Preview: WU @ Presbyterian

2017-18 Winthrop Men’s Basketball Season – GAME #19 (BIG SOUTH GAME #8)

200px-presbyterian_college_logo

Presbyterian Blue Hose
Sunday, January 21, 4:00pm EST
Templeton Center, Clinton, SC
WU (10-8 Big South record; 4-3 overall;  Pomeroy/Sagarin/RPI Ranking: 157/156/186)
PC (8-12 Big South record; 1-6 overall; Pomeroy/Sagarin/RPI Ranking: 331/341/304)

Livestats

Live Video – Big South Network

Live Audio – 104.1 The Bridge

PC Profile

tavflmeyrqecrmj-20171017140234
Head Coach: Dustin Kerns (1st season as head coach at PC)

Probable Starters:
lfpibtasflutxni-20171017140234
G Davon Bell, jr (5-10, 175) – 12.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.7 spg, 45.6 FG%, 37.3 3PT% (19 made threes), 81.0 FT% – 31.8 min/game

pjamjxjjibmnhay-20171017140234
G Ethan Kay, jr (6-0, 185) – 6.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 32.8 FG%, 32.4 3PT% (36 made threes), 80.0 FT% – 15.1 min/game

rofxmsdhtrnxtim-20171017140234
G Reggie Dillard, sr (6-4, 222) – 15.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 45.5 FG%, 34.2 3PT% (39 made threes), 70.1 FT% – 33.3 min/game

veodgfnthggkbku-20171017140234
F Ruben Arroyo, sr (6-8, 215) – 3.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 46.9 FG%, 22.2 3PT% (4 made threes), 46.7 FT% – 12.0 min/game

kbaqoisogxwbhjp-20171017140234
C Armel TeTe, so (6-9, 210) – 4.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 53.4 FG%, 0 made threes, 55.9 FT% – 19.8 min/game

Key players off the bench:
pjogznrhowjpynf-20171017140234
G JC Younger, so (6-4, 200) – 9.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 38.1 FG%, 37.8 3PT% (37 made threes), 85.3 FT% – 27.3 min/game

iguendcomtebzhz-20171017140234
G Romeo Crouch, fr (6-3, 175) – 3.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 39.3 FG%, 38.9 3PT% (14 made threes), 56.5 FT% – 21.6 min/game

jmcjcambidokevu-20171017140234
G Jaron Withers, sr (6-4, 200) – 2.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 40.9 FG%, 0 made threes, 62.1 FT% – 17.4 min/game

wzvrvyfkkyygpkr-20171017140234
F Francois Lewis, jr (6-9, 230) – 12.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 50.7 FG%, 40.7 3PT% (24 made threes), 67.5 FT% – 21.5 min/game – LEWIS HAS MISSED THE LAST FOUR GAMES…STATUS FOR SUNDAY UNKNOWN

Winthrop has looked great at home in its last two games, easily taking care of Gardner-Webb and UNC Asheville.  Those wins have seemed to right the ship for the Eagles after the tough 1-3 start to begin the Big South schedule.  Now the Eagles have to head on the road for their next two games, the first being at Presbyterian on Sunday afternoon.

PC is in its first season under new head coach Dustin Kerns.  In the non-conference part of the season, the Blue Hose reeled off 5 straight wins at one point (4 against D1 foes), which seemed impossible to believe coming into the season as they only beat 3 D1 opponents last year.  Included in that string of victories was a win over a very solid UNC Greensboro team.  Since that streak ended in early December, though, PC has struggled.  Their only D1 win since then is against Longwood, and now the Blue Hose are possibly dealing with a big roster loss which will further hamper them going forward.  Francois Lewis, who is a JUCO transfer that stepped in immediately this season to give PC a player with good size (6’9″, 230) and versatility (can hit threes and score around the basket), has missed the last four games.  I have been unable to confirm why exactly he is out, but it seems doubtful that he will play Sunday.  If he is out, that takes away a big weapon for the Hose, on top of the absence of Jo’Vontae Millner (an all-freshman team member last season who only played 7 minutes in the first game, and has not been on the floor since due to injury).  That leaves a rather undersized team with not much depth, and PC has really struggled with Lewis now out of the lineup.

There are two players that will play on Sunday that WU needs to pay attention to.  Junior Davon Bell is having a breakout season at point guard, leading the Big South in assists and providing a scoring punch off the dribble.  He’s joined by senior Reggie Dillard, a versatile wing who is capable of lighting it up from outside (but he is streaky, and is 2 for 18 from three in the last three games).  With Lewis possibly out, Bell & Dillard have to carry much of the offensive load.

