Mercer Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Mercer Bears
Atlantic Sun (26-8, 14-4)


Following trips to the CIT in 2012 and the NIT in 2013, Mercer and Coach Bob Hoffman finally got over the hump and reached the NCAA Tournament. And it is not like Mercer was just happy to get to the CIT and NIT. They won the CIT and beat Tennessee in the first round of the NIT last year. And, of course, this is a team that beat Florida Gulf Coast to claim the Atlantic Sun Tournament title. All of that may be a sign that Mercer deserves serious consideration to pull off a first round upset.

Big Wins: 12/22 at Ole Miss (79-76), 3/6 USC Upstate (78-75), 3/9 at Florida Gulf Coast (68-60)
Bad Losses: 11/18 at Evansville (76-89), 1/1 at North Florida (83-89), 2/27 North Florida (76-79)
Coach: Bob Hoffman (6 seasons at Mercer)

Why They Can Surprise:
Mercer shoots 47.5 percent from the floor and 38.4 percent from beyond the arc. Rarely are their shots failing to fall. Langston Hall, Anthony White Jr. and Bud Thomas are the top long range shooters on the team. Hall, who averages 14.7 points per game, is more than just a shooter. The 6-5 senior is the team leader who makes everything tick on both ends of the floor. With five players averaging between 9.9 points and 7.8 points per game, Mercer never lacks in complimentary scorers to help out Hall.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The Bears do have size, but talented opposing big men can sometimes get the best of the Mercer frontcourt. Daniel Coursey is a solid defender and a very good shot blocker, but he needs help from Thomas and fellow 6-6 forwards Jakob Gollon and Darious Moten. Gollon is an extremely versatile forward who does a lot for this team, but somebody has to push around those big power forwards Mercer will run into in the NCAA Tournament.

Probable Starters:
Langston Hall, Senior, Guard, 14.7 ppg, 5.6 apg
Anthony White Jr., Senior, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 1.1 apg
Jakob Gollon, Senior, Forward, 7.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.6 apg
Bud Thomas, Senior, Forward, 9.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Daniel Coursey, Senior, Forward, 9.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.1 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Darious Moten, Junior, Forward, 5.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Ike Nwamu, Sophomore, Guard, 8.1 ppg, 1.0 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.3 (24th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.4 (80, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.5 (28, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.0 (28, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (29, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.4 (37, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.2 (52, 2)
Rebound Margin: 5.2 (26, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.4 (10, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (131, 2)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    NIT    First Round win over Tennessee
2013    NIT    Second Round loss to BYU
2012    CIT    First Round win over Tennessee State
2012    CIT    Second Round win over Georgia State
2012    CIT    Quarterfinal win over Old Dominion
2012    CIT    Semifinal win over Fairfield
2012    CIT    Final win over Utah State

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules