Troy Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Troy Trojans

Sun Belt (22-14, 10-8)

After years of losing, even going 10-8 in Sun Belt action was a very good season for Troy and Coach Phil Cunningham. Last year this was a Trojans team that went 4-16 in conference play in Coach Cunningham’s second year leading the program. But it got even better for Troy. They managed to win four games in five days to earn their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2003.
Big Wins: 1/9 at Georgia State (80-77), 1/14 Texas-Arlington (93-71), 3/10 vs Georgia Southern (90-70)
Bad Losses: 11/21 at Eastern Illinois (67-71), 12/1 South Florida (74-80), 2/4 South Alabama (71-76)
Coach: Phil Cunningham
Why They Can Surprise:
Troy is a dangerous team because of Jordon Varnado in the paint and a trio of shooters. Varnado, a 6-6 sophomore, leads the team with 16.5 points and 7.0 rebounds. When the offense remembers to work through Varnado, Troy can score a lot of points. Often times the opposition is forced to concentrate on Varnado and that opens up space for Wesley Person, Jeremy Hollimon and Kevin Baker to shoot the long ball. Person and Hollimon both shoot about 40 percent from beyond the arc and when their shots are falling, this is a tough Trojans offense to contain.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Unfortunately for Troy, their shots have not been falling lately. They shot just 1-for-17 from three-point territory in the Sun Belt championship final win over Texas State. They still managed to win thanks to Varnado and Person’s ability to attack the basket, but that is not going to be enough in the NCAA Tournament. The defense will likely struggle against tougher competition as well. The Trojans allow 72.8 points per game and the 6-6 Varnado is not going to intimidate too many players in the NCAA Tournament. Juan Davis, at 6-8 and 225 pounds, is the larger force in the paint, but he is not a shot blocking threat. Still, Davis and reserve forward Alex Hicks will have to play tough defense and at least make life difficult for the opposing big men if Troy wants to continue the Sun Belt’s recent tradition of pulling off NCAA Tournament upsets.
Probable Starters:
Kevin Baker, Senior, Guard, 8.2 ppg, 3.0 apg
Wesley Person, Junior, Guard, 14.9 ppg, 1.6 apg
Devon Walker, Senior, Forward, 7.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Jordon Varnado, Sophomore, Forward, 16.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Juan Davis, Junior, Forward, 7.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Key Role Players:
Alex Hicks, Sophomore, Forward, 4.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Jeremy Hollimon, Senior, Guard, 12.1 ppg, 1.6 apg
B.J. Miller, Sophomore, Guard, 1.4 ppg
Daniel Peace, Senior, Guard, 2.5 ppg, 2.1 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.7 (59th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.8 (195, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.4 (116, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.8 (123, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.7 (72, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.3 (123, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.2 (112, 2)
Rebound Margin: 3.3 (81, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.2 (205, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (153, 5)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2010    NIT      First Round loss to Mississippi
2009    CBI      First Round loss to Charleston
2004    NIT      Opening Round loss to Niagara
2003    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Xavier
*all team stats through 3/5