Set Your TiVo: 11.22.11

Posted by bmulvihill on November 22nd, 2011

Brendon Mulvihill is an RTC contributor. You can find him @themulv on Twitter.  See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System.

The teams in Maui swap opponents to create an interesting rivalry game and a Tournament rematch, while the CBE Classic wraps-up as we head to Turkey Day.  Let’s take a look at what you should be watching in today’s action.

#13 Memphis vs Tennessee – 2 PM EST on ESPN2 HD (**)

Tennessee and Head Coach Cuonzo Martin Face In-State Rival Memphis All The Way in Maui

  • Memphis and Tennessee take a Volunteer State rivalry all the way to the islands in the loser’s bracket of the Maui Invitational. In two games this season, Memphis has been manhandled on the boards by Belmont and Michigan. This could be problematic against a Tennessee team that is proving to be scrappy and capable of grabbing rebounds and loose balls. However, much like Duke, the Tigers have better athletes and more scoring options than the Volunteers. Josh Pastner’s team will have to do a better job picking good shots though, as they shot just 33% from the field against Michigan. Look for the Memphis guards to exploit the three-point shot like Duke did against the Volunteers early in the game.
  • Tennessee went from hitting just under 50% of its three-point shots in its opening two games to missing all eight of its threes against Duke. Expect Memphis to put the same kind of pressure on the Volunteer perimeter defense with its athletic backcourt. Tennessee cannot miss easy lay-ups like it did against Duke if it expects to win this game. Michigan showed that Memphis can be exploited inside the arc and they must covert those shots.
  • The Vols are certainly still trying to find their legs under new coach Cuonzo Martin and they will be facing another very athletic team in Memphis today. The Tigers will try to keep the game up-tempo to take advantage of its superior guard play. If they are successful at wearing out the Volunteers and defending the perimeter like the Blue Devils did, it will be very difficult for Martin’s team to defeat its in-state rival.

#6 Duke vs #14 Michigan – 7 PM EST on ESPN HD (****)

  • Michigan’s two-point shooting has been nothing short of spectacular through four games this season. They are hitting well over 60% of their two-point field goal attempts including their game against Memphis where they hit 70% of their two-point shots. The Wolverines will need to continue to take smart shots against a very tough Duke defense. John Beilein’s team cannot afford to get three-point happy as they have a tendency to do.  If Michigan starts shooting and missing too many three-point shots early, they will find themselves in the same situation Belmont did against Duke before their late comeback. It is quite difficult playing catch-up against a team that has so many scoring options and a well-rounded defense.
  • The Blue Devils continue to be extremely difficult to defend. The backcourt of Austin Rivers and Seth Curry is going through some growing pains right now, but could develop into one of the best in the country. As a team, the Blue Devils are hitting over 40% of their three-point shots, which can be attributed to the ability of their guards to hit shots from the outside and penetrate and kick to the perimeter. Prior to yesterday’s game Michigan’s three-point defense had been suspect so look for the Duke perimeter shooters to take advantage.
  • Belmont, Michigan State, and Tennessee have all played Duke well but each seemed to hit a wall that prevented them from taking down the Blue Devils. Michigan’s ability to take smart shots and hit shots from two-point range might be what it takes to topple the Blue Devils. Keep an eye on the number of three-point shots the Wolverines take in the first-half. If they are choosing three-point field goal attempts over two-point field goal attempts, it will be tough for them to beat Duke. The Blue Devils are going to score so Beilein’s team cannot have empty possessions where they rely on three-point shooting.

#18 California vs #22 Missouri – 10:00PM EST on ESPN2 HD (****)

  • California guards Jorge Gutierrez, Brandon Smith, and Allen Crabbe are going to face a great deal of defensive pressure from Missouri’s four-guard line-up. So far this season, the Cal guards are turning the ball over on 21.4% of their possessions. Coach Mike Montgomery must have a strategy for his guards to bring the ball up the court against the Missouri press. His team cannot afford to continue to turn the ball over at that rate against the Tigers because it will lead to too many fast-break points.
  • So far this season Missouri has been excellent at shooting the three (48.7%) and just mediocre from inside the arc (45.7%). However, in yesterday’s game against Georgia, Frank Haith’s team may have turned the corner in their two-point shooting effort. The Tigers burried 50% of their two-point attempts while still nailing over half of their three-point attempts. Their ability to hit from inside the arc will be particularly important against a Cal team that is playing solid half-court defense and rebounding the ball very effectively on the defensive end.
  • This game will come down to guard play. If Missouri’s guards are able to create steals that lead to easy lay-ups and dunks, they will walk away with the CBE Classic title. However, if the Golden Bears are able to hang onto the ball, run an effective half-court offense, and then force the Tigers to play against their half-court defense, we will see Mike Montgomery’s team come away with a victory.

The Official RTC Star System

***** – 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 2014
* – don’t waste bandwidth (yours or the tivo’s) of any kind on this game

bmulvihill (74 Posts)

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