Archive for the ‘ Daily Preview ’ Category

NCAA Basketball Preview for 1/17/11- MLK Day

Game of the Night

(3) Syracuse 18-0 (5-0) at (4) Pittsburgh 17-1 (5-0)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 12:  Head coach Jamie Dixon of the Pittsburgh Panthers looks on during a college basketball game against the Georgetown Hoyas on January 12, 2011 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.  The Panthers won 72-57.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

(Jamie Dixon)

This will be a brawl.

Syracuse is looking to get off to their best start since the 1999-2000 season where they sizzled to a 19-0 start before losing to Seton Hall.  That squad finished 26-6, and lost to Michigan State in the Sweet Sixteen.

Pittsburgh comes off a win over Seton Hall.

SYRACUSE

The Orange overhauled their frontcourt, but like last year, they’re tough and physical inside.  Arinze Onuaku and Wes Johnson have been replaced by Fab Melo and Kris Joseph.  They will be Kris Joseph tonight due to a head injury.  He’s Cuse’ leading scorer.  He’s Jim Boeheim’s typical starting small forward; long and athletic. 

James Southerland will start for Joseph tonight.

Freshman center Fab Melo has a tough task on his hands trying to keep Pittsburgh off the glass.  It’s his first true test against a big, physical player in the paint so far this season.

Rick Jackson is a pounder inside.  He has 11 double-doubles so far this season.

I’m curious to see which of these two goes up against Pitt’s Gary McGhee.

Scoope Jardine and Brandon Triche make up the backcourt. 

Jardine has solid vision, but is susceptible to ball pressure.  He’s recorded 16 turnovers in his last three games.  The Panthers put defensive pressure on the opposing guards and force giveaways. 

Triche has improved his jumpshot.

PITTSBURGH

It’s going to come down to the offensive glass in my opinion.  Gary McGhee is such an underrated asset for Pittsburgh.  He’s like an NFL nose-tackle who occupies a lot of space using his large frame.

Nasir Robinson is a small four who’s scrappy and hits the boards.

Pittsburgh is second in the country in rebounding.

Brad Wannamaker, Ashton Gibbs and Gilbert Brown provide the scoring, and guys like McGhee give these three great offensive threats second possessions by getting the offensive rebound.

All three shoot the three ball over 40-percent.

Wannamaker protects the ball, Gibbs has a nice mid-range game and Brown is a superb athlete.

PREDICTION- Pitt- 66-56

Pitt’s at home and the Orange don’t have Kris Joseph.

The Panthers backcourt is better, and without Joseph, their frontcourt is better.

THE BEST OF THE REST

(Andrew Goudelock)

So some games have already been played, and St. John’s won again.  This time upsetting a suddenly struggling Notre Dame team at home.

  • B12- (2) Kansas 17-0 (2-0) at Baylor 12-4 (2-1)

Baylor’s at home, and they need this win.  After starting the season in the top ten, the Bears have dropped out of the polls.  I think Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn has a ball game.

Bay- 81-79

  • B12- (24) Kansas State 13-6 (1-2) at (14) Missouri 15-3 (1-2)

We’re really starting to see what Denis Clemente meant to the Wildcats last season.

Mizz- 78-66

  • MAAC- Fairfield 12-4 (5-1) at Rider 12-6 (4-2)

Huge game in terms of the pecking order of the conference.

Rid- 69-67

  • South- Charleston 12-5 (5-0) at Chattanooga 10-8 (6-0)

Watch this game just to see Charleston’s Andrew Goudelock play, he’s special.

Charl- 71-67

YOOOAdrian’s NCAA Basketball Preview for 1/13/11- No. 8 Purdue Visits the Barn

1/12/11 Recap

1/12/11 Preview

 

GAME OF THE NIGHT

 (8) Purdue 15-1 (4-0) at (25) Minnesota 12-4 (1-3)

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  The Minnesota Golden Gophers mascot Goldy entertains the fans during a break in the 76 Classic game between Texas A&M and Minnesota at Anaheim Convention Center on November 29, 2009 in Anaheim, California. Texas A&M defeated Minnesota 66-65.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Robbie Hummel was supposed to be a National Player of the Year Candidate for Purdue this season.  Unfortunately, another ACL injury cost him his season.

The Boilermaker senior leadership banded the team together, and Purdue has gotten off to a great start in the Big Ten.  But, this trip to “The Barn” in my opinion, is the toughest game on the slate thus far for Purdue.

