Set Your DVR: Weekend EditionPosted by bmulvihill on November 16th, 2012
The second weekend in the college hoops season cools off a bit and settles into some of the preseason tournaments. While the different tourneys play out over the weekend, there are several games you should keep an eye on as we head into Feast Week. Let’s get to the breakdowns.
Game of the Weekend
#22 Notre Dame vs. Saint Joseph’s – 9:30 PM EST, Friday on TruTV HD (****)
- After a 2-0 start, Notre Dame faces its toughest challenge of the young season in a Saint Joseph’s team returning 99% of its minutes from last season. Thus far, the Irish is not getting the production they have come to expect from their two starting guards Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant. Only Grant has reached double figures once in the two games they have played. Both players averaged 12 points per game last season and coach Mike Brey needs every bit of those 12 points for his Irish team to meet expectations. Since St. Joe’s will still be without suspended guard Carl Jones, look to see if the Irish guards are able to take advantage. It’s critical that they do, because Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley and center Garrick Sherman will face a tough test against the Hawks front line. It will be interesting to see how Cooley and Sherman respond to the much more athletic forwards than they have seen thus far in 2012.
- While Saint Joseph’s blew out Yale in its first game of the season, Phil Martelli needs to be a little concerned with his team’s offensive performance. The Hawks averaged less than a point per possession, shot a 45.9% eFG, and were only 3-14 from three in that game. Obviously, missing leading scorer Jones is a major factor, but they can ill afford to have another poor offensive showing against the Irish. Look to see if guard Chris Wilson can improve on his three points in 36 minutes and provide St. Joe’s with some backcourt scoring. Guard Langston Galloway was able to drop 20 points against Yale, so keep an eye on his ability to maintain that level of scoring against a much tougher opponent.
- This should be a close battle between two experienced teams. If St. Joe’s is going to beat Notre Dame, it’ll need to do it on defense. The key will be the ability of St. Joe’s forwards Halil Kanacevic, Ronald Roberts, and C.J. Aiken to neutralize Cooley and Sherman down low and grab defensive boards. If Notre Dame gets its typical scoring production from Atkins and Grant, it should win this game. If not, Martelli and the Hawks will come away with a nice win for the Atlantic 10 against its rival Big East.
More Great Hoops
Florida State vs. BYU – 7:00 PM EST, Friday on TruTV HD (****)
- Florida State against BYU in Brooklyn should be an absolute track meet. Look for both teams to have 75+ possessions each. With FSU’s defense uncharacteristically struggling to start the season and BYU lighting things up from the field, the Seminoles may be in for a surprise if they don’t right the ship soon. FSU has given up an eFG of over 50% in both of its first two games and is allowing opposing teams to hit 46.9% of their three-point attempts. Obviously this is a small sample size, but it is definitely cause for concern, particularly because BYU guard Tyler Haws is averaging 22 points per game in his first two outings since returning from his LDS mission. Keep a close eye on Seminole guard Michael Snaer as well. The ‘Noles go the way he goes. He didn’t show up in their first game and they lost to South Alabama. He bounced back with a solid 19-point effort against Buffalo and they won.
#21 Baylor vs. Colorado – 12:30 PM EST, Friday on ESPNU HD (****)
- This is a very interesting game that comes out of the Charleston Classic. Baylor’s Pierre Jackson has shown incredible versatility through three games. He is scoring when he needs to score and distributing the basketball very effectively with a better than 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. He can make a solid case for best point guard in the nation. He will face a skilled backcourt in Colorado’s Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie, and CU’s defense is holding opponents under .90 points per possession this season so these two should make things more difficult for Jackson. The question is whether the Buffs will have an answer for Baylor’s 7’1” freshman center Isaiah Austin. Unless Andre Roberson can play really big, they probably don’t have that answer.
Two Other Games to Watch
Belmont at Stanford – 9:30 PM EST, Sunday on Pac-12 Network HD (***)
- The most intriguing part of this game is the guard match-ups. Belmont’s Ian Clark and Kerron Johnson and Stanford’s Chasson Randle are three of the best guards in the country. Randle has the ability to drop 40 on any given night, so keep a close eye on backcourt scoring throughout the game. Stanford’s advantage however comes on the interior, as Belmont still has major question marks on the inside. Stanford forwards Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis will probably be the difference in this one.
Richmond at Minnesota – 7:00 PM EST, Sunday on BTN HD (***)
- It will be Richmond’s effective offense against Minnesota’s stout defense in this game. The Spiders have an eFG of 64% through three games, but Minnesota is only allowing teams to shoot 19% from downtown. Trevor Mbakwe should be more of a factor in this game than he has been thus far as he continues to return from an injury. Look for the Gophers to take control of the offensive boards and win this one at home.
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 dvr but make sure you watch it later
** – set your dvr but we’ll forgive you if it stays in the queue until 2015
* – don’t waste bandwidth (yours or the dvr’s) of any kind on this game