#125 Wofford Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Wofford Terriers

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #125
Conference Rank: #1 SoCon

Wofford Team Page#125 Wofford Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Wofford Basketball Tickets

Wofford made their third NCAA Tournament appearance in the last five years in 2014 when they slipped past Western Carolina to win the Southern Conference’s automatic bid. The Terriers played the type of game they wanted, holding two seed Michigan to 57 points, but the offense could not do enough to pull off the massive upset. With the top eight minute earners returning, Wofford is hoping for more than just another trip to the tournament; they want to do some damage once they get there. Karl Cochran can certainly lead the Terriers to a higher seed after averaging a team high 15.7 points per game as a junior. It was Cochran who, for the most part, kept Wofford in the tournament game against Michigan. He is a great outside shooter, a very strong rebounder for a guard and also led the team in assists, steals and blocks. If this team is going to repeat their success from a season ago, it will be on Cochran’s shoulders.

2013-14 Record: 20-13, 11-5
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike Young
Coach Record: 176-165 at Wofford, 176-165 overall

Who’s Out:
Aerris Smith was the lone senior on the 2013-2014 roster. He started 11 games, but only averaged 8.8 minutes per game and averaged just 1.5 points. By March when the Terriers were playing their best ball, Indiana Faithfull was not around. His minutes were drastically decreasing prior to that and he left the program to return home to Australia. On the year the point guard averaged 1.8 points and 1.9 assists in 20 contests, including seven starts.

Who’s In:
Minutes will be tough to come by right now, but Wofford does bring in three very promising freshmen. Derrick Brooks, Jr. is the prized recruit. The 6-2 point guard from Bartow, Florida is running into the same logjam of talent that diminished Faithfull’s playing time, but he may be too good for Coach Mike Young to leave sitting on the bench all season. Larry McKnight will add depth on the wing, while 6-8 power forward Cameron Jackson will battle for minutes in the paint. If he proves to be tough on the glass, there will be minutes for Jackson.

Who to Watch:
Cochran is the unquestioned leader of this team, but there is plenty of talent around him. Most notable is forward Lee Skinner, who averaged 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds during his junior campaign. Skinner is by far the best rebounder and interior scorer on the team and finding another productive big body will be very important for Wofford. C.J. Neumann earned the most starts beside Skinner with 13 and averaged 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds. At 6-7 and 230 pounds, Neumann has the size to compliment the 6-6, 220 pound Skinner. Justin Gordon, however, was more productive than Neumann, averaging 5.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in fewer minutes per game than Neumann. When Wofford is not playing small, those two will eat up most of the minutes at the five spot. On the perimeter, Spencer Collins and Eric Garcia will step back into starting roles. Collins was not particularly consistent with his jump shot last season, but he proved to be extremely effective attacking the basket. Garcia was one of the big surprises in the SoCon. As a freshman he took over the starting point guard job and dished out 2.5 assists per game, while committing fewer than one turnover per contest. That is very impressive for a freshman. Garcia also knocked down 45.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and the rest of the conference should be very scared about what he is going to do with a year of experience under his belt.

Final Projection:
Shooting guard Jaylen Allen can provide an offensive pop off of the bench and John Swinton is a great defender and a capable replacement for Garcia when necessary. This team already goes eight deep without a problem and the newcomers may just add even more depth for Coach Young to work with. And if they don’t, the Terriers will be fine. In the SoCon, a fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in six years will come down to the conference tournament, but this is a team that should be looking for a better seed than they got in 2014. A 13 or 14 seed may not lead to a win, but it will give Wofford a better chance at being Cinderella.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:

Eric Garcia, Sophomore, Guard, 7.3 points per game
Karl Cochran, Senior, Guard, 15.7 points per game
Spencer Collins, Junior, Guard, 12.5 points per game
Lee Skinner, Senior, Forward, 11.1 points per game
C.J. Neumann, Junior, Forward, 4.4 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 66.8 (272nd in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.2 (23, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.8 (140, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.3 (204, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (194, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.0 (94, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.4 (279, 9)
Rebound Margin: 1.3 (146, 4)
Assists Per Game: 12.8 (157, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.6 (44, 1)


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