Wofford Basketball Preview: #138
Overall Rank: #138
Conference Rank: #2 Southern Conference
2008-09: 16-14, 12-8
2008-09 postseason: none
Coach: Mike Young (90-117 at Wofford, 90-117 overall)
Wofford’s 2008-2009 campaign certainly ended with everybody feeling unfulfilled. The Terriers ended the regular season winning five of their last six games with the only loss coming by two points in Charleston. But then the group struggled in the opening game of the conference tournament and was sent home early at the hands of Elon. That left Coach Mike Young and the rest of his team looking immediately to the future. And the future looks good.
Key Losses: G Matt Estep
Two years ago Cameron Rundles was the Big Sky’s Freshman of the Year. While at Montana he averaged 8.3 points per game and shot an incredible 47.8 percent from beyond the arc. Rundles kept getting better as the season progressed and the Grizzlies were certainly disappointed to see him transfer. But that is Wofford’s gain as Rundles should immediately step into a starting position. Jamar Diggs, a fellow Minnesotan, also sat out last season as a transfer and the 6-2 guard could provide a nice spark off the bench. The Terriers need some size and they got it with Domas Rinksalis. The 6-9 center is a quality scorer around the basket and tough on the glass. The more minutes he can play, the better off this team will be.
And that is because this group is very heavy on perimeter players. Brad Loesing and Jason Dawson are both quality ball handlers and Corey Godzinski is a quality scorer when he has the opportunity. Yet it is Tim Johnson, who is listed as a 6-6 wing, that should be playing most of the minutes at the three spot. Due to Johnson’s size, weight and strength he will spend most of his time at the four spot, but it helps that Godzinski is 6-8 and can definitely help out on the glass from the backcourt. Johnson is emerging as a superstar on a team that already has a lot of scoring prowess. Last year he averaged 10.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Shooting for an average of a double-double is a good goal for him this season.
The backcourt might have a lot of size, especially if you really consider Johnson as a wing, but Noah Dahlman is the only returning player listed as a forward who has any major experience. Dahlman is no taller than Johnson or Godzinski, but he is a true interior player. He is not as effective on the glass as Johnson, but Dahlman did lead this team with 17.8 points per game last year and should be the leader again. Kevin Giltner, Terry Martin and Drew Crowell all started at least a couple games last year as underclassmen and they should be ready to pick up the slack when Dahlman and Johnson need a break.
Who to Watch:
Dahlman and Johnson were not the only double-digit scorers on Wofford last year. Junior Salters, who is ironically a senior, averaged 15.0 points per game during the 2008-2009 campaign and is one of the most prolific outside shooters that nobody knows about. Salters connected on three long balls per game and even started to emerge as a player who could also get to the basket and finish. If he keeps getting more aggressive, the opposition will have a tough time stopping him.
Wofford returns seven players who started at least ten games last year and then added Rundles who very well could be starting from day one. Injuries were a problem last year as Salters and Godzinski missed a handful of games, but the depth in the backcourt is extremely impressive. And this group if versatile enough to move things around and cover for any injuries in frontcourt. With virtually everybody back and a few talented newcomers, Wofford could be the team to beat in the SoCon this year…especially now that Davidson is off the national radar.
Projected Post-season Tournament: none
Projected Starting Five:
Brad Loesing, Sophomore, Guard, 5.3 points per game
Junior Salters, Senior, Guard, 15.0 points per game
Corey Godzinski, Senior, Guard, 7.0 points per game
Tim Johnson, Senior, Forward, 10.0 points per game
Noah Dahlman, Junior, Forward, 17.8 points per game