as SoCon champs next season.

North Division

  1. Western Carolina – The Catamounts lost some very good talent from a team that won 22 games in 2009-10, including an impressive 14-2 home record. WCU lost its top two scorers in Brandon Giles and Jake Robinson, but return former freshman of the year Harouna Mutombo. Also, the Catamounts bring back spark plug Mike Williams, who contributed 9.4 points off the bench last season. Starting center Richie Gordon returns after posting 8.5 ppg and 4.6 rebounds per game last season. WCU welcomes four newcomers, including 6’4 guard Brandon Boggs, from Greenville, South Carolina. Boggs averaged 16 PPG in his senior season, earning him a spot on the South Carolina all-star team. Boggs scored a game-high 24 points in the contest.
  2. Appalachian State - The Mountaineers lost Buzz Peterson to UNC-Wilmington and welcome a new era with Jason Capel, who becomes the nation’s youngest head coach heading into the 2010-11 season. ASU won an impressive 24 games en route to the North Division crown last season. To repeat as champs, they are going to need Donald Sims to perform at a level similar to last season, when he averaged 20.4 points per game and was a sure thing from the stripe, with a league-leading 95 percent. Also returning is Isaac Butts, who led the team in rebounding, grabbing 8.1 rebounds per game last season. Two newcomers for the Mountaineers are Anthony Breeze, who transferred from Coastal Carolina last season, and Omar Carter, who transferred from Charleston Southern.
  3. Chattanooga – The Mocs have three starters returning from a team that went 15-18 last season. Chattanooga went 6-12 in conference play, tying UNC-Greensboro for third in the north division. Rising junior guard Ricky Taylor returns after putting up 11.4 points per game in 2009-2010. Keegan Bell, who averaged 7.6 points per game last season, is another starter from a year ago. Together, Taylor and Bell will look to provide the Mocs with a 1-2 punch in the backcourt. Three newcomers round out the roster, including some size in the frontcourt in Philip Jurick, who stands 6’11 and played at Chattanooga State Community College last season.
  4. Samford – The Bulldogs head into 2010-11 returning three starters from last year’s team, including leading scorer Josh Davis, who averaged 12.5 points per game and netted a team-high 85 three pointers. Also returning is starting center Andy King, who posted 6.6 points per game last season. The Bulldogs struggled on the road last season, going 4-10 away from Birmingham, and the team hopes that more veteran leadership will change their fate this season. Three newcomers will join the squad, including two in the frontcourt in Levi Barnes (6’10) and Drew Windler (6’9). Guard Greg Wooten rounds out the recruiting class for Samford.
  5. UNC-Greensboro – The Spartans return rising sophomore Kyle Randall, who was second on the team in points per game with 9.5. Also returning is fellow guard Brandon Evans, who averaged 8.5 points per game last season. The Spartans had a tough non-conference slate containing six ACC opponents, which contributed to a 2-11 record before conference play started. While overmatched in most of those contests, they hung around with Virginia Tech until late in the game Six of those losses came at home. Three newcomers join the team this season in Aaron Brackett, David Williams, and Aloysius Henry, who hopes to contribute right away.
  6. Elon - The Phoenix return their leading scorer in Drew Spradlin, who averaged 13.3 points per game last season as a sophomore. Also returning is starting guard Chris Long, who posted 9.9 points per game in his junior season. Sixth man Terrance Birdette returns as well, after scoring 6.8 points per game and seeing court time in all 32 games last season. There are five newcomers who join the Phoenix hoops squad in 2010. Incoming freshmen include Ryley Beaumont, Jack Isenbarger, Sebastian Koch, Lucas Troutman. Sophomore transfer Egheosa Edomwonyi from Rice will be a part of Elon’s quest for a Southern Conference championship. Isenbarger was a McDonalds All-American nominee and could be the prize in the recruiting class.

South Division

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Morning Five: 07.07.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on July 7th, 2010

Now that we’re all back in the swing of things from the holiday weekend, let’s dive into another set of morning links.

