NCAA Games of the Week
Tuesday December 7th
#14 Memphis Tigers 7-0 (Conf. USA) at #4 Kansas Jayhawks 7-0 (Big 12)
6’9 Sr. Wesley Witherspoon 14.8Pts 4.8Reb 1.8Stl 64%FG 86%FT
6’6 Fr. Will Barton 12.5Pts 4.0Reb 2.5Ast 1.8Stl 35% 3’s
6’0 Fr. Joe Jackson 11.7Pts 4.0Ast 3.3TO
6’4 Fr. Chris Crawford 8.7Pts 3.3Reb 2.3Ast 1.7Stl
6’8 Jr. Marcus Morris 18.6Pts 6.3Reb 65%FG 1.3 3’s 60%
6’9 Jr. Markieff Morris 11.9Pts 9.1Reb 52%FG
6’3 Jr. Tyshawn Taylor 10.4Pts 6.7Ast 1.9Stl 58%FG
6’9 So. Thomas Robinson 9.4Pts 5.9Reb 1.1Blk 62%FG
First off, highly touted freshman Josh Selby will be eligible to play December 18th for Kansas. The Jayhawks haven’t needed him to this point but the dynamic point guard out of Baltimore will only make them that much deeper and his presence will allow Kansas to spread the floor even more.
Memphis is an inexperienced and young team. They are led by 3 freshmen in Barton, Jackson and Crawford who form one the quickest backcourts in the nation. The Tigers are top 10 in the nation in scoring at over 85 a game and can flat out run. They are also a deep team as 9 players average at least 5 points per game. Their biggest weakness is their rebounding, and with not one player over 6’9, this is going to be a problem against Kansas.
Kansas is led by the Morris twins as Marcus is living up to his preseason accolades and Markieff is enjoying a break out season much like his brother did last year. Tyshawn Taylor has played the point extremely well and is among the top assist men in the nation.
Key Match Up: The Morris twins against the frontline of Memphis.
Marcus and Markieff should have a field day against the small frontcourt of the Tigers and their play should be the determining factor in this one.
#6 Michigan State Spartans 5-2 (Big 10) at #8 Syracuse Orangemen 8-0 (Big East)
6’1 Sr. Kalin Lucas 17.0Pts 3.1Ast 1.7 3’s 46%
6’4 Sr. Durrell Summers 14.6Pts 4.4Reb 1.7 3’s 45%
6’6 Jr. Draymond Green 14.3Pts 9.0Reb 3.7Ast 2.3Stl 2Blk 58%FG 1.6 3’s 56%
5’11 Jr. Korey Lucious 9.2Pts 4.5Ast 1.8 3’s 35%
6’7 Jr. Kris Joseph 13.8Pts 4.9Reb 1.3 3’s 33%
6’9 Sr. Rick Jackson 13.1Pts 12.4Reb 2.3Ast 1.9Blk 57%FG
6’2 Jr. Scoop Jardine 12.5Pts 2.1Reb 7.0Ast 2.1Stl 32%FG
6’4 So. Brandon Triche 8.3Pts 2.3Reb 3.4Ast 3.3TO
MSU coach Tom Izzo never shies away from a non conference schedule and this season is no different. Their 2 losses came against #1 Duke and #7 Uconn and they beat #13 Washington. Draymond Green continues to develop into one of the most versatile players in the country and his basketball IQ is off the charts. With Lucas, Summers and Lucious, the Spartans have arguably the best backcourt in the nation and definitely the most experienced.
Syracuse boasts a very good backcourt of their own in Jardine and Triche. The Orange are big up front but lack a deep bench. Freshman Fab Melo, a 7’0 270lb top recruit, has been plagued by foul trouble and is finding the transition to the college game harder than expected. He did have 8Pts 7Reb and 4Blk against Cornell showing the promise that is there. Rick Jackson has been a beast on the boards in the early going and grabbed a career high 22 against Detroit on November 16th.
Key Match Up: Jardine/Triche vs. Lucas/Lucious
This one should be an up and down affair and whichever tandem takes care of the ball better will likely decide this game.
Wednesday December 8th
Oakland Golden Grizzlies 5-3 (Summit) at #20 Illinois Fighting Illini 8-1 (Big 10)
6’11 Sr. Keith Benson 19.0Pts 12.6Reb 3.6Blk 53%FG 77%FT
5’11 Jr. Reggie Hamilton 15.9Pts 5.3Ast 1.7Stl 2.9 3’s 44%
6’9 Sr. Will Hudson 13.1Pts 7.6Reb 1.1Blk 64%FG 81%FT
6’2 Sr. Larry Wright 8.1Pts 3.1Reb 3.6Ast
6’3 Sr. Demetri McCamey 15.2Pts 3.6Reb 7.8Ast 1.1Stl 2.1 3’s 52%
6’9 Sr. Mike Davis 11.6Pts 7.0Reb 1.8Blk 58%FG
6’3 So. DJ Richardson 10.8Pts 1.9Ast 2.2 3’s 52%
7’1 Sr. Mike Tisdale 10.6Pts 7.2Reb 1.9Blk 57%FG 88%FT
6’4 So. Brandon Paul 10.0Pts 3.4Reb 2.2Ast 2Stl 1.4 3’s 39%
Oakland’s Keith Benson is one of the top big men in the nation. At 6’11, he has the size to bang with anyone and is among the leader in rebounds and blocks. He went for 22Pts 22Reb 7Ast and 6Blk against Austin Peay showing off his versatility.
They are an experienced team that won 21 of their lat 22 games last season but are not a very deep team as they only feature a 9 man rotation.
Illinois is as deep and experienced as any team in the country, 9 guys play at least 10 minutes a game. McCamey is 2nd in the nation in assists and has been playing consistent all year, something that plagued him last year. Paul and Richardson can flat out shoot the ball and the 2 trees of Davis and Tisdale man the paint. McDonald’s All American freshman Jereme Richmond (9.0Pts 4.4Reb) has been playing the PF position as his length and quickness causes match up problems for opposing teams.
Key Match Up: Benson/Hudson vs. Davis/Tisdale
This game could be won in the paint as Hudson is a beast and will pose problems for the thin Tisdale and Davis. Benson will have to come up big if the Golden Grizzlies expect to pull out a win.
#25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 8-0 (Big East) at #10 Kentucky Wildcats 5-2 (SEC)
6’3 Sr. Ben Hansbrough 15.8Pts 3.9Reb 4.0Ast 2.9 3’s 55%
6’8 Sr. Tim Abromaitis 15.6Pts 6.9Reb 2.2Ast 1.9 3’s 32%
6’8 Sr. Tyrone Nash 12.5Pts 7.0Reb 3.2Ast 46%FG
6’7 Sr. Carleton Scott 11.0Pts 7.8Reb 2.0Ast 2.1Blk 88%FT
6’8 Fr. Terrence Jones 20.7Pts 10.2Reb 2.2Ast 1.5Stl 2.5Blk
6’3 Fr. Brandon Knight 17.3Pts 3.5Reb 3.3Ast 2.2 3’s 33% 4.5TO
6’4 Fr. Doron Lamb 11.5Pts 2.3Reb 2.0Ast 1.8 3’s 55%
6’7 Jr. Darius Miller 9.8Pts 5.0Reb 1.5Stl 1.5Blk 1.8 3’s 53%
This is the ultimate youth vs. experience match up. Notre Dame starts 5 seniors and Kentucky relies on 3 freshmen. Terrence Jones has been outstanding so far this season and leads the Wildcats in scoring, rebounds and blocks. Knight is showing signs of the hype that surrounded him but he will have to keep his turnover to a minimum against Notre Dame. Kentucky is strong upfront as they have out rebounded their opponents by over 8 a game.
The Irish shoot the ball as good as anybody and are a good rebounding team despite lack of size down low. They are also a deeper team than last year and have a number of guys who can take the scoring load as opposed to last year when it was all Luke Harangody…all the time.
Key Match Up: Kentucky’s speed against the Irish.
Notre Dame isn’t that athletic of a team and will have to try and slow down the Wildcats because a fast pace favors Kentucky in this one.
Farleigh Dickinson Knights 2-3 (N’East) at #7 Connecticut Huskies 7-0 (Big East)
6’0 Sr. Mike Scott 18.4Pts 6.4Reb 6.6Ast 2.2Stl 2.4 3’s 39% 84%FT
6’0 Sr. Terence Grier 13.6Pts 5.2Reb 1.8Stl
6’8 Sr. Kamil Svrdlik 12.6Pts 8.8Reb 1.6Stl 1.8Blk
6’6 Jr. Nate Gibbs 7.7Pts 8.3Reb
6’1 Jr. Kemba Walker 29.6Pts 5.6Reb 4.3Ast 2.3Stl 2.5 3’s 41% 88%FT
6’9 So. Alex Oriakhi 12.3Pts 11.7Reb 2.8Blk 60%FG
6’0 Fr. Shabazz Napier 9.8Pts 2.3Stl
6’8 Fr. Roscoe Smith 6.5Pts 4.2Reb 2Blk
This game probably won’t be close but if you have a chance to watch Kemba Walker play this year, I highly recommend it. Walker has been playing out of his mind so far and turned in a triple double (24Pts 13Reb 10Ast) in his last game against UMBC. Alex Oriakhi is an excellent rebounded and shot blocker and gives the Huskies that familiar guard/center combo that Uconn is known for. Shabazz Napier is an excellent defender and Roscoe Smith is playing well off the bench as the freshmen are contributing for the Huskies.
