SoCon Action- January 31

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SoCon Action- January 31

Postby JohnMoc1 on Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:32 am

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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby JohnMoc1 on Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:51 am

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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby boulder3m on Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:02 pm

JonMoc- You once again were pretty good on your picks. We all keep waiting for UNCG to play to their height and potential. Samford may be the fourth best team in the league, but can their record by the end of the season get there after that awful start? WCU won on the road-surprise. And ETSU can be very strange. We have two teams coming up on the road that are hard to read.
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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby youngterrier on Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:47 pm

The way I see it, Wofford, Chattanooga, and Mercer are easily in the top 3. Wofford could possibly clinch a first round bye for the Socon tourney by next week's end. The same goes for Chattanooga. I think ETSU and Western will play well enough to get the 4th and 5th respectively. I wouldn't be surprised if they slipped up to be honest.

So that leaves the 6th spot. Who gets it? My guess would be either VMI or Samford. Neither of these are out of the realm of possibility. I know Samford started out poorly, but they consistently played well, even in their losses.

Either way, Wofford, Mercer, and Chattanooga are the most consistent 3 in the conference. Mercer has a hard time winning on the road at 2-8, but they're really hard to beat at home. They also play the best defense other than us. I don't want to see them in the tourney to be honest. Chattanooga doesn't play as good defensively as Wofford or Mercer, but they definitely play better offensively. I don't fear them as much as Mercer because Chatt is one bad shooting night away from getting beat by someone they shouldn't.

As far as Wofford goes, as long as we play defense and don't try to out-offense the other team, we'll be in good shape. You can tell we changed our emphasis and attitude after the Citadel game. I think we had the mindset that we were just better than our competition so we tried to shoot more, score point, and it didn't work out as well as we thought it would. Now I feel like the team has bought into the system more, as we can see the results. If we manage to repeat the socon championship (which is a stretch, we have to improve), you can definitely make the case that our mindset as a team has had to be refocused at the midyear point.

VMI, ETSU, and Samford scare me more out of the "lower teams" because of the way they play with the press. ETSU doesn't emphasize it as much as Samford or VMI but i really do have concerns about how we play the press. We've improved since the WVU debacle where we were honestly IMO very unprepared, but those teams are the most likely to pull upset.

That's not to say Western, Furman, or the Citadel can't beat us, it's just that I don't see us losing to their sort of gameplan.

UNCG to me is the bottom of the conference and I don't see Wofford losing to them this season. With that said, you could have said that about the Citadel when we played them, and now that loss is looking worse and worse.

Overall I think we'll have a better understanding of what the conference will look like a week from today. If anything, this is "separation week" and Wofford, if we're for real is going to be the key player in establishing that. If we win our next 4 (which will be a tough one), I think we have a 90% chance of locking down one of the top 2 seeds.
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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby boulder3m on Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:34 pm

The problems we have had with the press is only after Eric Garcia went out with the broken jaw at WVU. With him back in the lineup things will change.
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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby JohnMoc1 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:46 am

Mocs had the best defense in conference play per Pomeroy heading into the week. They can win all knds of ways this year. They played poorly on the defensive end this week. The scoring defense was at the top of the conference too. Tuoyo likely the favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year. I think the Mocs are better offensively, but the third best defense in the conference after Mercer and Wofford. They are hardly a bad defensuve team.
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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby JohnMoc1 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:51 am

Just looked it up. Still second in defense and offense per Pomeroy. Wofford first in defense, third in offense. Mercer first in offense, fifth in defense. I think those three are the top three defensive teams and only ETSU could crack their top three offensively. They are top three teams, no questions asked. And Wofford is the clear team to beat.
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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby woffordgrad94 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:03 am

Chattanooga is a definite legitimte threat to win the conference, along with Wofford and Mercer. I think it ultimately will be one of these three teams getting that NCAA spot, though in a one and done event like the Soon tourney where you have to expect the unexpected, I am certainly not counting anyone out. I think every team in the SoCon could catch lightning in a bottle, but I don't think a team that finished 7-10 would win the tourney simply because they'd have to play an extra game to do so, a very tall order. Finishing in the top six of the league is vital. Right now, everyone in the conference is still alive for that. Wofford, Mercer, and Chatty are probably everyone's top three at this point, order to yet be determined. I think ETSU and WCU are likely to get the 4th and 5th spots in some order, with Samford or Furman (i say Sammy) getting that 6 spot. But VMI, The Citadel and UNCG have the talent to play with anyone in the conference and cannot be counted out for a bye yet by any means. It should be a fun second half of the SoCon regular season. And speaking of the Mocs, as a Wofford fan I am very glad they no longer have the home court advantage in the tourney like they did a few years back, because that would definitely make them the favorite, Wofford's earlier win there notwithstanding.
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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby woffordgrad94 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:08 am

http://kenpom.com

Wofford is currently ranked 106 overall in the Pomeroy rankings, tops in the SoCon. The most intersting thing to me is that we are rated the 5th "luckiest" team in D-1 basketball. I wonder how they come up with that? Maybe it's because we've won a lot of close games?
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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby JohnMoc1 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:45 am

