College Hoops Thursday: Your Commentary

February 3rd, 2011
Two of the best teams in the Southern Conference meet on Thursday night as defending champion Wofford (12-10, 9-2) hits the road to take on College of Charleston (15-7, 8-2). With neither team having the greatest of computer numbers (RPI: Wofford 147, Charleston 100; SOS: Wofford 166, Charleston 221) both fit the profile of teams who could scare an opponent despite the seed they could get in the NCAA Tournament (can't forget Chattanooga, who leads the North Division with a 9-2 record). Wofford leads the Cougars by a game in the win column, and with C of C having a game in hand this contest become all the more important with Furman also lurking with a record of 8-3. Thursday's game will feature two of the best players in the SoCon, guys who get the job done in far different ways due to their respective skill sets.

Guard Andrew Goudelock averages 23.5 points and 4.4 assists per game, possessing a prolific scoring ability that few players in America possess. Given the green light that head coach Bobby Cremins gives his senior it speaks volumes for Goudelock's ability that he shoots 48% from the field and 41.5% from three. While Charleston has two other players averaging double figures one would have to imagine that the Terriers would rather Jeremy Simmons (13.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg) or Donovan Moore (11.1 ppg) try to beat them offensively instead of Goudelock. Charleston has seven players averaging at least 6.5 points per game, and as a team the Cougars put up 76.3 ppg and shoot 47.7% from the field.

Wofford also has an efficiency rating of 110 but they put up points in a different fashion, boasting a superior free throw rate (41.1 to Charleston's 28.8) and floor percentage. Forward Noah Dahlman leads the way with 20.6 ppg (also averages 5.4 rpg), shooting 63% from the field as he does the majority of his damage in and around the paint. Guards Cameron Rundles (13.2 ppg) and Jamar Diggs (12.5 ppg, 3.1 apg) do the scoring on the perimeter for Mike Young's three-guard attack with Brad Loesing leading the team in assists and three point percentage. Tim Johnson's job is to rebound (8.5 rpg), and the Terrier frontcourt will definitely challenge the likes of Simmons, Willis Hall and Antwaine Simmons on the boards.

Protecting the defensive boards is the area in which there could be concern for the Terriers, who allow opponents to grab 36.3% of their misses. With Dahlman and Johnson having the size and ability to hurt Charleston on the offensive boards it's vital that the Cougars use proper fundamentals and control that area at home. Wofford's also done a better job of taking care of the basketball, and their assist percentage of 59% could come in handy against a team that has seen its opponents assist on less than half their made field goals. Charleston is the better team in terms of guys who can create their own looks with Goudelock being the chief offender, but as long as Wofford sticks with their principles they have a good chance to leave the Carolina First Center with an important win.

Other games on Thursday include the teams tied for first in the Pac-10 both hitting the road in dangerous contests. Arizona is at Stanford and while the Cardinal don't seem to have anyone who can guard the outstanding Derrick Williams (and not many teams do) they do have Jeremy Green and Josh Owens, two players who can cause matchup issues themselves. Washington visits Oregon State to take on a team that's been tough to figure out. Oregon State has some bad losses on their resume but they also have a win over Arizona at home, meaning that Isaiah Thomas and company can't afford to overlook the Beavers. Notre Dame visits DePaul in a game that was a huge rivalry years ago but has lost its luster of late due to the Blue Demons' struggles, and top-ranked Ohio State host rival Michigan. Also out west Gonzaga visits a Portland team that blew out Saint Mary's on Saturday, and Pacific visits UCSB in an important Big West tilt.

Top 25
7:00 PM Michigan at (1) Ohio State (ESPN)
9:00 PM (8) Notre Dame at DePaul (ESPN)
9:00 PM (19) Washington at Oregon State
9:00 PM (22) Arizona at Stanford

NCAA Division I Games
2:00 PM Toledo at Buffalo
7:00 PM Vermont at Hartford
7:00 PM Monmouth at Mount St. Mary's
7:00 PM Wofford at Charleston (ESPNU)
7:00 PM Georgia Southern at Chattanooga
7:00 PM Valparaiso at Cleveland State
7:00 PM Winthrop at Gardner-Webb
7:00 PM Sacred Heart at Long Island
7:00 PM Georgia Tech at Miami (FL) (ESPN2)
7:00 PM Presbyterian at UNC Asheville
7:00 PM Bryant University at Robert Morris
7:00 PM Quinnipiac at St. Francis (NY)
7:00 PM Central Connecticut State at Saint Francis (PA) 7:00 PM Furman at Citadel
7:00 PM Fairleigh Dickinson at Wagner
7:00 PM Loyola (IL) at Wright State
7:00 PM Butler at Youngstown State
7:30 PM Belmont at Jacksonville
7:30 PM Virginia Military at Charleston Southern
7:30 PM Illinois-Chicago at Detroit
7:30 PM Binghamton at UMBC (ESPN3)
8:00 PM South Alabama at Western Kentucky
8:00 PM Liberty at Coastal Carolina
8:00 PM Denver at Arkansas-Little Rock
8:00 PM North Dakota State at Centenary
8:00 PM Louisiana-Monroe at Middle Tennessee
8:00 PM Lipscomb at North Florida
8:00 PM Davidson at Samford
8:00 PM Oakland at Western Illinois
8:05 PM South Dakota State at Oral Roberts (ESPN3)
8:30 PM Florida Atlantic at North Texas
8:35 PM Montana State at Northern Arizona
8:45 PM Morehead State at Jacksonville State
8:45 PM Tennessee-Martin at Austin Peay
8:45 PM Chicago State at Houston Baptist
8:45 PM Florida International at Troy
9:00 PM Tennessee at Auburn (ESPN2)
9:00 PM Hawaii at Boise State
9:00 PM Utah Valley at Texas-Pan American
9:00 PM Washington State at Oregon
9:00 PM Murray State at Tennessee State (ESPNU)
9:00 PM Eastern Kentucky at Tennessee Tech
9:00 PM Montana at Weber State
9:05 PM Eastern Washington at Northern Colorado
10:00 PM UC Davis at Cal Poly
10:00 PM Cal State Northridge at UC Riverside
10:00 PM San Jose State at Idaho
10:00 PM New Mexico State at Fresno State
10:00 PM Loyola Marymount at San Diego
10:00 PM Pepperdine at Saint Mary's
10:05 PM Portland State at Sacramento State
10:05 PM UC Irvine at Cal State Fullerton
11:00 PM Arizona State at California (FSN)
11:00 PM Gonzaga at Portland (ESPN2)
11:30 PM Pacific at UC Santa Barbara (ESPNU)