Tag:College Basketball
Posted on: March 13, 2009 9:36 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2009 12:10 am
 

#7 West Virginia Mountaineers (BET)

#7 West Virginia Mountaineers 23-10 (10-8 BE)

 

West Virginia Starting Lineup:

G Darryl Bryant Fr.

G Alex Ruoff Sr.

F Da'Sean Butler Jr.

F Devin Ebanks Fr.

F Wellington Smith Jr.

 

Key Bench Players:

F Kevin Jones Fr.

F John Flowers Soph.

F Cam Thoroughman Soph.

 

Previous Game:  The 7 seeded West Virginia Mountaineers upset the 2 seed and 3rd ranked Pitt Panthers in the quarterfinals last night by a score of 74-60.  It was the first time WVU beat Pitt this season as they where previously 0-2.  Freshman Devin Ebanks was the hero of the game as he had 20 points 7 rebounds and played all 40 minutes.  Big East Co-Player of the year Dajaun Blair fouled out in just 18 minutes.

 

Game Preview:  After arguably the greatest game of all-time last night/this morning Syracuse has to get right back on the horse in the Big East Tournament Semi Finals.  Six overtimes must take a lot out of you as Jonny Flynn eluded to this morning saying, "I can't feel my legs", and because of that WVU has an excellent chance to take advantage of Syracuse.  West Virginia is going to try and run Syracuse into the ground, expect a lot of early substitutions for both teams as Cuse trys to get the freshest possible legs in the game and as WVU trys to just run, run run.  Keys to this game are the play of Arinze Onuaku, Kristof Ongenaut and Rick Jackson, the three bigs all played less than 40 minutes with Jackson and Ongenaut getting less than 30.  Those three need to be active tonight in the 2-3.  Kris Joseph will possibly make another appearance just because of fatigue.  You may see him late in the first half to get someone an early breather until halftime, he played 14 minutes last night (out of a possible 70) and played pretty well.  For WVU Devin Ebanks has been the man during this BET.  He has really come in and given West Virginia a legitimate third weapon outside of Ruoff and Butler.  Syracuse needs to keep him down and not let him get going because that will be trouble.  The big stat in this game will be rebounding, Syracuse may have won the 6OT thriller last night but they still got outrebounded by 13 (56-69).  A good rebounding team in WVU combined with a 2-3 zone defense that is very had too rebound out of along with a very fatigued team will be huge down the stretch.

 

My Prediction:  You can't give Syracuse enough credit for what they did in their quarterfinal game, that was simply amazing, but when you play like that, at such a high level for such a long time it takes a lot from you.  Cuse will fight, but WVU prevails 75-70.

 

Final Score: 74-69 Syracuse OT


 

 

 

Posted on: March 12, 2009 5:35 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2009 2:59 pm
 

#3 Connecticut Huskies Game Preview (BET)

#3 Connecticut Huskies 27-3 (15-3 BE)

 

Connecticut Starting Lineup:

G A.J. Price Sr.

G Craig Austrie Sr.

F Stanley Robinson Jr.

F Jeff Adrien Sr.

C Hasheem Thabeet Jr.

 

Key Bench Players:

G Kemba Walker Fr.

F Gavin Edwards Jr.

 

Previous Game:  The #1 ranked Huskies lost at The Petersen Events Center to then #3 Pittsburgh 70-60.  Sam Young carried Pitt with 31 points and 10 rebounds.  A.J. Price led UConn with 19 points.  Hasheem Thabeet chipped in 14 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks, although he was held scoreless in the second half.

 