  1. Former Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez was arrested under suspicion of trying to steal a $1,395 man purse from a Ralph Lauren store in a New Jersey mall. The story says “satchel”, but we all know that’s just a nice way of saying man purse. We don’t know which man purse it is, but these are the most likely options (purse 1 or purse 2).
  2. Adam Zagoria brings you the winner of future all-name college basketball teams, God’s Gift Achiuwa, who is being recruited St. John’s. Zagoria missed a great potential finishing joke when he forgot to mention the upcoming moment where Knick fans boo the selection of God’s Gift.
  3. The Legends Classic announced the match-ups and locations for the regional match-ups of its early season tournament with Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Michigan, and UTEP hosting a bunch of sacrificial lambs–Albany, Bowling Green, Detroit, Gardner-Webb, Mercer, Niagara, Western Carolina, and William & Mary.
  4. Georgia’s athletic department took a step toward getting back to business as usual by naming Frank Crumley interim AD on Tuesday.  University prez Michael Adams, though, has formed a committee who will search outside the UGA system for a permanent replacement for Damon Evans.
  5. Celebrate we will, for it’s the July evaluation period.  Coaches might not be able to talk to available recruits, but they may watch them as much as they want and determine where — that is, on whom — they’ll concentrate their recruiting efforts.  The period kicked off with a huge showcase in Indianapolis featuring over 4,000 basketball players as well as many of the biggest names in the coaching game.
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Southern Conference Tournament Preview

Posted by rtmsf on March 4th, 2010

Justin Glover is the RTC correspondent for the Southern Conference.

Southern Conference Championship- Predictions

First/Second Rounds

March 5

(3S) Davidson vs. (6N) Elon – Davidson has had a better year than what people expected after losing Stephen Curry to the NBA draft. The Wildcats should win by double digits against a bad Elon team.

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Checking in on… the SoCon

Posted by rtmsf on February 27th, 2010

Justin Glover is the RTC correspondent for the Southern Conference.

Updated Standings

NORTH CONF. W-L OVERALL W-L
Appalachian State 12-5 19-11
Western Carolina 10-7 20-10
Chattanooga 6-11 14-16
Samford 5-12 11-18
UNC Greensboro 5-12 6-22
Elon 5-12 8-21
SOUTH CONF. W-L OVERALL W-L
Wofford 14-3 22-8
Charleston 13-4 19-10
Davidson 10-7 15-14
Citadel 9-8 15-14
Furman 7-10 13-15
Georgia Southern 6-11 9-21

Quick Hits – With the Southern Conference season ending on Saturday it looks like the conference champions of their respective divisions are clinched. Congratulations to Appalachian State (12-5) for winning the North division thanks to a season sweep against Western Carolina this season. Also the Wofford Terriers for winning the South division with a solid 14-3 conference record. The Terriers clinched the division title on Thursday night with a 74-68 win at home. The conference tournament starts on March 4-8, being played in Charlotte, N.C., at the Time Warner Cable arena. In my opinion four teams still have a chance to be dancing in March with Wofford (14-3), Appalachian State (12-5), Western Carolina (10-7), and College of Charleston (13-4).

Conference Tournament Champion prediction: College of Charleston – I believe they will avenge their losses to Wofford and Western Carolina by defeating the Catamounts in the SoCon championship to head to the NCAA tournament. With the way the Cougars can move the ball around the perimeter I believe they will cut down the nets in Charlotte.

Predicting Post-season Awards:

Player of the Year: Donald Sims (Appalachian State) 20.1 points per game, leads the conference in 3 pointers made (90), free throw percentage (.948) 146-154 missed eight free throws all year.