Minnesota is 1-3 in the Big Ten, but they’ve lost all three of those games on the road to ranked opponents; Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State.  

PURDUE

It starts with a pair of senior leaders; guard E’Twaun Moore and forward Jajuan Johnson, the heart and soul of Purdue. 

Moore is silky-smooth with the ball in his hands.  He can penetrate and create his own shot, and possesses a fine floater when he gets in the lane.  He’s averaging 18.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.1 apg and 1.7 spg.

Jajuan is an athletic forward with a huge wingspan.  He’s great finishing on the break.  He also has an array of moves in his post game, and can step out and hit a jump shot.  Johnson averages 19.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg, and 2.5 bpg.

Role players like Ryne Smith, Kelsey Barlow, Terone Johnson, Lewis Jackson and D.J. Byrd have all stepped up.

Purdue plays tough, in your face, man-to-man defense.

MINNESOTA

“The Barn” is an 82-year old facility, but it’s one of the toughest places to play in the country.  The floor is raised two-feet off the ground, so coaches and players sit below the playing surface.  The only other raised floor in college basketball is at Vanderbilt.

The Golden Gophers have a balanced attack; solid both inside and outside.

Blake Hoffarber, Trevor Mbakwe, and Ralph Sampson III all average double-digits in scoring.

Al Nolen has been good at the point guard position.  His greatest asset is his ability to create turnovers.  He averages 3.7 apg.

The story for Minnesota has been the stellar play of the 240-pounder inside, Trevor Mbakwe.  Mbakwe returned to team practice on Monday after being sidelined for an assault accusation.

Mbakwe is a fantastic rebounder who averages 10.4 rpg and 13.4 ppg.

The match-up inside of Mbakwe and Johnson will be fun to watch.

PREDICTION- Min 56-54

THE BEST OF THE REST

(Chris Fouch)

  • CAA- Old Dominion 12-3 (3-1) at Drexel 10-4 (2-2)

If Drexel wins this one is it possible that the Colonial can get two bids for the NCAA Tournament?

Old Dominion is the favorite, but Drexel has an impressive road win at Louisville that they can count on come Selection Sunday. 

In order for Drexel to have a shot at the Big Dance,I think they have to go at least 13-3/12-4 in conference play and get to the final of the CAA Conference Tournament.

Drex- 64-62 OT

  • ACC- Virginia Tech 10-4 (1-1) at North Carolina 11-4 (1-0)

The team always on the bubble in the Hokies vist Chapel Hill.  This would be a nice road win for Tech.

VT- 78-75

  • Pac10- (18) Washington 12-3 (4-0) at Stanford 9-5 (2-1)

Interesting road test against Stanford.

UW- 80-72

  • BEast- Providence 11-6 (0-4) at West Virginia 10-4 (2-2)

The Mountaineers have to take care of business at home against an inferior opponent.

WVU- 71-58

  • A10- Rhode Island 9-6 (0-1) at Richmond 13-4 (2-0)

The Rams haven’t gotten off the quick start they’ve been accustomed to the last couple of years.

The Spiders have felt the effects of the loss of guard David Gonzalvez.  He and Kevin Anderson complemented each other well.

I expect Richmond to patch things up in conference play and once again be an at-large selection in the tournament.

Rich- 79-66

  • ASun- Lipscomb 9-6 (4-2) at Belmont 14-3 (6-0)

The two best teams, in my opinion, in the Atlantic Sun do battle.

Lipscomb has forward Adnan Hodzic, the favorite to win the A-Sun Player of the Year award for the second straight year.

Belmont is the team that almost shocked Duke as a 15th seed in the First-Round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.  They lost to Tennessee by just a point earlier this season.

Bel- 81-78

  • BSouth- Winthrop 7-8 (3-2) at Coastal Carolina 14-2 (5-0)

Just like in the Atlantic Sun, the two best teams in the Big South meet up.

The Chanticleers are a potential 14/15 seed in the NCAA Tournament if they win their Conference Tournament.  They have the size inside to hang with a BCS team in a potential first round encounter.