Game Preview:   The 3 seed in the Big East Tournament is the 4th ranked team in the country, that is how strong the Big East has been this season.  Connecticut has been in the top 5 all season long, but the Huskies come into their opening Big East Tournament game with Syracuse as vulnerable as ever.  The last time Syracuse and UConn played, UConn thumped the Cuse 63-49 in a game in which Syracuse had their lowest point total of the season and shot just 31% from the field.  Hasheem Thabeet absolutely manhandled Syracuse as he had 8 points, 16 rebounds and 7 blocks, not to mention somehow leaving the game with just 1 foul.  Syracuses' bigs where not 100% but they (Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson) had a combined 6 points, 10 rebounds and 1 block, along with 7 fouls.  However this time around UConn is without former leading scorer Jerome Dyson.  In that game against Syracuse Dyson went down with a torn MCL and he is now done for the season.  Dyson was UConn's top offensive threat as he could drive, dish and shoot with consistency.  Since he has went down UConn hasn't been the same, they are 4-2 (both losses to Pittsburgh) and their average margin of victory is just 9.75 points.  Syracuse on the other hand has been on fire as of late winning 5 straight with an average margin of victory of 21 points.  In this game expect a lot closer matchup as Syracuse is finally healthy and UConn is a bit down.  The officiating should be top notch as well as it should always be in postseason play, another incident like the one between Syracuse and Seton Hall last night will not be tolerated.  Therefore, Thabeet won't be able to get away with some of his "blocks" he usually would get away with, though he will still be a major force in the middle.  For Syracuse to have a good chance of beating Uconn they need to keep up what they have been doing during this winning streak.  Having an active 2-3 zone (teams shooting 36.2%), taking care of the ball and getting better shots (shooting 56.6%)  and being an unselfish team (averaging 23.6 apg on 33.6 fgm per game).  If Syracuse does that, and stays out of foul trouble, there is no doubt Syracuse is moving on to the semifinals.

 

My Prediction:   It is awfully hard to pick against this Syracuse team, they arguably the hottest team in the Big East, if not the country right now, and beating an old rival like UConn would just fuel their fire.  Syracuse will extend its 5 game winning streak to 6 and 3 game winning streak over UConn in the BET to 4 with a win.  Expect a big time performance from Flynn and Devendrf along with another great performance from Ongenaut.  Thabeet will get into early foul trouble and UConn will never be able to recover. Syracuse wins 78-70.

 

Final Score: 127-117 Syracuse 6OT

 

 

Posted on: March 11, 2009 3:50 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2009 3:22 pm
 

#11 Seton Hall Pirates Game Preview (BET)

#11 Seton Hall Pirates 17-14 (7-11 BE)

 

Seton Hall Starting Lineup:

G Paul Gause Sr.

G Eugene Harvey Jr.

G Jeremy Hazell Soph.

F Robert Mitchell Jr.

F/C John Garcia Jr.

 

Key Bench Players :

G Jordan Theodore Fr.

F Robert Mitchell Jr.

F Brandon Walters Soph.

 

Previous Game:  In the first round of the Big East Tournament the #11 seed Seton Hall Pirates defeated the #14 seed South Florida Bulls 68-54.  The win snapped Seton Hall's 5 game losing streak in the BET.  Jeremy Hazell led the Pirates with 23 points, he scored 12 of those 23 in a 21-9 run to start the 2nd half and put the Pirates up by 14, they never looked back.

 

Game Preview:   The postseason is here and that means March Madness.  Expect the unexpected.  The last time Seton Hall and Syracuse matched up it was the 1st game of the Big East regular season and Syracuse romped Seton Hall by 24.  Seton Hall was without starting Center John Garcia and it's coach Bobby Gonzalez who was serving a 1 Big East game suspension due to an occurence that happened the previous season.  Now they are both back.  On the other hand we have #6 seeded Syracuse, a team that is on a 4 game winning streak, playing their best basketball of the season and actually defending the basketball.  That is a huge part of Syracuses' success as defense is the key to winning games in the postseason.  Syracuse needs to to hold Jeremy Hazell at bay, he had 23 points in the last game, he is going to score at least 15 somehow, Cuse just cannot let him go off.  Another player to watch out for is Robert Mitchell, he had the best game of his life against Syracuse back in December, putting up 22 points along with 10 boards.  Onuaku and Jackson shouldn't have a problem with him but he has a history of dominating Syracuse.  The key stat to this game is 3 point FG%.  Seton Hall will hoist up 3's over the Cuse 2-3 zone, in the last game against Syracuse they went 2-27 (7.4%) from 3, while Syracuse shot 12-22 (54.5%) and went 9-14 in the first half.  Syracuse has a history of performing excellently in MSG and in the BET (not including last season), so this should just be another game for them, but for Seton Hall they are fighting to win it all and get in the Big Dance, they will come out looking to upset some people.

