Ten Questions: Mid-November Intrigue

Posted by Matt Eisenberg on November 16th, 2018

While this weekend’s schedule is a little light as teams prepare for the nonstop action of Feast Week, here are 10 questions to consider as the season settles in.

Is Michigan Due For a Letdown? (USA Today Images)

  1. How will St. John’s fare in its only road non-conference game? (St. John’s at Rutgers, Friday 7 PM EST, BTN) St. John’s only road non-conference game takes place just down the road in New Jersey against local rival Rutgers. In Mustapha Heron‘s  first two games as a member of the Red Storm, he is averaging over 20 points per game.
  2. Will Arizona State avoid an upset in a potential trap game? (ed. note: this game was canceled last night because of smoke issues related to wildfires) (Arizona State @ San Francisco, Friday 10 PM EST, Pac-12 Network) Before Arizona State heads to Las Vegas to take on a ranked Mississippi State team, they will take on the Dons in San Francisco. After falling behind by 15 points early, San Francisco was only outscored by three points in the final 30 minutes of last season’s match-up in the desert.
  3. Has Stanford found Reid Travis 2.0 in KZ Okpala? (Wofford at Stanford, Friday 10 PM EST, Pac-12 Network) When Reid Travis decided to transfer to Kentucky, Stanford had to fill a large gap in its offense. Sophomore KZ Okpala has seen his scoring average explode from 10.0 as a freshman to 22.7 PPG through the first three games of the season.
  4. Will early season turnover woes be the deciding factor? (South Carolina vs. Providence, Saturday 2:30 PM EST, ESPN 3) Through three games South Carolina has committed 44 turnovers while Providence has committed 46 turnovers. Both the Gamecocks and Friars are forcing turnovers at a rate better than the national average, so winning the turnover battle will be crucial in this game.
  5. Can Charleston stay perfect with a win in Stillwater? (Charleston @ Oklahoma State, Sunday 4 PM EST) Coming off a 26-8 record last season, Charleston was picked second in the preseason CAA media poll. The Cougars feature two of the conference’s best players in Jarrell Brantley and Grant Riller. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State is struggling, having lost to #299 Charlotte already this season.
  6. How focused will Michigan be after its win against Villanova? (Michigan vs. George Washington, Saturday 12 PM EST, ESPN 3) The Wolverines put on a clinic at Finneran Pavilion in their lopsided victory over Villanova earlier this week. Freshman Ignas Brazdeikis has been a dynamic second option for the Wolverines behind Charles Matthews, but will Michigan be quick to take out the Colonials or might they get caught sleepwalking through this one looking ahead to North Carolina in 11 days?
  7. Will Ty Jerome stay red hot from three-point range? (Coppin State @ Virginia, Friday 7 PM EST, ACC Network) Ty Jerome finished last season shooting 17-of-55 (30.9%) on three-point attempts in Virginia’s final 10 games. The junior has started this season off red hot, however, shooting 1o-of-14 from three-point range with games of 20 points in both of Virginia’s contests. Jerome entered the season having scored 20 or more points just twice in his first two years in Charlottesville.
  8. Did Villanova have a bad night against Michigan or is there more to the problem? (Furman @ Villanova, Saturday 5 PM EST, Fox Sports 2) With Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges and Donte DiVincenzo on board last season, Villanova led college basketball in effective field goal percentage. Through three games this season, the Wildcats find themselves outside of the top 100 in that category. They also currently rank outside of the top 200 in turnover rate, an area in which they were in the top 20 last year.
  9. Will Romeo Langford’s excellent start to the year continue on the road at Arkansas? (Indiana @ Arkansas, Sunday 3:30 PM EST, ESPN) Freshman Romeo Langford has led his Hoosiers to an early 3-0 record heading into this game at Bud Walton Arena. Langford has scored in double-figures in each of the team’s first three games, eclipsing 15 points twice. The Hoosiers are looking to start a season at 4-0 for just the second time in the last five years.
  10. Will Notre Dame bounce back at home? (William & Mary @ Notre Dame, Saturday 12 PM, ACC Network) Mike Brey‘s Fighting Irish went 6-9 in 15 games without star Bonzie Colson last season. Colson is gone now, however, and the Irish struggles returned in their recent loss to Radford. Team leaders TJ Gibbs and Rex Pflueger are a combined 7-of-35 on three-point attempts to start the season.
Matthew Eisenberg (57 Posts)


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