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The Other Top 25 Preseason Rankings: No. 19 Wofford Terriers

Fletcher Magee and Cameron Jackson are back for Mike Young, as is most of a team that won 21 games last season and beat North Carolina and Georgia Tech. Can the Terriers take the next step this season?

Wofford guard Storm Murphy drives by South Carolina’s defense in a 2017 contest at Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.
Mitchell Northam, Mid-Major Madness

2017-18 Record: 21-13 (11-7 SoCon); Lost in SoCon semifinals. Lost in CIT opener vs. Central Michigan.
Key Returning Players: Fletcher Magee (G, Sr.), Cameron Jackson (F, Sr.), Keve Aluma (F, So.), Storm Murphy (G, So.) Matthew Pegram (F, Sr.), Donovan Theme-Love (G, Jr.)
Key Losses: Derrick Brooks
Key Newcomers: Chevez Goodwin (transfer from College of Charleston), Messiah Jones (15th best player in Illinois, per 247sports), Ryan Larson (2-star, per Verbal Commits), Isaiah Bigelow (2-star, per Verbal Commits)

In his 17th season at the helm in Spartanburg, Mike Young brings back a roster that won 21 games last year and captured two victories against ACC teams. The Terriers finished 75th in the country in offensive efficiency, making them the highest ranked SoCon team in that statistic, per KenPom.

The Terriers enjoyed a mid-season streak where they won 12 of 13 games, but sputtered out near the end of the season and lost by just a point in the SoCon semifinals to UNC-Greensboro, who went on to represent the SoCon in the NCAA Tournament.

Last year’s youthful roster, which featured just one senior in guard Derrick Brooks, returns with an extra year of experience. Young brings back SoCon Player of the Year Fletcher Magee, 2nd Team honoree Cameron Jackson, and All-SoCon rookie Storm Murphy.

With a roster loaded with other dynamic and talented players, Wofford will look to go to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in Young’s tenure.

Key Non-Conference Games

Can Wofford beat more Power 5 teams this year? They’ll definitely have plenty of chances to do so.

Nov. 6 vs. North Carolina
Nov. 16 at Stanford
Nov. 18 at Oklahoma
Nov. 26 at South Carolina
Dec. 4 at Kansas
Dec. 19 at Mississippi State

Three Things to Watch

Fletcher Magee’s shooting

Magee will be playing professional basketball when his career is done at Wofford. He tested the NBA Draft waters last year, and even landed a workout with the Los Angeles Lakers, but opted to return to school for his senior campaign, which is bad news for the rest of the SoCon.

He led the team in scoring with 22.1 points per-game, and led the NCAA in three-pointers made with 148. The 6-foot-4 guard shot 44 percent from the floor last season and will surely draw NBA scouts to Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium this year.

Keve Aluma’s development

Aluma is a 6-foot-9 forward from Berlin, Maryland who, despite averaging just 2.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per-game last season, made real strides and improvements in his game as a freshman. He was often the first big man off the bench for the Terriers, averaging 13.3 minutes per-game, and may get the opportunity to start in some spots this season.

The versatile forward showed in spurts last season that he can be a real asset to Wofford’s winning efforts, by rebounding, protecting the rim, passing or scoring. He had multiple assists in five games last year and had at least four rebounds in 14 games. Aluma could provide solid depth for Wofford in the front court if he continues to trend upward in his development.

What can Chevez Goodwin bring?

Goodwin sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules, but the former College of Charleston forward could be a big contributor off the bench for the Terriers this season. As a freshman at CoC, Goodwin played in all 35 games, starting in three, and averaged 2.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per-game. Perhaps his best game came against Delaware, when he grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked two shots and scored five points in a road win.

At 6-foot-9, Goodwin showed the ability to rebound, protect the rim and score inside at CoC. If he made improvements in his redshirt year on the bench, he could be an added weapon for the Terriers.

X-Factor

This team will go as far as Magee and Jackson take it.

While Magee is a deadly shooter from behind the arc, Jackson is the Terriers’ presence inside. In their two biggest wins of the season, against North Carolina and Georgia Tech, Jackson tallied 19 rebounds, six blocks, three assists, seven steals and 22 points.

As Jackson provides versatility in the paint, Magee gives Wofford a nearly un-guardable scorer. He scored 30 points or more four times last season, including a win over Chattanooga where he accounted for 45 of Wofford’s 74 points. He is easily the best player in the SoCon and might again be the best three-point shooter in college basketball.