This was the game of the UNCG bigs. JD, Big Mo, & Kyrin all exerted their presence inside the paint, from rebounding and superb shooting to shot blocking and frustrating Mercer’s bigs and guards.
But while UNCG’s guards didn’t score like normal, they did their job on defense … keeping Mercer from scoring.
Mercer’s guards didn’t know how to play this game. IF they got the ball across half-court, they had 20 seconds to try and execute their gameplan against a defense that smothered them into suffocation.
Case in point: Entering the game, Djordje Dimitrijevic was the Socon’s 2nd leading scorer … but UNCG kept him to a measly 6 pts on 2-12 shooting (1-8 3PT). AND he committed a team-high 6 turnovers.
5-6 FG, 5-11 FT, 20 reb, 1 ast, 3 to. First of all … WOW! 20 rebounds! He wants that crown. But more than that, he played his inside game like we’ve seen flashes of during his career. If he can play like this in March, UNCG will be dancing.
3-4 FG, 1-1 FT, 2 reb, 1 stl. Big Mo has stepped up his inside presence. And I like it.
4-9 FG (1-5 3PT), 1-2 FT, 6 reb, 1 blk. While Kyrin wasn’t hitting from beyond the arc this game, he was doing all the other things. And man .. that block at the rim on an unsuspecting Dimitrijevic was amazing. To go the length of the floor like that and swat his shot without fouling says a lot about his work ethic on the court.
2-5 FG (1-2 3PT), 1-2 FT, 2 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 3 to. Solid game from Kaleb.
2-5 FG (2-4 3PT), 4 reb. Same for Gelo, a very solid game he can feel good about.
6-25 FG (0-3 3PT), 3-6 FT, 6 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl, 5 to. Isaiah had 2 problems this game: missing freethrows and forcing the shot. I know he wants to get the team going, but him forcing a bad shot instead of driving and finding someone with a good shot is the only reason we didn’t bury Mercer by 30.
1-5 FG (0-1 3PT), 3-4 FT, 4 ast, 1 to. Steady game from Malik.
1-4 FG (0-2 3pt), 1-2 FT, 2 ast, 1 stl. Not the greatest game for the freshman, but not the worst either. He did a lot off the ball that doesn’t show up on stat sheets.
Michael Hueitt Jr
8 mins. 0-2 FG (0-1 3PT). Michael didn’t get the ball in shooting position enough to make a difference this game.
3 mins – 1 ast, 1 stl. Although Kobe didn’t get many minutes, they were good minutes and he kept pressure on the ball, never letting Mercer rest. That sexy assist to JD under the rim is what we can expect to see out of him in the coming years.
Bas Leyte – Did not play
Khyre Thompson – Did not play.
Ryan Tankelewicz – Did not play.
This was an ugly game, but it was effective. When you see your opponent’s leading scorer slump his shoulders in defeat on multiple occasions, you know you’re executing your gameplan to perfection.
- Rebounds: UNCG 45, Mercer 44
- Bench Points: UNCG 16, Mercer 9
- 2nd Chance Pts: UNCG 20, Mercer 8
- Pts in the Paint: UNCG 36, Mercer 24
- Pts off Turnovers: UNCG 15, Mercer 9
- Steals: UNCG 7, Mercer 7
- Turnovers: UNCG 12, Mercer 21
- Blocks: UNCG 1, Mercer 3
We have Wofford at home Wednesday night, and it’s time for payback. The biggest difference between this meeting and the first will be that we’re completely healthy. I look for a 17-pt drubbing.