Evan Jacoby is an RTC contributor & correspondent. You can find him @evanjacoby on Twitter. TT4 will cover four selected teams of interest – Syracuse, Indiana, Murray State, and UNLV – by tracking their ups, downs, and exciting developments throughout the course of the season.
For this week’s wildcard edition of TT4, we’re going to tackle some burning questions regarding each team. All four teams have pressing issues as they try to hit their strides in conference play, and there’s one team on our list that specifically needs to find some answers, quickly, if they want to stay relevant as a contender. Find out the answers to each question, or at least our quick takes, below each question. If you want to play along, comment with any of your answers!!!
1. Which game on Syracuse and Murray State’s schedules should be circled as their toughest challenge to an undefeated regular season?
Monday night’s game in Cincinnati is Syracuse’s first shot at going down, while Murray State’s game on February 15 at Southeast Missouri State will be their toughest test.
2. Can Indiana recover from this losing streak to regain their status as a top three team in the Big Ten?
They’ll be able to recover, but Indiana is not a top three Big Ten team (OSU, UM, & Michigan State are better).
3. Will UNLV be able to win big games outside of Las Vegas, like SDSU did in The Pit this week?
They’ve already played seven true road games, so yes this will help UNLV win conference road games.
4. The Hoosiers have lost three straight games while the Racers have won 19 straight, but who would win on a neutral court if they played today?
We’d love to see this in the NCAA Tournament and today we’re going with Indiana, but if Ivan Aska comes back strong for MSU, ask again in two weeks.
5. When they inevitably need a bucket in crunch time, whom will Syracuse and Jim Boeheim draw the play for?
He doesn’t specialize in taking over games, but Kris Joseph is still the most talented offensive player and toughest mismatch on the team, so he should get his number called.
6. Will UNLV’s 69.1% free throw percentage come back to haunt them at some point this season?
Although it’s the worst of these four teams, no a 69% rate should not be a huge concern for the Rebels.