Appalachian State 2010 College Insider Tournament Preview
Appalachian State Mountaineers - Southern Conference (22-12, 13-5)
Big Wins: 11/28 Morgan State (93-92), 12/7 at Wofford (77-76), 3/7 vs Charleston (77-54)
Bad Losses: 12/3 Furman (82-85), 1/20 at Georgia Southern (65-68), 1/30 at Chattanooga (80-85)
Coach: Buzz Peterson
Probable Appalachian State Starters:
Donald Sims, Junior, Guard, 20.0 ppg, 2.3 apg
Kellen Brand, Senior, Guard, 11.5 ppg, 2.1 apg
Jeremi Booth, Junior, Guard, 8.0 ppg, 1.0 apg
Josh Hunter, Senior, Forward, 6.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg
Isaac Butts, Junior, Center, 8.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Key Appalachian State Roleplayers:
Ryann Abraham, Senior, Guard, 5.7 ppg, 2.5 apg
Andre Williamson, Sophomore, Forward, 4.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Marcus Wright, Sophomore, Guard, 5.5 ppg, 1.3 apg
Why The Mountaineers Can Surprise:
Usually when a team has as good of a shooting percentage as Appalachian State, it is the frontcourt players who deserve a lot of the credit. While that is partially true in this case, the play of guard Donald Sims has kept that number up. Sims, a 6-1 junior, is a great shooter from anywhere on the floor. He connects on 42.0 percent of his 7.6 attempts from beyond the arc, but he is equally dangerous attacking the basket. He gets to the charity stripe five times per game and knocks down an incredible 95.3 percent of his attempts once he gets there.
But the frontcourt does help keep the team’s overall shooting numbers up. Most notable is center Isaac Butts. He is the Mountaineers main interior scoring threat and averages 8.7 points per game. Butts is also a good rebounder who will use his 6-10, 285 pound frame to create space under the basket. Josh Hunter is not quite as efficient as Butts, but he has turned into a consistent power forward who will do the dirty work in the paint and do some scoring while he is at it. Sophomore Andre Williamson is not much of a scorer, but he is a superb athlete who is a great rebounder and shot blocker and keeps getting better with every game.
Why The Mountaineers Can Disappoint:
The problem with this team is assists and turnovers. This group scores quite a few points, but their assist numbers are very low. Most of the time it is Sims creating a shot for himself and this group needs to start sharing the ball more if they want to have success in March. The bigger concern is the turnovers. Sims and Kellen Brand handle the ball most of the time, but they both have a negative assist-to-turnover ratio. The other option is senior Ryann Abraham. Abraham is not much of a scorer or rebounder and he rarely starts for that reason, but he will play about 20 minutes per game and he easily has the best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team. If Coach Buzz Peterson can find room for Abraham on the floor without losing out on their advantage on the glass, Abraham has the ability to spark a sometimes stagnant offense.
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Who To Watch for Appalachian State:
Jeremi Booth would be the likely candidate to play fewer minutes if Abraham plays more. But Booth is the only other shooter on the team besides Sims and having another long range threat is important to this offense. Booth also has more size and is a decent rebounder. Marcus Wright is another guard who can provide a spark off the bench if he can overcome a hip injury.
Appalachian State By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.3 (49th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.8 (206, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.4 (14, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.1 (113, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (57, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.6 (14, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.1 (25, 1)
Rebound Margin: 8.0 (6, 1)
Assists Per Game: 12.2 (225, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (272, 10)