Farleigh Dickinson is an experienced team led by 3 seniors including Mike Scott, who is one of only 2 players in the nation averaging 6+ rebounds and 6+ assists. Svrdlik, from the Czech republic, is a load down low for the Knights.
Key Match Up: Scott vs. Walker
Scott will get a test to see just how good his game really is when he matches up with one the best guards in the nation.
Vanderbilt Commodores 7-1 (S’Eastern) at #9 Missouri Tigers 6-1 (Big 12)
6’4 So. John Jenkins 19.9Pts 2.7Reb 3.1 3’s 39% 92%FT
6’11 Jr. Festus Ezeli 11.7Pts 7.4Reb 1.9Blk 65%FG
6’7 Jr. Jeffery Taylor 11.6Pts 3.3Reb 2.0Ast 1.3 3’s 45%
6’3 Jr. Brad Tinsley 8.7Pts 4.9Reb 5.7Ast 1.3Stl
6’3 Jr. Marcus Denmon 16.4Pts 3.6Reb 1.7Stl 55%FG 3.1 3’s 57% 90%FT
6’8 Jr. Ricardo Ratliffe 12.4Pts 8.3Reb 56%FG
6’8 Jr. Laurence Bowers 11.1Pts 6.1Reb 1.9Blk
6’6 Jr. Kim English 10.4Pts 2.7Reb 2.3Ast 1.9Stl 54%FT
6’1 So. Michael Dixon 10.9Pts 4.1Ast 2.7Stl
Vanderbilt gained a lot of confidence by beating UNC 72-65 on November 21st and hasn’t lost since. They face a bigger challenge from a Missouri team full of athletes that can outrun anyone in the country. 6’11 Festus Ezeli dropped 24Pts 10Reb 3Blk in his last game and is getting his chance after backing up AJ Ogilvy last season. John Jenkins can score in bunched if his 3 point shot is falling and is automatic from the free throw line.
Marcus Denmom is taking over as Kim English has struggled out of the gate and Ratliffe is showing why he was the #1 JUCO prospect last season. The Tigers have won their last 43 non conference home games and are a deep and experienced team that absolutely loves to run up and down the court.
Key Match Up: Ezeli vs. Ratliffe
Both are great rejoinders and shot blockers and their battle down low should be intense.
Thursday December 9th
#16 Georgetown Hoyas 8-0 (Big East) at Temple Owls 4-2 (Atlantic 10)
6’3 Sr. Austin Freeman 21.7Pts 2.7Reb 2.3Ast 60%FG 3.6 3’s 57% 84%FT
6’2 Jr. Jason Clark 16.0Pts 4.9Reb 1.3Stl 2.7 3’s 45%
6’1 Sr. Chris Wright 13.9Pts 3.0Reb 7.4Ast 1.9Stl 2.3 3’s 43%
6’9 Sr. Julian Vaughn 9.2Pts 7.2Reb 2.8Blk
6’4 Jr. Ramone Moore 11.7Pts 4.3Reb 1.8Ast
6’4 Jr. Juan Fernandez 11.0Pts 4.0Reb 2.7Ast
6’9 Sr. Lavoy Allen 10.2Pts 6.3Reb 2.7Ast 1.5Blk
6’11 Jr. Michael Eric 7.0Pts 5.3Reb 1.5Blk
Austin Freeman can flat out shoot the ball. The senior’s shooting percentages are ridiculous and the Hoya’s backcourt can hang with anybody as the trio of Freeman, Wright and Clark combine to average almost 9 3’s a game. Vaughn provided the muscle and is a polished shot blocker. Other than Vaughn though, the Hoya’s are weak down low. The one thing that Georgetown does, and always has, is play outstanding defense.
Temple might not offer a lot of offensive fire power but they also play great defense. They have held opponents to 55 points a game and 36%FG shooting. The Owls have plenty of experience but lack any kind of outside shooting.
Key Match Up: G’Town’s perimeter shooting vs. Temple’s perimeter defense
Temple will have to get right in the faces of the Hoya guards to keep them from opening the game wide open with a barrage of 3’s.
