Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you Mountaineers, wherever you may be. I hope all of you are having a blessed week. We’ve reached a bit of a quiet time as far as basketball goes here in the high country as well as around the conference. Nonetheless, there’s still enough for a post to make and let you know what’s going on around the league.

The Mountaineers picked up their 3rd win of the year on Saturday when they defeated the visiting Presbyterian Blue Hose, 78-70. ASU finished the 1st half on a big run to distance themselves from PC, and a late Presbyterian run wasn’t enough, although it did make things interesting. Tevin Baskin turned in his third straight impressive performance and finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds. In the last three games (vs. UMKC, South Carolina, Presbyterian), Baskin has scored 50 points to go along with 16 rebounds. Baskin had a good showing in the scrimmage back in October, and he seems to be hitting his stride in live game action now as well. Nathan Healy also finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds. The Blue Hose were paced by Davidson transfer Jordan Downing with 21 and Khalid Mutakabbir with 11. The Mountaineers controlled the glass (32-21) and won the turnover battle (10-16), as both are big keys as the season progresses.

Tevin Baskin has scored 50 points in his last three games, good enough for 16.7 per game, which is leading the team during that stretch

Last week I spent a little time talking about the return of Mike Neal, and of course, on Saturday he does end the game with 10 points, but also he had 6 turnovers to only 3 assists. Of the three games Neal has played, this assist-to-turnover was obviously the worst, and the only one in the negatives. One bright spot I found though was the play of Chris Burgess. For the first time all year, Burgess looked completely comfortable to me. Chris played 18 minutes and finished with 9 points, 2 assists, and only 1 turnover. His assist total wasn’t as high as Neal, who only played 4 more minutes, but I will take 1 turnover in 18 minutes every game, especially for a 5’8″ Freshman. It is unlikely that Burgess will play 18 minutes in a game again, but if Burgess can play like he did on Saturday for the rest of the year, I like our point guard sitution. The offense seems to have more of a flow with Neal, and it would be nice to see that flow not as disrupted when Burgess comes in for spot minutes, or for an extended period of time.

The Mountaineers host NAIA school Milligan on Sunday at the Holmes Center at 2:00 p.m. Not to look ahead, but after that, ASU has 9 days to prepare for the 2nd SoCon game of the year at Wofford, which figures to be a stiff test.

Let’s take a look around the league from Thursday, December 27 through Wednesday, January 2…

-Appalachian State (3-8, 0-1)

Last week: Beat Presbyterian 78-70

This week: Sun, Dec. 30 vs. Milligan

-College of Charleston (7-4, 1-0)

Last week: Beat Coastal Carolina 60-51

This week: Sat, Dec. 29 @ Vermont; Mon, Dec. 31 @ Marist

-Chattanooga (3-8, 0-1)

Last week: Beat Reinhardt 108-78

This week: Fri, Dec. 28 vs. High Point

-The Citadel (3-7, 0-1)

Last week: Lost @ Georgia Tech 73-41

This week: Tues, Jan. 1 @ Clemson

-Davidson (6-5, 2-0)

Last week: Lost @ Drexel 69-58

This week: Sat, Dec. 29 @ Richmond, Wed, Jan. 2 vs. Duke (in Charlotte)

-Elon (7-5, 1-1)

Last week: Lost @ Duke 76-54, Won @ Columbia 70-69

This week: Mon, Dec. 31 vs. Manchester

-Furman (3-8, 0-1)

Last week: Lost @ Jacksonville 65-53

This week: Sun, Dec. 30 @ Southern Methodist

-Georgia Southern (5-7, 0-2)

Last week: Beat Mississippi Valley State 63-52, Lost to North Florida 74-46

This week: Sat, Dec. 29 vs. Georgia State

-Samford (3-10, 1-0)

Last week: No games

This week: Sat, Dec. 29 @ Wisconsin

-UNC-Greensboro (2-8, 1-0)

Last week: Lost to Wake Forest 84-70

This week: Mon, Dec. 31 @ nc state

-Western Carolina (4-8, 2-0)

Last week: Lost @ Tennessee 66-52

This week: Mon, Dec. 31 vs. Liberty

-Wofford (6-6, 0-1)

Last week: Won @ Xavier 56-55

This week: Sun, Dec. 30 @ Virginia

 

SoCon Individual Statistical Leaders

-POINTS

Trevis Simpson, UNCG, 20.3

Karl Cochran, WOF, 17.1

Jay Canty, ASU, 16.8

Trey Sumler, WCU, 16.3

Derrell Armstrong, UNCG, 15.4

-FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE

Preston Ross, WCU, 58%

Mike Groselle, CIT, 55%

Nathan Healy, ASU, 54%

Tim Williams, SAM, 53%

Colin Reddick, FUR, 53%

-ASSISTS

Marshall Harris III, CIT, 4.8

Stephen Croone, FUR, 4.2

Trey Sumler, WCU, 3.9

Andrew Lawrence, CofC, 3.9

JP Kuhlman, DAV, 3.9

-REBOUNDS

Adjehi Baru, CofC, 9.5

Mike Groselle, CIT, 8.2

Tim Williams, SAM, 7.8

Eric Ferguson, GS, 7.5

Kelvin McNeil, UNCG, 7.1

-BLOCKS

Lucas Troutman, ELON, 2.2

Tim Williams, SAM, 1.5

Jake Cohen, DAV, 1.5

Nathan Healy, ASU, 1.4

Adjehi Baru, CofC, 1.3

-STEALS

Karl Cochran, WOF, 2.3

Andrew Lawrence, CofC, 1.8

Trey Sumler, WCU, 1.8

Erig Ferguson, GS, 1.6

De’Mon Brooks, DAV, 1.5

SOCON STANDINGS

NORTH CONF GB OVR
Western Carolina 2-0 4-8
Samford 1-0 .5 3-10
UNC Greensboro 1-0 .5 2-8
Elon 1-1 1 7-5
Appalachian State 0-1 1.5 3-8
Chattanooga 0-1 1.5 3-8
SOUTH CONF GB OVR
Davidson 2-0 6-5
Charleston 1-0 .5 7-4
Wofford 0-1 1.5 6-6
Citadel 0-1 1.5 3-7
Furman 0-1 1.5 3-8
Georgia Southern 0-2 2 5-7

Stats and Standings are courtesy of ESPN.com

I hope all of you continue to have a blessed holiday season

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s

Go Mountaineers