 

My Prediction:  Syracuse hasn't been this hot this late since the 2003-04 season, when they went to the Sweet 16.  Syracuse has a shot to not only go to the Sweet 16 or further but they also have a legit shot at winning the BET, and it starts with a win over Seton Hall.  82-68 Syracuse.

 

Final Score: 89-74 Syracuse

 

 

 

 

Posted on: March 7, 2009 11:38 am
Edited on: March 7, 2009 4:49 pm
 

Marquette Golden Eagles Game Preview

#13 Marquette Golden Eagles 23-7 (12-5)

 

Marquette Starting Lineup:

G Maurice Acker Jr.

G Jerel Mcneal Sr.

G Wesley Matthews Sr.

F Lazar Hayward Jr.

F Dwight Burke Sr.

 

Key Bench Players:

G/F Jimmy Butler Soph.

G David Cubillan Jr.

 

Previous Game:  Marquette lost it's 3rd straight with a 90-75 loss at Pittsburgh on Wednesday.  After Pitt got the lead up to as many as 10 in the first half, the halftime score was 36 to 43 in favor of Pitt.  Then in the second half Marquette went on a big 21-5 run to go up by 9.  Pitt answered with their own run going on a 21-2 run in 10 minutes.  Pitt gradullay pulled away from there.  Lazar Hayward led Marquette with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Game Preview:  When Dominic James went down with a broken foot to end his career, Marquette was a top 10 team, now 3 games later they are 0-3 without him.  Marquette now relies heavily on the play of 3 players, Jerel Mcneal, Lazar Hayward and Wesley Matthews, who will all most likely play 40 minutes today.  Outside of those three, the cupboard is bare, the next best threat is F Jimmy Burke at 4.8 ppg and 3.5 rpg.  For Syracuse to go into Marquette and beat them on Senior Night, they need to do 3 things.  Defend, Paul Harris said earlier this week that the team needs to realize Boeheim loves zone, so they need to work hard at it and play it well.  Lately Cuse has been stellar on defense allowing teams to shoot just 39% from the field along with 55 ppg.  Secondly is rebound.  Marquette is a very small team tallest player is Dwight Burke at 6 foot 8.  Syracuse needs to be tenacious on the boards, Onuaku, Jackson and Harris need to hit the boards all night.  Lastly is RUN.  Marquette wasn't deep with Dominic James, now without him they are even thinner with really 5 guys that are viable players, 3 of them should play all 40 minutes.  If Syracuse runs and runs and runs like we've seen all season they have a great chance for the W.  The key matchup is Onukau v. Burke.  Expect Marquette to double AO in the post leaving someone wide open on the outside.  If they don't double down Onuaku should be able to go to work all night against Burke.

 

My Prediction:  Syracuse seems to have locked up a bid after 3 straight 24+ point wins.  This game is huge for BET seeding and NCAA tournament seeding.  It is Senior Night and Marquette will be playing for DOminic James, but I think Marquette is going to really continue to struggle without James, they are just too thin.  I don't see them getting very far in the BET or the NCAA's if they don't get it together.  Syracuse wins it 86-77.

 

Final Score: 86-79 Syracuse OT

 

 

 

Posted on: February 28, 2009 5:20 pm
 

Cincinnati Bearcats Game Preview

Cincinnati Bearcats 18-10 (8-7 BE)

 

Cincinnati Starting Lineup:

G Deonta Vaughn Jr.

G Larry Davis Soph.

F Rashad Bishop Soph.

F Alvin Mitchell Soph.

F Mike Williams Jr.

 

Key Bench Players:

F Yancy Gates Fr.

G Dion Dixon Fr.

F Darnell Wilks Soph.

C Steve Toyloy Fr.

 

Previous Game: Cincy kept its Big Dance hopes alive beating West Virginia at home 65 to 61.  It was Bob Huggins' home coming as he returned to the Bearcat nation where he coached for 13 seasons.  Yancy Gates carried the 'Cats with 22 points (career high) and 11 rebounds, the freshman shot 9-11 from the field.

