Archive | January, 2017

1/31 Tuesday Thoughts

31 Jan

SEASON PREDICTIONS: 1270-1077-48, 241-208-13

Ohio -1.5

Fairfield -2.5 (added 6:45 pm)

George Washington +11

Maryland +3

BC +6.5

UNC -19

Rutgers +1

BGSU -4

EMU -5

Miss St +5

Buffalo -7

Butler -7

Ball St -3.5 (added 5:25pm)

Oral Roberts -1

Northern Illinois +3.5

Davidson -4

Temple -7.5

Loyola Chicago +2

Colorado St -2

Georgetown -8

Wisconsin -7.5

Iowa St +3

Dayton -8

Texas A&M -4.5

Auburn PK

Georgia +16.5 (added with Monk officially out)

SDSU -10

1/30 Monday Thoughts

30 Jan

SEASON PREDICTIONS: 1260-1071-47, 238-205-13

William & Mary -10

 

Howard -3

Lehigh -7

Siena -1.5

Rider +6

Monmouth -13

Western Carolina +12.5

Texas St +1

UT Arlington -6.5

Duke -1.5

Arkansas St +3

UL Monroe +2.5

Georgia Southern +4.5

Prairie View A&M -7

Belmont -18.5

Oklahoma +2

Georgia St -4

 

 

 

1/29 Sunday Thoughts

29 Jan

SEASON PREDICTIONS: 1253-1060-46, 237-201-13

Villanova -5

Michigan St -2.5

Louisville -13.5

Oakland -12

American -2

Arizona St -9.5

Green Bay -5

Northern Kentucky +10

Arizona -16

 

Iona -5.5

Wichita St -17.5

 

Illinois St -7.5

Wright St -2

Purdue -7

Xavier -6

 

VA Tech -12.5

Indiana +7.5

Cal -8

1/28 Saturday Thoughts

28 Jan

SEASON PREDICTIONS: 1202-1012-45, 226-193-13

Morehead St +3 (Supposed to be bold on original publication)

Kent St -6

Wisconsin -16

Davidson -5.5

Pitt +2.5

Notre Dame -6.5

West Virginia -16

VMI +5

Fairfield -8.5

Miami FL +5.5

Ball St -6.5

George Mason +5.5

UCF +2

Furman +2.5

Manhattan +7.5

 

Northern Illinois +5.5

Indiana St +2

Florida -2.5

Texas Tech -15.5

Charleston -5

Northern Iowa -3

Kansas St -1

Providence +8.5

Rhode Island -6.5

Maryland +4.5

DePaul +15.5

Rider -1

Duke -5

 

Old Dominion -9

Memphis -13

Miami OH +3

UT Arlington -4.5

Northern Arizona +9.5

Eastern Washington +2

Chattanooga +4.5

Oral Roberts +2.5

San Francisco -5

Elon +4 (added 3:45pm)

Iowa St -1.5

Texas +5.5

 

Western Kentucky -7.5

George Washington -14

UNCW -6

Ohio -7

Eastern Illinois -8.5

 

Mercer -12.5

Illinois +2.5

 

Coastal Carolina -3

Arkansas St -5

UNLV +1.5

Georgia St +1.5

Southern Utah -1

MTSU -8.5

 

Cornell -6.5

Boise St +1

Miss State +7

TCU -10

Colorado St +8.5

Ole Miss +7

Richmond -10.5

La Salle +2

Kansas +7.5

Wofford -9

Columbia +3

Cleveland St PK

Towson +3

Utah -21

Delaware +3.5

Marshall -13

 

APSU PK

Buffalo +7.5

South Dakota St +5

IUPUI -1

UT Martin +6

SIU -3

 

UC Davis +3

Butler -8.5

Ohio St +1.5 (Have to flip with Jok news)

UC Riverside -1 (Bold if Murray and Thames back)

UAB -15.5

Rice -8

UConn -11.5

Georgia Southern +1.5

ULL -8.5

Belmont -1

Tenn Tech -3.5

South Carolina -10

Montana -6.5

LMU +12

Cal Poly +3.5

Fresno St PK

Colorado +7

Gonzaga -21

San Diego -1.5

Temple +6.5

Sacramento St +1.5

St. Mary’s -10

UCSB +7

 

 

 

1/27 Friday Thoughts

27 Jan

Harvard -6

Monmouth -14

Siena -2

Columbia -8.5

Detroit -2.5

Northern Kentucky +1.5

Valpo -9

Yale -9.5

Weber St -16

Dayton +5

Oakland -7.5

 

1/26 Thursday Thoughts

26 Jan

SEASON PREDICTIONS:

1180-989-42, 218-189-13
Niagara -3

C of C +2

FIU -4

Marshall -14

Campbell +3.5

William & Mary -12

Northeastern -5.5

UNCW -10

Xavier +4

Morehead St -1.5

Robert Morris +7.5

Drexel +3.5

MTSU -21

Marist +4.5

Charlotte -3

UNC -15

Rice -3.5

Murray St -8.5

UTEP +8.5

Jacksonville St -9

Nebraska +8.5

Oregon St +18

Northern Colorado -4.5

North Dakota -9

UT Martin PK

San Diego +26

Indiana +4

LA Tech +2

EWU +6.5 (added 8:00pm)

Montana St -4

Arizona -22

LMU -6

UC Irvine -11.5

Pepperdine -5

LBSU -7

Oregon +1

San Francisco +13.5

Santa Clara +3.5

1/25 Wednesday Thoughts

25 Jan

Let’s take a closer look at the SoCon today…

TIER 1: UNCG, CHATTANOOGA, FURMAN, ETSU

Have to consider Chattanooga the team to beat in the SoCon until further notice. The Mocs are the defending champs and have rattled off 5 straight since the UNCG loss (although 4 of those were at home and a few were in uncomfortably close fashion). The Mocs are deep and experienced, with Matt McCall having the luxury of starting 5 seniors, all of whom have won a SoCon title and been to an NCAA Tournament (although Casey Jones missed most of last season). Offensively the Mocs are penetration reliant and work strictly inside out. A well schooled zone that forces them to rely on jump shots can flummox them, but they’re an excellent offensive rebounding team, so a zone brings the possibility of extended possessions into play. Defensively McCall relies on an aggressive man to man and incorporates the matchup press he brought with him from his Billy Donovan days. The Mocs extend past the three point line and switch everything with their versatility and experience, key in a guard driven league. It’s virtuallt impossible to beat them from behind the arc, as they don’t overhelp on penetration or double the post with the outstanding Tuoyo lurking (and London when he’s not in the doghouse). The bigs generally avoid foul trouble, but the shot blocking propensity tends to leave them a bit out of position on misses, and the Mocs struggle on the defensive glass. If the Mocs repeat as SoCon champs, it will be because of their experience, depth, and defense. Tonight they host a VMI team that Dan Earl looks ready to hit the reset button on. This is still Duggar Baucom’s roster for the most part (with the notable exception of burgeoning FR PG Keith Smith) and Earl’s style couldn’t be more different than Baucom’s. The Keydets are built to run and chuck (antithesis of how you beat the Mocs) and that’s led to some palpable friction between Earl and star shooting guard QJ Peterson. The Mocs do have a big tilt on Saturday in Johnson City against ETSU though, a SoCon title game rematch from a year ago.

Speaking of the Bucs, Steve Forbes has predictably kept the ball rolling in his second year at ETSU. They’re the league’s most exciting team (if you exclude Duggar Ball), as Forbes will extend pressure with an athletic squad and really push off the defensive glass. The Bucs have the highest steal rate and defensive rebounding rate in the league. They will toast you im transition if you don’t have the guards to handle their physicality. Comtrary to the Mocs, they like to go under screens, enticing jump shots and relentlessly crashing the glass to get out in the open floor. If you can shoot and handle the ball, you can beat the Bucs. Tonight they’ll travel to Samford, a team that can do both of those things, and throw a unique matchup zone at what can be a poor shooting Buc perimeter. Tricky road game ahead of the big UTC contest.

Furman is an intriguing entry in the SoCon thanks to their experienced backcourt led by the versatile Daniel Fowler and sharpshooting slasher Devin Sibley. Add in the all over defensive prowess of Kris Acox, and the Paladins make up for their lack of height with versatility and a harassing matchup zone. However, a rash of injuries in the frontcourt, namely to Matt Rafferty, kind of cap how far the Paladins can go come March. However, Furman can shoot and they can take care of the ball, and with Chattanooga possessing the only really dangerous frontcourt in the league, you can’t count out the Dins, with especially how well Niko Medved has them prepared on a game by game basis. They’ll host a Western Carolina team that is struggling to pick up Larry Hunter’s drag screen, transition based offense thanks to a plethora of injuries to key upperclassmen, leaving unprepared freshmen to learn the system quickly. Accordingly, Hunter has turned to more of a burn offense to limit the risk. WCU is improving though, and they have the potential to be a spoiler tonight (with a big game with UNCG looming for the Paladins on Saturday) and in March if the freshmen mature quickly.