Coach of the Year: Buzz Peterson (Appalachian State) 19-11 overall, 12-5 SoCon

Freshman of the Year: Jake Cohen (Davidson) 13.1 points per game

1st Team all-SoCon

  • Donald Sims- Appalachian State 20.1 ppg
  • Andrew Goudelock- College of Charleston 19.2 ppg
  • Cameron Wells- Citadel 17.4 ppg
  • Noah Dahlman- Wofford 17.4 ppg
  • Amu Saaka – Furman 16.1 ppg 7.1 rpg

2nd Team all-SoCon

  • Ben Stywall- UNC Greensboro
  • Jordan Miller- Furman
  • Brandon Giles- Western Carolina
  • Willie Powers- Georgia Southern
  • Drew Spradlin- Elon

Final Games remaining:

  • February 27th – Samford @ Appalachian St. 3 p.m.
  • February 27th – Citadel @ Wofford 7 p.m.
  • February 27th – College of Charleston @ Furman 4 p.m.
  • February 27th – Davidson @ Elon 7 p.m.
  • February 27th – Chattanooga @ Western Carolina 3 p.m.
  • March 1st – Georgia Southern @ UNC Greensboro 7 p.m.
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RTC Daily Bracketbusters: Monday-Thursday

Posted by nvr1983 on February 21st, 2010

Even though ESPN likes to hype up its Bracketbuster day the fact is that the last few weeks of the season act like an elimination tournament with teams moving in and out of the NCAA Tournament while other teams move up and down on a daily basis. While each and every game could theoretically have an impact on the Bubble and NCAA seeding there are a few games that matter more than the others which we will feature over the next two weeks leading up to the conference tournaments. We will feature these in two posts per week. The first will be a post released on Sunday night for games from Monday through Thursday and the second will be a post released on Thursday night for games from Friday through Sunday.

Fifth
#8 West Virginia at UConn at 7 PM on ESPN on Monday – The Mountaineers will need a miracle to get a #1 seed, but this is a “must-win” if UConn wants to get into the NCAA Tournament. After this game the Huskies do not have another opponent that would impress the Selection Committee until they begin the Big East Tournament. Despite the fact that their “ceiling” is probably a #2 seed this game is also very important for the Mountaineers who need to be careful here because they finish with a tricky stretch with this game being following by games at home against Cincinnati and Georgetown then a trip to Villanova before the Big East Tournament. If the Mountaineers do not finish strong (at least 2-2) they could be looking at a #4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Ebanks is the X-factor for West Virginia

Fourth
#22 Texas A&M at #24 Baylor at 9 PM on ESPNU on Wednesday – This is one game that does not feature a bubble team since both of these teams are in the NCAA Tournament, but this game does have big seeding implications. Right now these teams are competing for the #3 spot in the Big 12 behind Kansas and Kansas State. Both of these teams could fall anywhere from a #5 seed to a #8 seed and the difference for both could well be this game. Texas A&M has been playing well lately with only one loss this month (by 5 to Kansas). Up until Saturday when they lost in Stillwater, Baylor had not lost since they traveled to College Station. Now the Bears welcome the Aggies to Waco hoping to return the favor as inhospitable hosts. Both teams have favorable schedules down the stretch (read: no Kansas or Kansas State) so the winner of this has the inside track along with Texas for that coveted #3 seed in the Big 12 Tournament to avoid Kansas in the semifinals and get a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Third
Oklahoma State at #21 Texas at 9 PM on ESPN2 on Wednesday – The Cowboys picked up a big win on Saturday against Baylor, which should put them on the inside of the Bubble, but they are entering a difficult 3-game stretch: at Texas, home against Kansas, and at Texas A&M. Winning 2 of 3 should ensure that the Cowboys get in to the NCAA Tournament, but if they lose all 3 games (not an unreasonable proposition) they will be sweating it out on Selection Sunday. As for the Longhorns, we are not sure what to say about them at this point. Outside of UNC there has not been a more disappointing team in the nation–the Tar Heels have a safe lead in this category–yet we know that they are the one underachieving team that nobody wants to see in the pod when the brackets come out. Right now people have them in the #5-6 range, but they have a 4 very winnable games to finish the regular season (at Texas A&M and Baylor will be challenging as both teams took the Longhorns to OT in Austin earlier this year, but the Longhorns should expect to win those games). If they can get their act together, this team could get back to a #3-4 seed given their 3 wins (and counting) against the RPI top 25. If they don’t they could slip down to the #8-9 range, which could make for a very interesting 2nd round match-up in the NCAA Tournament for a #1 seed.

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Checking in on… the SoCon

Posted by rtmsf on February 12th, 2010

Justin Glover is the RTC correspondent for the Southern Conference.

