UNC Greensboro Spartans at Furman Paladins – NCAAM February 8

UNC Greensboro (13-5, 8-2) at Furman (11-6, 5-3)

  • Time: 2PM PST | 4PM CST | 5PM EST
  • Location: Timmons Arena, Greeneville, SC
  • TV: ESPNU

Opening Tip

UNCG sits atop the SoCon with a one-game lead in the loss column over Wofford, ETSU, and Furman. The Paladins now have a chance to regain some of their pre-conference moxie after a fractured SoCon schedule due to covid protocols has left them struggling as they have lost three out of their last four game while three games in that stretch have been postponed. This is the make-up game from a Jan. 25 postponement.

The Spartans have won seven in a row with two postponements via COVID after they started the league season at 1-2.

Spartans point guard Isaiah Miller is fourth in the SoCon at 18.6 points per game while Furman’s Mike Bothwell checks in at seventh and posts 17.1 points per game while Clay Mounce is tenth at 15.5 points. Amazingly, Miller with his 6-0 frame averages 6.7 boards per outing.

Vs. The Spread

UNCG:

  • The Spartans have been a at least a 5-point underdog in what is now 10 times this season and the have a 6-3 record in that role
  • UNCG is 5-1 ATS in it’s last 6 games
  • The Spartans have only been OVER the number in 5 of their last 12 games

Furman:

  • The OVER has been the play in 8 of Furman’s last 10 games
  • The Paladins are 5-6 ATS in their last 11 games
  • Furman is 7-3 this season when either an underdogs or favored by less than 5 points

Last Time Out

Kaleb Hunter had 22 points and Isaiah Miller had 15 points seven boards and seven assists as UNCG dropped The Citadel, 85-66, last Wednesday. The Spartans’ defense held the Bulldogs to 38.2 percent from the floor as they made only 5-of-23 shots.

Furman fell at Wofford, 75-67, on Saturday, as Clay Mounce had a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Paladins struggled on defense as the Terriers shot 49 percent from the field as they assisted 19 of 28 shots.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
UNCG +4 (-102) +165 O 144.5 (+100)
Furman -4 (-118) -190 U 144.5 (-120)

Advantage, Spartans

UNCG’s defensive impact has jetted the Spartans to the top of the SoCon standings two-third of the way through season. UNCG leads the league in defensive field goal percentage at 40.8 percent and three-point percentage at 30.2 percent for the game. Isaiah Miller and Keyshaun Langley have done a tremendous job in the backcourt in dictating the tempo with 39 and 20 steals each. The Spartans are athletic at the small forward and power forward with Kaleb Hunter and Angelo Allegri, as this adds versatility to the defensive game plan.

Key UNCG Stat:

This should be a close game and the Spartans must better their 68.3 free throw percentage (9th/SoCon) as it applies to the season. UNCG has gotten to the line 319 times so far as Keyshaun Langley is the leader in making 30-of-37 free throws in shooting 81 percent.

X-Factor:

How Hayden Koval and Mohmmad Abdulsalam defend the paint will be a key for the Spartans against Noah Gurley (14.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg), whose numbers are down off off last season. Abdulsalaam could be a problem on the offensive glass as he leads the SoCon with 3.1 offensive boards per game while Koval leads the conference with 2.7 blocks per game.

Advantage, Paladins

If Mike Bothwell gets settled into a scoring rhythm against the SoCon’s No.1 defense, the Paladins could be in good shape in playing only their third home SoCon game of eight due to rescheduling with regard to covid protocols. He averages 17.1 points, 3.2 assists and 1.9 steals and has registered double digits in 22 of his last 24 games.

Key Paladins Stat:

The Paladins force 15.9 turnovers per game, but the Spartans only average 12.7 per game behind the solid ball handling of Miller and Keyshaun Langley. Furman’s Alex Hunter Leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at (+3.0) on the season. He also sees a defense in UNCG that forces 15.1 miscues per outing.

X-Factor:

Clay Mounce has pushed his stats in league play as he leads the Paladins by averaging 16.8 points per game, so his ability to establish both his inside and outside game will be a key. Mounce is second on the team in three-pointers made with 37.

Winner: Furman (-4) 70, UNCG 64
Over-Under: Take UNDER 144.5

The Bets
Furman Paladins -4
-118
UNDER 144.5
-120
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.