Bucky McMillan is coaching the first-place men’s basketball team in the Southern Conference. The Samford head coach is also one of the biggest fans of Southern Conference basketball.
“It’s fun to watch,” McMillan said. “(There are) so many different styles. You play one team and they are leading the country in 3-point shots per game. Then you go play another team, like Greensboro, which is just the most physical, SEC type team. You’ll come back the next night, it will be a mix of both. It’s what makes it a great league.”
Thus far, the Bulldogs (12-7 overall) have been able to handle the variety of challenges. They beat Chattanooga, which is tied for first in 3-point attempts and have sole possession of first in 3-pointers made, last Saturday. Two games before that, they outslugged a physical UNC Greensboro team on the road. Overall, the Bulldogs are 6-0 in SoCon play for the first time since joining the conference in 2008. The last time the Bulldogs won their first six conference games was in 2006-07, when they were members of the Ohio Valley Conference.
The latest challenge comes on the road, Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT, against an East Tennessee State team that makes things difficult for opposing offenses. In conference games, the Bucs (7-12 overall, 3-3 SoCon) are second among SoCon teams in scoring defense (67.3 points per game) and field goal percentage defense (40%).
For the Bulldogs that could mean finding a way to grind out another win. Playing on the road is often a challenge, but East Tennessee State is just 3-7 at home this season. All three of the Bucs' losses in SoCon play have come at home.
Samford is close to having standout point guard Ques Glover return to the lineup. Glover suffered a knee injury early in the season. He did not play in last Saturday’s come-from-behind win over Chattanooga, but he took part in warmups and was in uniform for the game. It’s not clear whether he will play at East Tennessee or possibly return on Saturday when the Bulldogs play host to Western Carolina.
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