Updated Standings

North
Appalachian St. 9-4 15-10
Western Carolina 8-5 18-7
Chattanooga 5-8 13-13
Samford 4-9 10-15
Elon 4-9 6-18
UNC Greensboro 4-9 5-19
South
College of Charleston 12-3 17-9
Wofford 10-3 18-8
Davidson 7-5 12-12
Citadel 7-6 13-12
Furman 5-8 11-13
Georgia Southern 3-9 6-19

Quick Hits.

  • Appalachian State has won two-straight conference games to take over first place in the North Division. Western Carolina has been reeling of late after losing on the road against Elon. WCU with the loss is now second in the division.
  • Georgia Southern is the most disappointing team to date with a dismal 3-9 conference record and 6-19 overall record. The Eagles have struggled on the road this season.

Sizzling Players. These top seven guys continue to lead the conference with their stellar play for their teams.

1. SIMS, Donald-ASU JR 22.6
2. GOUDELOCK, Andrew-COFC JR 20.5
3. WELLS, Cameron-CIT JR 18.4
4. DAHLMAN, Noah-WOF JR 17.1
5. SAAKA, Amu-FUR JR 16.2
6. POWERS, Willie-GSU JR 16.2
7. STYWALL, Ben-UNCG SR 15.7

Important Match-ups.

Sat, Feb 13 Appalachian St. Georgia Southern Boone, N.C. 3:00 p.m.
* Sat, Feb 13 Samford Wofford Birmingham, Ala. 3:00 p.m.
* Sat, Feb 13 Elon Citadel Elon, N.C. 6:00 p.m.
* Sat, Feb 13 Chattanooga Furman Chattanooga, Tenn. 7:30 p.m.
* Sat, Feb 13 Western Carolina Davidson Cullowhee, N.C. 7:00 p.m.
* Mon, Feb 15 UNC Greensboro Western Carolina Greensboro, N.C. 7:00 p.m.
* Wed, Feb 17 College of Charleston Appalachian St. Charleston, S.C. 7:00 p.m.
* Wed, Feb 17 Davidson Wofford Davidson, N.C. 7:00 p.m.
* Wed, Feb 17 Elon UNC Greensboro Elon, N.C. 7:00 p.m.

Key Results from last two weeks.

  • On Saturday Feb. 6th, Appalachian State went on the road and defeated Western Carolina, 89-77, to sweep the season series from the Catamounts. That win for the Mountaineers completely changes the Southern Conference and puts App. State in the drivers seat for the division title.
  • On Monday Feb. 8th, The Citadel went on the road and beat the College of Charleston, 72-65, which proved to be a nice win for the Bulldogs. The Cougars are trying to hold off a late rally by Wofford to claim the South Division title.
  • Also on Monday Feb. 8th, Western Carolina continued its poor showing on the road in 2010 by losing to Elon, 81-76. WCU with the loss now sits a full game behind the Mountaineers in the North Division title race.
  • Monday Feb. 8th continued to be a busy day for the Southern Conference as Wofford went on the road to defeat Furman, 76-65. Wofford improved to 10-3 in conference and continues to show that the Terriers could be a contender for the league title in the next couple of weeks.
  • On Feb. 11, the College of Charleston beat Elon, 80-77, after Donvan Monroe scored a career high 29 points to lead the Cougars to victory over the pesky Phoenix.
  • On the same night Appalachian State beat Davidson, 66-56 to sweep the season series from the Wildcats. The Mountaineers now control their own destiny in the North Division with the victory.
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96-Team NCAA Tournament Capsule

Posted by zhayes9 on February 3rd, 2010

The recent report from Sports by Brooks relaying information from an insider ESPN source claiming NCAA Tournament expansion to 68 or 96 teams was a “done deal” caused tremendous frustration and anxiety amongst college basketball diehard fans and followers. The complaints are numerous and completely fair: the regular season would be rendered basically meaningless, the conference tournaments utterly ruined, the NCAA tournament field watered down to the point of being a joke. Fans are irate at the thought of destroying the greatest sporting event known to man. To confirm just how ridiculous the bracket would be if the tournament expands by 31 teams, here’s the rough layout of which teams would be dancing in a hypothetical 96-team field if the season ended today:

