Friday, February 29, 2008

Winthrop faces big obstacle to top seed

A big man will come to Rock Hill for a big game Saturday as Winthrop plays host to UNC Asheville in both teams’ Big South regular season finale.

The winner will receive the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage for the Big South tournament. Winthrop (19-10, 10-3 Big South) will have to contend with 7-foot-7 center Kenny George, who is averaging 12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Bulldogs (20-8, 9-4).
“There isn’t anybody like him in college basketball and very few like him have ever played the game,” said UNC Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. “He’s just bigger than everybody, and he’s a pretty good basketball player on top of that.”

Biedenbach would prefer that the Big South tournament were played on a neutral court like the ACC, SEC and other tournaments. But the way the tournament is set up could benefit the Bulldogs.

The home sites create the need for a travel day to be built in after the quarterfinals and semifinals (though the semis and finals can be at the same site if the No. 1 seed reaches the finals).

That day in between games benefits George, who would have difficulty running the court on consecutive days. That’s why it’s especially important for Winthrop to win and secure the homecourt advantage.
– Ken Tysiac