This story has flown under our radar all season, but after his performance last night against Chattanooga, it's high time we showed a little love to Trevis Simpson.
Last season, as a sophomore, Simpson led the Spartans with 18.3 points per game - that was good enough for 36th overall nationally, which is more impressive since he was one of two players in the top 40 to play less than 30 minutes per game.
Heading into the holiday break, UNCG had played ten games and while they were only 2-8, Simpson was going strong. He was averaging 20 points and 4 rebounds per game, while shooting 45% from the field and 31% from long range (numbers very similar to last season).
Then a funny thing happened - Simpson rolled his ankle walking through the hotel lobby prior to their next game against North Carolina State. Apparently in his early-morning sleepy state, he was scared into a painful jump cut by a revolving door.
Suffice it to say, the Spartans did not even come close to defeating the Wolfpack - or Davidson their next time out, for that matter. They also dropped a close one to Western Carolina and a less close one to Appalachian State. Before you knew it, UNCG was 3-12 overall and 1-3 in conference, buried at the bottom of the Southern Conference.
Now, as of today, the team has won three of their last four, including last night's dominant performance from Simpson. Trevis dominated the offense from the outset, shooting 10-for-15 overall and 6-for-8 from three-point range in the first half to score 27 of the Spartans' 41 points to push them to a 10 point lead.
If this is the real Spartan squad showing up - Simpson is averaging 24 ppg over his last five, teammate Darell Armstrong contributing 19 ppg (prior to a sudden 3-for-20 shooting swoon the last two games) - then the conference basement may be a distant memory by the end of the season.
Upcoming matchups - at home against Elon and at Charleston (two of the SoCon's top squads) - will tell us a lot about their legitimacy, but UNCG and Trevis Simpson's recovered ankle may be well on their way to saving what was very recently a very ugly-looking season.