I made two blog posts as pages, so I am combining them into one post and cleaning up the blog:
Battle of Tate Street:
While these two schools do not technically share a border, both UNCG and Greensboro College share space on Tate St. They are separated by mere feet, so yesterday’s game at the Coliseum was essentially a home game for both teams. It was an 11:30am start and kids from Guildford County were in attendance as part of the GCS Education Fair.
I was late to the game and walked in with the Spartans down 22-9, but UNCG turned on the turbo and ended the half tied at 41. This was a close game, UNCG never led by more than 7, the Pride led by 15 at one point, and they were tied 9 times. The stats for both teams show why it was such a close game: Free Throw shooting was excellent on both sides- Greensboro College an impressive 92% (12-13) and UNCG 86.4%. This is how free throws should look at all games.
Beyond that, the field goal percentage for each team was 44% for Greensboro College and 45% for the Spartans. The Pride connected on 50% from beyond the arc and UNCG made 30% of theirs.
I would be remiss not to mention the TWO fouls on three point shooters committed by the Spartans. One connected for a total of 4 points for the Pride on a single play and one missed with their shooter making all three free throws. Fouling a three point shooter is the worst play in the book and we did it twice.
What I think helped put UNCG up was help off the bench. UNCG got 21 bench points highlighted by Jordy Kuiper and Diante Baldwin. This was Baldwin’s first game of the season, as he has been dealing with an knee injury, and it is delightful to have a true point guard on the court!
NC State vs Wofford:
There is a particular shade of dark blue that I hate.
Kentucky beat UNC this weekend. It was awful and there’s not much more to be said there.
I was much more stunned by the 55-54 upset of NC State by the Wofford Terriers last night. The Terriers made their late basket and State’s got waved off leaving Wofford up by one.
I’m not sure why I’m surprised. Wofford was last season’s SoCon Champion (UNCG’s conference) and they “returned nearly its entire team from last year’s Southern Conference tournament champions, and is the preseason favorite to win the league again.” Parity is coming to men’s basketball (women’s is a whole other conversation- but “way to go” to South Carolina for being #1 over traditional powerhouses UConn, Tenn, and Stanford this week). Even though the ACC has lost to SoCon before (Va Tech, Georgia Tech come to mind- and we are not talking about when some of those teams were in the SoCon), it is still surprising, but it shouldn’t be. A team like Wofford, with a recent conference championship, returning much of it’s experience and leadership should be a force to be reckoned with. The schools that tend to attract the one and dones (ESPN top10s, height that other conferences can’t recruit, and the NBA’s own rule about being a year out of high school are all details we can discuss) can have flashes of greatness, but schools that build solid teams with leadership and experience- and we can look at mid-major conferences here like VCU’s Shaka Smart- step up to those larger courts and televised games with knowledge and support, from their coaches and each other, to win close games like this one.
Tomorrow UNCG faces UNC at the Greensboro coliseum, their own home court. Will UNC be looking for a recovery win? Will UNCG capitalize on their recent winning ways? Either way, I’ve got GREAT seats!