Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stanley, Johnson and Tieszen to be inducted Saturday

Bill Stanley (Football, 1964-69), Laura Tieszen-Kamarainen (Women's Track & Field, 2002-05) and Eric Johnson (Football & Baseball, 1995-99) will be inducted as the 23rd class into the Western Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame on November 3d, prior to the final home football game against the UT Chattanooga Mocs. 

On Saturday morning, the official induction ceremony is scheduled for the Hospitality Room in the Ramsey Center beginning at 8:30 am.  The ceremony will include remarks by WCU Director of Athletics, Mr. Randy Eaton and WCU Chancellor Dr. David Belcher.

Each inductee will be introduced by a special guest and presented with their Hall of Fame plaque before delivering their own response.

Congratulations to all three from the Purple & Gold.

Cat Chat with Coach Mark Speir

The October 30th edition of Cat Chat on Big Wise radio (ESPN 1310), with Catamount Head Football Coach Mark Speir.

Listen here 

Basketball: Catamounts open the season in Asheville

The Catamounts will open the 2012-13 season at Kimmel Arena against a UNC Asheville team which dominated the Big South Conference the past two seasons.

This is the regular season opener for both teams and gets underway on Friday, Nov. 9, at 7pm and will be televised regionally by WMYA (Channel 40).

However, the 2012-13 edition of the Bulldogs are minus four starters from last season's Big South regular season & tournament championship team. This year, Asheville was selected to finish the season in third place in the new "south division" of the divisional play the Big South Conference is starting this season.  Charleston Southern was picked by the coaches to win the new south division, with Coastal Carolina selected to come in second place.

The Bulldogs of head coach Eddie Biedenbach must replace four starters from last year's team, Matt Dickey, J.P. Primm, Chris Stephenson and Quinard Jacksonare.  Only Jeremy Atkinson returns from the starting five. Atkinson, a 6-5 forward, averaged 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, and was a Big South All-Tournament selection.

Asheville does return 8 lettermen, including 6-10 center D.J. Cunningham, who redshirted last season with to a knee injury.  Cunningham averaged 8.6 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game two seasons ago.  Other than Cunningham, only sophomore Keith Hornsby, a 6-4 guard that averaged 4.0 points,  and forward Jaron Lane, a senior that averaged 11.5 points,  had significant playing time last season for the Bulldogs.

"This is a new year, and we've got a lot of work to do," said head coach Eddie Biedenbach. "You just don't replace players like J.P. Primm, Matt Dickey, Chris Stephenson and Quinard Jackson. Those guys played from their freshman year to the end of their senior seasons. That's a lot of experience." 

"However, we have a good group returning that knows what you have to do to have a successful season," added Biedenbach. "We'll have a little different team this year but we've got a chance to be a pretty good club before the year is over. We've got size up front, guards that learned under Primm and Dickey plus a talented freshman class that is ready to make an impact right away."

The Bulldogs opened exhibition play last Monday night against Brevard College with a 91-60 win over the Tornados. Keith Hornsby scored 18 points to lead the Bulldogs, with D.J. Cunningham scoring 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds in his first action in two seasons

"We had good balance in our scoring tonight and played hard for the most part," said Bulldog coach Eddie Biedenbach after the game. "However, we had way too many turnovers (18) and gave up some uncontested shots that we should have given up. We also took too many quick shots but overall for an exhibition game we did a good job."

The Citadel Preview: Hope on the Hardwood?

Each day from October 23-November 3, there will be a basketball blogger/fan previewing their team in this space.

The Citadel was 6-24 last season, 3-15 in the Southern Conference. Thus, it surprised no one that in the SoCon preseason polls (media and coaches) the Bulldogs were picked to finish last in the South division of the league. Indeed, The Citadel received fewer votes than any team in the league, in either division.

The last time The Citadel finished dead last in both preseason polls was prior to the 2008-09 season. The Bulldogs had gone 6-24 the previous year, in head coach Ed Conroy’s second season at The Citadel. More of the same was expected, but instead the Bulldogs won 20 games for only the second time in school history, 15 of them coming in league play. It was the finest season on the hardwood for The Citadel in 30 years, and one of the best in school history.

Just like Ed Conroy in 2008-09, Chuck Driesell is entering his third season in charge of the Bulldogs after enduring a 6-24 campaign. Conroy brought in eight scholarship freshmen for his second season; so did Driesell.

Read the entire preview here

Basketball: Mike Brown

Meet the 2012-13 men's basketball team

Mike Brown 

Class: Freshman
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
High School: West Charlotte HS
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 175
Position: G

Prior to Western Carolina: Scored 775 points in his first three high school seasons including a career-best 512 as a junior ... As the squad's co-captain, he helped guide West Charlotte High and head coach Baronton Terry to the North Carolina 4-A State Championship with a 28-2 overall record in 2011, earning Most Valuable Player honors of the title game ... WCHS defeated Raleigh Millbrook, 78-69, in the championship game in Chapel Hill.

Personal: Is the son of Wayne and Angelia Brown.

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Studnicky Named to SoCon All Conference Team

Freshman Markie-Lynn Studnicky has been named to the Southern Conference All-Conference Team, and the All-Freshmen Team.

Studnicky becomes the first Catamount women's soccer player be named to the Southern Conference First Team and the All-Freshmen Team for the same season. With nine goals this season, Studnicky paced Western Carolina women's soccer and was just one goal shy of tying for fifth for most goals in a season.

The Apex, N.C. native scored nine goals during the season which ranks her third in the conference. Studnicky led the team with a total of 20 points and two assists.

Congratulations from Pruple & Gold.

Appalachian State Preview: Growing Pains Yet Again

In coordination with MocsMania, each day from October 23-November 3, there will be a basketball blogger/fan previewing their team in this space.

Going into the 2012-13 basketball season, the Appalachian State Mountaineers find themselves once again as one of the most mysterious teams in the league. A team rife with turnover struggled last season with a senior-laden crew that had gone through two coaching transitions in their time. It's safe to say that last season was a colossal disappointment.

Omar Carter, the preseason SoCon Player of the Year didn't even make the first, second or third team all-conference. Ike Butts never fully realized his potential and JUCO's Mitch Woods and Petey Hausley didn't contribute much. This year's motley crew come in with little expectations and an embattled leader. The gamble that was the hiring of Jason Capel in April 2010 has came up snake eyes so far. After a 16-15 opening season with Donald Sims, a team with seemingly more talent and more expectations faltered to a 13-18 finish. Now after two seasons of constant upheaval, Capel has a team of players he brought it minus Nathan Healy.