With a new coach and a mix of newcomers and returnees, it is a bit tough to really get a read on what type of team PC is.  Offensively, they shoot a lot of threes, though they aren’t terribly efficient from there.  They have hardly any scoring presence inside from their frontcourt players when Millner and Lewis don’t play.  They also are not very strong on the boards.  The lack of size and depth up front also really hurts the Blue Hose on the defensive end, where they are in the bottom-25 nationally in Defensive Efficiency per KenPom.

So with all that said, on paper, even with this game on the road, Winthrop should be a heavy favorite, assuming Francois Lewis and Jo’Vontae Millner are not playing.  The biggest concern for the Eagles will be how they respond from playing in an energy-filled televised game at home on Thursday night, to likely a very dead atmosphere in Clinton on a Sunday afternoon.  As long as they avoid sleepwalking through the game, I think the Eagles can win this one comfortably.

My Prediction: Winthrop 83, Presbyterian 67

Other Big South games on Sunday, January 21:
UNC Asheville (4-3) @ Liberty (3-4), 2pm EST – Big South Network
Radford (6-1) @ Campbell (4-3), 2pm EST – Big South Network
High Point (4-3) @ Longwood (3-4), 3pm EST – Big South Network
Gardner-Webb (5-2) @ Charleston Southern (1-6), 5:30pm EST – Big South Network

Advertisements

Recap: WU vs. UNC Asheville

2017-18 Winthrop Men’s Basketball Season – GAME #18 (BIG SOUTH GAME #7)

main_logo

Final Score: Winthrop 85, UNC Asheville 58

Boxscore

With a big student turnout in the house, and the ESPNU cameras on, WU came through with a big-time performance, destroying UNC Asheville, 85-58.

The positives:
-WU benefited from an off shooting night by Asheville (both from three, where they 4 for 22…with a couple of those makes really late, and from the FT line, where they were 6 for 12), but the Eagles defense was also very strong, especially in the interior.  They made it very difficult for the Bulldogs to score around the basket.
-The WU offense did a great job of handling Asheville’s trapping defense, making very few bad passes, only turning it over 10 times (which limited UNCA’s ability to score in transition), and generally getting good looks on offense due to the ball movement.  The Eagles had 18 assists on 27 made FGs.
-Xavier Cooks was doing whatever he wanted, scoring 15 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out 5 assists.  He also had 4 blocks on the defensive end.
-Jermaine Ukaegbu played his best all around game as an Eagle, avoiding foul trouble, being disruptive on defense, grabbing boards, and even making contributions on offense.  He scored 7 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots.
-Anders Broman has not been shooting well in conference play, but he came through with 19 points in this game, making 3 of 5 threes and getting to the FT line (8 for 10).

The negatives:
-I’m sure I could find something if I looked hard enough, but when you beat Asheville by 27, does it really matter if a few things didn’t go as planned at times?

Final takeaways:
You can’t ask for anything more in a national TV game with a good student crowd against Asheville.  Hopefully the WU defense continues to play like it has the last few games, and hopefully the fans will show up for the rest of the season.

Next game:
WU @ Presbyterian – Sunday, January 21, 4:00pm EST

Results around the Big South:
Campbell 62, Charleston Southern 47
Radford 70, Longwood 63
Gardner-Webb 61, Presbyterian 53
High Point 71, Liberty 60

Current Standings:
1. RU 6-1
2. GWU 5-2
T3. CU 4-3
T3. WU 4-3
T3. HPU 4-3
T3. UNCA 4-3
T7. LwU 3-4
T7. LU 3-4
T9. PC 1-6
T9. CSU 1-6

If the Big South Tournament started today:
First Round:
#10 Charleston Southern @ #7 Longwood
#9 Presbyterian @ #8 Liberty

Quarterfinals (at Radford):
CSU/LwU winner vs. #2 Gardner-Webb
#6 UNC Asheville vs. #3 Campbell
PC/LU winner vs. #1 Radford
#5 High Point vs. #4 Winthrop

