After winning 15 of its last 16 games – including a 67-64 win over Furman in the Southern Conference Championship – Wofford is back in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year and the fourth time since 2010.
“It never gets old,” Wofford coach Mike Young said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I wish somebody would have popped up above us other than Arkansas, but that’s who we have. We’re taking a very good team down to Jacksonville. We’re looking forward to getting down there and representing our college and the Southern Conference.”
Wofford (28-6, 16-2), seeded No. 12 in the West Region, will face No. 5 Arkansas (26-8, 13-5) on Thursday at 9:50 p.m. ET. Young admitted he doesn’t know a great deal about the Razorbacks – who fell to Kentucky, 78-63, in the SEC Championship – but he knows they’re a tough team.
“I watch basketball all the time, and I have great respect and admiration for the Razorbacks and Coach (Mike) Anderson and what he’s doing there,” Young said. “I did watch them some (Saturday) against Georgia. I watched them some (Sunday) against Kentucky. But you’re so locked in on your team and your league and winning the next game, I don’t have a lot of familiarity with Arkansas. But that will change over the next 24 hours. We’ll watch a bunch of them here as we head into the week.”
Arkansas is 13-4 in its last 17 games. Two of those losses came to Kentucky (34-0, 18-0). Another, at Florida, was by a point.
“I did mention that I watched (Sunday) against Kentucky in the SEC final. People don’t just back into that. You better be pretty good to get to that point,” Young said. “They beat a tournament team (Saturday) in Georgia to advance to the final. So it’s the Arkansas Razorbacks. We got our hands full, but again, we’re taking a good team to Jacksonville. We’ll fight and do everything we can to give ourselves a shot.”
Wofford is led by 6-1 senior guard Karl Cochran, who leads the team in scoring (14.6 points per game), rebounding (5.8), assists (2.7), steals (1.8) and blocks (1.1). Junior guard Spencer Collins is averaging 11.6 points per game, while senior forward Lee Skinner is averaging 10.0.
The Terriers finished just inside the top 200 nationally in scoring offense (67 points per game), but they have four players shooting between 37.2 and 40.7 percent from three-point range. Wofford also played a tough out-of-conference schedule, squaring off against Duke, West Virginia and Stanford and even beat NC State in Raleigh.
“I’ve been here a long time,” said Young, who became an assistant at Wofford in 1989 before taking over as head coach in 2002. “I know every year it’s the tournament champion that comes out of our league that advances to the NCAA Tournament. With that in mind, I’ve got to do everything I can to prepare our team for January and February. I don’t think there’s a better proving ground than Palo Alto (or) when you’re going to Cameron Indoor Stadium and playing those types of people. We got some scars to prove it – and I think it pays dividends down the line for our teams.”