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Spartans Battle Hard to Beat the Keydets

Posted by Dash on January 15, 2015 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Last night, the crowd at the Greensboro Coliseum got to witness a few "firsts". It was UNCG's first win of 2015. It was their first win at home over a D1 opponent. It was their first win this season without Tevon Saddler and their first over VMI since 2003 (to be fair they haven't played since then).


Most importantly, it was a win that helped stop the bleeding on what has been a very rough stretch. The Spartans finished off the Keydets with an 11-3 run to end the game to stop a four game losing streak. With games against conference front runners Wofford and Chattanooga looming, it was very important for UNCG to finally get back into the win column. If the Spartans can now string together back-to-back wins (at Samford 1/22/2015) they will find themselves back into the hunt for one of the six available byes for the Southern Conference Tournament in March.


As always, here are some things I noticed ...


1. Defense? What defense? Even though it's UNCG that is known for its phantom defense, I was stunned in the style VMI plays on that end. Almost every time they didn't turn UNCG over with their press, the Spartans got a good look at the basket.


2. That style is interesting. It felt a bit like a hockey game in the first half. VMI would run at UNCG hard for 3 minutes and then bring in 5 new players. It certainly has worked for them over the past few seasons. I just had never seen it before live. They aren't picky about shot selection, but they did seem to get quite a few good looks. They just didn't make that many.


3. When you are bigger, just be bigger. UNCG had a huge advantage in the post and decided to really exploit it. UNCG outrebounded the Keydets 53-40 and outscored them in the paint 34-22. Kayel Locke is very difficult to stop with the little jump hook/push shot from about 6'-8' away. He made a bunch of those on Wednesday night. 


4. Bench Contributes! UNCG has a very tiny bench. But when they get contributions from the bench, the Saprtans are a much better team. Jordy Kuiper (8 points & 7 rebounds) and Asad Lamont (6 points 3-4 fg) were big against VMI. Both guys will need to keep playing well if UNCG is going to pick up wins without Tevon Saddler.


5. Why is VMI's mascot a kangaroo? Bonus question ... we tried hard to figure it out, but failed. It anyone knows, tweet me.

2014-2015 Basketball Schedule Released

Posted by Dash on August 6, 2014 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Let's start with the big names and work our way down. First off UNCG will play two different teams that have each won 5 NCAA Titles. UNC will visit the Greensboro Coliseum in the second of a three game series. Last season the Tar Heels beat the Spartan 81-50 in the Smith Center. It was the first ever meeting between the schools. UNCG will also face off with the Indiana Hoosiers. The last time these teams met, the Spartans fell 71-64 in Bloomngton. That was at the beginning of the 2003-2004 season.


Beyond those two games, UNCG has set itself up with a manageable schedule with a very local feel. Elon, High Point, UNCW and Greensboro College will all make appearances in the Greensboro Coliseum. The Spartans are playing return games at ECU and Presbyterian. Since those were the two most painful games I attended last year (for completely different reasons) I will be glad not to have to see them live.

 

The most interesting parts of this schedule is the locations of home games and the Eastern Michigan event. First off, someone in the athletics department got the memo that these non-D1 games should be played in Fleming Gym. Let's face it, the crowds will be small and in the big Greensboro Coliseum, that dead energy and empty feel can lead to some problems.

 

The other interesting part is the event Eastern Michigan. It's hard to call it a tournament due to it really just being three designated games. Eastern Michigan finished last season 22-15 and made it to the 2nd round of the CIT. With Youngstown State (15-17) and Longwood (8-24) rounding out the field, it should allow UNCG 3 contests against similar teams with a chance to pick up some early season victories over D1 teams.

 

As always, I think these non-D1 games are still a bunch of throw always. But I also understand that those games help pay the bills. So, I guess they are a needed evil. All-in-all this looks like a 17-18 win type of schedule. Without the ridiculous row of heavy hitters, UNCG has a change to pick up some wins before the turn of the calendar and that's a good thing.


2014-2015 Schedule

11/14 Chowan#

11/18 UNCW

11/21 TBA*

11/22 TBA*

11/23 TBA*

11/28 @ Indiana

12/1 High Point

12/5 Presbyterian

12/10 Greensboro College

12/13 @ ETSU

12/16 UNC

12/20 Elon

12/28 @ ECU

12/31 Mars Hill#

1/3 Mercer

1/5 Citadel

1/8 @ Furman

1/10 @ Western Carolina

1/14 VMI

1/22 @ Samford

1/24 @ Chattanooga

1/29 Wofford

1/31 Western Carolina

2/4 @ Vmi

2/7 @ Citadel

2/12 ETSU

2/14 @ Mercer

2/19 @ Wofford

2/22 Furman

2/26 Samford

2/28 Chattanooga

3/6-3/9 SoCon Tournament^


# Fleming Gym

* Ypsilanti, MI

^ Asheville, NC

Schedule Update

Posted by Dash on July 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I guess for now, I'll just update the men's basketball schedule piece by piece. Here's the newest game ...


- Mars Hill University will be making an appearance in the Greensboro Coliseum on New Year's Eve. They have the game listed at 2 pm. 


The Mountain Lions are a DII school just north of Asheville that plays in the South Atlantic Conference. Last season they went 6-21, but one of their wins came against SoCon foe Furman.


I'll continue to update the schedule as I get more.

Scheduling Updates

Posted by Dash on July 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (1)

I believe we can expect to have the men's basketball schedule released any day now. But until then, let's go over some of the games that we know will take place ...


•Since the SoCon now has 10 teams, that makes for a nice round 18 games (9 home, 9 away).


•We already know that UNC will be making it's first trip to play the Spartans in Greensboro.


•Based on this post, UNCG will be playing in a tournament with Eastern Michigan, Youngstown St and another team.


 •The Wilmington Star News reported that UNC-Wilmington would be making a trip to Greensboro.


 •This High Point Enterprise article states that UNCG and High Point will meet again this season.


 That's as much as I know for certain right now. I have heard rumors that UNCG will host Elon and Greensboro College. At one point there was a rumor that Davidson would be making a stop in Greensboro, but that appears to be off now. There may be a return game to Presbyterian, but we'll have to wait to see.


Update: LancersBlog has reported that Longwood is the 4th team in the Eastern Michigan MTE (Multi Team Event). With there being 3 games in 3 days, it looks like the Spartans will see all the of the other teams in the event.