That's One Sad Bracket

Teams very comfortably in the field (#65-#73)

  • #65: Connecticut- 13-9 (3-6), 0-5 in true road games, 2-6 vs. RPI top 50
  • #66: South Carolina- 13-8 (4-3), losses to Miami and Wofford, 1-4 vs. RPI top 50
  • #67: Maryland- 14-6 (4-2), best non-conf win at Indiana, 1-6 vs. RPI top 50
  • #68: Wichita State- 19-4 (8-3), #164 SOS and #330 non-conf SOS, 3 losses vs. sub RPI top 100
  • #69: Tulsa- 17-4 (6-1), #62 RPI and #178 SOS, 1 win vs. RPI top 100
  • #70: North Carolina- 13-8 (2-4), #75 RPI, 1-6 vs. RPI top 50, only road win at NC State
  • #71: Mississippi State- 16-5 (4-2), #65 RPI and #167 SOS, 3 wins vs. RPI top 100, lost to Rider
  • #72: Illinois- 14-8 (6-3), #79 RPI, 2-4 vs. RPI top 50, losses to Bradley and Utah on neutral courts
  • #73: William & Mary- 15-6 (7-4), four losses in CAA including UNC-Wilmington, lost 3 of 4

Teams fairly comfortably in the field (#74-#82)

  • #74: Minnesota- 13-8 (4-5), #61 RPI, 3-7 vs. RPI top 100, losses to Indiana and Portland
  • #75: San Diego State- 16-6 (5-3), 2-5 vs. RPI top 50, losses to Pacific and Wyoming
  • #76: Virginia- 13-6 (4-2), #87 RPI and #118 SOS, losses to Penn State, Auburn, USF and Penn State
  • #77: South Florida- 14-7 (4-5), #207 non-conf SOS, 1-4 vs. RPI top 50
  • #78: Seton Hall- 12-8 (3-6), #174 non-conf SOS, 1-5 vs. RPI top 25, 8 losses overall
  • #79: Northwestern- 15-7 (4-6), 3-7 vs. RPI top 100, #246 non-conf SOS, 6 losses in Big 10 play
  • #80: Virginia Tech- 16-4 (3-3), #74 RPI and #255 SOS, #345 non-conf SOS, 0-2 vs. RPI top 50
  • #81: UTEP- 15-5 (6-1), #72 RPI and #141 SOS, 1-3 vs. RPI top 50, best non-conf win at NM St.
  • #82: Texas Tech- 14-7 (2-5), 0-7 vs. RPI top 50, best non-conf win vs. Wash, best conf win vs. Oklahoma

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Checking in on… the SoCon

Posted by jstevrtc on January 29th, 2010

Justin Glover is the RTC correspondent for the Southern Conference.

Updated Standings:
NORTH    (CONF/OVER)

  1. Western Carolina     6-3    16-5
  2. Appalachian State   6-3    12-8
  3. Chattanooga              4-5    12-10
  4. UNC Greensboro      4-6    5-16
  5. Samford                       3-6    9-12
  6. Elon                               2-7    4-16

SOUTH    (CONF/ OVER)

  1. Charleston                  8-2    13-8
  2. Wofford                        6-3    14-8
  3. Davidson                     5-4    10-11
  4. Furman                        4-5    10-10
  5. Citadel                          4-5    10-11
  6. Georgia Southern     3-6    6-16

Quick Hits — Only half of the conference season has been played in the Southern Conference and we are starting to see which teams will contend for the championship come March. Four teams have clearly put themselves above the rest of the conference as WCU, Wofford, Charleston, and Appalachian State have emerged as the favorites to make the NCAA tournament. One of those teams should come away with the automatic bid. In the next couple of weeks the schedule puts most of the top teams against each other, providing for some very interesting scenarios.

Other Notes — It would take either Western Carolina or College of Charleston to both win out and make it to the SoCon finals for the league to earn two bids into the NCAA tournament. It doesn’t look like this is the year for the conference to have two teams for the first time.

