What’s up guys? Glad to see that we are playing you guys again this year. Great game for us to start off with and I think we’ll provide yall with a solid test as well. Sure you know a lot about your team, but just figured I’d give you a little background info on us while I have some time here at work and before I forget. Looking forward to the game on Friday. We might not have a huge crowd, but we should bring a small, vocal contingent.
2008-2009 Season: 15-16 overall, 10-8 in conference. Advanced to semifinals of Big South Tournament. Picked to finish 9th preseason, but ended up 4th.
This year we are picked to finish 2nd in the Big South by the coaches and media behind defending champ Radford.
Projected Starting Lineup:
PG : JP Primm - 6’1" 195lb soph, averaged 9pts, 4.5 assists, and 27.6 minutes per game in his frosh campaign. Very heady and solid guard. Makes some stupid turnovers, but always seemed to play well in crunch time.
SG: Matt Dickey - 6’1" 190lb soph, averaged 10.9pts, 2.5 assists, and 24 mins per game last season. Started off the season slow, but eventually overtook Primm as starting pg and turned into one of our better players. Very athletic. Knows how to score. Unorthodox shot, but it goes in. Shot 38% from downtown. Scored in double figures in 14 out of last 17 games and averaged 13ppg in conference games. Named to Big South All-Rookie team last year and Preseason First Team All Conference in some publications this season.
SF: Sean Smith - 6’6" 200lb senior. averaged 10.8ppg and shot 46% from downtown in 27.5 minutes per game. One of the best shooters in the conference. Already 6th on schools all-time 3pt field goal made list. Knocked down 71 a year ago. Can get unbelievably hot, but can’t really create his own offense. Your basic spot-up shooter.
PF: John Williams - 6’3" 215lb junior. Averaged 12.9ppg, 6.6 boards, and 2.9 blocks per game in 31.1 minutes per game. Best player on the team and easily the best athlete in the Big South. Athleticism and strength allows him to guard players five to six inches taller. 2nd last year in blocks for the conference. Runs the floor well and gets a lot of dunks. Simply just explodes off the court. Really no perimeter game at all and we don’t call many plays for him. Does all of his work around the basket and from the free throw line.
C: Eric Stubbs - 6’8" 235lb junior. Averaged 4pts and 3 boards per game in 17 minutes per game a season ago. Very limited offensively, but has added weight in the offseason and will hopefully provide a presence on defense.
Chris Stepheson - 6’3" 190 soph guard. Should be first perimeter sub off the bench.
Quinard Jackson - 6’5" 245lb soph forward. Likes to throw his weight around.
Austin Alexcih - 6’5" 190lb fr guard. Played at Oak Hill. Shoots it well.
Jaron Lane - 6’4" 170lb fr guard. Athletic. Should get some playing time.
DJ Cunningham - 6’10" 240lb fr center. Will split time at center with Stubbs. Could possibly start.
We are small, but we like to play fast and we shoot a ton of threes. Look to get an open look from the perimeter or quickly find John Williams down low in our secondary break. If that doesn’t pan out, we will get the ball to one of our guards (Primm, Dickey, Stepheson), spread the court out, and let them initiate the offense off of dribble penetration. If our big men are not playing well, Coach Biedenbach will not hesitate to put four guards out there with John Williams. That was actually our primary lineup towards the end of last season. We mainly play man to man on defense, but would not be surprised to see us play a lot of zone next Friday night. Depends on how well yall are shooting the ball from the outside. UNCA fans are expecting JP and Dickey to firmly establish themselves as the best backcourt in the Big South during their sophomore campaigns. In my opinion, both could easily be playing point guard at a higher level. Guess we’ll see how they do next week though.
If we shoot the ball well from the outside, we have a chance of pulling off the upset. We lost our leading scorer from a year ago and I don’t know how long it will take for us to learn how to play without him on the court. We will rely heavily on the first four players mentioned above, but I don’t know how the rest of the roster is going to shape up. And the frosh will definitely have some first game jitters. We have at least four guys that can absolutely fill it up, but you never can tell what’s going to happen on the court when you rely so heavily on the 3pt shot. Teams can look either really good or really bad. Hopefully we’ll see more of the former this year.
In the end, I think yalls size, experience, and athleticism will be a little too much for us to handle.
Good luck in this game and for the rest of the season. Hope a good crowd will show up next Friday. Have a good one.