 

Game Preview: Cincinnati is smack dab on the bubble, they really need a big win against a good Syracuse team on the road.  Syracuse on the other hand has all but locked up their tourney bid, a win against Cincy would probably do the trick.  This game is going to be decided by Point Guard play.  Flynn v. Vaughn, that should be a great matchup to watch as those two will be no doubt going back and forth with one another all game.  If Syracuse can contain Vaughn and not allow him to create for others they have a great chance for the win.  Besides Vaughn, Gates is an unherelded freshman in the Big East, Onuaku should have no problem with him down low though.  A key for Cincinnati is rather Mike Williams will be able to suit up.  He could seriously help them against Syracuse as he is Cincy's 3rd leading scorer and 2nd leading rebounder.  For Syracuse 2 guys have become consistent leaders in Eric Devendorf and Jonny Flynn with a 3rd in Kristof Ongenaut emerging.  Devendorf has hit some huge shots down the stretch of games this season and Jonny has been a stronghold all season, KO has come on very strong as of late, as the postseason nears they need to cut down on turnovers and the other 4 main guys need to get into postseason play mode.  Devo and Jonny appear to be ready along with lone SR. Kristof Ongenaut.  Over the final 3 regular season games Cuse fans should look to see improvement in Rautins, Onuaku, Jackson and Harris as they will be very key in the dance. 

 

My Prediction: Next season Cincinati could finish in the top 4 of the Big East.  Right now they are too young and not deep enough to get in the big dance.  Syracuse will lock up their NCAA bid and start to show they are in postseason form.  Cuse wins it 83-70.

 

 

Posted on: February 21, 2009 1:17 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2009 3:17 pm
 

Villanova Wildcats Game Preview

#12 Villanova Wildcats 21-5 (9-4 BE)

 

Villanova Starting Lineup:

G Scottie Reynolds Jr.

G Reggie Redding Jr.

G/F Dwayne Anderson Sr.

F Shane Clark Sr.

F Dante Cunningham Sr.

 

Key Bench Players:

G Corey Fisher Soph.

G Corey Stokes Soph.

F Antonio Pena Soph.

 

Previous Game:   Nova defeated Rutgers 82-72 on senior night for the Wildcats. Rutgers, who is 0-7 in away conference games kept it close for most of the game but Corey Fisher put the game away in the final 10 minutes with some key buckets.  Fisher finished with 14, Stokes with 17 and Reynolds with 21.

 

Game Preview:  Last time these two met, Nova put a hurtin on them boys from Upstate.  That was just two weeks ago and it is etched in the minds of the Syracuse players.  After knocking Syracuse off the bubble last season and then making them look like high schoolers a couple weeks ago Syracuse had better be up and ready for this one.  Syracuse is coming off a long eight day rest in which everyone healed up in to get ready for their final stretch.  Expect the typical Cuse 2-3 zone early on, and also expect Nova to devour it early on, Boeheim should know from the last game 2-3 against Nova=loss.  We should see man from Cuse much earlier then we usually do because of this, and Syracuse should thrive off of it.  Key players to watch for are the Corey's off the bench, we know Reynolds and Cunningham will get theirs but Cuse needs to hold Fisher and Stokes down in order to get the W.  Last time Fisher had 14 points and 6 assists and Stokes had 16 points and 8 rebounds, too much for bench role players.  As for Key Cuse players to watch it's all on Arinze Onuaku and Paul Harris, they need to be tough on the inside and and start playing at their highest level to get ready for the postseason.  Arinze finally showed he was 100% last week v. Georgetown when he had the type of game we had become accostomed to seeing, 15 points 13 rebs and 4 blocks, he has another game like that and Cuse is in great shape for a W.  Paul on the other hand really needs to step his game up, over the last 7 games he's avergaing 9.3 ppg, before that he had scored in single digits just 3 times out of the 18 games, he will be a key player come tourney time, and his play will depend on whether Cuse gets bounced in the first or goes into regionals.

 

My Prediction:  With a win Syracuse locks up a tournament bid and can start playing for seeding, with a loss Syracuse inches toward that bubble.  Cuse will pull off the victory.  Jonny Flynn is averaging 21.25 ppg in his career against Nova along with 4.75 assists, that coupled with a long eight day rest and a Carrier Dome filled with over 25,000, Syracuse wins it 85-73.

