Opponent Preview: Mercer

Mercer
Mercer

The Bucs will be visiting the Bears of Mercer (10-8) on Thursday at 7PM. ETSU comes in winners of 2 of their last 3, including a ten-point win against league leader Florida Gulf Coast this past Saturday. Mercer has dropped 2 of their last 3, but will be playing their first game at home since January 2nd where they are unbeaten this year.

The Bucs look to continue to stay on track Thursday night in Macon against pre-season favorite Mercer. ETSU will be tested against a tough Mercer team that usually plays well at home. Mercer has won their lone conference home game this year against Stetson (70 – 64). While ETSU is 1-1 on the road in A-Sun conference games this season.

Versus ETSU:  ETSU leads series 12-3.  Last meeting ETSU 46 – VCU 54 in Macon, GA (2012)

Last Season 27-11
Conference Record 13-5 (2nd)
Coach Bob Hoffman (Oklahoma Baptist ’79)
Record At School 95–77 (5 years)
Career Record 163–154 (10 years)

A Quick Look at Mercer

Mercer the preseason favorites in the A-Sun this season is lead by Senior guard Travis Smith averaging 12 points per game. They are an experienced team led by several upperclassmen and one of the better defensive teams in the league allowing on 57 points per game. Mercer expects to be a tough outing for the Bucs despite being only 10-8 so far this season. The Bears have two big non-conference victories with wins both at Alabama and Florida State earlier in the season.

A Quick Look at ETSU

ETSU is coming off perhaps their biggest win of the season on Saturday night when they beat league leader Florida Gulf Coast 85-75 in Johnson City. The Bucs hope to continue their strong play against Mercer. ETSU’s 85 points in Saturday’s win is the second most of the season and their 52% shooting percentage was also the second highest shooting percentage of the season.

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: ETSU 58.9, Mercer 61.2
Scoring Defense: ETSU 69.6 points allowed, Mercer 56.9
Field Goal%: ETSU 39.3%, Mercer 40.6%
Field Goal% Defense: ETSU 45%, Mercer 39.8%
3-Point Field Goal%: ETSU 30.3%, Mercer 33.3%
3-Point Field Goal% Defense: ETSU 36.9%, Mercer 33.4%
Rebounding Margin: ETSU -4.8, Mercer +0.1
Turnover Margin: ETSU +0.4, Mercer +2.1

For ETSU to Win they will need to shoot well from the field. ETSU is 4-1 this year in games where they have shot over 43% from the field. In addition to shooting well the Bucs will also need to control the boards and have a strong defensive effort, especially from the 3-point line.

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Scouting the ASUN: Mercer Bears

Langston Hall-Mercer
Langston Hall-Mercer
Langston Hall-ASUN All-Freshman Team; 1st-Team Atlantic Sun

They are clearly the team to beat next year after a stirring CIT tournament championship (winning 3 games on the road).    The Bears lose their best outside shooter in 6’8” Justin Cecil, with his 82 treys, but bring back everybody else.  And the average 3 point percentage of the remaining players is as good as Cecil’s, (.363), so they  should still do fine from the arc.   To bolster perimeter shooting they bring in skinny 6’2” JUCO Anthony White from Lakeland College who knocks down 15 points on 40% from 3.  They should improve as their young, senior free roster matures.   6’10” rising junior Daniel Coursey, completely unheralded as a freshman, is easily the most improved big man in the ASun.   They are a little short on athleticism and physicality inside, but have good size, shooting, passing and basketball smarts from the big guys, Coursey, Bud Thomas and Jake Gollon, and from 6’4” guard Langston Hall, a top candidate for ASun POY.    Travis Smith became a fine 2nd guard to go with him.  Mercer is by far the best balanced team in the league.    They had the best scoring defense in the ASun – holding opponents to 62.8, and to by far the lowest field goal percentage, .386.  They were 2nd to Belmont in scoring margin, +5.3, and were 4th in 3 point percentage.   They had the second highest rebounding margin after USCU.  They led in blocked shots with 4.8.  They can beat you inside or out.   Bit players Paul Larsen, R.J. Miskimon, Shaquille Harris and Kymon Woods transfer.  Mercer got here by bringing in bushels of recruits for 2 years (about 14 in all), discarding most of them, but finding key players like Coursey, Bud Thomas and Travis Smith among the remainder.   Additions include shooter White, and 6’5” freshman guard Lawrence Brown of Kansas City, MO, 6’4” FR guard Dylan Poston of Myrtle Beach, SC, and 6’5” sophomore Ike Nwamu from Greensboro, NC.