Preview: WU vs. UNC Asheville

2017-18 Winthrop Men’s Basketball Season – GAME #18 (BIG SOUTH GAME #7)

main_logo

vs. UNC Asheville Bulldogs
Thursday, January 18, 9:00pm EST
Winthrop Coliseum, Rock Hill, SC
WU (9-8 Big South record; 3-3 overall;  Pomeroy/Sagarin/RPI Ranking: 171/167/195)
UNCA (11-8 Big South record; 4-2 overall; Pomeroy/Sagarin/RPI Ranking: 175/179/146)

Livestats

TELEVISED LIVE ON ESPNU
Live Video – WatchESPN

Live Audio – 104.1 The Bridge

UNCA Profile

coach_mcdevitt
Head Coach: Nick McDevitt (5th season as head coach at UNCA)

Probable Starters:
kevin_vannatta
G Kevin Vannatta, sr (6-2, 200) – 10.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, 46.6 FG%, 37.5 3PT% (18 made threes), 79.7 FT% – 33.7 min/game

raekwon_miller
G Raekwon Miller, sr (6-3, 175) – 9.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 spg, 49.5 FG%, 48.3 3PT% (29 made threes), 78.7 FT% – 23.3 min/game

macio_teague
G MaCio Teague, so (6-3, 190) – 16.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.9 spg, 41.1 FG%, 39.8 3PT% (45 made threes), 85.9 FT% – 34.1 min/game

ahmad_thomas
G Ahmad Thomas, sr (6-3, 215) – 15.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.9 spg, 51.1 FG%, 21.9 3PT% (7 made threes), 71.8 FT% -29.3 min/game

jonathan_baehre
F Jonathan Baehre, so (6-9, 200) – 6.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 53.8 FG%, 43.3 3PT% (13 made threes), 64.3 FT% – 19.9 min/game

Key players off the bench:
alec_wnuk
F Alec Wnuk, sr (6-7, 205) – 6.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 55.8 FG%, 23.1 3PT% (3 made threes), 72.4 FT% – 21.4 min/game

drew_rackley
G Drew Rackley, so (6-1,190) – 5.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 45.9 FG%, 46.5 3PT% (20 made threes), 73.7 FT% – 16.8 min/game

jalen_seegars
G Jalen Seegars, fr (6-4, 210) – 3.0 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 44.1 FG%, 33.3 3PT% (5 made threes), 59.1 FT% – 13.5 min/game

donovan_gilmore
F Donovan Gilmore, jr (6-7, 200) – 3.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 57.5 FG%, 0 made threes, 52.0 FT% – 10.5 min/game

WU and UNCA each started the conference season 1-2, but both teams have played better in the last week or so, with Winthrop now at 3-3, and the Asheville now at 4-2.  This sets up a big game for the two teams that were picked to finish in the top two spots during the preseason, as the Bulldogs visit the Eagles in a late night ESPNU game in Rock Hill.

It’s obviously an important game, and there’s no reason why this one won’t end up being another down-to-the-wire game like many of the recent past meetings between these two squads.  UNCA still has Ahmad Thomas, MaCio Teague, and Kevin Vannatta, so the Bulldogs will look very familiar to WU fans who saw them last season.  The biggest difference between last year’s team and this year’s is that for some reason, these Bulldogs aren’t winning the turnover battle as well as they did last year, and that’s why they haven’t been able to perform as well as last year’s team did.  Last season, they were one of the best teams in the nation in creating turnovers, but now they’re just average.  Offensively, they were very good at taking care of the ball last year, but they’re very turnover prone this season.  And while Will Weeks was not a shot blocker, he was a smart interior defender, and after he graduated last season, the Bulldogs have been much easier to score on around the basket, so expect to see WU try and get Xavier Cooks and Josh Ferguson going early in the game, and also to see Adam Pickett attempt to score off the dribble, to hopefully create some open looks outside from the Bromans.

I expect this to be a good game, and I think WU will pull away late for the victory, hopefully in front of a big crowd of students.

My Prediction: Winthrop 84, UNC Asheville 75

Other Big South games on Thursday, January 18:
Charleston Southern (1-5) @ Campbell (3-3), 7pm EST – Big South Network
Liberty (3-3) @ High Point (3-3), 7pm EST – Big South Network
Longwood (3-3) @ Radford (5-1), 7pm EST – Big South Network
Presbyterian (1-5) @ Gardner-Webb (4-2), 7pm EST – Big South Network

Recap: WU vs. Gardner-Webb

2017-18 Winthrop Men’s Basketball Season – GAME #17 (BIG SOUTH GAME #6)

main_logo1

Final Score: Winthrop 90, Gardner-Webb 67

Boxscore

Winthrop never trailed as they poured it on in the 2nd half to beat Gardner-Webb, 90-67.