CC- 70-56

YOOOAdrian’s NCAA Basketball Preview for 1/12/11- (5) Pitt at (19) Georgetown Headlines an Interesting Wednesday

1/11/11 Recap

1/11/11 Preview

MATCHUP OF THE DAY: (5) Pittsburgh 15-1 (3-0) at (19) Georgetown 12-4 (1-3)

(Brad Wanamaker) 

Georgetown started the season red hot winning their first eight games.  This included a win at Missouri.  Since the blistering beginning, the Hoyas are just 4-4 and 1-3 in the Big East.  They lost to Temple, Notre Dame and St. John’s on the road and West Virginia at home.

Pittsburgh played a tough 13 game non-conference schedule before the start of Big East play.  Their only misstep was a home loss to Tennessee.  They won the Coaches vs Cancer Classic in New York; They beat Maryland in the semis and Texas in the final.  They’ve started 3-0 in the Big East. 

GEORGETOWN

The trio of Chris Wright, Jason Clark and Austin Freeman are the main scorers for the Hoyas.  All average twelve plus points a game; Freeman (17.9), Jason Clark (13.5) and Wright (12.5). The threesome complement each other well; Clark is a spot-up shooter, Freeman is a slasher, and Wright drives and kicks.

Georgetown shoots the ball extremely well.  As a team, the Hoyas rank second in the country in field goal percentage (51.6%).

The Hoyas two bigs inside, Julian Vaughn and Hollis Thompson both shoot the ball over 52-percent.  They both snatch down five plus rebounds a night.

PITTSBURGH

It starts with defense for Pitt, they have to make Georgetown make tough shots.

The Panthers too shoot the ball well, 11th in the country in field goal percentage (49.3%).  They have an effective scoring trio as well; Brad Wanamaker, Ashton Gibbs and Gilbert Brown. 

They take good shots and move the ball around, referenced by their No. 1 ranking in assists at 20.4 per game.  Wanamaker averages 5.3 assists, and Gibbs and Brown each dish it three plus times a night.  

They hit the glass hard.  The Panthers are third in the country in rebounding pulling down 42.8 rebounds a night.

Senior center Gary McGhee is the x-factor tonight.  He averages 7.2 rebounds per game.  If he can get some offensive rebounds inside and get Pittsburgh extra possessions, that may be the main reason Pitt wins the game. 

PREDICTION- Pitt 86-82

Georgetown is tough at home, and both teams shoot the lights out of the basketball, but I think Pitt’s toughness inside wins them this game.

THE BEST OF THE REST

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(Steve Lavin)

  • B-East: (4) Syracuse 16-0 (3-0) at St. John’s 10-4 (3-1) *****UPSET SPECIAL*****

Steve Lavin has the Red Storm faithful fired up about this year’s team.  Especially after a huge home upset win over Georgetown.  Can they pull another home shocker?

SJU- 74-72

  • B-East- (17) Louisville 13-2 (2-0) at (7) Villanova 14-1 (3-0)

Tough road test for Pitino and the Cardinals.

Nova- 83-72

  • ACC- (1) Duke 14-0 (1-0) at Florida State 11-5 (1-1)

Florida State can defend, but the Duke firepower is too much.

Duke- 76-67

  • B10- (2) Ohio State 16-0 (3-0) at Michigan 11-5 (1-2)

Football, basketball, it doesn’t matter.  Ohio State is the superior athletic program for the time being.

OhSt- 71-60

  • MWC- UNLV 13-3 (1-1) at (6) San Diego State 17-0 (2-0)

UNLV is underrated, but not good enough to knock off the No. 6 Aztecs on road.

SDSU- 70-64

  • B12- Oklahoma State 13-2 (1-0) at (13) Texas A&M 14-1 (1-0)

Both teams have been somewhat surprising so far.  I’ll take the Aggies at home.

A&M- 61-58

  • MVC- Wichita State 13-2 (4-0) at Creighton 12-5 (4-1)

If the Shockers want to shock some teams in March these are games they have to win.

Wich- 57-55

  • B12- Colorado 12-4 (1-0) at (20) Kansas State 12-4 (0-1)

Colorado is a Big 12 sleeper this year, but beating the Wildcats in Manhattan is a tough task.

KState- 78-72

  • SEC- Georgia 12-2 (1-0) at Vanderbilt 11-3 (0-1)

I love the Dogs this year to make the Big Dance.  This would be a nice road win.