Samfords problem? Haven't won a SoCon road game yet. Only two of last seven at home. They've got a shot, but probably need to go at least 2-3 on the road down the stretch to get it. I can't imagine less than 7 wins gets a bye...but I could be wrong. Remaing road games against WCU, UTC, ETSU, VMI, and UNCG. Plus home dates they need to sweep against The Citadel and Mercer. That is a tall order to go 4-3 overall against that schedule.
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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby woffordgrad94 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:24 pm

JohnMoc1 wrote:Samfords problem? Haven't won a SoCon road game yet. Only two of last seven at home. They've got a shot, but probably need to go at least 2-3 on the road down the stretch to get it. I can't imagine less than 7 wins gets a bye...but I could be wrong. Remaing road games against WCU, UTC, ETSU, VMI, and UNCG. Plus home dates they need to sweep against The Citadel and Mercer. That is a tall order to go 4-3 overall against that schedule.


I didn't look at teams' remining schedules. I totally agree that if Samford has all those road games left that they will have it tough, especially since they started out 0-8. In light of this new information, I now have to say that VMI or Furman is probably more likely to get that 6 seed.
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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby JohnMoc1 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:50 pm

If SoCon schedule started over today, I would guess Samford would finish no lower than sixth...
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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby youngterrier on Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:14 pm

JohnMoc1 wrote:Mocs had the best defense in conference play per Pomeroy heading into the week. They can win all knds of ways this year. They played poorly on the defensive end this week. The scoring defense was at the top of the conference too. Tuoyo likely the favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year. I think the Mocs are better offensively, but the third best defense in the conference after Mercer and Wofford. They are hardly a bad defensuve team.


At the end of the day, I think a good standard for a good defensive ball game is how many points you let the other team score. 60 seems to be a good number. Only 3 of Chattanooga's Division 1 opponents were held under 60. Mercer has double that at 6. Wofford has 9. Sure, Chattanooga has more steals per game and more blocks but that's only two aspects of defense. Their ability to block is special, sure and I agree Tuoyo is the fronter for DPOY but their overall defense has not been impressive as a body of work is not impressive in conference play as wofford or Mercer.

10 games in, Wofford averages about 57 ppg in conference with only one team scoring 70

Chattanooga averages about 66 ppg, including 5 games with teams scoring 70+ (most importantly, those are 5 of the last 6 games)

Mercer is at about 64 ppg, with 4 games with teams scoring 70+ (but with only 1 in their last 6, and that was to Chattanooga in OT)

Basketball is a game of trends and streaks. When a team gets hot they find ways to win and you'll see them play totally different in, say January or February, than they do in November or December. I remember last year we lost to High Point by like 10 but then turned around and beat them by a larger margin a few weeks later.

For Chattanooga, they're a team that has a lot of balance, but their defense, outside of Tuoyo in the middle, isn't what scares me, as it seems to be trending down. Chattanooga beats teams by out-scoring them, not with their defense, at least since the month of January started.
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Re: SoCon Action- January 31

Postby Terrier13 on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:21 pm

I think a better analysis than points per game (PPG) is actually points per possession (PPP). Especially given the variations in SOS, both in non-conference and among the conference games played, this seems much easier to understand and determine how a team plays defense on a possession by possession basis. I think it's safe to say that giving up 60 points to VMI or ETSU with their run & gun offense is much more impressive than giving up 60 to UNCG or the Citadel who are much more reserved and poorer shooters. While I love our slow, methodical offense and our ability to slow the game down (much like UVA), it shouldn't be overlooked that one boost for our defensive stats, on a points per game basis, comes from the relatively small number of possessions that we allow opponents. That is why rebounding on both ends is so huge for us, as preventing second chance points is critical. I would be interested to see a comparison of the conference offenses and defenses on a points per possession basis, not just points per game. If anyone knows a free source for that information, please don't be shy about sharing...
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