Game of the Day
Chattanooga 89, Samford 79
Both games were competitive late, but this one seemed close the entire way, as neither team ever got a double digit lead until the very end for the Mocs. The Mocs got Rodney Chamtan back and the offense looked much better than it had in recent weeks. Four Mocs were in double figures. Four Bulldogs were in double figures as well, as the Bulldogs had the pick and roll working like they in their first meeting for much of the first half, but the Mocs figured that out in the second half and played much better defense in the second half.
Player of the Day
London finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. That’s some mighty fine basketball. When London plays focused and aggressive, he is among the five best players in the SoCon. The problem is he does not play that way all the time. He played that way tonight. He’ll have to do it again tomorrow to give the Mocs a chance.
Team of the Day
The Citadel Bulldogs
VMI looked so good early, but the Bulldogs fought back and took a halftime lead, and then pulled way ahead, by as many as 16. Then VMI fought back and cut the lead to 3 with under three minutes left. But the Bulldogs held on. As a team that was playing without one of their best players in Kaelon Harris against a rival that they had lost to twice, this was an impressive showing.
What’s Ahead for the Winners?
The Citadel will face off with UNCG and the Bulldogs have proven to be dangerous in their performances against ETSU. The Spartans better be ready to go, because with Kaelon Harris back, the Bulldogs should be playing inspired basketball. This is a dangerous game.
Chattanooga squares off with ETSU for a third time. The Bucs easily won each of the first two meetings. There are questions about how well ETSU is playing heading into the tournament. If the game is close late, the Mocs have folded under pressure for a lot of the year, but seemed to thrive on it in this one. The Bucs had played well under pressure all year, but folded in those three home games to wrap up the season. These two old rivals square off one more time this year.
Looking Ahead for VMI
They have Bubba Parham and a whole lot of freshman. This team is almost entirely freshmen and sophomores. The Keydets should absolutely improve next year. They will be significantly better a year from now. What does that look like? It’s hard to say. To think they could contend for a bye is anything but ridiculous. They may be able to contend for a conference title in two years, but next year is the first step towards that.
Looking Ahead for Samford
Oh- what might have been. Wyatt Walker might be back with a medical redshirt. Josh Sharkey, Triston Chambers, Justin Coleman all will be back. Demetrius Denzel-Dyson is gone. There are pieces here to be much better than this year. That being said, this was supposed to be their year and it passed them by. They could be good if Walker is back. If he’s not, it’s hard to imagine them being much improved.