Wofford team capsule
COACH: Mike Young, eight years at Wofford, first year in NCAA Tournament
HOW THEY GOT IN: Automatic bid (Southern Conference)
MATCHUP BREAKDOWN: Wofford will have to find a way to contain Wisconsin guards Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon. The pair of Badger seniors averaged a combined 27.2 points per game. But if any team from the Southern Conference can contain a battle-tested pair like that from the Big 10 Conference, it’s probably Wofford. The Terriers have a slew of guards who — when playing at their highest level, can defend with the best of them on the perimeter. Brad Loesing expects to be assigned Hughes. In the past two years, Loesing has had the responsibility of guarding opposing team’s top guards. He got plenty of experience last season when he was forced to cover Davidson’s Stephen Curry. A tough personnel matchup will be Jon Leuer, who has some inside-out scoring ability and at 6-foot-10 hit 39 percent of his 3-point shots.
GO-TO GUYS: F Noah Dahlman scored in double figures in all 34 games the Terriers played this season. He was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year by the league’s coaches after he averaged 17.4 points (fourth in the league) and 6.3 rebounds (seventh) during the regular season. The team also received a huge boost from F Tim Johnson, who came back from a slow start to average 7.9 rebounds per game throughout the regular season and Southern Conference tournament. At the guard position, Wayne State College transfer Jamar Diggs scored 9.4 points per game. The team also has senior G Junior Salters, who scored just shy of eight points per game and gives the team a consistent deep threat.
THEY’LL KEEP WINNING IF: The most important thing for Wofford will be getting a decent draw in the NCAA Tournament. A season ago, Chattanooga snuck into the postseason after winning the Southern Conference tournament, and the Mocs were rewarded with a No. 16 seed (against UConn). Wofford will need to face teams without big men who can dominate Noah Dahlman and Tim Johnson in terms of scoring and rebounding. If the Terriers can get those kinds of matchups, the team could do more than just earn its first berth to the NCAA Tournament.
STRENGTHS: Wofford’s strength is one that doesn’t show up in most statistical categories. The Terriers have not only a guard that was named All-Conference last season (Junior Salters), they also have two transfers in Cameron Rundles (6.6 ppg) and Jamar Diggs (9.4 ppg) who instantly showed the chemistry necessary to make the offense run. Add in Wofford veterans Corey Godsons (3.7 ppg, 16 starts), Brad Loesing (6.0 ppg, 3.0 apg) and defensive specialist Kevin Giltner, and the Terriers have the guard lineup to frustrate several different kinds of opponents.
WEAKNESSES: The Terriers are a team built on defense. The team has only one player (F Noah Dahlman) who finished the season ranked in the top 30 of the Southern Conference scoring charts). That means teams that can make adjustments to the different defenses Wofford will throw at them can do some damage. If an opponent can force the Terriers’ big men away with from the basket with some mid-range jump shots, Wofford will find itself in trouble.