UGA- 75-74

YOOOAdrian’s NCAA Basketball Preview for 1/11/11- Wisconsin and Michigan State Going to Battle

Preview for 1/10/11

Recap from 1/10/11

MATCHUP OF THE DAY- (21) Wisconsin 12-3 (2-1) at (24) Michigan State 10-5 (2-1)

(Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas)

Michigan State once again has started slow early on in the season after a Final Four appearance.  Maybe the lofty expectations put on the team pres-season was unfair.  The Spartans have always been a team that gets better as the season goes along.  State also has the beneficiary of being at home at the Breslin Center.

Surprise, surprise, Bo Ryan is at it again.  He has his Badgers in fine position.  Wisconsin hasn’t finished lower than fourth in the Big Ten during the nine year tenure of Ryan.

MICHIGAN STATE

The Sparties haven’t been able to hold onto the ball.  They’ve turned it over 15 plus times a contest. 

Rebounding has been a concern.  Coach Izzo prides himself in having his teams box out.  Last year the team was first in the Big Ten in rebounding margin at +8.6.  The rebounding margin for the Sparties so far this season has been just +2.

Draymond Green and Delvon Roe are the two key rebounders; but Michigan State has yet to find a third wheel.  Green snatches down 8.9 a night while Roe pulls down 5.7.  The loss of Raymar Morgan seems to be bigger and bigger as the season has gone along. 

I’m not sure what’s up with Kalin Lucas; maybe my expectations of him were too high.  He’s still not playing bad, but I thought he would be a National Player of the Year contender.  His assist to turnover ratio isn’t great.  He’s averaging 14.3 ppg, 3.5 apg, but also 2.6 turnovers per game.  He can shoot, drive, strip and dish with the best of them, but he needs to take care of the ball. 

The leading scorer so far for Michigan State has been Durrell Summers.  He’s putting in 15.6 points a night.

WISCONSIN

You have to love Ryan’s swing offense; the guards go in the post and the forwards shoot from the perimeter.  6-foot-10 senior forward Jon Leuer has benefited greatly from Ryan’s offense.  Leuer averages 19.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg.  He causes matchup problems because of his ability to shoot the basketball.

Devin Harris, Kameron Taylor, Trevon Hughes, and now Jordan Taylor.  It’s not a fluke that Wisconsin continues to churn out talented point guards.  Not only is Taylor dishing out 4.8 assists per night, he’s giving the ball away just 1.1 times a game.  Oh, and he can also score.  He averages 16.4 points per game.

Taylor is a guy who can get in the lane, but now with his improved three point shooting (39.7 percent), he’s become a force in the Big Ten.  He shot just 32.7 percent from beyond the arc last year. 

Sophomore Ryan Evans is a stifling defender.  He’ll be on Summers.

PREDICTION- MSU- 61-59

The individual matchup of Lucas and Taylor should be fun.

Also, I’m curios to see how the Spartans defend Leuer.  I think they’ll put the athletic Roe on him.

Michigan State wins because they’re at home. 

THE BEST OF THE REST

(Penn State’s Talor Battle)

  • Big Ten- (16) Illinois 13-3 (3-0) at Penn State 9-6 (2-2)  ***UPSET SPECIAL***

Penn State’s Talor Battle and Illinois’ Demetri McCamey should have a nice little dual.  Battle averages a Big Ten leading 20.5 ppg, while McCamey puts in 16.2 points a night.

Penn State is going to have to handle the inside size of Tisdale and Davis on the glass; they both average seven rebounds a game. 

PSU- 67-64

  • SEC- Florida 12-3 (1-0) at Tennessee 10-5 (0-1)

Both teams are unranked after starting the season in the top 25. 

This should be a fun one as both teams possess some guys who can put the ball in the bucket; Tennessee 6-foot-7 Scotty Hopson (16.3 ppg) and  6-foot-8 freshman Tobias Harris (15.5 ppg) vs Florida 5-foot-8 Erving Walker (14.3 ppg) and 6-foot-2 Kenny Boynton (12.6 ppg).  As you can see the size of Tennesse will play a factor.

Ten- 81-75

  • ACC- NC State 11-4 (1-0) at Boston College 12-4 (2-0) 

Both teams have been pleasant surprises, Boston College more so than NC State.

Tracy Smith is a mammoth inside for the Wolfpack, and freshman forward C.J. Leslie has lived up to the hype thus far.

