Set Your Tivo: 11.27.10Posted by Brian Otskey on November 27th, 2010
***** – quit your job and divorce your wife if that’s what it takes to watch this game live
**** – best watched live, but if you must, tivo and watch it tonight as soon as you get home
*** – set your tivo but make sure you watch it later
** – set your tivo but we’ll forgive you if it stays in the queue until 2013
* – don’t waste bandwidth (yours or the tivo’s) of any kind on this game
Brian Otskey is an RTC contributor.
A great week of hoops rolls on with some championship game action and an interesting battle in Vegas. Rankings as per the latest RTC Top 25. All times eastern.
Chicago Invitational Challenge Championship: #8 Purdue vs. Richmond – 7:30 pm on Big Ten Network (***)
This is a nice matchup between two teams expected to finish near the top of their respective conferences. Richmond has struggled a bit though, losing to Iona and having a tough time with Wright State yesterday before pulling away. There have been no such struggles for the talented Boilermakers, led by the dynamic senior duo of E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson who combine for 39/15 a game on 51% shooting. Purdue holds opponents to 56 PPG and ranks #7 in defensive efficiency. Richmond has its own senior duo back this year with Justin Harper and Kevin Anderson leading the team in scoring as a great inside-outside combination, similar to the Purdue seniors. Richmond shoots it well as a team, averaging over 50% shooting per game. The statistical profiles of each team are really similar. The one weakness each shares is they don’t get to the line enough and when they do get there, they don’t shoot well. Each team is in the bottom 50 in all of D1 in free throw shooting. Matt Painter’s team is more talented and has been through the wars in the Big Ten so they should have the advantage over Chris Mooney’s somewhat less talented version of Purdue. Each coach loves to get after it defensively but Purdue has done a better job there so far this season. Expect the Boilermakers to separate themselves from Richmond with rebounding, especially offensive, and by forcing turnovers. Purdue forced 25 turnovers yesterday while Richmond was minus five in turnover margin against Wright State. In order to win, Richmond has to hold Purdue under 40% shooting, take care of the ball and rebound better. Still, Purdue is a better version of the Spiders and should win this game with points to spare.
South Padre Invitational Championship: BYU vs. St. Mary’s – 8 pm on Fox College Sports (****)
BYU had an unexpectedly tough time with South Florida yesterday, needing two overtimes to dispatch the Bulls. The Cougars shot only 32% and allowed USF to hit 44% of their shots. BYU was bad from the free throw line as well, getting there 34 times but only converting half. Cougar star Jimmer Fredette led the way with 32 points, four assists and five steals. St. Mary’s had no problem with Texas Tech, beating the Red Raiders 88-68 behind 20/10 from forward Tim Williams. The Gaels are a high scoring club with five players averaging double figures, Williams included. The stories of this game will be defense and who hits more three’s. Each team averages over 25 three point attempts a game, though BYU has struggled quite a bit outside of Fredette. Jimmer is 17-40 (42.5%) on the year from deep but the rest of the team is just 25-91 (27.5%). St. Mary’s does a nice job defending the three as well so that could become an issue if the Cougars struggle again offensively. BYU is ranked #9 in defensive efficiency but did not play well on that side of the ball against USF, either. St. Mary’s shot a scalding hot 59% against Texas Tech and crushed the Red Raiders on the boards. In addition to his great guards, Randy Bennett has a bunch of quality forwards on his roster who should do well rebounding the basketball. BYU has done a nice job on the boards overall but they were severely out-rebounded by a bigger Bulls front court last night. The guard matchups, Fredette and Jackson Emery for BYU against Mickey McConnell and Matthew Dellavedova, make this game worth the price of admission. Expect a close one for most of the game and don’t be surprised if St. Mary’s comes out on top.
Las Vegas Invitational: #7 Kansas vs. Arizona – 10:30 pm on ESPN2 (****)
Even without Josh Selby, Kansas looks really good. The Jayhawks blasted Ohio by 57 points behind 26/8 from Marcus Morris last night in Vegas. Kansas ranks in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency, though those stats were piled up against cupcake opponents. The Wildcats have some pretty good efficiency stats too, but also against a diet heavy on cupcakes. Arizona is in the top ten in offensive efficiency and is #1 in offensive rebounding percentage, something that will be important against the Morris twins and Thomas Robinson. Those three players average about 24 RPG a game combined for Bill Self. Arizona is led by sophomore sensation Derrick Williams, averaging 19/8 and shooting over 70% from the floor so far this season. The matchup inside between Williams and the Kansas front court trio is the most important of the game as Sean Miller’s team is not deep at all up front and lacks height. Williams is going to have to try to get the Kansas players into foul trouble or work around them by pulling them away from the basket a bit. The Wildcats get balanced scoring outside of Williams but most of that is in the back court or on the wing. Each team is in the top three in two point FG% so points in the paint will be a statistic to watch. Whoever holds the advantage there likely holds the edge in this game. We think Arizona is better this year and is a possible contender for an NCAA berth, but Kansas is just too strong and talented. The Jayhawks should win this game by a safe margin, though Arizona has the ability to make it interesting for a while.
Other games to watch:
#1 Duke @ Oregon – 4 pm on FSN (**)
Kyle Singler returns home to Oregon to face his brother E.J. Singler and the Oregon Ducks today at the Rose Garden. If you like blowouts, this game is for you. For Oregon, just keeping the margin under 20 points will be an achievement. Dana Altman has one heck of a rebuilding job ahead of him, though a nice new arena opening in a couple months will help generate buzz and attract recruits to Eugene.
Dayton @ Cincinnati – 7 pm on ESPN3.com (***)
While not a true home game for Cincinnati, this game is being played in the Queen City at U.S. Bank Arena. Both teams struggle a bit on offense at times so expect this one to be low scoring and close throughout. Outside of the cross-town shootout with Xavier, this is Cincinnati’s only opportunity to pick up a quality non-conference win. The Bearcats play a soft schedule until they begin Big East play so tonight’s game is very important for Mick Cronin. When you think about it, this is a game that can go a long way in determining his future with Cincinnati. For Dayton, this is the second of four quality road games. The Flyers won the first at Mississippi last week and have two more after tonight, at Old Dominion and at Seton Hall.
Legends Classic Championship: #12 Syracuse vs. Georgia Tech – 8 pm on HD Net (***)
Syracuse is 5-0 but has not played well, winning their last two games against inferior opponents by just three points each. Jim Boeheim has not been pleased with his team’s performance and Fab Melo hasn’t even come close to living up to the hype. Rick Jackson and Scoop Jardine have led the Orange so far. Georgia Tech has won three straight after their embarrassing loss to Kennesaw State on November 15. Glen Rice Jr. had 19/11 in their win over UTEP yesterday.
Great Alaska Shootout Championship: Arizona State vs. St. John’s – 12 am on FS Arizona/MSG+ (***)
St. John’s destroyed Drake 82-39 while the Sun Devils squeaked past Weber State late last night in a very weak tournament, one that was essentially set up to get this final matchup. St. John’s almost screwed it up, blowing a 12 point lead and going to overtime with Ball State before getting a win. D.J. Kennedy has played very well for Steve Lavin while Trent Lockett is tearing it up for Herb Sendek’s Sun Devils.