Read the entire preview here

Basketball: James Sinclair

Meet the 2012-13 men's basketball team

James Sinclair 

Class: Sophomore
Hometown: Savannah, Ga.
High School: Savannah HS
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 180
Position: G

2011-12 (Freshman): Saw action in 32 of WCU's 35 games on the season, twice making appearances in the starting lineup ... Scored 68 points on the year, averaging 2.1 points per game ... Scored his first collegiate points with 33 seconds remaining in the season-opener at South Carolina (11/11) by converting an Ishmael Hollis steal into a fast-break jumper on his first collegiate attempt ... Turned in a career-best performance in the record-setting win over Toccoa Falls (1/17), posting his first collegiate double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds ... Made his first collegiate start at UNC Greensboro (1/28), starting back-to-back games ... Pulled down a SoCon-best five rebounds in the tournament victory over Wofford (3/3) ... Stepped up to make a big 3-pointer in WCU's championship run against the Davidson Wildcats (3/5), scoring eight points off the bench.

Prior to Western Carolina: Was a four-year letter winner for head coach Tim Jordan at Savannah HS ... Since his sophomore season, the versatile guard has been among the starting five, averaging 10 points, four boards, three steals and nearly three assists per game for a squad which won the region championship as a junior ... Averaged 16 points per game with eight rebounds, six steals and six assists as a junior, earning All North/South Georgia accolades ... Played AAU basketball with the Seaport Shockers out of Savannah during the summer of 2010.

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Monday, October 29, 2012

Williams Honored by

Senior Rock Williams was named the top defensive player from the Southern Conference a by the staff of  The honors are the second of the season for Williams who was also selected for his performance at The Citadel.

Williams was credited with  23 tackles on Saturday against Appalachian State, just one short of his career high set two weeks ago against The Citadel.  Williams recorded eight solo stops including two for losses, and forced his fourth fumble of the season.  Rock leads the defense with 99 tackles, and 14.14 tackles per game average leads the SoCon, and ranks him second in the nation at the FCS level.

Wofford Preview: Will Youth Be Served?

In co-operation with "MocsMania!", each day from October 23-November 3, there will be a basketball blogger/fan previewing their team in this space.

After back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, the experts expected Wofford to take a sizable tumble in the 2011-12 season due to heavy graduation loses.

But Mike Young guided the team to a respectable 19-14 overall record, including 12-6 in the SoCon. That was good for second place in the SoCon's South division. Wofford played in the CBI postseason tournament. The team was lead by senior guards Brad Loesing and Kevin Giltner, who both played about every minute of every game, and senior center Drew Crowell.

But now Young and his Terriers will face another tough challenge as those three players, who provided the lion's share of Wofford's scoring last season, are all now playing professionally in Europe. The only returning full-time starter is reigning SoCon freshman of the year Karl Cochran. This incredibly athletic 6-1 So. guard averaged 11.1 points and 4.7 rebounds and was tops on the team in both blocked shots and steals. Other key returnees include So. F Lee Skinner, a physical 6-6 inside player who lead the team in rebounding. Junior 6-7 F Aerris Smith, who started 19 games last season, continues to improve steadily and may be poised for a breakout year. Very athletic 6-6 So. F Jarrell Byrd showed flashes of brilliance in limited minutes last season and the Terriers think his ceiling is very high. Rounding out the returnees are 6-1 G John Swinton, who may see significant minutes at PG this season, and 6-3 G Taylor Wagener, a shooter and the team's only senior.

Read the entire preview here

Basketball: Kenneth Hall

Meet the 2012-13 men's basketball team

Kenneth Hall 

Class: Sophomore
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
High School: South Oak Cliff HS
Height / Weight: 6-7 / 210
Position: F

2011-12 (Freshman): Played in all 35 games on the season, making one appearance among the starting five ... Finished with 56 points and 75 rebounds, averaging 1.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game ... Finished with 33 blocked shots, just three shy of moving onto the WCU single-season chart ... Named the team's Most Improved Player by the coaching staff at the post-season gathering ... Made his collegiate debut in the season-opener at South Carolina, playing four minutes ... Recorded his first collegiate points on a lay-up at the 10:23 mark of the second half against Montreat College (11/15) ... Played a career-long 23 minutes against Northern Colorado (11/25) in the South Padre Island Invitational ... Made his first collegiate start at home against Kent State - ended up being his only start of the season - responding with a then career-high four blocked shots against the Golden Flashes ... In just 13 minutes off the bench, blocked a career-high fve shots against UNC Asheville (12/28) ... Halted an 0-for-4 - and a 2-for-9 - shooting stretch from the floor with a 4-for-5 showing against Toccoa Falls (1/17), posting the first double-digit scoring outing of his career with 10 points.

Prior to Western Carolina: Played for head coach James May at South Oak Cliff HS, a renowned basketball school in Dallas, Texas ... As a junior, averaged 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots per game, garnering All-District plaudits as well as being named the District Defensive Player of the Year ... Played AAU basketball with the DFW Urban Elite out of Dallas during the summer of 2010.

Personal: Is the son of Angela and Kenneth Hall ... Goes by the nickname of "Buddy."

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Asheville Collegiate Basketball Invitational

The SoCon vs. the Big South

UNC Asheville will host the second annual Asheville Collegiate Basketball Invitational at Kimmel Arena on Nov. 10. The double-header features women’s basketball teams from the Big South and Southern Conference squaring off.

Schedule of Games, Nov. 10, Kimmel Arena 2 p.m. – UNC Greensboro vs. Charleston Southern 4:30 p.m. – UNC Asheville vs. Western Carolina

Ticket Information: Tickets are on sale right now at the Kimmel Arena Box Office. Adult tickets are $10, while youth tickets are $5. Call 828-251-6904 or go to to purchase tickets.

Western Carolina Basketball Preview

Each day from October 23-November 3, there will be a basketball blogger/fan previewing their team in this space. 

Under eighth year head coach Larry Hunter, the Catamounts return a total of seven players from last season’s squad that won seven-straight games in making a run at the Southern Conference Basketball Championship title before falling in the thrilling double-overtime loss by 2 points to Davidson at the US Cellular Center in Asheville.

All-tournament selections Trey Sumler, 6-2 / 175 (red shirt junior - guard) and Tawaski King, 6-8 / 245 (junior - post) return, as well as four of the top six leading scorers from last season, led by Sumler (13.5 points per game) and Brandon Boggs, 6-5 / 190 (junior – guard -10.0 ppg).

