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Wofford Terriers Hope For 1st NCAA Tournament Win

Wofford has been to the tournament four times in the past six years. Is a win finally in the Terriers future?

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Wofford Terriers have won the Southern Conference, going 28-6 in the process. They have the SoCon's Player of the Year in Karl Cochran, a senior. They have Lee Skinner, another senior leader. Spencer Collins is a junior, to go along with junior Justin Gordon and sophomore Eric Garcia in the starting lineup.

This team was in the NCAA Tournament a year ago as a 15 seed, and this will be their fourth tournament appearance in six years. They are still searching for their first NCAA Tournament win.

The Terriers have a Top 50 RPI, a 3-4 record against the Top 100, beating Iona, Sam Houston State and North Carolina State. Their Top 100 losses were to Stanford, William & Mary, West Virginia and Duke.

This team is likely to get a 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament. What will this team be able to accomplish once they get into the dance?

Lee Skinner is the Terriers starting big man. He is only 6-6. He is a senior that plays with passion and energy, averaging 10 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. He is the emotional leader for the team. Justin Gordon is the other starting forward, and he is also just 6-6. He scored 7.6 points with 3.9 rebounds. C.J. Neumann is a junior sub, and is 6-7. He is not much of an offensive threat, but is a very good rebounder.

This team's offensive efficiency relies entirely on Karl Cochran and Spencer Collins. The two guards are the team's two leading scorers. Cochran scored 14.6 points per contest, while Collins averaged 11.6. Cochran shoots below 40% from the floor though. He is a lock down defender that brings a ton to the table for this club, including 5.8 rebounds per game for one of the shortest players on the floor. Collins shoots the mid-range jumper well, shooting 46.2% from the floor.

The player who really makes the offense though is the point guard, Eric Garcia. He broke his jaw and had an ankle injury this year that hampered him for a long stretch of the season. Once he was back at 100%, this team's offense looked much more efficient than they had without him.

This club went 19-2 in SoCon play, but hardly looked dominant in doing so. They did not often put together a full forty minutes. In their two losses, they blew a big double digit second half lead at The Citadel (an embarrassingly bad loss) and only mustered 45 points at home against Chattanooga (who finished second in the SoCon). Against VMI, they were up huge in the first half, only to see the lead evaporate to nothing. They did hold on to win, though.

Wofford struggles to score sometimes. They can go through stretches where they simply do not score points for whatever reason. This team can consistently bring solid defense, but they don't always bring great offense.

Wofford's best match-up would be against a team that is not huge in the paint, but also struggles offensively. A good defensive team will not bother this team. They may struggle to score, regardless of the opponent. They will work hard and collect offensive rebounds and probably score in the mid to upper 50s against a good defensive team, and in the lower to mid-60s against a poor one. The defense, which is the calling card, will have to carry the load. Collins, Garcia and Cochran can slow down guard play, but a true big man would present his own set of challenges. If the club goes up against a team without a true big man that plays solid defense, they could keep the game in the 50s and possibly pull an upset or even two in the NCAA Tournament.

More than likely, Wofford will be one and done, like so many other mid-majors. However, with the proper match-ups, there is reason to believe that this team could make it to the second weekend and collect that elusive first ever NCAA Tournament victory.