Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A look at what's ahead for Wofford basketball

After a season-opening loss at Stanford, the Terriers came out with a bang, winning their next five contests. The streak, which was unfortunately broken with a four-point setback in a close tilt with William and Mary last Saturday, began with the nationally-televised 86-73 triumph over Iona on Nov. 18.

Wofford then took a Bridgeport, Conn., round-robin tournament, which was a part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, by storm, taking down the host Fairfield Stags (54-36). South Dakota (72-68), and Sam Houston State (64-53).

A quick 82-54 stomping of lower-division Ohio Valley University in a game that was overseen by honorary coach Jack Morris, an 84-year-old Korean War veteran, came a few days prior to the William and Mary contest.

Following tonight's matchup with Big South opponent Presbyterian, the Terriers have one last 'tune-up' game against a lower-division program, a Nov. 6 encounter with the Florida National University Conquistadors, a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) that finished last season 10-20. 

Apart from a legal dispute with in-state neighbor Florida International University, the Hialeah, Fla., school is little known, but their division is a little familiar to the Terriers--last season, Wofford defeated USCAA member Johnson and Wales 90-48 at Ben Johnson Arena. So far this season, the Conquistadors are 4-6, with the latest game being a 96-79 setback at Division II Warner University.

The schedule, though, only gets tougher.

Wofford will make the trip to Raleigh, N.C., to take on the N.C. State Wolfpack, led by returning powers Ralston Turner and Anthony Barber. The Pack started the year with a six-game winning streak that was snapped Tuesday with a heartbreaking 66-61 setback at Purdue.

After another encounter with a Big South squad, Charleston Southern on Dec. 17, Wofford will again be on the road, this time to Morgantown, W.Va., for a Dec. 22 tilt with West Virginia, who have shot off to a 7-0 start.

Then it's the much-awaited Christmas Eve game at Duke, which will serve as the prelude to the Terriers' Southern Conference schedule that kicks off at Samford on Jan. 3. 

Will Wofford be able to pull out huge triumphs in these looming non-conference games? Time will tell, but I would take this squad, led by players like Karl Cochran--who made history against Presbyterian, becoming only the second-ever Terrier (after Robert Mickle) to rack up 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, and 250 assists in his career--every day of the week and twice against Florida National.

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