Saturday December 11th
Saint Louis Billikens 3-3 (Atlantic 10) at Duke Blue Devils 7-0 (ACC)
6’3 Jr. Kyle Cassity 11.7Pts 2.8Ast 1.5 3’s 53%
6’0 Fr. Mike McCall 9.0Pts 3.3Ast 88%FT
6’11 Fr. Rob Loe 8.2Pts 4.5Reb
6’8 So. Cody Ellis 7.8Pts 4.2Reb
6’2 Fr. Kyrie Irving 16.9Pts 4.0Reb 5.6Ast 1.6Stl 1.6 3’s 44% 88%FT
6’2 Sr. Nolan Smith 16.9Pts 4.7Reb 5.6Ast 54%FG
6’8 Sr. Kyle Singler 16.0Pts 5.6Reb 1.3Stl 1.9 3’s 36% 92%FT
6’10 So. Mason Plumlee 10.9Pts 8.7Reb 2Blk 60%FG
6’4 So. Andre Dawkins 10.7Pts 2.4 3’s 53%
This is another game that probably won’t be close but much like Kemba Walker, any chance to watch Kyrie Irving play should be taken. The freshman is conjuring up images of Jason Williams as Duke hasn’t had the type of explosive and defensive guard since J-Will was doing his thing. Nolan Smith is as good defensively as they come and has been matching Irving number for number statistically. Mason Plumlee is starting to play big….and they also have a guy named Singler.
The Billikins are a young team and rely on a couple of freshmen in McCall and Roe. McCall has looked very solid despite injuries and Roe is a big body down low. Rick Majerus’ squad features no seniors but have played great defense so far only allowing 55 points a game.
Key Match Up: Plumlee vs. Loe
Irving and Smith will overmatch Cassity and McCall but Loe will get to show what he has against Plumlee in what should be a good match up.
#13 Tennessee Volunteers 6-0 (SEC) at #3 Pittsburgh Panthers 8-0 (Big East)
6’8 Fr. Tobias Harris 16.7Pts 5.8Reb 53%FG
6’7 Jr. Scotty Hopson 16.3Pts 3.8Reb 1.5Ast
6’6 Jr. Cameron Tatum 11.8Pts 3.7Reb 2.7Ast 1.5 3’s 36%
6’10 Sr. Brian Williams 6.3Pts 8.0Reb
6’2 Jr. Ashton Gibbs 18.6Pts 3.1Reb 3.1Ast 3.2 3’s 46% 83%FT
6’4 Sr. Brad Wanamaker 13.0Pts 5.8Reb 5.0Ast 1.5Stl
6’6 Sr. Gilbert Brown 8.6Pts 5.1Reb 3.2Ast
6’5 Jr. Nasir Robinson 7.6Pts 5.8Reb
6’9 Fr. Talib Zanna 6.4Pts 6.4Reb 60%FG
Tennessee is holding opponents to 36%FG and has out rebounded their competition by 7 a game. Freshman Tobias Harris leads the team in scoring and Scotty Hopson is an extremely athletic go to guy who can take over games at times.
Ashton Gibbs is the heart and soul of a very experienced team and is as clutch as they come. Freshman Zanna has played brilliantly in limited time and has given the Panthers muscle off the bench. Pitt is 138-11 all time at home and 80-1 against non conference teams.
Key Match Up: Pittsburgh’s backcourt vs. Tennessee’s backcourt
Pittsburgh’s strength is it’s backcourt and Tennessee’s weakness is theirs. The Volunteers will have to find a way to contain Gibbs, Wanamaker and Brown to pull this one out.
Arizona Wildcats 7-1 (Pac 10) at #21 BYU Cougars 8-0 (Mountain West)
6’8 So. Derrick Williams 20.6Pts 7.7Reb 67%FG 79%FT
6’6 So. Solomon Hill 10.0Pts 5.3Reb 2.6Ast 59%FG 91%FT
6’7 Sr. Jamelle Horne 9.4Pts 4.0Reb 1.9 3’s 40% 82%FT
6’3 Jr. Kyle Fogg 8.7Pts 3.7Ast 1.6Stl 88%FT
6’2 Sr. Jimmer Fredette 23.1Pts 2.7Reb 4.6Ast 2.3Stl 2.7 3’s 37% 85%FT
6’3 Sr. Jackson Emery 12.9Pts 3.9Reb 2.9Stl 2.7 3’s 37%
6’8 Jr. Noah Hartsock 10.4Pts 5.0Reb 2.1Blk
6’9 So. Brandon Davies 9.6Pts 5.7Reb 1.0Blk
Here is your chance to see 2 All American candidates go at it. Arizona’s Derrick Williams has been superb this season and his 67% shooting from the field looks like a typo. BYU’s Fredette is among the leaders in scoring and was the MVP of the South Padre Invitational as he had 32Pts in the semis and hit a game winning 3 in the final against St. Mary’s.
Neither team is big down low and Williams could have a big game against a weak BYU frontcourt. The Cougars still rely too much on Fredette and other players will have to step up against a very good Wildcat team.
Key Match Up: Fogg vs. Fredette
Fredette can light it up and Fogg has found his stroke again as of late. Fogg will have to play his best defense of his life and continue his hot shooting to win this match up.
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