The positives:
-As they did on Friday vs. Charleston Southern, WU did a great job on the defensive end in this one, often forcing GWU to finish in traffic (the Runnin’ Bulldogs only shot 38.6% from the field), and also keeping them off the FT line (only 10 attempts).
-WU’s offense did a great job of moving the ball, leading to lots of good looks from three and a few dunks and alley-oops.  The Eagles had 22 assists on 33 made FGs, with Xavier Cooks leading the way with 8, Bjorn Broman with 5, and Adam Pickett and Anders Broman each with 4.
-Speaking of Xavier Cooks, despite never finding his outside shot in this one, he nearly got a triple-double, scoring 17, w/ 14 boards, and the 8 assists I mentioned above.  He often drew multiple defenders, and he did a great job of finding the open man.
-Adam Pickett continues to play well, as he scored 17 (hitting 3 threes), and only turned it over once.
-In the last minute, the WU walk-ons came in the game and provided possibly the best highlight in WU walk-on history, with Matt Erps feeding Kellen Blake on a great alley-oop.  I’m guessing by the time you’re reading this, that somebody will have video of it.

The negatives:
-If I want to nit-pick, I will say that while WU did do a good job defensively, the Eagles did get a bit fortunate in GWU missing some very easy layups early in the game, which helped WU get the margin up to a comfortable level.  The one noticeable problem came with WU getting beat by some back-door cuts at times, but again, the team obviously played good defense for most of the contest.

Final takeaways:
The Eagles look really good when they move the ball on offense, and for most of this game, they did a great job of that.  Once you combine that, along with solid defense and good rebounding (which I could have easily highlighted above, but decided to give some props to the Erps/Blake highlight), that becomes a blowout win at home against a Gardner-Webb team that had been playing well.  WU gets another home game this week, a big ESPNU matchup late Thursday night against a hot UNC Asheville team.  There needs to be a great student turnout for that one.

Next game:
WU vs. UNC Asheville – Thursday, January 18, 9:00pm EST

Results around the Big South:
UNC Asheville 83, Charleston Southern 73
Radford 59, Liberty 57 (OT)
High Point 73, Presbyterian 49
Longwood 76, Campbell 62

Current Standings:
1. RU 5-1
T2. GWU 4-2
T2. UNCA 4-2
T4. LwU 3-3
T4. CU 3-3
T4. LU 3-3
T4. WU 3-3
T4. HPU 3-3
T9. PC 1-5
T9. CSU 1-5

If the Big South Tournament started today:
First Round:
#10 Charleston Southern @ #7 Winthrop
#9 Presbyterian @ #8 High Point

Quarterfinals (at Radford):
CSU/WU winner vs. #2 Gardner-Webb
#6 Liberty vs. #3 UNC Asheville
PC/HPU winner vs. #1 Radford
#5 Campbell vs. #4 Longwood

Preview: WU vs. Gardner-Webb

2017-18 Winthrop Men’s Basketball Season – GAME #17 (BIG SOUTH GAME #6)

main_logo1

vs. Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs

Monday, January 15, 7:00pm EST
Winthrop Coliseum, Rock Hill, SC
WU (8-8 Big South record; 2-3 overall;  Pomeroy/Sagarin/RPI Ranking: 181/183/207)
GWU (9-9 Big South record; 4-1 overall; Pomeroy/Sagarin/RPI Ranking: 238/249/194)

Livestats

Live Video – Stadium

Live Audio – 104.1 The Bridge

GWU Profile

00_coachcraft

Head Coach: Tim Craft (5th season as head coach at GWU)

Probable Starters:

17_mbk_turner

G Christian Turner, so (5-10, 180) – 2.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.2 spg, 46.9 FG%, 36.4 3PT% (4 made threes), 59.1 FT% – 20.8 min/game

17_mbk_efianayi

G David Efianayi, jr (6-2, 185) – 17.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg, 44.8 FG%, 37.8 3PT% (28 made threes), 78.3 FT% – 30.9 min/game

17_mbk_oreilly

G Liam O’Reilly, sr (6-2, 180) – 14.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.4 apg, 43.3 FG%, 44.5 3 PT% (53 made threes), 75.8 FT% – 32.6 min/game