Most Disappointing teams — Elon has only won two games in conference, but Samford has really been disappointing this season with its 3-6 record. The Bulldogs haven’t figured out how to win on the road.

Sizzling players — It’s all about the junior class. Seven juniors sit atop the statistics in PPG. Donald Sims from Appalachian State leads the SoCon with 19.4 PPG. Andrew Goudelock (CofC), Cameron Wells (Citadel), Noah Dahlman (Wofford), Amu Saaka (Furman), Willie Powers (Georgia Southern), and Jordan Miller (Furman) all averaging more than 14 PPG.

Upcoming Schedule/Important Match-ups:

  • Sat. Jan 30 — Furman @ Wofford.  Spartanburg, S.C. 3 p.m. – Tough road contest for Furman.
  • Thurs. Feb 4 — Chattanooga @ Charleston.  Charleston, S.C. 7 p.m. – Chattanooga looks to pull off another upset on the road.
  • Sat. Feb 6 — Appalachian State @ WCU.  Cullowhee, N.C. 7 p.m. – The Catamounts look for revenge at home.
  • Mon. Feb 8 — Citadel @ Charleston.  Charleston, S.C. 7 p.m. – In-state rivalry between the two schools.

Team Breakdowns:

  • Appalachian State (12-8): On January 28th Appalachian State won its second straight game after defeating Samford 68-55 on the road. With that victory, the Mountaineers are now tied atop the North Division standings at 6-3. Just four days earlier, Appalachian State defeated Western Carolina 87-74 at home thanks to 28 points from Donald Sims. The upcoming game against the Catamounts could determine the North Division winner, with both tied at 6-3 at the moment.
  • Chattanooga (12-10): The Mocs were on a four-game losing streak before defeating Western Carolina 80-67 on January 28th.  Ty Patterson led the way with 19 points in the victory and leads the team in scoring with 15.3 PPG. Recent road losses against Wofford (78-63) and Elon (83-80) have hurt Chattanooga in the standings. The Mocs still need to figure out how to get it done more often on the road.
  • College of Charleston (13-8): The Cougars were riding high with a seven game winning streak until Monday the 25th when Western Carolina ended the streak with a 100-90 victory at home. College of Charleston couldn’t bounce back on January 28th, losing again on the road against Davidson, 86-71. It will be interesting to see how the Cougars respond to this recent two game losing streak, which dropped them to 8-2 in conference.
  • Davidson (10-11): Two straight wins for the Wildcats puts their conference record at 5-4 heading into a key conference stretch. On January 23rd Davidson defeated Georgia Southern 91-87 on the road with J.P. Kuhlman scoring 18 points to pace the Wildcats.  Just five days later, Davidson overcame South Division leader Charleston, 86-61.  Will Archambault scored 24 points in the victory and grabbed five rebounds.
  • Elon (4-16): Elon recently ended a nine-game losing streak after defeating Chattanooga 83-80 at home on January 23rd. Drew Spradlin scored a season-high 30 points in the victory to end the losing streak for the Phoenix.  On January 28th Elon lost on the road against UNC-Greensboro 62-55 with Spradlin scoring 18 points in the loss.  The Phoenix haven’t won two straight games all season and came up just short against the Spartans.
  • Furman (10-10): The Paladins continue to impress at home with its 6-3 record but playing on the road has really hurt them. Furman’s record on the road is just 3-6; this will have to be rectified if they’re going to compete for the SoCon championship. On January 25th Furman defeated Samford 63-58 with Darryl Evans scoring 18 points in the victory.
  • Georgia Southern (6-16): The Eagles have been playing better recently, winning two of its last three conference games. Both of those wins came at home where Georgia Southern is 6-4 overall. The Eagles defeated the Citadel 61-58 on January 28th to run its SoCon record to 3-6.
  • Samford (9-12): The Bulldogs have lost two-straight games after losing to Appalachian State on January 28th, 68-55. Just three days earlier, Samford lost to Furman on the road, 63-58. Josh Davis leads the team in scoring at 11.7 PPG. The Bulldogs are just 3-6 on the road.
  • The Citadel (10-11): The Citadel has one of the top players in the Southern Conference in Cameron Wells. Wells is averaging 18 PPG but doesn’t get a whole lot of  help around him; if he did, you’d wonder if Citadel would have better than a 4-5 conference record. The Citadel defeated Furman at home 70-60 on January 23rd, but lost on the road against Georgia Southern 61-58 on Thursday night. The Bulldogs have yet to win two-straight conference games this season and are trying to stay competitive in the South Division.
  • UNC-Greensboro (5-16):  The Spartans have won two of their last three conference games to improve their record to 4-6 in conference. During UNC-Greensboro’s recent home stand, they defeated Chattanooga 62-49, and beat Elon 62-55 on Thursday night.
  • Western Carolina (16-5): The Catamounts have been perfect at home (11-0) including a huge victory against the College of Charleston, 100-90, on January 25th. Western Carolina’s losses have all been away from the Ramsey Center. This is a cause of concern for WCU, having recently fallen into a tie for first place in the North Division with Appalachian State. Western cannot expect to lose all of its road games and still claim the SoCon championship.
  • Wofford (14-8): The Terriers have been playing their best basketball of the season, led by junior Noah Dahlman. Dahlman has led the team in scoring in six straight games, and the team is 5-1 in those contests. Wofford’s only loss came against the College of Charleston 70-68 on the road. On January 25th the Terriers won 78-63 against Chattanooga; Dahlman led the way with 20 points, earning Wofford its sixth conference win.
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Checking in on… the SoCon