That brings us to the curious case of UNCG. Wes Miller’s squad has won 6 straight league games and raced out to a 7-1 SoCon record, including wins at ETSU and at home over Chattanooga. However, the Spartans are likely to regress for a few reasons. 1) RJ White has trouble staying on the floor, which turns UNCG into a jump shooting team (more so), which makes them a high variance offense 2) Turnovers continue to be a real issue, especially for Demetrius Troy 3) The schedule is backloaded, and could see the Spartans drop up to 5 games in the second half of the season. That said, there’s no denying the offensive talent. Troy and Baldwin give Miller a dual PG look, and you can’t back off of either of them, and Alonso is a lethal volume shooter from outside, feeding off penetration from those two. White is a dynamic offensive player when he’s on the floor, and the Spartans can mix and match zone and man to man pressure depending on the personnel (whether they have the jumbo lineup with the rapidly improving FR Dickey, or go small with the 4 guard, dual PG look). Wes Miller has seemingly feuded with every SoCon coach at some point in the past, so the Spartans tend to have a lot of natural enemies, and that includes their opponent tonight, Mike Young’s always well coached Wofford Terriers. While UNCG is certainly due for regression, they’re still certainly a legit contender come March.

TIER 2: WOFFORD, SAMFORD, MERCER

Wofford has an outstanding backcourt once again, led by the irrepressible Eric Garcia at the point. Garcia is a fearless rim attacker and shoots 91% from the line, which coupled with the fact he hits nearly half of his 3PTAs, makes him one of the most lethal points in midmajordom. He’s got another outstanding shooter in Magee flanking him, a solid stretcher at the 4 in the experienced Sawvell, and an efficient 5 in Cam Jackson. The Terriers can score and score in bunches, but they can’t defend a lick, especially at the rim. Essentially, any big with a pulse can have a career game in the paint vs the Terriers, and it doesn’t help that opposing 2s/3a can beat Magee routinely off the dribble. If Mike Young can inspire anything close to typical from his previous teams in terms of their defense, the Terriers can be a threat, especially with a leader like Garcia. Huge game at BenJo tonight, with UNCG in town. With Garcia running the show they can handle the press and their prolific 3 point offense can operate. However, it’s imperative Garcia attacks the foul prone White first, because the Spartans quickly turn into an outside in offense when he’s off the floor.

Samford was my preseason SoCon sleeper thanks to the addition of dynamic off guard/wing Demetrius Denzel-Dyson and sharp shooting FR Triston Chambers. Plus, Padgett went out and added a lightening quick PG in Sharkey that gives Samford an outstanding small ball unit when he’a on the floor with Cunningham. Additionally, Sharkey is a freak on ball defender in Padgett’s menacing matchup zone. Holding Samford back is their inability to rebound and the fact that team’s with plus backcourts (of which there are several in the SoCon) can find lots of holes in the zone after the press. The Bulldogs could surprise ETSU tonight though.

You never want to count out a Bob Hoffman coached team, and while Mercer has gone 0-4 vs the 4 “tier 1” teams, 3 were one possession games and they had a 2H lead vs ETSU in the 4th. The Bears revolve around the arc on both ends, and they’ve had some bad luck with getting shots to drop in league play. Defensively a Hoffman team is almost alwaya going to have 10 feet in the paint in the halfcourt, which means a lot of their defensive performances are dependent on how well the other team shoots the ball, because you’re not going to speed the Bears up and get them in a transition game, and the reversal laden motion offense is so methodical on the other end. Mercer can contend this year, but next year Strawberry, Holland, Rivers, Jelks, Ringer, and Lewis are all seniors, and we know what senior laden Hoffman squads are capable off.

TIER 3: VMI, WESTERN CAROLINA, THE CITADEL

I’ve discussed VMI and WCU already, but Duggar Baucom’s Loot and Shoot is obviously the most exciting and variable laden team in this tier. The Citadel is going to pressure you and look for transition 3s for all 40, and Baucom added a lethal weapon in FR Preston Parks. Not really a style you want to run into in a tournament format.

SOCON ATS PREDICTIONS: WCU +15, WOFFORD -1.5, ETSU -4, CHATTANOOGA -20
SEASON PREDICTIONS: 1157-971-42, 214-188-13

SMU -4.5

Temple -1.5

Providence -7

ECU +3

Creighton -2

Penn +8.5

Minnesota +3.5

Miss State -11

Florida State -10

George Washington +2.5

UConn -7.5

 

IPFW -7 (Don’t think Jason Gardner is going to be hopping on any score tables and screaming at the Dons after this one)

Texas A&M +1.5

Eastern Illinois +6.5

Tennessee State -7.5

 

 

NDSU -7

South Dakota -8.5

Loyola Chicago -13

Northern Iowa -6.5

Indiana State +13

Rhode Island -6

Baylor -8.5

UMass -9

Butler -2

Denver -6.5

Colorado State -7.5

Iowa +5

BC +15.5

Alabama +4.5

LSU +11.5

Wyoming -7

UCSB +1.5

Boise State -4.5

UCLA -7

Washington +4