17_mbk_laster

F DJ Laster, jr (6-6, 230) – 13.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 47.5 FG%, 35.4 3PT% (17 made threes), 56.3 FT% – 25.5 min/game

17_mbk_zeck

F Patrick Zeck, so (6-7, 225) – 6.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.0 spg, 62.3 FG%, 50.0 3PT% (3 made threes), 72.0 FT% – 22.7 min/game

Key players off the bench:

17_mbk_cornwall

G Jaheam Cornwell, fr (6-0, 175) – 6.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.1 spg, 38.5 FG% 39.3 3PT% (22 made threes), 78.9 FT% – 19.6 min/game

17_mbk_robateau

G Jamaal Robateau, sr (6-5, 180) – 4.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 29.9 FG%, 27.0 3PT% (10 made threes), 69.2 FT% – 18.0 min/game

17_mbk_jamison

F Eric Jamison, so (6-5, 185) – 4.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 54.2 FG%, 12.5 3PT% (1 made three), 80.0 FT% – 14.9 min/game

17_mbk_niangane

C L’Hassane Niangane, sr (6-10, 245) – 1.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 40.0 FG%, 0 made threes, 40.9 FT% – 17.1 min/game

This will be a brief preview because I’m at a family gathering and I don’t like typing for long on my phone.

GWU has done a solid job of making up for the losses of Tyrell Nelson (graduation) and LaQuincy Rideau (transfer) and now find themselves tied for first after beating Radford on Friday.  The Runnin’ Bulldogs are a good defensive squad, but a but inconsistent on the offensive end (though they are capable of shooting well from three).  This should be a good battle, but one that WU needs to win at home.

My Prediction: Winthrop 80, Gardner-Webb 73

Other Big South games on Monday, January 15:
Liberty (3-2) @ Radford (4-1), 7pm EST – Big South Network

Charleston Southern (1-4) @ UNC Asheville (3-2), 7pm EST – ESPN3

Presbyterian (1-4) @ High Point (2-3), 7pm EST – Big South Network

Campbell (3-2) @ Longwood (2-3), 7pm EST – Big South Network

Recap: WU @ Charleston Southern

2017-18 Winthrop Men’s Basketball Season – GAME #16 (BIG SOUTH GAME #5)

1169px-charleston_southern_buccaneers_logo-svg

Final Score: Winthrop 64, Charleston Southern 53

Boxscore

 WU struggled early, but overcame an early 15-5 deficit to take over and beat the Bucs, 64-53.

The positives:
-WU’s defense was really good, holding the Bucs to 36.5% from the field and only 3 FT attempts for the entire game.
-To go along with the defense, the Eagles rebounded very well on both ends of the court.  Josh Ferguson had 13 rebounds and Xavier Cooks had 8.  And they got some help, with Adam Pickett and Austin Awad’s each grabbing 5 boards.
-After the slow start, WU started lighting it up from outside, hitting 11 of 25 (44%) for the game, with Bjorn Broman making 4, and Austin Awad emerging from his slump, hitting 3.

The negatives:
-CSU puts a lot of pressure on the ball, and WU struggled with that at times, turning it over 17 times.
Final takeaways:

WU needed a confidence boost, and through 10 minutes, it was looking pretty rough for the Eagles.  But Winthrop played very well for the final 30 minutes of this game and withstood a couple of CSU runs in the 2nd half.  A road win was nice to see, and hopefully they can carry this performance into next week with a couple of tough opponents coming to the Coliseum.

Next game:
WU vs. Gardner-Webb – Monday, January 15, 7:00pm EST

Results around the Big South:

Campbell 65, High Point 64

Longwood 58, Liberty 51

UNC Asheville 76, Presbyterian 56

Gardner-Webb 59, Radford 54
Current Standings:
T1. GWU 4-1
T1. RU 4-1
T3. UNCA 3-2
T3. LU 3-2
T3. CU 3-2
T6. WU 2-3
T6. LwU 2-3
T6. HPU 2-3
T9. PC 1-4
T9. CSU 1-4

If the Big South Tournament started today:
First Round:
#10 Charleston Southern @ #7 Longwood
#9 Presbyterian @ #8 High Point

Quarterfinals (at Gardner-Webb):
CSU/LwU winner vs. #2 Radford
#6 Winthrop vs. #3 UNC Asheville
PC/HPU winner vs. #1 Gardner-Webb
#5 Campbell vs. #4 Liberty

Preview: WU @ Charleston Southern

2017-18 Winthrop Men’s Basketball Season – GAME #16 (BIG SOUTH GAME #5)

