Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Southern Conference Notebook

December 18, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

Southern Conference Notebook

by David Smotherman

Early Season Surprises Abound in the SoCon

With college basketball knee deep in the middle of the “OOC” – that’s the out of conference schedule to the uninitiated – it is time to take a look at the surprises of the SoCon.

Some of the surprises have been pleasant while others have been a bit disappointing. On the pleasant side of the ball we have Davidson, Charleston, and Chattanooga. All three schools shared in their respective division titles last season and the Wildcats played Ohio State to the wire in the NCAA’s. Davidson lost five players who ended up signing pro-contracts in Europe, Chattanooga lost four of five starters and an under-achieving head coach, and Charleston returned a good nucleus, but also had the question mark of a new coach with a vastly different style of play.

Well, surprise, surprise. Halfway through the OOC the Wildcats, Mocs, and Cougars are a combined 18-3, with the three losses all coming on the road. Davidson lost a competitive game at Duke, Chattanooga lost at C-USA member Alabama-Birmingham, and Charleston lost at Central Florida.

On the more disappointing side of the ball you have the play of the four pre-season picks to finish first or second in the North and South division.

In the North, East Tennessee State and UNC-Greensboro have fallen below pre-season expectations. While both schools have played most of their games against top-tier competition, few would have thought the Bucs and Spartans would be a combined 6-8 at this point of the season. This being said, both schools have the depth and talent to win the division crown and East Tennessee is still the favorite to win the North.

In the South, pre-season favorites Georgia Southern and Furman have also fallen below expectations. With a combined record of 9-9, the Eagles and Paladins only have four wins against D-1 competition and Furman is already a game behind in the South division after a 17-point loss to Chattanooga. Both schools were picked due in large part to their depth of returning starters. If either squad is to compete for the South division title, these experienced players must step-up to the level of 2001-02 when the Eagles shared the division title and Furman made the SoCon tournament finals before losing a close game to Davidson.

Also notable: The Wofford Terriers, who have play the toughest OOC in the SoCon, have shown very well in all of their road losses. After opening the season with an 18-point loss at Auburn, the Terriers have played close games at Clemson (79-72), West Virginia (79-69), and South Carolina (70-59). Wofford also claimed a win at Virginia Tech (79-77). With remaining road contests at North Carolina State and Virginia, Wofford should have played enough “money” games to fund the program for the next couple of years. Playing well in hostile environments will also help greatly in the SoCon portion of the schedule. Wofford could be a surprise in the South division.

Weekly Recap

Chattanooga moved up two notches in the power rankings, and both College of Charleston and UNC Greensboro suffered the biggest drops.

1. Chattanooga (6-1)
The Mocs dispatched NAIA member Milligan College 107-57 on Saturday and took the early SoCon South division lead on Monday with a 17-point victory over Furman 66-49.

Next up: Dec. 18th vs. Kent State (5-0) and Dec. 21st vs. Samford (4-4)

2. Davidson (5-1)
The ‘Cats staged a great second-half comeback to defeat a good St. Bonaventure team at home 77-72.

Next Up: Dec. 21st vs. Washington and Jefferson

3. Wofford (3-4)
The Terriers continue to play well against major conference competition on the road. This week saw Wofford play West Virginia close before losing 79-69 and leading at South Carolina in the 2nd half before ultimately losing by 11 points, 70-59.

Next Up: Dec. 21st vs. King College

4. Appalachian State (3-2)
The Mountaineers waste little time in dispatching Greensboro College 80-47.

Next Up: Dec. 22nd at Georgia (4-3)

5. College of Charleston (7-1)
That big bulls-eye on the ‘Cougs back finally caught up with them at Central Florida, with the Golden Knights handing Charleston their first loss on the season 82-64. However, the ‘Cougs were able to rebound quickly with a close 66-64 win at Stetson.

Next Up: Dec. 20th vs. American (3-3) and Dec. 23th vs. UNC-Wilmington (3-3)

6. East Tennessee State (3-3)
The Bucs were able to take out some of their early season frustrations in a 36-point win over Virginia-Wise, 106-70.

Next Up: Dec. 20th vs. Coastal Carolina (3-3)

7. Furman (4-6)
The Paladins made short work of Methodist College (83-29) on Saturday and earned the school’s 1,000th win in the 90-year history of the program. In their SoCon opener at Chattanooga, the Paladins suffered a 17-point loss, 66-49.

Next Up: Dec. 19th vs. Sewanee and Dec. 22nd at Louisville (4-1)

8. UNC-Greensboro (3-5)
The Spartans were thumped at Syracuse 92-65 and lost a close home decision to Elon 58-57.

Next Up: Dec. 19th at Delaware (2-3)

9. Virginia Military (4-3)
The Keydets, lose an OOC rematch at Liberty 77-69, before whipping Eastern Mennonite (not to be confused with Western Mennonite) 100-57.

Next Up: Dec. 20th vs. Mary Washington

10. The Citadel (3-3)
The Bulldogs were off for exam week. Their last game coming on Dec. 9th with a 95-55 win over Oglethorpe.

Next Up: Dec. 18th vs. Southwestern and Dec. 21st vs. South Carolina State (1-4)

11. Georgia Southern (5-3)
The Eagles earned an exam week victory over Spring Hill, 66-41.

Next Up: Dec. 21st vs. Wagner (2-3)

12. Western Carolina (3-3)
The Catamounts struggled early before taking a 15-point win versus North Greenville. The road gets decidedly steep this week.

Next Up: Dec. 18th at West Virginia (5-1), Dec. 20th at Marshall (4-1), and Dec. 23rd at Tennessee (3-1)


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 – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about several big pieces of news away from game play, one of which puts a lot in perspective. We also talk about the lack of dominant teams and how this has shown up in the results, especially this past weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with a big game in the Big East, then move on to the sudden lack of undefeated teams, a big injury in the ACC, and a powerhouse that looks vulnerable in a stacked conference they have long ruled.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

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.