 

Final Score: 89-86 Villanova

 

 

 

Posted on: February 14, 2009 2:57 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2009 2:59 pm
 

Georgetown Hoyas Game RECAP

Wow, one of the bigger collapses in Syracuse history, but luckily Syracuse was able to pull off the w 98-94 OT.  After a very even first half in which Kristof Ongenaut was ejected for an elbow to the head of Dajuan Summers Cuse went into the half with a 33-32 lead.  Then in the 2nd half it was Cuse jumping out with a 10-0 run to start the half and stretch the lead to 11.  With 8:20 to go in the half Cuse went up 16 with a 3 pointer by Eric Devendorf, after that the Hoyas kicked it into high gear going on a 33-17 run to end 2nd half.  Chris Wright had a career high 25 points and he hit the long 3 near the end to tie the game up.  On the ensuing possesion Syracuses's JOnny Flynn gave the ball up and gave G Town a chance to win with seconds to go but Dajuan Summers missed the last second 3.  In OT Eric Devendorf took over hitting two key three's and Jonny Flynn hit key FT's going 15-16 on the day to lead Syracuse to victory.  There was 6 Cuse players in double figures lead by Jonny Flynn who had a career game with 25 points, 13 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 To's.  Eric Devendorf had 23 and Arinze Onuaku proved he is finally back to 100% with a double double 15 points and 12 rebounds.  The Cuse improved to 19-7 (7-6 BE).  Syracuse now has an 8 day rest until they get a revenge game against Villanova at the Dome.

Posted on: February 11, 2009 4:04 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2009 3:22 pm
 

Connecticut Huskies Game Preview

#1 Connecticut Huskies 22-1 (10-1 BE)

 

Connecticut Starting Lineup:

G A.J. Price Sr.

G Jerome Dyson Jr.

F Stanley Robinson Jr.

F Jeff Adrien Sr.

C Hasheem Thabeet Jr.

 

Key Bench Players:

G Kemba Walker Fr.

G Craig Austrie Sr.

F Gavin Edwards Jr.

 

Previous Game:   Connecticut defeated Michigan 69-61 on Saturday to go to 22-1 on the season and maintain their number 1 ranking.  After starting the game off with an 8-1 run, Michigan switched from 1-3-1 to 2-3 and forced 10 first half turnovers leading to easy buckets.  In the 2nd half UConn took over the game and won it at the FT line going 19-25 compared to 8-12 from Michigan.  Hasheem Thabeet led the Huskies charge with 17 points and 12 rebounds.  Jeff Adrien chipped in 9 points and 14 rebounds and became just the 5th player in UConn history to grap 1,000 rebounds and score 1,000 points.

 

Game Preview:  Luckily for Syracuse, this is as bad as it's going to get.  Syracuse has played the best of the best lately culminating with a game @ #1 UConn.  Syracuse is going into this game limping, star F Arinze Onuaku is still not at 100% and this is the game where Cuse will need him most.  Expect a lot of 2-3 zone today from Syracuse, as usual.  The Huskies are obviously a very strong frontcourt team, look for Syracuse to force UConn to take 3's (36.6%) against the 2-3 rather than allow UConn to dominate inside.  After those shots go up though is where Syracuse has been especially weak, rebounding the basketball.  UConn is leading the conference in rpg with two players averaging more than 10 (Thabeet and Adrien), and if they get an offensive rebound it's usually an automatic 2 points.  Not only is UConn a great rebounding team, they also lead the BE in shots blocked per game at 7.2, Thabeet is averaging 4 bpg himself.  He is a game changer on the inside and if Syracuse wants to win they cannot be afraid to take it in on him.  On defense UConn also likes to press, a 2-2-1 press with Thabeet in the back as the anchor.  It's not a very storng press and if Syracuse can quickly beat it, those would be prime opportubities for points and to get Thabeet in foul trouble.  For Syracuse Paul Harris is the X-Factor, he has been very down as of late, having a season low 5 rebounds against Villanova Saturday but historically Paul plays his best games against UConn.  In his 3 seasons at Syracuse Harris is averaging 14.75 ppg, 10 rpg, and 3.25 apg in 3 games against UConn.  This could be the break out performance of the season to get Syracuse back on track.

 

My Prediction:   Syracuse and UConn have been 2-2 against each other the last 4 times they've played, and the last time UConn was #1 Syracuse beat them in the BET.  Those games are in the past and Syracuse is limping into this one against a juggernaut in UConn, Syracuse will continue its downfall...for now.  83-71 UConn.

 

Final Score: 63-49 UConn

 
 
 
 
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