1169px-charleston_southern_buccaneers_logo-svg

Charleston Southern Buccaneers
Friday, January 12, 7:30pm EST
The Buc Dome, North Charleston, SC
WU (7-8 Big South record; 1-3 overall;  Pomeroy/Sagarin/RPI Ranking: 186/188/212)
CSU (6-9 Big South record; 1-3 overall; Pomeroy/Sagarin/RPI Ranking: 302/314/325)

Livestats

Live Video – Big South Network

Live Audio – 104.1 The Bridge

CSU Profile

dsc_3824_headshot
Head Coach: Barclay Radebaugh (13th season as head coach at CSU)

Probable Starters:
4_headshot
G Deontaye Buskey, fr (6-1, 160) – 3.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.1 spg, 29.2 FG%, 23.5 3PT% (4 made threes), 68.4 FT% – 18.7 min/game

11_headshot
G Christian Keeling, so (6-4, 175) – 16.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.4 spg, 45.7 FG%, 32.0 3PT% (16 made threes), 83.3 FT% – 31.3 min/game

24_headshot
G Phlandrous Fleming, fr (6-4, 195) – 11.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.3 spg, 45.1 FG%, 37.7 3PT% (20 made threes), 54.5 FT% – 25.5 min/game

1_headshot
F Travis McConico, jr (6-6, 200) – 11.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.7 spg, 42.8 FG%, 38.3 3PT% (36 made threes), 64.3 FT% – 27.0 min/game

23_headshot
F Javis Howard, sr (6-8, 220) – 5.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 52.1 FG%, 22.2 3PT% (2 made threes), 53.8 FT% – 21.0 min/game

 

Key players off the bench:
0_headshot
G Jamaal David, fr (6-6, 190) – 5.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 42.9 FG%, 38.5 3PT% (10 made threes), 69.0 FT% – 19.1 min/game

12_headshot
F Ty Jones, fr (6-6, 215) – 6.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 49.4 FG%, 0 made threes, 70.8 FT% – 18.1 min/game

2_headshot
G Cortez Mitchell, sr (6-2, 180) – 7.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 46.3 FG%, 15.0 3PT% (3 made threes), 70.8 FT% – 18.0 min/game

13_headshot
F Jordan Jones, so (6-8, 205) – 4.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 75.0 FG%, 0 made threes, 59.3 FT% – 13.4 min/game

5_headshot
F Jamar Martin, sr (6-5, 215) – 3.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 35.3 FG%, 17.6 3PT% (3 made threes), 75.0 FT% – 10.7 min/game

WU is on a three-game losing streak, and will head to the Buc Dome on Friday night to try and end the skid and regain some confidence after a rough patch of games.  The Eagles will face a Charleston Southern team that is also at 1-3 in conference play, so both teams are desperate for a win.

This season’s CSU team has been a bit uneven.  They do have an impressive road win at Illinois State, but otherwise, they’ve generally found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard, even when playing weaker competition.  The Buc Dome can be a difficult place to play though, so even if the Bucs seem a bit down this year, WU can’t sleep-walk through this game.  Christian Keeling is still the primary weapon, though he does have some help from a couple of newcomers, freshman Phlandrous Fleming and JUCO transfer Travis McConico.  But even with a trio of talented offensive weapons, the Bucs are actually pretty weak as a team on offense, primarily due to being turnover-prone and not being a terribly strong outside shooting team.  The one thing they do well should concern WU…they rebound very well, on both ends of the court, ranking around 70th in the country in both offensive and defensive rebounding %.  Also, they are good at creating turnovers with their defense, deflecting passes and shots, and getting quite a bit of steals which lead to fast break points.  However, if WU can hold onto the ball, they can get good looks, especially from three.

This will sound like a broken record, but Winthrop needs to rebound well and hit some outside shots in order to pick up this road win.  Also, while not a requirement, it would be nice if the bench was able to contribute more than they have in recent games.

My Prediction: Winthrop 87, Charleston Southern 76

Other Big South games on Friday, January 12:
Longwood (1-3) @ Liberty (3-1), 7pm EST – Big South Network
Radford (4-0) @ Gardner-Webb (3-1), 7pm EST – ESPN3
UNC Asheville (2-2) @ Presbyterian (1-3), 7pm EST – Big South Network
High Point (2-2) @ Campbell (2-2), 7pm EST – Big South Network