Sun Belt Conference (20-12, 13-5)
Big Wins: 12/4 at Auburn (81-77), 1/21 Western Kentucky (77-69), 3/8 vs Western Kentucky (54-48)
Bad Losses: 11/29 at Georgia Southern (77-80), 1/7 at Florida Atlantic (69-83), 1/23 at Louisiana Lafayette (54-69)
Coach: Don Maestri
Why They Can Surprise:
Troy has a trio of talented guards in the starting lineup. Most notable is shooting guard Brandon Hazzard. He is the dynamic scoring threat on this team and is no stranger to approaching the 30 point mark on any given night. Hazzard is a consistent outside shooter, but he will also use his 6-2 frame to attack the basket and finish with ease. His ability to score in a variety ways makes him very difficult to defend.
Richard Delk joins Hazzard on the wing and is another capable scorer. Delk is not as efficient of a shooter, but he is enough of a long range threat to keep the defense honest. He will usually attack the basket and he has a nice mid-range game, but his poor free-throw shooting can be a problem. Michael Vogler is actually the most efficient outside shooter on the team and connects on an impressive 44.7 percent of his long range attempts. But Vogler can also finish around the basket. Yet, it is his 5.6 assists per game that make him such a valuable contributor.
Why They Can Disappoint:
This is not a very good rebounding team despite the best efforts of Yamene Coleman. Coleman, a 6-9 center, is a great rebounder and a very effective interior scorer. Antywan Jones is his partner in the paint. Jones is not the strongest power forward around and that is one reason why this team struggles on the glass. At 190 pounds, Jones is a fine athlete who can block a shot here and there and stretch out the defense with his shooting, but he will not do much to help out on the glass.
Who To Watch:
The starting five are all seniors and they do a vast majority of the scoring for the Trojans. While it is certainly nice to have such an experienced starting five, Coach Don Maestri will need some production off of his bench sooner or later…and probably sooner. Vernon Taylor is the main sub for the backcourt and is the most explosive scorer off the bench. He is not much of a shooter, but he can finish around the basket. Wing Levan Patsatsia has to spend some time at the power forward spot due to lack of other options. At 6-6 he has as much size as Jones, but he will not help out too much in the rebounding department. Bernard Toombs is the one player who can help out on the glass. The 6-9 center only averages 13.2 minutes per game, but grabs 4.2 rebounds. When he is on the floor, Troy is not a horrible rebounding team, but he is usually only playing when Coleman needs a break or is in foul trouble.
Michael Vogler, Senior, Guard, 11.9 ppg, 5.6 apg, 1.8 spg
Brandon Hazzard, Senior, Guard, 16.6 ppg, 1.6 apg
Richard Delk, Senior, Guard, 12.2 ppg, 1.7 apg, 4.7 rpg
Antywan Jones, Senior, Forward, 8.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Yamene Coleman, Senior, Center, 10.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg
Levan Patsatsia, Junior, Guard, 2.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Vernon Taylor, Junior, Guard, 7.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Bernard Toombs, Junior, Center, 3.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.2 (40th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.7 (275, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.8 (20, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.4 (190, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (59, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.9 (38, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.3 (274, 13)
Rebound Margin: 0.8 (166, 6)
Assists Per Game: 12.8 (181, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (78, 3)
Follow Joel Welser's Postseason Capsules & College Basketball Previews on Twitter @Joel_Welser and on his Facebook page. Joel will be back in June for his annual Top 144 Teams in 144 Days preview on CollegeHoops.net