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One Good Half is Good Enough

Posted by Dash on November 15, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

The UNCG Spartans basketball team was good enough to win last night. Just good enough. The injury depleted Spartans ran out to a 24 point lead right before halftime and then managed to make enough plays to not be in any real danger of losing the rest of the way. They didn't look particulary good in the second 20 minutes, but I guess a win is a win. Here are some of things I took away from the contest.


1. Holy sh*t that was long game. Did that game take 3.5 hours? it sure felt like it. Now maybe that's because the Spartans struggled in the second half or maybe it was because the refs called a zillion fouls (well 60 to be exact). I mean, I got it zebras that you have points of emphasis and all. But jeez guys. It seemed like everyone in the gym had 4 fouls.


2. RJ White is going to be a player. Let me clarify by saying he's going to be a player as long as he doesn't take those ridiculous trailing 3's 7 seconds into the shot clock. Yes, I know one of them went down. But when it's off, they're wasted possessions. But beyond that one gripe, RJ was a beast tonight. When G really needed a few buckets in the 2nd half to calm things down, they just put him on the block and let him go to work.


3. Tevon did a solid job at the point. He really seemed to be much more under control and knew where he wanted to go with the ball. I thought he had the right mix of getting others involved and taking his shots when they were open. If continues to play like he did on Friday, he's going to have an all conference season. Yes, he had 4 turnovers. Honestly though as the primary ball handler all night long, I'm fine with that number.


4. Wow, this team is thin. Like super thin. Last night it seemed like there might be more guys in warm up suits than actual dressed players. I'll admit in the second half when Tevon and RJ were fighting through cramps, our whole section was just groaning and praying the injuries were more substantial.


 

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Opening Night Preview

Posted by Dash on November 14, 2014 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

This is it. It's actually time to get back to real basketball. The 2014-2015 Spartans will get started tonight in Fleming Gym against Chowan University. The Division II Hawks finshed last season 12-15, but did defeat Campbell on the road. Chowan returns 2 of their top 4 scorers from last season (Kyree Bethel and Kortez Smith). But what they really lack is much in the way of size. Only one player on their roster is listed at over 6'8".


What I’m Looking for Against Chowan


1. A fast start – I know how the script normally goes for these type games. A slow start eventually gives way to some separation before halftime. Then depth takes over in the second half. What I would really like to see instead is for UNCG come out with fire in front of a sellout crowd and push the Hawks around from the opening tip. By halftime, I’d like to be figuring out where I’ll eat on the way home and not wondering “can UNCG pull this one out”.


2. Offense is great, but can G play defense – Wes Miller’s team have shown the ability to be very good on offense and play the fast, attacking style he learned under Roy Williams at UNC. What Miller’s teams haven’t shown very often is the ability and focus to play solid defense for a full 40 minutes. I expect to see the Spartans score a bunch, but can they lock down a team from a lower division from start to finish?


3. Only throwing the ball to the guys in blue and gold – At times last season, UNCG was downright awful when it came to holding on to the basketball. Saddler averaged almost 4 turnovers per game by himself. With a very thin backcourt, this is a huge concern. I’m quite interested to see how UNCG does at keeping possession of the ball, especially against a smaller opponent.


Read the rest here.


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* For this season, I will not always be producing a regular game-by-game preview. Sometimes I will write a full article. Other times I may write some and link to other articles. I might not write anything at all. I'm just going to play it by ear.