Western Carolina 2010 College Insider Tournament Preview
Western Carolina Catamounts - Southern Conference (22-11, 11-7)
Big Wins: 12/2 Wofford (72-67), 12/7 at Bradley (75-67), 12/12 at Louisville (91-83)
Bad Losses: 1/9 at Georgia Southern (76-81), 1/28 at Chattanooga (67-80), 2/8 at Elon (76-81)
Coach: Larry Hunter
Probable Western Carolina Starters:
Brigham Waginger, Senior, Guard, 8.5 ppg, 4.4 apg, 2.7 spg
Brandon Giles, Senior, Guard, 11.8 ppg, 1.2 apg
Harouna Mutombo, Sophomore, Guard, 9.4 ppg, 2.2 apg, 4.7 rpg
Kendall Russell, Senior, Forward, 4.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Richie Gordon, Junior, Forward, 8.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Key Western Carolina Roleplayers:
Keaton Cole, Sophomore, Guard, 2.7 ppg
Adrian Gailliard, Senior, Forward, 4.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Jake Robinson, Senior, Forward, 11.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Mike Williams, Junior, Guard, 10.0 ppg, 2.2 apg
Why The Catamounts Can Surprise:
Western Carolina will take a lot of three-pointers and when the three ball is falling, the Catamounts are a tough team to beat. Jake Robinson is easily the team’s most prolific and effective long range shooter. The 6-8 senior hits 2.4 long balls per game and connects on 39.6 percent of his attempts. With his size Robinson is incredibly difficult to guard out on the perimeter. Due to his lack of rebounding and the fact that he is pretty much a really big guard, Robinson does not even start.
Brandon Giles and Brigham Waginger are also fine outside shooters. Giles is a pure scorer and will find a way to get into double digits in the scoring column even when his shot is not falling. Waginger is a pretty much just a shooter when it comes to scoring. He can attack the basket, but the 6-2 senior usually finds one of his teammates for an easy bucket when he does get aggressive. More importantly than his scoring is Waginger’s ability to handle the ball and his 4.4 assists and 1.9 turnovers will keep the Catamounts under control. Add Mike Williams to the bunch, who is the team’s third leading scorer, and the backcourt is in great hands.
Why The Catamounts Can Disappoint:
If you count Robinson as a guard and a shooter off the bench, Western Carolina’s frontcourt is pretty slim. Richie Gordon is the usual starter at the five spot and is a decent interior scorer. He is not a bad rebounder or shot blocker and leads the frontcourt in both of those categories. Kendall Russell and Adrian Gailliard have shared starting duties beside Gordon. Russell is a better rebounder, but only averages 4.4 per contest. Gailliard is a little more intimidating on the defensive end, but he is not very strong on the glass. The lack of size up front will come back to haunt the Catamounts and Robinson is too good of a scorer to leave on the bench.
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Who To Watch for Western Carolina:
What makes WCU a decent rebounding team is guard Harouna Mutombo. As a freshman during the 2008-2009 campaign Mutombo led the Catamounts with 14.4 points and 4.6 rebounds. His scoring has dropped this season as his shooting numbers across the board have dropped, but Mutombo is still a very valuable player on this team. He is still a great rebounder for a 6-4 guard and he will do plenty of that, but if his shot happens to be falling, he can be a difference maker in any game.
Western Carolina By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.8 (77th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.5 (187, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.9 (97, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.5 (194, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (34, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.3 (81, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 63.9 (303, 11)
Rebound Margin: 0.6 (173, 6)
Assists Per Game: 13.5 (141, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.0 (190, 7)