Absent of any seniors on this year’s team, the large returning junior class of Trey Sumler, Tawaski King, Brandon Boggs (guard), Preston Ross, 6-5 / 190 (forward), and Tom Tankelewicz, 6-4 / 180 (forward) are both talented and athletic. Sophomores James Sinclair, 6-3 / 180 (Sophomore – guard) and Kenneth Hall, 6-7 / 210 (sophomore – forward) round out the returning seven.

New Faces
Mike Brown, 6-3 / 175 (freshman - guard) from West Charlotte HS. Brown scored 775 points in his first three high school seasons including a career-best 512 as a junior, helped guide West Charlotte to the North Carolina 4-A State Championship with a 28-2 overall record in 2011, earning Most Valuable Player honors.

Rhett Harrelson, 5-10 / 170 (freshman – guard) from Enterprise Alabama. Finished high school career with 2,322 career points, a 16.0 point per game average. All-time leading scorer in Alabama 6-A history and 16th best in state history at all levels, ranking fourth best in career free throw percentage (87%), seventh-best in single-season free throw percentage (88%) and eighth-highest career 3-point percentage (38%), also averaging five assists and 3.5 steals per game.

Torrion Brummitt, 6-7 / 240 (freshman – forward) from Columbus, Georgia. Averaged 12.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game as a junior for the Raiders and head coach Anthony Jenkins ... As a sophomore, was named Defensive Player of the Year and team MVP. Brandon Littlejohn, 5-11 / 175 (freshman – guard) Two-sport athlete that plays for the WCU football team and is expected to join the men's basketball squad after the season.

Justin Browning. 6-4 / 175 (freshman – forward) A two-star recruit by, Browning has averaged 12 points and eight rebounds per game through his first three years as a prep, adding a 1.5 assist per game and three steals per contest average and claimed the state 5-A high jump championship as a junior with a leap of 6-foot,4-inches

Josh Mendenhall (junior forward) Sat out the 2011-12 season after transferring to Western Carolina in the fall prior to the season. Took a redshirt and enters 2012-13 as a redshirt junior with two years of eligibility. 

2012-13 WCU Basketball Schedule
In the upcoming season, the Catamounts will play 13 games in the friendly confines of the Ramsey Center, where the Catamounts have an 82% winning percentage over the last 5 years. The 2012-13 schedule includes hosting an ESPN BracketBuster game, as well as, road trips to the likes of Tennessee, Georgetown & Illinois.

Seven of the 2012-13 opponents saw action in post-season play last year, five in the NCAA tournament, and one each in the NIT and College Basketball Invitational. The Catamount non-conference schedule also includes four games against teams that make their home in Western North Carolina, including mountain-rival UNC Asheville.

Playing in the "Mayan Division," the Catamounts open in the 2012 Cancun Challenge by visiting Wichita State (Nov. 15) and Western Kentucky (Nov. 17) on the road before traveling to Mexico for two additional  tournament games. Once in Cancun, the Catamounts will play Austin Peay on Nov. 20, and will face either Howard or Gardner-Webb the following day.

"We have assembled another top-notch and challenging schedule for our players and fans," said head coach Larry Hunter, talking about the 2012-13 schedule. "The start of the year should be as exciting as any we have had in recent years. We need our students, faculty, season ticket holders, alumni and supporters to quickly get fired up about basketball because our rivalry game with UNC Asheville (Nov. 9) and home-opener two days later tip-off our season." He added, "This is a schedule that will afford our team room for growth and development as we prepare for the rigors of the Southern Conference season."

1. What effect, if any, does not having any senior leadership have on the team? Can the large and talented junior class step-up and provide the leadership that Harouna Mutombo and Keaton Cole provided for last years team? This role will probably fall to Trey Sumler and Tawaski King.
2. Can Hunter replace Mutombo and Cole? Most likely Mutombo & Cole’s role on the team will be filled again by Sumler and King. According to reports, King has made great strides in this game during the off season. The play of Sumler and King will be the key to the Catamount success this season
3. Which freshman steps up for another “freshman of the year” type season? In the last five seasons, the Cats have produced two freshmen of the year (Mutombo & Sumler), is there another on waiting in the wings? Freshman Rhett Harrelson has the potential for an outstanding season, however the new face on the team that may make the most noise this season in the Catamount line up just may be junior transfer Josh Mendenhall.

Head Coach Larry Hunter is entering his eighth season guiding the Catamounts and is excited about the prospects of the upcoming season. Over the last five seasons, the Cats are 42-9 at home - an 82.4% winning percentage - including 32 of its last 39 SoCon games.   Coach Hunter has succeeded in making Cullowhee one of the most difficult places in the SoCon to pick up a win by visiting teams.  "We have good basketball players in our program. Skill wise, athletically, they are very strong.” Hunter said. "We're excited to have some potential depth on our team, and hopefully it can all come together and we can play some solid basketball." "Even though we are not exceptionally big, we have a lot of talent, experience and character on our team. It will be fun to see how it all comes together during the season," added Hunter.

Basketball: Preston Ross

Meet the 2012-13 men's basketball team

Preston Ross 

Class: Junior
Hometown: Fayetteville, N.C.
High School: Seventy-First HS
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 220
Position: F 

2011-12 (Sophomore): Saw action in all 35 games on the season making 16 starts including 11-straight from mid-January through early February ... Averaged 4.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game ... Scored in double figures six times ... Pulled down five-or-more rebounds 11 times during the season ... Led WCU by scoring a career-high 19 points in the home win over Montreat College (11/15), doing so in just 16 minutes of court time ... Scored 13 points in the neutral court win over Florida A&M (11/26) in the South Padre Island Invitational after being re-inserted into the starting lineup ... Pulled down a career-high eight rebounds at home against Elon (1/26) ... Averaged 6.5 points including coming off the bench to score 11 against Wofford (3/3) and 10 against UNCG (3/4) during the Catamounts' run to the Southern Conference Championship game.

2010-11 (Freshman): Saw action in all 33 games on the season making three appearances in the starting lineup in mid-to-late December ... Averaged 4.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game as a key reserve in the low post ... Twice led the Catamounts in rebounding in a game ... Shot 44-percent from the floor including 41-percent from beyond the 3-point arc ... Made his collegiate debut at Clemson, entering the game as a substitution at the 10:37 mark of the first half ... Connected on the first field goal of his career with a 3-pointer at the 2:37 mark of the second half against the Tigers ... Scored a career-high 12 points against Warren Wilson (11/22) ... Made his first collegiate start at second-ranked Ohio State (12/12), pulling down a career-high seven rebounds.

Prior to Western: Started for head coach David Simmons at Seventy-First HS ... An All-Midsoutheastern Conference selection, averaged 18 points, eight rebounds as a senior and 14 points, five rebounds and three assists per game as a junior, connecting on 55-percent of his field goal attempts in leading Seventy-First to a 26-3 overall record and an appearance in the sectional finals ... Was tabbed second team both in the All-Cape Fear Region and North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association (NCBCA) All-District-4 ... Was nominated for the McDonald's All-American ... Played with the CP-3 AAU program. ... Scored 19 points for the East squad in North Carolina's East-West All-Star game held in Greensboro, N.C., on July 19, 2010 ... the 6-4, 210-lbs. rookie from Fayetteville was the second leading scorer as the East beat the West by one, 99-98. 

Personal: Is the son of Preston, Jr., and Warrenette Ross ... Has one sibling, Quartney.

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Saturday, October 27, 2012

UNCG Preview: Spartans Look to Build on Success

Each day from October 23-November 3, there will be a basketball blogger/fan previewing their team in this space. 

Last season UNCG found itself as one the biggest "feel good" stories in all of college basketball. A mid-season coaching change became the catalyst to a 7 game winning streak, a division title and a trip to the conference tournament semifinals for the first time since 2008.

UNCG's 11-5 finish to the season lead to the hiring of Wes Miller as full time head coach and sent a charge of excitement throughout the fan base. Now comes the hard part ... keeping the excitement going.

The Spartans bring in a new coaching staff that includes 3 former major college players. Mike Roberts (Indiana), Duane Simpkins (Maryland) and Jackie Manuel (UNC) all bring a wealth of playing experience to the table. Also, UNCG returns a veteran good group of players from last season's team.

Read the entire preview here

Friday, October 26, 2012

Davidson Preview- A Special Season?

Each day from October 23-November 3, there will be a basketball blogger/fan previewing their team in this space. 


Davidson returns nearly 95% of the minutes played from last year. We say goodbye to AJ Atkinson, Frank Ben-Eze, and Will Reigel. Everyone else is back. The five starters last year (Brooks, Cohen, Cochran, Kuhlman, and Czerapowicz) averaged between 23 and 32 mpg, between 10.1 and 15.7 ppg, and they all shot at least 34% on 3-pointers. De'Mon Brooks earned one of the POY awards in the conference last year. He led the Wildcats in points, rebounds, and steals. He did that in just 22.8 mpg. As a junior this season, he'll probably be able to focus his enthusiasm a bit better and avoid some of the foul trouble that limited him last year. The other POY award went to Jake Cohen. He barely trailed Brooks in points and rebounds. He was the Southern Conference leader in blocked shots with 55. Jake played 24.8 mpg as a junior. Kuhlman and Cochran are senior guards. They led the Wildcats in mpg. Cochran played just under 30 mpg, had 10.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.6 apg, shot almost 89% at the line, and had an assist/TO ration over 2.1. Kuhlman played 31.9 mpg, scored 10.8 ppg, had 3.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, and had an assist/TO ratio of 1.86. The fifth starter last year was Chris Czerapowicz. He played 25.1 mpg, scored 10.1 ppg, and had 4.9 rpg. He had some surgery in the off-season and is expected to be at full strength soon. Clint Mann played in 31 games last year. He played his best basketball at the end of the season and is poised for a strong senior season. Tom Droney has often started for the Wildcats. He averaged 21.2 mpg last season. He is a large guard who handles the ball and rebounds well. He worked hard to improve his shooting this summer and looked very good at Davidson's recent scrimmage. Tyler Kalinoski had a solid freshman season. He played 17.4 mpg and scored 155 points. He's a well-rounded guard, posting impressive numbers of rebounds, assists, and steals. He'll give Cochran and Kuhlman another very capable backup. The other four returners are Mason Archie, Clay Tormey, Ali Mackay, and Youssef Mejri. They combined for just 77 minutes last year, but all are capable players. Ali Mackay is particularly intriguing to Davidson fans. He's 6'11, has played a good bit of international ball for Scotland and Great Britain, and has added significant muscle in his time on campus.

Read the entire preview here

Basketball: Brandon Boggs

Meet the 2012-13 men's basketball team

Brandon Boggs 

Class: Junior
Hometown: Greenville, S.C.
High School: J.L. Mann HS
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 190
Position: G

Notes: Enters his junior season with 605 career points.

2011-12 (Sophomore): Played in all 35 games making 31 appearances in the starting line-up ... Ranked fourth on the team with 351 points scored, averaging 10.0 points per game ... Averaged 3.8 rebounds per game ... Scored in double figures 14 times including a career-high 35 points against Northern Colorado (11/25) at the South Padre Island Invitational ... Shot 12-of-23 against UNC including hitting a career-high five 3-pointers which he matched in a home win over Chattanooga (2/2) ... In addition to the 35 against Northern Colorado, also surpassed the 20-point plateau with 21 in the UTC game.

2010-11 (Freshman): Played in all 33 games starting 30 as a true freshman ... Received the team's "Catamount Attitude Award" from the coaching staff ... Ranked fifth on the team in scoring with a 7.7 point per game average while boarding 3.7 rebounds per contest ... Made his first career start in his first-ever career game at Clemson, playing 22 minutes ... Scored in double figures 11 times during his rookie season ... Shot 42-percent from the field on the year ... Averaged 1.4 steals in Southern Conference games to rank tied for 11th in the league ... Connected on his first collegiate field goal at the 3:39 mark of the first half at Clemson on a jump shot ... Was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field against No. 2 Ohio State (12/12) ... Scored a career-high 20 points in the road win over Appalachian State (2/17), burying a crucial 3-pointer with the game tied inside the final 90 seconds as WCU pulled out the five-point victory.

Prior to Western: Helped guide J.L. Mann HS and head coach Jeff Craft to a 63-16 record over three seasons ... Helped the team to a regional championship and an appearance in the Upper State Finals in South Carolina as a junior ... Scored 15 points per game with six rebounds and four assists per game as a senior, earning All-Stat, All-County and All-Region honors ... Averaged 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals per game as a junior, again garnering all-conference plaudits ... Was additionally named All-3-A Region 2 for his on-court performance ... scored a game-high 24 points in the South Carolina North-South All-Star game held at North Myrtle Beach High on Saturday, March 20, 2010 ... Boggs played on the North squad which lost 113-104 in overtime. 

Personal: Full name is Brandon Kyle Boggs ... Is the son of Anita Boggs ... Has four siblings: Delis Boggs, Jabari Beeks, Asata Beeks and Nia Beeks.

Courtesy WCU sports Information

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Mark Speir Show - App State Preview

Samford Preview: New Faces Lead Transition Year

Each day from October 23-November 3, there will be a blogger/fan previewing their team in this space.

New Faces: We got ‘em, so let’s start there.

On March 13, 2012, Jimmy Tillette was dismissed as head men’s basketball coach of the Samford Bulldogs. Gone with Tillette were the assistants and staff members who led Samford basketball, for the most part, since 1997. The program had decent success under Tillette (NCAA Tournament appearances in 1999 and 2000, 2006 OVC Tournament Finals, 229 wins) for a mid-major with little winning history (Samford has played basketball since 1901, but is 223 games below .500 when not coached by John Brady or Tillette). The program’s sad recent years never reached that previous success (the tragic death of Jim Griffin two weeks before the 2009-‘10 season, three conference moves and six losing records in ten years, 19+ losses for the last three seasons). Even so, you knew what to expect with Samford basketball: good student/citizen players, Princeton offense, matchup zone defense. No longer; Samford has even run out of Merritts—Jeffrey, the third of three brothers to play at Samford, finished his eligibility with a loss to Furman in the first round of the 2012 SoCon Tournament. The Merritt brothers started 301 combined games, scored more than 3300 total points, accounted for the University’s first All-American award, and had at least one brother on the roster every season since 2002

Read the entire preview here

Basketball: Josh Mendenhall

Meet the 2012-13 men's basketball team

Josh Mendenhall 

Class: RS Junior
Hometown: Greenville, S.C.
High School: Berea HS
Last College: Waycross CC
Height / Weight: 6-8 / 180
Position: F

2011-12 (Redshirt Sophomore): Sat out the 2011-12 season after transferring to Western Carolina in the fall prior to the season ... Took a redshirt and enters 2012-13 as a redshirt junior with two years of eligibility.

Prior to Western Carolina: Played for head coach Corey Baldwin at Waycross Community College in Waycross, Ga., after concluding his prep career at Berea HS in Greenville, S.C. ... At Waycross, named to the list of Top 150 Players in the Southeast in Junior College by the Juco Journal ... Finished his freshman season in 2009-10 averaging eight points and six rebounds per game, which was second on the team and fourteenth in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association (GJCAA) ... Led the Swamp Foxes - and was third in the GJCAA - in field goal percentage, averaging 54-percent per game ... Named by the Georgia Basketball Coaches Association (GABCA) as the NAIA/JuCo Freshman of the Year ... Led the team in blocks, totaling 41 for the season (1.37/game); High School: As a high school senior, the combo-type player averaged 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots per game ... Was twice named All-Region and second team All-County, and was also selected to play in South Carolina's North/South Game.

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Furman Preview: More Experienced Paladins Look For A Big Year

Each day from October 23-November 3, there will be a blogger/fan previewing their team in this space

Returning Players:
Players who started one or more games 
Jordan Loyd 6-3, 190, Soph Probable starter at PG
David Brown 5-10, 170, Soph
Charlie Reddick 6-5, 185, Jr, Starter
Bryant Irwin 6-7, 220, Sr, Probable starter
Bobby Austin 6-3, 200, Sr, Starter
Dominic Early 6-5, 185, Soph
Colin Reddick 6-8, 24-, Sr, Probable starter

Other returning players:
Tyler Bisack 6-3, 185, Soph
Tyler Hunt 6-7, 232, Soph
Aaron O'Neill 6-0, 190, Soph

New faces (all Freshmen)
J R Walker 5-9, 163
Stephen Croone 6-0, 170
Larry Wideman 6-4, 190
Kendrec Ferrara 6-9, 225
Keith Belfield 6-6, 205 (redshirt)
Kevin Chuisseu 6-8, 230

Read the entire article here

Basketball: Trey Sumler

Meet the 2012-13 men's basketball team

Trey Sumler 

Class: RS Junior
Hometown: Rocky Mount, N.C.
High School: Nash Central HS
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 175
Position: G

Career Notes: Enters his third collegiate season already at 851 career points, just 149 shy of the 1,000 point plateau ... Has 244 career assists and is just 87 shy of moving onto WCU's career top 10 list.

2011-12 (Redshirt Sophomore): Started in all 35 of the Catamounts' games on the season ... Scored 472 points on the year to rank second on the team with a 13.5 point per game average which ranked 12th in the Southern Conference ... Reached double-digit scoring in 29 of the 35 games on the season ... Also averaged 4.9 rebounds per game to rank third on the team while pacing the squad with 145 assists, an average of 4.1 per game which ranked him fifth in the SoCon ... Ranked third in the league with an average of 36.3 minutes played per game ... Recorded his first career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 10 rebounds in the road win over Presbyterian (11/17) ... Suffered a broken finger against Kent State (12/10), but still managed to play 37 minutes of the game and score 19 points in the home loss ... Had surgery to repair the finger with a pair of small screws during WCU's exam week (12/12-12/16), returning to the line-up at Bradley (12/20), playing 39 minutes and scoring 11 points including eight from the free throw line ... Dished out a career-high 12 assists in the road loss at Chattanooga (1/5) ... the 12 assists were the most in a single-game by a Catamount since 2000 when Casey Rogers also dished out a dozen dimes in a home win over UNCG ... Scored a career-high 27 points in the home win over Appalachian State (2/25) ... Averaged 16 points, 6.5 rebounds and five assists per game in four contests in the SoCon Tournament to earn first team all-tournament team honors in Asheville ... Early in the season, was named to the Bob Cousy Award Watch List ... Was the lone Catamount named to the preseason All-Southern Conference team.

2010-11 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in all 33 games including 23 starts with 21-consecutive appearances in the starting lineup to conclude the season ... Averaged 31.3 minutes of playing time per game ... Ranked second on the team - and 22nd in the Southern Conference - with an 11.5 points per game average, recording 20 double-digit scoring outings ... Averaged 13.4 points per game against SoCon foes, tied for 16th in the league ... Selected as the "Mr. Hustle Spirit Award" winner by the coaching staff ... Boarded a career-high eight three times, finishing with a 4.0 rebound per game average ... Ranked third in the SoCon with a 43.7 3-point field goal percentage and was ninth with a 79.4 free throw seasonal free throw percentage ... Named Southern Conference Freshman of the Year by both the league's head coaches and voting members of the media and was named to the SoCon's All-Freshman team ... He is the second Catamount in the past three years to garner the conference's top rookie honor, joining Harouna Mutombo who earned the award in 2009 ... Saw his first collegiate action at Clemson in the 2010-11 season opener, entering the game at the 13:47 mark of the first half ... Connected on his first collegiate field goal at the 13:12 mark - a 3-pointer just 35 seconds into his college career - leading the Catamounts with a career-high 16 points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting night in the opener ... Made his first collegiate start on Dec. 4 at Chattanooga, finishing with eight points ... Posted double-digit scoring in a career-best eight-straight games from Dec. 12 at Ohio State through the road game at the College of Charleston - twice scoring 20-or-more points including 23 in the road win at Georgia Southern and a career-high 24 in the home victory over Davidson ... Connected on the game-winning free throws in the home victory over Chattanooga (2/11/11).

2009-10 (Freshman): Redshirted ... Received the squad's "Most Improved" award for his hard work on the practice court.

Prior to Western: Walked on to the Western Carolina men's basketball team following a prep career at Nash Central High School in Rocky Mount, N.C. ... An athletic wing who averaged 23.6 points per outing as a senior for the Bulldogs ... Was selected as the NEW-6 Conference's Boys Co-Player of the Year, sharing the award with Wilson Fike's Jeremy Atkinson ... Sumler helped the Bulldogs reach the Round of 16 of the Class 3-A State Playoffs, where NCHS was edged in the final minute by defending state champion Kinston ... Sumler collected 36 points in that outing ... Sumler scored a career-best 40 points against Bunn ... For his career, he tallied 1,921 points and was a first-team All-Conference pick four times ... He is also Nash Central's career leader in assists (405) and steals (260) ... Following his senior season, was named to play in the annual North Carolina-South Carolina All-Star Game.

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Catamount Madness

Men's Basketball: Elon Preview

From October 23-November 3, each day there will be a preview of a SoCon team written by one of their fans/bloggers. Tomorrow- Furman.

Elon Preview: Wading Through Decency, Phoenix Look to Hit Pinnacle in 2012-13 

Under fourth year coach Matt Matheny, the Elon Phoenix has steadily improved, by the record anyways. Elon was 9-23 in 2009-2010, 14-17 in 2010-11, and 15-16 in 2011-12.

All of this while watching Matheny's alma mater and former employer Davidson College walk away with success year after year, the Phoenix has floundered in decency. There have been great players and great games, but nothing has been able to stick, no real success has stuck. In this past year, the Phoenix had a shot to win a North Division title, but finished one game behind UNC-Greensboro.

But this year may be Elon’s greatest opportunity to make it to the Southern Conference Tournament finals since 2008, the penultimate season under former head coach Ernie Nestor. One player from that team graduated this past May, while another, redshirt senior guard Josh Bonney, remains. The players Phoenix fans will bank on to lead the maroon and gold to the proverbial promised land of the NCAA Tournament are a dangerous quartet of juniors and a silky smooth sophomore.

Read the entire article here

Basketball: Tom Tankelewicz

Meet the 2012-13 men's basketball team

Tom Tankelewicz 

Class: RS Junior
Hometown: Apex, N.C.
High School: Middle Creek HS
Last College: Charleston Southern
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 180
Position: F

2011-12 (Redshirt Sophomore): Saw action in 27 games, all coming off the bench ... Finished with 58 points, averaging 2.1 points on 6.4 minutes averaged per game ... Shot 29.6-percent from the field including 25-percent from beyond the 3-point arc ... Had five steals and four assists on the year ... Made his WCU debut in the season-opener at South Carolina, subbing in at the 16:35 mark and playing 14 minutes, scoring six points and pulling down four rebounds ... Connected on his first field goal as a Catamount on a three-point play at 13:26 of the first half against the Gamecocks ... Came off the bench for his best all-around game against UNC Asheville where he was perfect from the field (2-2) including nailing a key 3-pointer as the Catamounts held off UNCA (12/28) ... Scored his WCU career-high 11 points in the home win over Toccoa Falls (1/17) including a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line ... Made a pair of 3-pointers including a banked-shot late in overtime at UNCG (1/28) for a SoCon-best eight points ... Made three crucial free throws and pulled down three rebounds helping secure the home win over Chattanooga (2/2). 

Notes: Transferred to Western Carolina prior to the fall of 2010 ... Due to NCAA transfer rules, sat out the
2010-11 season.

Prior to Western Carolina: Played in 20 games as a reserve at Charleston Southern during the 2009-10 season, making three starts ... Averaged 5.5 points per game while shooting 37-percent from beyond the arc with 23 made 3-pointers ... Scored a career-high 14 points against Stetson ... Suffered a sprained MCL, missing four games before returning - then suffered a season-ending broken hand. High School: Averaged 19 points, six rebounds and three assists per game at Middle Creek HS ... Was a McDonald's All-American nominee and named first-team all-conference, as well as academic all-conference as a senior ... Shot 43-percent from behind the 3-point arc in making a school-record 87 3-pointers, while also shooting 80-percent from the free throw line as a senior ... Set the single-game record for 3-pointers made in the North Carolina / South Carolina All-Star Game ... Tied the 3-point record for the 2009 Glaxo Smith Kline Holiday Invitational with 14 made treys, tying Matt Bonner's record in earning all-tournament team honors ... Set his high school single-game scoring record with 37 points in a game ... the 97th-ranked shooting guard by ESPNU in the Class of 2009.

Personal: Is the son of Tom and Maureen Tankelewicz ... Born in July of 1991 in Philadelphia, Penn. 

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Monday, October 22, 2012

Basketball: Scanning the SoCon

This coming basketball season, Purple & Gold will participate in  Scanning the SoCon,  a weekly feature covering Southern Conference men's basketball.  Scanning the SoCon kicked off during the last basketball season, with 4 different SoCon blog participants.  This season, a participant from each SoCon school will be included in the weekly features.

Each week there will be a SoCon power rankings, a vote on the Game of the Week, and then a set of at least four participants (on a rotating basis) will answer questions about their team and the SoCon. The SoCon feature will be published on Sunday afternoon/evening, just like last year.    You will be able to read each and every article right here on Purple and Gold, so please check back daily.  

Below is excerpt from the announcement on Mocs Mania. 

Last year, me along with three other fans from around the SoCon started something we called Scanning the SoCon. It came out every Sunday during the season, and there were power rankings and we wrote about our individual teams and wrote about stories from around the conference. It was a lot of fun, and I think it provided some more insight into the SoCon, and gave SoCon fans something else to look forward to.
This year, we're going a step further. A representative from each school in the SoCon has been asked to participate in the Scanning the SoCons this year. Each week, all of us will vote on power rankings, and will vote on the Game of the Week, and then a set of at least four people per week will answer a set of questions. This will still come out on Sunday afternoon/evening, just like last year. It will give even more insight into the SoCon, and get even more perspectives.

Read the entire article here

Basketball: Brianne Mack

Meet the 2012-13 women's basketball team

Brianne Mack 

Class: Freshman
Hometown: Gastonia, N.C.
High School: Southlake Christian Academy
Height: 6-3
Position: F

High School: Averaged 18 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks per game as a junior ... Named to the 2010-11 All-Conference for the Metrolina Athletics Conference and to the NCISSA 2A All-State Team. 

Personal: Brianne Raquel Mack ... Daughter of Gloria Mack ... Served as her high school's team manager for softball.

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mitchell Honored by SouthernPigskin

True freshman Troy Mitchell has been named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Week by

Taking over the quarterback position mid way through the second quarter, the Texas  native completed 13-of-25 passes for a career-high 175 yards and his first two passing touchdowns while leading a second-half comeback for the Catamounts on Saturday at Elon. Mitchell also added 78 yards rushing to pace the squad.

Basketball: Lindsey Burleson

Meet the 2012-13 women's basketball team

Lindsey Burleson 

Class: Freshman
Hometown: Albemarle, N.C.
High School: North Stanley HS
Height: 6-2
Position: C/F

High School: As senior named to District 8 Second Team, averaging 12.5 points and 2.4 blocks per game ... Averaged 10 points and eight rebounds per game her junior year, helping lead her team to a 21-6 record and a conference tournament title ... Has been a part of three-straight tournament titles while playing for North Stanly High School. 

Personal: Lindsey Kristen Burleson ... Daughter of Jeff and Kathy Burleson.

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Saturday, October 20, 2012

WCU at Elon on ESPN3

Who gets their first Southern Conference victory today? Western Carolina or Elon?

One of these two teams will take a firm hold on last place in the SoCon standings today as the two teams square off in the SoCon "Game of the Week" on ESPN3. Darren Goldwater has the play-by-play call with former Marshall standout Doug Chapman providing the color commentary.

"Both of us are looking for our first SoCon win of the year," said WCU head coach Mark Speir on the SoCon Football Coaches Teleconference. "(Elon's) got a tremendous football team. They've got one of the premier players in the league - a guy that will be an NFL player without a doubt in Aaron Mellette, their wide receiver. He's a big, tall guy that can run; great hands, physical player. And (quarterback) Thomas Wilson does a great job in getting him the ball. Their front five on the offensive line protects against the blitz and gives their quarterback time."

Basketball: Lindsay Simpson

Meet the 2012-13 women's basketball team

Lindsay Simpson 

Class: Freshman
Hometown: Franklin, N.C.
High School: Franklin HS
Height: 5-7
Position: G

High School: Finished her career with the second-most career points in Western North Carolina history for a girls player (2,693) ... Named the Western North Carolina Athletic Conference Player of the Year this past season after averaging a WNC-best 27.6 points a game to go along with 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals ... Chosen to play in the East-West All-Star basketball games in 2012 ... Had a standout junior year at Franklin High School, being named the Female Athlete of the Year in Western North Carolina, All-District Player of the Year, All WNC Player of the Year and 3A WNCAC Player of the Year ... Ranked first in scoring in North Carolina and ninth nationally, averaging 30 points per game, and was selected to the Coaches All-State Team ... Helped lead her team to a 2011 3A WNCAC Tournament Championship ... Also a stand-out volleyball player for Franklin High School.

Personal: Daughter of William Simpson and Anna Shields ... Has one brother, Drew ... Mother Anna played volleyball and basketball for Western Carolina University from 1980-84 ... Grandfather, Clarence Wilke, played football for the Catamounts in the 1950's.

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Friday, October 19, 2012

Catamount Basketball

Basketball: Melanie Stewart

Meet the 2012-13 women's basketball team

Melanie Stewart 

Class: RS Sophomore
Hometown: Franklin, N.C.
High School: Franklin HS
Height: 6-5
Position: C

2011-12 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in eight games. 2010-11: Redshirt the season

High School: Four-year letterwinner at Franklin High School ... As a senior, helped lead Franklin High School to first Appalachian Athletic Conference Championship in 20 years, and went undefeated in conference play ... Selected All-Conference as a junior and senior ... As a junior, helped lead her North Carolina AAU team to a 16 and under State Championship - only North Carolina team represented at AAU Nationals in Orlando, Florida ... Graduated with highest honors from Franklin High School.

Personal: Melanie Elizabeth Stewart ... Daughter of Steve and Amy Stewart ... Has one sister, Maggie. 

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Basketball: Makensey Campbell

Meet the 2012-13 women's basketball team

Makensey Campbell 

Class: Sophomore
Hometown: Kingsport, Tenn.
High School: Sullivan South HS
Height: 6-1
Position: G/F

2011-12 (Freshman): Played in all 31 games ... Ranked second on the team in points scored and scoring average, with 157 points and averaging 5.9 points per game ... Led the team in three pointers made with 45 and ranked eighth in the Southern Conference ... Overall, hit 63 field goals with 45 being three pointers ... Scored in double figures six times including a career-high 20 points against Georgia Southern in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament.

High School: Four-year letterwinner at Sullivan South High School ... As a senior, voted First Team All-Conference and All-Region ... Invited to Tennessee East/West All-Star game, Southwest Virginia All-Star and East Tennessee Elite Team ... Averaged 17.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game ... In total, was a First Team All-Conference and All-Region selection all four years .... Joined the Sullivan South 1,000 Point Club as a junior and was also named to Conference All-Tournament Team ... Named Freshman of the Year ... As a junior averaged 16.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game ... Also a four-year letterwinner in volleyball and was a three-time First Team All-Conference selection, twice named All-Region First Team and team MVP as a senior.

Personal: Makensey Chey Campbell ... Daughter of Ken and Pattie Campbell ... Has one sister, Chantai.

Courtesy of WCU Sports Information

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Mark Speir Show

Jiménez and Kissell to play in the Carolina Regional Championships

Stacia Kissell
Karen Jimenez
Stacia Kissell and Karen Jiménez  will compete in the USTA/ITA Carolina Regional Championships to be held at the Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center.  The tournament starts on Thursday, Oct. 18th.

The Carolina Regional Championships consists of the best collegiate players selected from both North and South Carolina.  The singles finals are scheduled for Monday, Oct. 22.

"Karen (Jiménez) has always been a very mentally tough player. In the past, she's had to deal with some injuries, but she's a fighter and finds a way to get the job done," said head coach Chris Wollett. "Now that she's healthy and playing well, I feel she's prepared for this type of tournament."

"I think it's great that Stacia (Kissell) is in the main draw of the ITA Regional as a freshman," continued Wollett. "She had some solid results at Elon and has really been pushing herself since then. This tournament is going to be a good test for her."

Keen Named SoCon Runner of the Week

Jocelyn Keen has been named the Southern Conference Women's Runner of the Week for her performance during the weekend of October 12-13, 2012.

The Fuquay Varina, NC redshirt sophomore ran her all-time personal best in the 5000 meter at the Royal Cross Country Challenge in Charlotte, NC.

Keen's time of 17:46, earned a top-five finish and led the Catamounts to a fifth place team finish. Keen's time ranks her second on the Western Carolina All-Time Bests list for a 5K.

Western at Elon

Basketball: Nancy Thacker

Meet the 2012-13 women's basketball team

Nancy Thacker

Class: Sophomore
Hometown: Max Meadows, Va.
High School: Fort Chiswell HS
Height: 5-9
Position: G

2011-12 (Freshman): Played in 16 games ... Hit four field goals and scored nine points, also hit one three pointer.

High School: Four-year letterwinner at Fort Chiswell High School ... As a senior, helped lead team to a district regular season title and tournament championship, averaging 18.7 points and 5.4 assists per game along with shooting 84.6 from the free throw line and 43.8 from three point stripe ... She was also named District Player of the Year, First Team All-Region, Second Team All-State and First Team All Times as a senior... For her career, scored 1,575 points (second most for boys or girls basketball in school history) averaging 16.5 points and 4.7 assist in her career ... As a junior named District Co-Player of the Year, First Team All-Region, Second Team All-State ... In her sophomore season, voted First Team All-District, Second Team All-Region C ... Second Team All-District as a sophomore ... As a sophomore, set a school and state record shooting 54.5 percent from the three-point line, also set a school record with 34 consecutive free throws ... Set a single game school record for points in a game with 42 as a junior ... Also played volleyball, named First Team All-District as a junior and senior as well as Honorable Mention Region C. Personal: Nancy Elaine Thacker ... Daughter of John and Patty Thacker ... Father John played baseball at Virginia Tech.

Courtesy WCU Sports Forum

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Basketball: Shauna Terry

Meet the 2012-13 women's basketball team.

Shauna Terry

Class: Junior
Hometown: Henderson, N.C.
High School: Southern Vance HS
Height: 6-2
Position: F

2011-12 (Sophomore): Played in 30 games ... Recorded a career-high five blocks against Furman (01/09) ... Had a season-best 43 blocks ranking her seventh in the WCU record books for blocks in a season .... Currently has 67 blocks in her career also ranking her seventh in the record books for blocks in a career ... Ranked third on the team for rebounds, in a season with 111, averaging 3.7 per game.

2010-11 (Freshman): Played in 29 of 31 games ... Missed two games due to injury ... Tied with teammate Caitlin Hollified for blocks with 24 ... Career-high three blocks against Appalachian State on January 31 ... Career-high 12 rebounds against UNCG ... Averaged 1.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

High School: Four-year letterwinner at Southern Vance High School ... As a senior, named First Team All-Conference, MVP and earned the Extra Effort Award ... Also as a senior, in volleyball, posted 595 kills and broke the most attempts and most kills record her junior and senior year ... First Team All-Conference in volleyball and track ... 3A Track and Field Long Jump State Champion ... Also named First Team All-Conference her junior, sophomore and freshman year. Personal: Shauna D. Terry ... Daughter of Ervin Terry and Tracey Hargrove.

Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Monday, October 15, 2012

Williams selected SoCon Defensive Player of the Week

Courtesy WCU Sports Information
Defensive Player of the Week: Rock Williams,
Western Carolina, Sr., LB, Howell, Mich

Senior linebacker Rock Williams recorded a career-high 24 tackles in Western Carolina's loss (45-31) at The Citadel. Williams' 24 tackles tied for the 10th-highest single-game total in league history and were the most since 2006.

Williams was credited with 17 solo tackles and seven assists. He recorded a forced fumble and fumble recovery on the same play in the third quarter that set up a go-ahead score for the Catamounts.

Basketball: Kristen Lyon

Meet the 2012-13 women's basketball team.

Kristen Lyon 

Class: Junior
Hometown: Durham, N.C.
High School: Jordan HS
Height: 5-9
Position: G/F

2011-12 (Sophomore): Played in 30 games and started three ... Scored 84 points averaging 2.8 points per game ... Scored in double figures once, 10 points against Georgia State (11/29).

2010-11 (Freshman): Played in 28 of the 31 games ... Hit first three pointer of her career against Charlotte ... First block of her career against UNCG on February 7 ... Averaged 2.5 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.

High School: As senior, named All-Conference, NCBCA All-District...averaged 20 points, nine rebounds, 3 three steals, and three assists...As junior, named Herald-Sun All-Area...averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, and six assists...As sophomore, named Herald-Sun All-Area...averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds three steals and two assists...The school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder...member of Honor Roll...Recipient of Carolina All-Stars AAU Top Player Award and the National Scholarship Athlete Award.

Personal: Kristen R. Lyon ... Daughter of John Lyon, Jr. and Desiree Lyon ... Has two brothers, John Lyon III and SAMUEL and one sister, Justine. Courtesy

WCU Sports Information

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Player of the Game: Rock Williams

Purple & Gold has selected Western Carolina's Rock Williams as the P&G Player of the Game.  

Rock Williams returned to the Catamount starting lineup Saturday against the Citadel Bulldogs and had quite an afternoon for himself and the Cats, which resulted in his selection as the player of the game.

The senior linebacker, in what was his first game of the season against a triple-option team, completed a career-high of 24 tackles, and nearly surpassed his own previous career-best of 19 solo stops, with 17 against the Bulldogs. According to NCAA records, Williams' total of 24 tackles are the most by a player in a game at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level this season to date.

Rock's career-best 17 solo stops, places him as the current holder of the most solo stops in the Football Championship Subdivision level and ties him with LSU's Kevin Minter who also has 17 solo stops at the FBS level in a loss at Florida on Oct. 6.

Williams' outstanding performance also set a Citadel record of sorts, by surpassing the previous high of 22 tackles, the most ever by a Bulldog opponent.

The Howell, Michigan native also forced and recovered a fumble for the Catamounts, setting up a touchdown for Western Carolina, that gave the Cats a 24-17 lead in the third quarter.