NC ST- 74-72

  • M-West- (10) BYU 16-1 (2-0) at Utah 7-9 (0-2) ***Mid-Major Game of the Night***

It’s the Holy War, anything can happen!  But BYU has the mini Larry Bird in Jimmer Fredette (24.9 ppg)

BYU- 81-68

  • Big 12- (14) Texas 12-3 (0-0) at Texas Tech 8-8 (0-1)

The Longhorns are a tricky team to gauge at home, but they should be able to take care of the Red Raiders.

Tex- 77-68

  • Big East- Rutgers 10-5 (1-2) at (9) Connecticut 12-2 (1-2) 

The Huskies come off a huge overtime win at Texas. 

Mike Rice is doing a fine job turning the Scarlet Knight around thus far.

Uconn- 84-67

  • Big 12- Oklahoma 8-7 (0-1) at Baylor 11-3 (1-0)

Oklahoma is horrible.

Bay- 76-58

  • Auburn 7-8 (0-1) at (15) Kentucky 12-3 (0-1)

Auburn scored just six first half points against LSU in their last game.  That’s not good.

UK- 91-60

  • MAC- Bowling Green 6-9 (1-0) at Kent State 9-6 (0-1)

Kent State forward Justin Green can ball.

KSU- 77-67

YOOOAdrian’s NCAA Basketball Preview for 1/10/11- (11) Notre Dame Travels to Marquette

MATCHUP OF THE DAY- (11) Notre Dame 14-2 (3-1) at Marquette 11-5 (2-1)

(Tim Abromaitis)

Notre Dame and Marquette are both offensively explosive basketball teams, but both score in different ways. 

MARQUETTE

Marquette likes to fly up and down the court using their speed and quickness.  Darius Johnson-Odom leads the way.  He averages 15.9 points per game.  In the halfcourt game Odom utilizes an effective pump fake when’s he’s positioned outside the three-point line.  He shoots the ball at a respectable 35-percent beyond the three line.  If his defender plays back he launches the shot.  If his defender plays tight, Odom uses the pump-fake to get around the defender and to the tin.  He has good quickness.

6-foot-7 forward Jimmy Butler is the Golden Eagles best option in the interior.  Butler’s filled in quite nicely for the departed Lazar Hayward who’s now in the NBA.  Butler is a versatile player who’s averaged 15.1 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game. 

The x-factor in this one is the freshman Vander Blue.  He’s a good perimeter defender who’ll be needed against a fantastic three-point shooting team in the Irish.  Marquette currently ranks last in the Big East in defending the three-point shot (38.5 percent).

NOTRE DAME

 

Marquette likes to fly; Notre Dame likes to let it fly from deep.  They shoot it at a 37.7 percent clip.

Guard Ben Hansbrough and forward Tim Abromaitis are excellent beyond the arc as they both stroke it over 40 plus percent.  Marquette is a pesky defense who look to pressure and force turnovers.  Hansbrough must take care of the ball.

The Irish have missed Carleton Scott who’ll be out an additional month

PREDICTION- ND- 83-79

Notre Dame is looking for their second consecutive win at Marquette; the Irish lost their only Big East road game to Syracuse. 

Marquette comes in with an 0-4 mark against top 25 teams.

The Notre Dame outside shooting against a poor defending perimeter team in Marquette will lead to a Notre Dame road win.

 

 

THE BEST OF THE REST

(Morgan State’s Kevin Thompson)

With the college football BCS Title Game being played tonight, the basketball slate is quite small.

There are some interesting matchups at the “mid-mid” major level.

  • MEAC- Hampton 12-3 (2-0) at Morgan State 6-7 (2-0)

I’ll take the defending MEAC Champs at home

Morg St- 62-56

  • A-Sun- Jacksonville 10-3 (4-0) at Belmont 12-3 (5-0)

The only two squads undefeated in A-Sun play square off.  Jacksonville upset Florida in Gainesville earlier on this year, but I’ll take Belmont at home.

Bel- 77-73

  • OVC- Austin Peay 11-6 (5-0) at Tennessee Martin 4-12 (0-5) 

Austin Peay has an early two game lead in the OVC; this could be a trap game, but I expect Austin Peay to prevail.

AP- 76-66

  • A-Sun- Stetson 5-10 (3-2) East Tennessee State 9-7 (4-1)

ETSU’s Mike Smith is a beast!

ETSU- 81-65

  • A-East- Stony Brook 6-8 (1-1) at Binghamton 4-10 (1-0)

Stony Brook were the preseason favorite to win the America East.  This is a road win they have to get.

SB- 58-51