Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Southern Notebook

February 4, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

Southern Notebook

Top ‘Cats
Although Davidson was upset at home by Western Carolina on January 26th, the Wildcats have still won seven of their last eight games after being throttled by Duke in Charlotte back in early January. The ‘Cats latest win came at the hands of Wofford on January 30th. Davidson turned back the Terriers 72-61 after a furious second-half rally. The Wildcats’ (14-6, 7-2) success can attributed to the play of big man Emeka Erege, who is averaging 13.6 points per game, and Michael Bree, whose scoring average (11.3 points per game) is preceded only by his leadership ability.

The Wildcats’ are atop the North division with the second place UNCG Spartans breathing down their necks. Davidson has a favorable seven game stretch remaining with games against conference bottom feeders VMI and Appalachian State, whom they play twice. However, the ‘Cats also have one more tilt with UNCG and a showdown with the South Division leading College of Charleston Cougars.

Power of the Sword
UNCG may be the second best team in the SoCo North, but on January 29th they proved they may the second-best team in the entire conference, beating South division leaders College of Charleston. It’s a win that has the Spartans feeling pretty good about themselves.

“In the past three years they’ve pretty much been the giant in the Southern Conference,” UNCG senior point guard Courtney Eldridge said. “Finally, we slayed the giant tonight.”

And slayed they did. The Spartans played defense as if they were boa constrictors, squeezing the life out of C of C, forcing the Cougars into shooting 33.9 percent from the field. The Cougars (76th in the RPI) are the highest ranked RPI team the Spartans have ever beaten since the mathematical ratings formula came into existence back during the 1993-94 season. It’s the Spartans second win after a heart-wrenching one-point loss to Davidson on January 30th. UNCG could be peaking at the right time with tourney time right around the corner.

Giant Killers
Western Carolina may barely be over .500 (11-9, 5-4) and in third place in the SoCo North, but the Catamounts have wins over the top two teams in the conference. The first came against UNCG back in early January. That win was keyed by the Catamounts’ stifling defense. The Catamounts latest victims are the Davidson Wildcats. Western defeated Davidson 70-67 in an overtime thriller at Davidson on January 26th. The win snapped the Wildcats 12-game home winning streak at Belk Arena, which was the 15th such longest streak in college basketball. It was also the Catamounts first overtime win of the season in three tries.

WCU guard Kevin Martin sent the game into overtime after hitting a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left in regulation. The victory left Western Carolina head coach Steve Shurina in shock.

“I still do not know how we won the game,” said Shurina. “This is the first time we did not have our good stuff and still won.”

WCU has a chance at another upset when the Catamounts travel to Greensboro to play UNCG on February 2nd. And if WCU wins that game, it might not even be considered an upset as they would be tied with UNCG for second place in the division.

Clutch Keydet
Like I said in my Southern Conference Preview, keep an eye on Jason Conley. Don’t look now (and I know most of the country hasn’t anyway), but the VMI freshman is leading the country in scoring with a 29.0 point per game average. In fact, in 19 of the Keydets’ 20 games, Conley has been the leading scorer. So why has the freshman been so successful?
First of all, he plays on a lousy team. When everyone else is garbage, the best player can’t help but get a good share of touches throughout a game. But with that being said, Conley is immensely talented as well.

The redshirt freshman is shooting at a close to 50 percent clip and has a free throw shooting percentage of 85 percent. If Conley holds on to his national scoring lead, he will be the first ever freshman to do so. As the season draws to a close for VMI (7-13, 2-7), Conley continues to be the team’s lone bright spot. And oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Conley also leads the team in rebounding too. Look for more on Conley in future Hoopville articles.

College of Charleston fought hard in 63-52 loss to UNCG on January 29th. Too bad for C of C, most of the fighting was among fellow Cougar players. In short, John Kresse’s team nearly imploded. Down 12 points in the second half, the Cougars failed to convert on yet another offensive possession and forward Leighton Bowie and guard Tony Mitchell decided to have a profanity laced discussion about it. The “talk” resulted in several Cougar players having to hold Bowie back from charging at Mitchell.

The loss to UNCG sent the C of C into a first place tie with The Citadel, Georgia Southern and Chattanooga. Although the Cougars have the best overall record (15-5) in the conference, they have struggled in conference play (5-4) losing four of nine games. Conference struggles do not bode well for C of C, who have a history of finishing with high win totals only to flop in conference play and miss the NCAA tournament. The team’s latest debacle wont help matters either.

Hats off
While there is not anything too special to say about any of these teams at this time, I would like to congratulate The Citadel, Georgia Southern and Chattanooga for being tied for first place in the SoCo South this late in the year. If they keep it up, any of these could be a dark horse come conference tourney time.

Upcoming Game to Watch:
Western Carolina at UNCG. The upstart Catamounts can climb into a second place tie with UNCG in the North division with a win.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

College Basketball Tonight – April 2, 2017

April 3, 2017 by

In our Final Four special edition, three head coaches join us to offer their insights on the Final Four, as well as their own programs.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 2, 2017

April 2, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the national semifinal contests and then look ahead to an intriguing matchup for the national championship that is ahead of us on Monday night.

College Basketball Tonight – March 26, 2017

March 27, 2017 by

In the latest edition of College Basketball Tonight, we break down the regional finals as the Final Four is all set. A pair of special guests join us to help break the games down.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout