Monday, March 23, 2020

Skip Prosser Man of the Year award




BOSTON, MA -- Western Carolina head coach Mark Prosser is the recipient of the 2019-20 Skip Prosser Man of the Year award.  The award is named after Skip Prosser (Mark's father), who died suddenly in 2007 while the head coach at Wake Forest. The Man of Year award is presented annually by CollegeInsider.com to someone who has not only achieved success on the basketball court but also displays moral integrity off the court as well.

2020 SKIP PROSSER AWARD FINALISTS
Casey Alexander, Belmont
Steve Alford, Nevada
Chris Beard, Texas Tech
Tony Bennett, Virginia
Jerrod Calhoun, Youngstown State
Tim Craft, Gardner-Webb
Rick Croy, California Baptist
Steve Forbes, ETSU
John Gallagher, Hartford
Greg Gard, Wisconsin
Joe Golding, Abilene Christian
Anthony Grant, Dayton
Chris Holtmann, Ohio State
James Jones, Yale
Greg Lansing, Indiana State
Frank Martin, South Carolina
Ritchie McKay, Liberty
Matt McMahon, Murray State
Joe Mihalich, Hofstra
Steve Pikiell, Rutgers
Mark Prosser, Western Carolina
Pat Skerry, Towson
Damon Stoudamire, Pacific
Andy Toole, Robert Morris
Russell Turner, UC Irvine

In his only his second season a head coach at Western Carolina, Prosser nearly tripled Western's win total, finishing with a 19-12 record. The Catamounts advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament and the 19 wins were the most since the 2013-14 season.


PAST RECIPIENTS
2019: Robert Jones, Norfolk State
2018: Casey Alexander, Lipscomb
2017: Danny Manning, Wake Forest
2016: Zack Spiker, Army
2015: Keno Davis, Central Michigan
2014: Brian Wardle, Green Bay
2013: Joe Mihalich, Niagara
2012: Jimmy Patsos, Loyola MD
2011: Chris Mack, Xavier
2010: Bob Marlin, Sam Houston State
2009: Ed Conroy, The Citadel
2008: Mike Brey, Notre Dame

The Skip Prosser award committee is a 21 member panel, consisting of 12 current or retired coaches, three members of the national media and five collegeinsider.com staff members.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Cat fans in at #11 nationally on Twitter


Covid-19 and Athletics in the SoCon


SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Southern Conference, at the recommendation of the league’s Council of Presidents and directors of athletics, will suspend all athletic competition through March 30, Commissioner Jim Schaus announced Thursday.
 






NCAA :  As of now, all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships and related events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, have been canceled. While we understand how disappointing this is for everyone, our decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Dotson & Faulkner named to All-Tournament Team

Senior forward Carlos Dotson and redshirt junior guard Mason Faulkner named the 2020 Southern Conference Men's Basketball All-Tournament Team


Monday, March 9, 2020

Saturday, March 7, 2020

ETSU - SoCon MBB Semifinals


Fifth-seeded Western Carolina meets first seeded ETSU on Sunday afternoon at 4 pm in Asheville. The Bucs downed VMI, while the Cats finished off Mercer to reach the conference tournament semifinals. The Catamounts are making their 15th semifinal appearance, the first since 2016.




Game #31 - ETSU Bucs 

When: Sunday, March 8, 2020, at 4 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville, Asheville, NC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
-announcers: Gary Ayers & Daniel Hooker
TV/video: ESPN+/Nexstar
-announcers: Pete Yanity, Dean Keener, and Erin Summers
Fan Message Board: Buccaneer Nation

The Series: The Cats are 24-54 against the Bucs overall, and are currently on a ten-game slide against ETSU, however, the Cats lost the regular season final game against ETSU by one point in the final seconds of the game.

ETSU's 2019-20 record: 28-4 overall, 16-2 SoCon

The top seed ETSU Bucs beat the VMI Keydets 70-57 in the first quarterfinal matchup of the 2020 Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championship. Daivien Williamson led 4 Bucs in double-figure scoring for the heavily favored Bucs with 15 points. Tray Boyd III and Isaiah Tisdale has 12 apiece with another 11 from Joe Hugley.

ETSU moves on to the semifinals for the 18th time. The Bucs are making their fifth consecutive final four appearances
ETSU is ranked #2 nationally in the most recent mid-major top 25, just behind #1 Gonzaga.






Tuesday, March 3, 2020

SoCon MBB Power Rankings (3-3-20)


This is the twelfth and final power ranking of the season, after 17 weeks of SoCon basketball, this is how we see the rankings.



1. (1) ETSU
2. (3) Furman
3. (2) UNCG
4. (4) Western Carolina
5. (5) Mercer
6. (6) Chattanooga
7. (7) Wofford
8. (8) Samford
9. (9) VMI
10. (10) The Citadel



Last week's ranking in parentheses

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Mercer - SoCon MBB Quarterfinals


The  #4 seeded Mercer Bears and the #5 seeded Western Carolina Catamounts will meet on Saturday, March 4th in game #4 of the 2020 SoCon MBB Tournament in Asheville. The two teams split the regular season games, each team winning at home.


Game #30 - Mercer Bears

When: Saturday, March 4, 2020, at 2:30 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville, Asheville, NC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
-announcers: Gary Ayers & Daniel Hooker
TV/video: ESPN+
Fan Message Board: MU Bear Down
The Series: The series between Western and the Mercer started back in 1978 and Western owns a 9-10 overall record against the Bear, and a 6-6 record in conference play since 2015 when the Bears joined the Southern Conference. The two teams have not met in the conference tournament until this season.

Mercer's  2019-20 record: 17-14 overall,  11-7 SoCon

Head Coach Greg Gary, in his first season at the helm of the Bears, had only two starters return from last season's 11-20 team. Not only did the Bears lose two seniors from last season, but they also lost 5 freshmen and one sophomore from that roster, possibly due to the coaching change. While much is made of building a team with transfers for ETSU, the Bears have 3 of 5 transfers as starters, and a total of 5 transfers on the roster.

The Bears come into the game having won 5 of their last 6 games and are riding a 4 game win streak.  However their last 4 games were verses the lower third teams in the conference.


Monday, March 2, 2020

The 2020 SoCon MBB Tournament Bracket

First round // Friday, March 6 // Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville 
Game 1  #8 Samford  vs.  #9 VMI   5 p.m.
Game 2  #7 Wofford  vs.  #10 The Citadel   7:30 p.m.

Quarterfinals // Saturday, March 7 // Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville 
Game 3   #1 ETSU  vs.  Game 1 winner   12 p.m.
Game 4   #4 Mercer  vs.  #5 Western Carolina   2:30 p.m.
Game 5  #2 Furman  vs.  Game 2 winner   6 p.m.
Game 6   #3 UNCG  vs.  #6 Chattanooga   8:30 p.m.

Friday, February 28, 2020

WCU welcomes new Athletic Director


Alex Gary, a former student-athlete on the Western Carolina University baseball team and currently serving as senior associate athletics director for development at Oregon State University, is the next director of the Catamount athletics program.

WCU Chancellor Kelli R. Brown announced the selection of Gary to serve as director of athletics following approval of his contract by the university’s Board of Trustees during a special conference call meeting earlier in the day.

The appointment, which is effective May 1, follows a national search conducted by a 15-member committee working with the assistance of the North Carolina-based executive search consulting firm Collegiate Sports Associates. A formal introduction and campus reception is set for 3 p.m. this afternoon at the Ramsey Regional Activity Center.

Welcome back to Cullowhee Alex Gary. 






Thursday, February 27, 2020

Game #29: ETSU

For the final regular-season game of the season, the Catamounts travel to Johnson City on Saturday to face the current #1 team in the SoCon. The Bucs have sewn up at least a share of this year's SoCon title, and the number one seed in the upcoming tournament.  The only thing standing in the way of an outright title for the Bucs is a win over the Catamounts.




Game #29 - ETSU Bucs 

When: Saturday, February 28, 2020, at 4:00 pm
Where: Freedom Center, Johnson City, TN
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
-announcer: Gary Ayers, play by play - Daniel Hooker, color
TV/video:  ESPN3
-TV announcer: Pete Yanity - play-by-play and Dean Keener - analyst
Live Stats: ETSU Live Stats
Fan Message Board: Buccaneer Nation
The Series: The Cats are 24-53 against the Bucs, and are currently on a nine-game slide against ETSU.

ETSU's 2019-20 record: 26-4 overall, 15-2 SoCon, 15-1 home games this season

The Bucs own the best record in the SoCon at 26-4, and have only lost two conference games this season. Only Furman and Mercer have wins over the Bucs in conference play, and only the Bears were able to pick up the road win in Johnson City to spoil the Bucs home winning streak.

ETSU is ranked #2 nationally in the most recent mid-major top 25, just behind #1 Gonzaga.



Wednesday, February 26, 2020

If it ended today........ (2-26-20)

The SoCon Basketball Tournament


If it ended today........ After Wednesday's games...... February 26, 2020


First-round // Friday, March 6 // Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville 
Game 1  #8 seed: Samford vs. #9 seed: VMI  5 p.m.
Game 2  #7 seed: Wofford vs. #10 seed: The Citadel  7:30 p.m.


Quarterfinals // Saturday, March 7 // Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville 
Game 3  #1 seed: ETSU vs. Game 1 winner   12 p.m.
Game 4  #4 seed: Mercer vs. #5 seed: Western Carolina  2:30 p.m.
Game 5  #2 seed: Furman vs. Game 2 winner  6 p.m.
Game 6  #3 seed: UNCG  vs. #6 seed: Chattanooga  8:30 p.m.

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SoCon MBB Standings (after 2-26-20 games)

1. ETSU 15-2
2. Furman 14-3
3. UNCG 13-4
4. Mercer 10-7 (tie)*
4. Western Carolina 10-7 (tie)
6. Chattanooga 9-8
7. Wofford 8-9
8. Samford 3-14 (tie)**
8. VMI 3-14 (tie)
10. Citadel 0-17

* holds tiebreaker over WCU
** holds tiebreaker over VMI


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WCU Players of the Game (Samford)




Purple & Gold's Players of the Game for the Samford game are..........








 
Onno Steger
Mason Faulkner
               




The Catamounts finished off the last home game of the season with a 109-78 victory over the Samford Bulldogs, with five players scoring in double figures. There was so much superior play by the Catamounts, we had to select two "players of the game" in this victory. 

Senior forward Onno Steger scored a game-high of 31 points, hitting 10 of 17 field-goal attempts, including hitting 7 of 11 attempts from beyond the three-point arc and hit 4 of 4 from the three throw line. Onno also had 3 rebounds and 1 assist in the game.  


Junior guard Mason Faulkner completed his second triple-double of the season.  Mason scored 16 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and completed 12 assists.  


Honorable mention goes to Carlos Dotson who completed his seventeenth double-double of the season. Dotson scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.


Purple & Gold congratulates Onno Steger and Mason Faulkner on their selection and outstanding performance in the Samford game.



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Coach Speir beefs up Defensive staff

This week, head football coach Mark Speir added two defensive coaches to his staff. Andy McCollum has been hired as the defensive coordinator and Catamount Hall of Famer Clyde Simmons hired as defensive ends coach.  Gentlemen, welcome to Cullowhee.  



Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Game #28: Samford



In the final home game of the regular season, the Samford Bulldogs travel to Cullowhee to face the Catamounts. The Cats are coming off a sweep of the Citadel Bulldogs, and hope to complete a sweep of the dogs from Birmingham.




Game #28 - Samford

When: Wednesday, February, 26 - Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Ramsey Center, Cullowhee, NC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
-announcer: Gary Ayers
TV/video: ESPN+
-announcer: Daniel Hooker (PxP)
Live StatsWCU Live Stats
Fan Message BoardThe Dog Pound
The Series: The Cats own a 12-11 overall record against the Bulldogs, and are 9-2 in games played in Cullowhee

The Bulldogs 2018-19 record:  17-16 overall, 6-12 SoCon, 5-9 away games

The Bulldogs 2019-20 record:  9-21 overall, 3-13 SoCon, 3-13 away games

The Bulldogs come into the game having lost 13 of their last 14 games, with head coach Scott Padgett very much on the hot seat this season. The Bulldogs are tied with VMI for 8th place in the conference with a 3-13 conference record and two games remaining. The Bulldogs will play the Keydets next Saturday in Birmingham.

Individually, Samford players rank in the top five in the Southern Conference in several statistical categories. Josh Sharkey leads the league in assists (7.2 apg.) and steals (2.8 spg.), and he is tied for third in scoring (17.3 ppg.). Jalen Dupree ranks third in the league in offensive rebounds (2.6 pg.) and fourth in rebounds (7.3 pg.). Robert Allen ranks third in the league in blocked shots per game (1.2).

Samford senior point guard Josh Sharkey currently ranks third in the nation in steals per game (2.8), tied for fourth in total steals (72), fourth in total assists (186) and fifth in assists per game (7.2).

Probable Samford Starting Lineup
0 Brandon Austin 13.5 ppg
3 Josh Sharkey 17.3 ppg
21 Robert Allen 13.6 ppg
23 Donte Tatum 5.1 ppg
24 Jalen Dupree 11.8 ppg



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Monday, February 24, 2020

SoCon MBB Power Rankings (2-24-20)


This is the eleventh power ranking of the season, after 16 weeks of SoCon basketball, this is how we see the rankings.

Look for the rankings published each Monday during the season.


1. (2) ETSU
2. (3) UNCG
3. (1) Furman
4. (4) Western Carolina
5. (7) Mercer
6. (5) Chattanooga
7. (6) Wofford
8. (8) Samford
9. (9) VMI
10. (10) The Citadel



Last week's ranking in parentheses

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Sunday, February 23, 2020

D1 - NC college MBB rankings (2-23-20)

Purple & Gold Ranks the Division I teams in North Carolina this week.   


1. NC State
2. Duke
3. UNCG
4. Davidson
5. UNC-CH
6. Wake Forest
7. Western Carolina
8. Charlotte
9. App State
10. ECU
11. Gardner-Webb
12. Elon
13. NC Central
14. Campbell
15. UNCA
16. NC A&T
17. UNCW
18. High Point


Thoughts?



Saturday, February 22, 2020

If it ended today........ (2-22-20)

The SoCon Basketball Tournament


If it ended today........ After Saturday's games...... February 22, 2020


First-round // Friday, March 6 // Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville 
Game 1  #8 seed: Samford vs. #9 seed: VMI  5 p.m.
Game 2  #7 seed: Wofford vs. #10 seed: The Citadel  7:30 p.m.


Quarterfinals // Saturday, March 7 // Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville 
Game 3  #1 seed: ETSU vs. Game 1 winner   12 p.m.
Game 4  #4 seed: Mercer vs. #5 seed: Western Carolina  2:30 p.m.
Game 5  #2 seed: UNCG vs. Game 2 winner  6 p.m.
Game 6  #3 seed: Furman vs. #6 seed: Chattanooga  8:30 p.m.

-----------------------------

SoCon MBB Standings (after 2-22-20 games)

1. ETSU 14-2
2. UNCG 13-3 (tie)*
2. Furman 13-3 (tie)
4. Mercer 9-7 (tie)**
4. Western Carolina 9-7 (tie)
6. Chattanooga 8-8 (tie)***
6. Wofford 8-87 (tie)
8. Samford 3-13 (tie)****
8. VMI 3-13 (tie)
10. Citadel 0-16

*holds tiebreaker over Furman
** holds tiebreaker over WCU
*** holds tiebreaker over Wofford
**** holds tiebreaker over VMI


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WCU Player of the Game (The Citadel)




Purple & Gold's Player of the Game for the Citadel game is..........
Carlos Dotson



                                                                       
Senior forward Carlos Dotson completed his sixteenth double-double of the season against the Citadel Bulldogs in the Ramsey Center, leading the Catamounts to a win and seasonal sweep of the Bulldogs.  Dotson scored 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, 4 defensive and 6 offensive rebounds. He was 7 of 14 in field goal shooting and hit 9 of 11 from the free-throw line. Carlos also had 3 assists, 2 steals in the game.

Honorable mention goes to Matt Halvorsen scoring 21,  Mason Faulkner scoring 16 points, Onno Steger hitting 12 points, and Travion McCray scoring 11 points.  

Purple & Gold congratulates Carlos Dotson, the seniors and the entire team on the Citadel victory.


