When the Mocs and the Spartans hook up on Thursday evening in Greensboro, it should be a tremendously interesting showdown between two of the most athletic teams in the league.
These two teams both have tons of athletes and will play an excellent game. The big man match-up of RJ White against Justin Tuoyo is fascinating. The point guard dual of Diante Baldwin and Greg Pryor is really good. Watching Francis Alonso and Eric Robertson trade threes should be thrilling.
UNCG has been very good at home this year, winning both of their conference home games against VMI and Furman. The Mocs have gone 2-1 on the road in SoCon play, beating The Citadel and Wofford and losing to Furman.
The Spartans really need Baldwin to play well. He averages 10.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Baldwin sometimes gets out of control and makes poor decisions. But he also can be a solid performer.
RJ White averaged 12.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He is one of the better big men in the SoCon. His ability to shoot from all over the floor could pull Tuoyo away from the basket, creating problems for the Mocs defense. White has the ability to play anywhere on the floor, but he is best when he is closer to the basket.
Francis Alonso is a freshman and has scored 12.3 points per game. He is shooting 42.1% from three point range. Kayel Locke is averaging 11.1 points per game as the only other double digit scorer for the Spartans. Marvin Smith is scoring 9.9 points with 4.9 rebounds per game.
The Mocs engine is led by Greg Pryor. The point guard is averaging 10.5 points and 3.6 assists per game. Pryor does a great job getting the Mocs into their offense and really leads the team. When he plays well, the Mocs are a better team.
Justin Tuoyo is averaging 11.1 points per game, shooting 53.4% from the floor. He is averaging 5.4 rebounds per game. Tuoyo is also leading the SoCon with 2.5 blocks per game. He is one of the top defenders in the league and has developed into a very good offensive big man.
Eric Robertson is averaging 8.5 points per game and is shooting 43.8% from three point range. He has been struggling lately from long distance. Tre McLean is averaging 11.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Jonathan Burroughs-Cook is also a slasher to the basket off the bench and is averaging 8.2 points per game.
The Spartans and Mocs are ranked second and third in the conference in offensive efficiency according to Pomeroy in conference play. The offenses are both very good. The Mocs lead the SoCon in getting to the free throw line, while UNCG fouls quite a bit. The Mocs defense ranks second in the conference.
In Greensboro, this game will not be an easy win for Chattanooga. UNCG is actually a pretty good team. Can White outplay Tuoyo? Can Baldwin not turn the ball over against the Mocs pressure? Can Alonso knock down some timely threes?
UNCG has played well at home, but the Mocs are still playing better since their loss to Furman, which woke this team up a bit. The Mocs have another loss in them when they lose focus again, but they have not reached that point yet. The Mocs come up with a closer than expected win, but a win nonetheless. Chattanooga 76, Spartans 71.