2012-2013 Mercer Roster

25 Lawrence Brown G Fr. 6-5 210 Kansas City, Mo. / The Barstow School
45 Monty Brown C Jr. 6-11 250 Liberty Mounds, Okla. / The Hotchkiss School (Conn.)
34 Jibri Bryan G R-Fr. 6-3 180 Savannah, Ga. / Benedictine Military School
3 Kevin Canevari G Jr. 5-11 165 Charlotte, N.C. / Lake Norman HS
52 Daniel Coursey F Jr. 6-10 220 Savannah, Ga. / Benedictine Military School
20 Jakob Gollon F R-Jr. 6-6 200 Stevens Point, Wis. / Stevens Point HS
21 Langston Hall PG Jr. 6-4 180 Atlanta, Ga. / Chamblee HS
14 T.J. Hallice F So. 6-9 205 Weddington, N.C. / Fishburne Military School
22 Darious Moten F R-So. 6-6 195 Bowdon, Ga. / Bowdon HS
10 Ike Nwamu F So. 6-5 205 Greensboro, N.C. / Westchester Country Day
1 Dylan Poston G Fr. 6-4 185 Myrtle Beach, S.C. / Faith Baptist School
23 Chris Smith G Sr. 6-1 170 Dublin, Ga. / Dublin HS
2 Travis Smith G Sr. 6-3 185 Johns Island, S.C. / Porter-Gaud School
5 Bud Thomas F Jr. 6-6 200 Highlands Ranch, Colo. / Regis Jesuit HS
15 Anthony White Jr. G Jr. 6-2 170 Indianapolis, Ind. / Pike HS

2011-2012 Mercer Results

RECORD:  OVERALL  HOME  AWAY  NEUTRAL 
ALL GAMES (27-11) (15-2) (12-8) (0-1)
CONFERENCE (13-5) (8-1) (5-4) (0-0)
NON-CONFERENCE (14-6) (7-1) (7-4) (0-1)

2011-2012 Stats

Player GP MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% FT% 3P%
Langston Hall 38 34.7 11.4 3.4 4.2 1.3 0.2 2.7 .376 .757 .361
Justin Cecil 38 25.1 10.8 3.6 0.7 0.4 0.4 1.1 .407 .790 .363
Jakob Gollon 38 31.8 10.5 5.9 3.3 1.6 0.3 3.1 .474 .829 .391
Bud Thomas 38 31.6 8.6 4.6 2.1 1.2 0.5 1.9 .504 .631 .323
Travis Smith 31 21.0 8.5 2.5 1.7 0.8 0.0 1.5 .492 .821 .429
Daniel Coursey 38 19.6 8.2 4.2 0.4 0.3 2.3 1.3 .620 .609 .000
Jibri Bryan 6 13.0 5.2 3.2 0.5 0.5 0.2 0.7 .423 .667 .500
Monty Brown 38 11.6 4.7 2.5 0.2 0.1 0.5 1.1 .582 .654 .000
Chris Smith 38 9.7 2.6 1.5 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.7 .390 .806 .333
Paul Larsen 32 6.2 1.6 1.4 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.5 .302 .625 .000
Shaquille Harris 27 3.4 1.4 0.4 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.3 .400 .400 .313
R.J. Miskimon 8 1.1 0.6 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 .667 .000 .500
Kevin Canevari 34 4.6 0.6 0.5 0.6 0.3 0.0 0.6 .438 .800 .273
T.J. Hallice 38 4.1 0.5 0.8 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.2 .240 .429 .000
Darious Moten 23 2.0 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1 .182 .333 .000
Marquisse Jackson 10 2.6 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.2 .000 .000 .000

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