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Friday, February 21, 2020

The Road to Asheville

Game Day - #1 Corey Bright

It's Game Day, the Cats traveled to Conway, SC to participate in the Brittain Resorts & Hotels Invitational hosted by Coastal Carolina.


 #1  Corey Bright




POSITION Right-Handed Pitcher
HEIGHT 6-1
WEIGHT 165
CLASS Freshman
HOMETOWN Barbourville, Ky.
HIGH SCHOOL Knox Central HS




Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations


                                                

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Game #27 - Citadel

For the twenty-seventh basketball game of the season, the Cats remain at home to face the Citadel Bulldogs. 

The Cats are currently in a 4-way tie for fourth place in the SoCon standings, while the Bulldogs come to Cullowhee seeking their first conference win of the season.



Game #27 - The Citadel


When
: Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 7:30 pm
Where: Ramsey Center, Cullowhee, NC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
-announcer: Gary Ayers
TV/video: ESPN3
-announcer: Daniel Hooker (PxP)
Live Stats: WCU Live Stats
Fan Message BoardThe Citadel Independent Sports Network
The Series: The Cats own a 42-36 overall record against the Bulldogs.

Last season's Record (The Citadel): 12-18 overall, 8-7 home, 4-10 away, 4-14 SoCon

This season's Record (The Citadel):  6-20 overall, 3-10 home, 3-10 away, 0-15 SoCon

Head Coach Duggar Baucom, who is in his fifth season with the Bulldogs, returned only two starters from last season's 4-14 team in conference play. Returning for the Bulldogs is guard, Connor Kern & forward 3 Hayden Brown. The Bulldogs were picked to finish 9th in both the coaches and media poll.

Fletcher Abee enters the week ranked 48th in NCAA Division I for 3-point shooting percentage (.380). Abee is tied for 63rd in the nation for 3-pointers made per game (2.60) and tied for 77th with 65 made treys.


Citadel probable starters:
PG - TYSON BATISTE  • Gr. • Springfield, Mo  •  6.5
G - FLETCHER ABEE  • Fr. • Morganton, N.C • 12 ppg
G - KAIDEN RICE  •Jr. • Columbia, S.C. • 13.1 ppg
F - DEREK WEBSTER, JR. Jr. • Tampa, Fla.• 3.3 ppg
F - STEPHEN CLARK Fr. • Matthews, N.C. • 3.4 ppg

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If it ended today (2-19-20)

The SoCon Basketball Tournament


If it ended today........ After Wednesday's games...... February 19, 2020

First-round // Friday, March 6 // Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville 
Game 1  #8 seed: Samford vs. #9 seed: VMI  5 p.m.
Game 2  #7 seed: Wofford vs. #10 seed: The Citadel  7:30 p.m.


Quarterfinals // Saturday, March 7 // Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville 
Game 3  #1 seed: ETSU vs. Game 1 winner   12 p.m.
Game 4  #4 seed: Mercer vs. #5 seed: Western Carolina  2:30 p.m.
Game 5  #2 seed: UNCG vs. Game 2 winner  6 p.m.
Game 6  #3 seed: Furman vs. #6 seed: Chattanooga  8:30 p.m.

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SoCon MBB Standings (after 2-19-20 games)

1. ETSU 13-2
2. UNCG 12-3 (tie)*
2. Furman 12-3 (tie)
4. Mercer 8-6 (tie)**
4. Western Carolina 8-6 (tie)***
4. Chattanooga 7-7 (tie)****
4. Wofford 7-7 (tie)
8. Samford 3-12 (tie)*****
8. VMI 3-12(tie)
10. Citadel 0-15

*holds tiebreaker
** holds tiebreaker over WCU
*** hold tiebreaker over Chattanooga and Wofford
**** holds tiebreaker over Wofford
***** holds tiebreaker over VMI

#11 Carson Ford

Next Friday, the Cats travel to Conway, SC to participate in the Brittain Resorts & Hotels Invitational hosted by Coastal Carolina. Until then, let's take this time to continue to meet this season's Cats with Bats.

#11 Carson Ford



POSITION Outfielder
HEIGHT 6-0
WEIGHT 185
CLASS Freshman
HOMETOWN Spring Hill, Tenn.
HIGH SCHOOL Grace Christian Academy





Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations