Tuesday, October 31, 2023

WCU 2-Deep Roster vs. Wofford


WCU Men's Basketball - #12 Cinque Lemon

Introducing  Cinque Lemon, Jr a 6'7" redshirt freshman wing, from Spring Lake, NC

  • Position
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Class
    Redshirt Freshman
  • Hometown
    Spring Lake, N.C.
  • High School
    Liberty Heights Athletic Institute

2022-23 (Freshman): Did Not Play

High School: Prepped at Liberty Heights Athletic Institute in Charlotte… As a senior he averaged 9.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while shooting 56 percent from the field including 37 percent behind the 3-point line…Tallied a single-game high of 19 points and posted four double-doubles…Helped lead Liberty Heights to championships at the Beach Ball Classic, as well as the Big Shot Prep Nationals…As a junior at Cape Fear Christian Academy in Erwin, N.C., he averaged 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.1 rebounds in 29 games for the Eagles and earned NCCSIA 1-A All-State honors… Playing at Fayetteville Academy as a sophomore, Lemon saw action in 22 games with 12.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals.

WCU Men's Basketball - #23 Marcus Kell

 Introducing Marcus Kell, Jr a 6'8" sophomore, forward from Rock Hill, SC

  • Position
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Class
  • Hometown
    Rock Hill, S.C.
  • High School
    Legion Collegiate Academy

2022-23 (Freshman): Played in 20 games…Averaged 2.5 points and 1.7 rebounds per game…Finished in double figures offensively in two games…Tallied a career-best 12 points in the home opener against Brescia and duplicated the feat against Toccoa Falls…Recorded double-doubles in games against Brescia and Toccoa Falls…Grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds against Toccoa Falls including five offensive rebounds…Distributed two assists against Toccoa Falls.

High School: Averaged 23.4 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists per game at Legion Collegiate Academy…Scored over 1,500 points during his career at Legion Collegiate Academy…Earned All-Region and Rock Hill Herald All-Area honors.

Monday, October 30, 2023

WCU Men's Basketball - #11 Keshawn Brown Jr

Introducing Keshawn Brown, Jr a 5'10" freshman, guard from Durham, NC

  • Position
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Class
  • Hometown
    Durham, N.C.
  • High School
    Combine Academy

WCU Men's Basketball - #22 Corneilous Williams

Introducing Cornelious Williams, a 6'9" freshman, forward from Meridian, Miss.

  • Position
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Class
    Redshirt Freshman
  • Hometown
    Meridian, MIss.

Prior to Western Carolina
: Redshirted during the 2022-23 season at LSU 

High School: Played the 2021-22 season for Combine Academy, one of the top post-graduate prep schools in the country…Averaged 13.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game… Tabbed as the MVP of both the DME Beach and Ball Classic and was also a first-team All-Tournament team selection at the Big Shots Prep Nationals event…. Averaged 18.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and a blocked shot in two games at the NTL Prep Showcase

2023 SoCon Football Power Rankings - (after week #9)

Welcome to Purple & Gold's 2023 SoCon Football Power Rankings

Each Monday throughout the season, we'll release that week's Power Rankings.  Here are this week's power rankings, after week #9 -  (last week's ranking in parenthesis):

1. (1) Furman (7-1, 5-0 SoCon)
Next:  at Chattanooga  (7-2, 6-1 SoCon)

2. (3) Chattanooga  (7-2, 6-1 SoCon)
Next: Furman (7-1, 5-0 SoCon)

3. (5) Mercer (6-3, 4-2 SoCon)
Next: at The Citadel (0-0, 0-5 SoCon)

4. (2) Western Carolina  (5-3, 3-2 SoCon)
Next: at Wofford  (0-8, 0-5 SoCon)

5. (4) Samford (5-4, 4-3 SoCon)
Next:  Bye

6. (6) ETSU  (2-6, 1-4 SoCon)
Next:  VMI (3-5, 2-3 SoCon)

7. (7) VMI (3-5, 2-3 SoCon)
Next:  at  ETSU  (2-6, 1-4 SoCon)

8. (8) The Citadel (0-0, 0-5 SoCon)
Next:  Mercer (6-3, 4-2 SoCon)

9. (9) Wofford  (0-8, 0-5 SoCon)
Next: Western Carolina  (5-3, 3-2 SoCon)


Sunday, October 29, 2023

WCU Men's Basketball - #24 Kamari Jones

 Introducing Kamari Jones, a 6'4" freshman, guard from Indianapolis, Ind. 

  • Position
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Class
  • Hometown
    Indianapolis, Ind
  • High School
    Hillcrest Prep (Gilbert, Ariz.)

High School:  Spent his senior season at Hillcrest Prep in Gilbert, Ariz…. Also attended Lawrence Central High School in Indiana. Averaged 15.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game during his prep career…. Played AAU basketball for D1 Indiana.

WCU Men's Basketball - #45 Kaleb Siler

Introducing Kaleb Siler, a 6'9' freshman, center from Fayetteville, NC

  • Position
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Class
  • Hometown
    Fayetteville, N.C.
  • High School
    Carmel Christian School

High School:   Played in 61 games at Carmel Christian School…Averaged 5.6 points and 3.1 rebounds during his prep career…During his senior season, he averaged 5.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game with five double-figure games including a career-high 20 points against Dudley HS (Greensboro, N.C.)…Recorded a double-double with 14 points and a career-best 10 rebounds against The Cannon School (Kannapolis, N.C.)…As a junior, he averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game with eight double-figure scoring games.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Game #8 - Mercer Bears

The Mercer Bears are next to travel up the mountain to face the Catamounts for Western Carolina's Homecoming Celebration, as the Cats are in the midst of a 7 game losing streak to the Bears

Mercer finished the 2022 season tied for third place with the Chattanooga Mocs, finishing with a 7-4 overall record, and was picked to finish the 2023 season in third place, in preseason voting by the SoCon coaches and media,  they come into the game with a 5-3 overall and 3-2 conference record.  

Game #8   Mercer Bears

When: Saturday, October 28, 2022
Time:  2:30 pm
WhereBob Water Field, Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
   -Play-by-Play:  Gary Ayers • Daniel Hooker  Producer: Jeff Bryson
TV/video:  ESPN+
   -Play-by-Play:  Kyle Rush (play-by-play) • Phil Cox (analyst) 
Live Stats:  WCU Live Stats
Game Notes:       Western Carolina    •      Mercer      •     SoCon Weekly Notes
Fan Message BoardMU Bear Down

The Series: In only the 10th meeting between the two teams, the Cats own a 2-7 overall record against the Bears, having dropped the last seven (7) games played in the series. The Cats are 1-3 against the Bears in games played in Cullowhee.  

Last Season's Game vs. Mercer (October. 8, 2022) - Catamount Football Falls on the Road at No. 12 Mercer- Macon, Ga. – No. 12 Mercer used a balanced offensive attack and created five Catamount turnovers in upending upset-minded Western Carolina 49-6 in Southern Conference action Saturday afternoon at Five Star Stadium. The Bears scored six first-half touchdowns to build a 42-point halftime edge while WCU only managed a pair of 43-yard Richard McCollum field goals in the road defeat 

Last Season's Record (2022 Mercer): 7-4 overall, 4-1 home, 3-3 away, 5-3 SoCon
This season's Record (2023 Mercer): 5-3 overall, 3-1 home, 1-2 away, 1-0 neutral, 3-2 SoCon

Head Coach: Drew Cronic was named the 20th head football coach in Mercer University history on December 10, 2019. He spent the previous two seasons as the head coach at Division II Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C. A native of Sharpsburg, Ga., Cronic is considered one of the more innovative offensive minds across all levels of college football.

Cronic's Collegiate Record: 71-22 (8th season) 
Cronic's Mercer Record:  24-16 (4th season)  

Kerwin Bell's record vs. Mercer:  0 - 2
Drew Cronic's record vs. WCU:  3 - 0

The Bears finished 7-4 overall last year, and 5-3 in the SoCon. Their last loss came in the regular-season finale, losing 50-44 in double overtime at eventual quarterfinalist Samford. Mercer entered the season ranked 17th by Athlon Sports and 19th by HERO Sports. The Bears put 12 players on the preseason All-SoCon squads, second only to Furman. 
Mercer returns a SoCon-best nine all-conference players from a season ago, including a quartet of first-team selections.  

Mercer Offensive Formation:  Multiple (Spread Wing)
Replacing Fred Payton at quarterback was a difficult task,  but Mercer had four quarterbacks on their roster to choose from, Carter Peevy a fourth-year sophomore who played in only one game last year and eight games in 202 got the nod. He started multiple games in the 2020-21 season and threw for 1,318 yards, eight touchdowns, and four interceptions. 

Defensive Formation:  Multiple
Mercer brings back 10 starters on the defensive side of the ball, having only bid adieu to cornerback Michael Campbell after last season. Offensively, the Orange & Black will feature nine returning starters, including preseason all-American wide receivers Devron Harper and Ty James.

Last season, the Bears overpowered the Catamounts by 43 points in Macon, making for the worst outing of the season for the Catamounts. Hopefully, the Cats extract an overdue win over the Bears in Cullowhee. Mercer is 18-23 (.439) over the last decade in games played against conference teams away from Macon, including a 16-21 mark against SoCon opponents. The Bears are 6-4 over the last two seasons against league opponents on the road, including a 3-1 mark during the 2021 campaign. The Bears have dropped three of their last five road games (1-1 in the last two) against league foes dating back to last season heading into their road tilt at Western Carolina. 

 Wide receivers Devron Harper and Ty James are on the watch list for the Walter Payton Award which is given annually to the national offensive player of the year in NCAA Division I FCS college football. The Bears were one of just four squads nationwide to have multiple representatives included in the announcement. Harper was a finalist for the Payton Award last season, finishing 14th in the final vote tally.  A league-best nine All-Southern Conference players are among the returners for the Bears this season. First-team selections John Thomas (OL) and Isaac Dowling (LB) are also added, as Mercer also returned a SoCon-best four 1st team all-conference honorees as well.                    

Mercer is 7-22 over the last decade against nationally ranked opponents, including a 7-18 mark against ranked FCS opponents. Four of the Bears’ seven wins against Top 25 FCS foes have come away from Macon (4-10 record), while Mercer has posted a trio of wins against Top 10-ranked FCS opponents (3-6 vs. Top 10). The Bears are 5th in scoring in the SoCon averaging 23.6 points per game (ppg) and third in scoring defense, giving up just 23.5 ppg.  The Bears are 5th in rushing yardage with 132.8 ypg and second in rushing defense, giving up 114.4 ypg. Mercer is 4th in passing yardage and 3rd in passing defense.  

2023 Mercer Statistics (8 games):
Rushing Offense:1060 yards
Yards per game: 132.5
Yards per rush: 3.4 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 57
TDs rushing: 12
Passing Offense: 1595 yards or 199.4 yards per game
Avg. per pass: 8.4 yards
Passing 1st downs: 67
Att-Comp-Int: 190-127-2
TDs Passing: 8
Total Offense: 2655 yards or 332 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 15-10
3d Down Conversions: 38 of 106 (35.8%)
4th Down Conversions: 6 of 13 (46%)
Field goal attempts: 7 of 9
On-side kicks: 0-0
Red Zone Scores: 19 of 25
Red Zone Touchdowns: 12 of 25 
PAT:  22 of 22
Touchdowns scored:  20

Monday, October 23, 2023

2023 SoCon Football Power Rankings - (after week #8)

Welcome to Purple & Gold's 2023 SoCon Football Power Rankings

Each Monday throughout the season, we'll release that week's Power Rankings.  Here are this week's power rankings, after week #8 -  (last week's ranking in parenthesis):

1. (2) Furman (6-1, 4-0 SoCon)
Next:  ETSU  (2-5, 1-3 SoCon)

2. (1) Western Carolina  (5-2, 3-1 SoCon)
Next:  Mercer (5-3, 3-2 SoCon)

3. (3) Chattanooga  (6-2, 5-1 SoCon)
Next:  at VMI (3-4, 2-2 SoCon)

4. (4) Samford (4-4, 3-3 SoCon)
Next:  The Citadel (0-7, 0-4 SoCon)

5. (5) Mercer (5-3, 3-2 SoCon)
Next: at Western Carolina  (5-2, 3-1 SoCon)

6. (7) ETSU  (2-5, 1-3 SoCon)
Next:  at  Furman (6-1, 4-0 SoCon)

7. (6) VMI (3-4, 2-2 SoCon)
Next:  Chattanooga  (6-2, 5-1 SoCon)

8. (8) The Citadel (0-7, 0-4 SoCon)
Next:  at Samford (4-4, 3-3 SoCon)

9. (9) Wofford  (0-8, 0-5 SoCon)
Next: Bye