Posted by jstevrtc on January 15th, 2010

Justin Glover is the RTC correspondent for the Southern Conference.

Updated Standings:

NORTH CONF. W-L OVERALL W-L
Western Carolina 3-1 13-3
Chattanooga 3-1 11-6
Appalachian State 3-2 9-7
UNC Greensboro 2-4 3-14
Samford 1-3 7-9
Elon 1-4 3-13
SOUTH CONF. W-L OVERALL W-L
Charleston 5-0 10-6
Wofford 3-2 11-7
Davidson 3-2 8-9
Furman 2-3 8-8
Citadel 2-3 8-9
Georgia Southern 1-4 4-14

Quick Hits – The Southern Conference is beginning to take shape after just two weeks into the “second half” of the 2009-10 college basketball season. The standings look awfully familiar to last season with the North led by a tie between Western Carolina (3-1) and Chattanooga (3-1). The South Division is being lead by the College of Charleston who has a perfect 5-0 conference record. The question that is starting to take shape around mid-majors is can the SoCon put two teams to the big dance this season? In my opinion, in order for the SoCon to have two invitations to March Madness the Catamounts would have to earn somewhere around 24-25 wins. The other half would be to have WCU face College of Charleston in the finals trying to convince the committee that wins on the road against Louisville & Bradley will be enough to get the Catamounts into the tournament if Charleston wins the SoCon tournament.

Other Notes — Don’t sleep on Wofford and Chattanooga who both have started to get hot in recent weeks. Wofford on a four-game winning streak and Chattanooga on a six-game winning streak.

Most Disappointing Teams — Now that Georgia Southern has gotten its first win in conference the Elon Phoenix are clearly the worst team in the Southern Conference so far this season. The Phoenix have been getting blown out almost every game and sit at just 3-13 overall.

Sizzling players — Appalachian State’s Donald Sims is playing his best basketball of the season after scoring 44 points against Davidson and has led the Mountaineers in scoring in ten games this season. Furman’s Amu Saaka has played well lately scoring 30+ in two straight games against conference opponents.

Important Upcoming Match-ups:

  • Sat. Jan 16thDavidson@Wofford, Spartanburg, S.C. 7 p.m. – Tough road match-up for a battle of 3-2 records in conference.
  • Wed Jan 20th - WCU@Davidson, Davidson, N.C. 7 p.m. – Western travels to Davidson looking to earn a solid road conference win.
  • Fri Jan 22nd –  Wofford@College of Charleston, Charleston, S.C. 7 p.m. – Wofford looks to take down the top team in the Southern Conference on the road.
  • Sat Jan 23rd –  WCU@Appalachian State, Boone, N.C. 3 p.m. – Old time rivalry between two teams that really don’t like each other should present a solid game in Boone.

Team Breakdowns:

  • Appalachian State (9-7): The Mountaineers have won two straight conference games earning them a 3-2 SoCon record. On January 9th Appalachian State won on the road against Davidson, 78-68, thanks to a stellar performance from Donald Sims who scored 44 points in the victory. On January 13th they defeated Elon 89-65 getting 20 points from Kellen Brand to lead the way.
  • Chattanooga (11-6): The Mocs are riding a six-game winning streak and a 3-1 SoCon record after defeating UNC-Greensboro 58-45 on January 11th thanks to 14 points from Ty Patterson. Chattanooga kept its winning streak in tact after Keegan Bell knocked down a huge three as time expired to shock the Citadel at home, 56-54, on January 14th. Bell finished the game with 11 points to lead the Mocs.
  • College of Charleston (10-6): The Cougars are also riding a nice four-game win streak thanks to two more conference victories this week. Two road wins for the College of Charleston improve its SoCon record to 5-0. The first was a win over the Citadel, 61-55, thanks to 22 points from Andrew Goudelock. The Cougars then beat Samford 78-67 on January 14th with Goudelock leading the way with 23 points.
  • Davidson (8-9): The Wildcats went 1-1 this past week losing at home to Appalachian State, 78-68, but earn a nice road win against Furman, 86-81, on January13th. Will Archambault scored 15 points in the victory. The Wildcats are still trying to find out its identity in the Southern Conference looking for that signature win.
  • Elon (3-13): The Phoenix are currently on a seven-game losing streak and only 1-4 in the SoCon. Elon was defeated by Wofford, 72-55, and lost to Appalachian State, 89-65, in the past week. Elon will be looking to break its losing streak in the upcoming weeks.
  • Furman (8-8): The Paladins have lost two-straight conference games to drop to 2-3 in the SoCon. Furman was defeated on January 9th against UNC-Greensboro, 88-78, but Amu Saaka scored 31 points in the loss. On January 13th Furman lost to Davidson 86-81 with Saaka getting 34 points in that loss.
  • Georgia Southern (4-14): The Eagles earned its first win in conference after defeating Western Carolina at home 81-76. Willie Powers lead the Eagles with 19 points in the victory. The win against the Catamounts stopped a nine-game losing streak for Georgia Southern. On January 14th the Eagles lost to Wofford 71-57 on the road to fall to 1-4 in the SoCon.
  • Samford (7-9): The Bulldogs went 1-1 last week earning a victory against Tennessee-Temple, 62-52, getting 19 points from Bryan Friday in the victory. On January 14th lost at home, 78-67, to the College of Charleston falling to 1-3 in the SoCon.
  • The Citadel (8-9): The Citadel lost two-straight conference games this past week losing to the College of Charleston at home, 61-55, and losing a heart-breaker against Chattanooga, 56-54, on a last second three pointer. The Citadel did get 28 points from Cameron Wells in the loss against the Mocs.
  • UNC-Greensboro (3-14): The Spartans went 1-2 in the past week ending the week by losing to Western Carolina 79-69 to fall to 2-4 in the SoCon. The Spartans started their week off well, defeating Furman 88-78 at home but fell to Chattanooga on January 11th 58-45 on the road getting 10 points by Brandon Evans in the loss.
  • Western Carolina (13-3): The Catamounts started the week with a tough road loss against Georgia Southern, 81-76, with Kendall Russell scoring 18 points in the loss. Western Carolina bounced back with a nice home victory over UNC-Greensboro 79-69 on January 14th.
  • Wofford (11-7): Wofford has won four straight games and three straight conference games to run its SoCon record to 3-2. On January 14th the Terriers defeated Georgia Southern 71-57 earning its eleventh win of the season. Two of the victories came on the road for Wofford at UNC-Greensboro on January 7th (79-62) and at Elon on January 9th (72-55).
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