3/29 CIT/CBI Notes

29 Mar

Just a few quick lunchtime notes on tonight’s CIT/CBI games. Sorry for stream of consciousness style, but don’t really have time to organize into cohesive paragraphs.

CIT Semis: UMBC’s bigs can’t guard Rashawn Thomas for TAMU Corpus. Thomas moves all around the floor, is lethal in pick and pop situations, is an adept passer out of the high post, and runs the floor well. Will Darley is a mobile stretch 5 for the Retrievers, but he’s a total liability defensively, especially in pnr situations. Thomas will predictably get his. On the flip side, the Islanders are a poorly disciplined transition defense (especially if you can rebound defensively), and UMBC is an explosive transition offense. Both teams really look to attack the rim foremost, but UMBC also loves to spread the floor in transition with Jairus Lyles and KJ Maura as dual PGs that are impossible to stay in front of and Darley and Joe Sherburne as big shooters who space the floor and are lethal from outside. The Islanders are excessively long in the backcourt since 6’5 Kilgore moved to the point, and 6’4 Amin is an absolute menace defensively, but they’re not as quick as the smaller Lyles and Maura. So in the backcourt we have an intriguing length vs speed matchup. The travel has to be a concern for Corpus, as they’ve not been anywhere near the east coast and they haven’t left Corpus Christi during this tournament until now. Should be plenty of points, as UMBC can’t guard Thomas or the bigger Corpus guards, but TAMUCC’s pressure defensively will backfire against Lyles and Maura and they’re so poor in transition defense.

St. Peter’s has had to endure some tough travel on fairly short rest, but at least they’re returning home to the Yanitelli Center ( although I’m not sure SPU really wants people to see the YC on national TV tbh) from San Marcos this time. The Peacocks got off to an expected slow start at Texas St, but recovered thanks to their lock down defense. The Peacocks will host Furman, a similarly structured solid defensive team, and they’re also a four out offense, but more efficient than SPU in that regard. You basically have to beat either of these defenses by shooting the three, as they both really wall off the paint, and opposing offenses have gone 21-89 combined against these two teams in this tournament. Hence the reason both are in the semis. If you can’t hit jump shots against these two defenses, you’re probably not going to win. Both of these teams are very good jump shooting teams, so each stands a chance tonight. The Paladins are a little more consistent from outside with Sibley, Davis, and Brown (who I’ve been on record as saying has the best form in D1), but Quadir Welton is capable of guarding Kris Acox in pnr (which was why SPU was able to shut down KGT and thus Texas St in San Marcos), a major key tonight for SPU in the frontcourt battle. Offensively you really want to take advantage of the injury ravaged Furman frontcourt, but Welton, as good as he’s been defensively in this tournament, hasn’t matched that on the other end. Coaching wise we have a mismatch, as Furman’s Niko Medved has left for Drake, leaving recruiting specialist Bob Richey in charge tonight, while SPU of course has defensive mastermind John Dunne roaming the sidelines. However, Richey has been at Furman longer than Medved, and recruited all of these guys, and is definitely a candidate for the full time job. The Paladins aren’t going to quit on him. Interesting game between two very similar teams, but the Furman offense is a few tics more efficient.

CBI Game 2: I wrote a few hundred words on how these two matchup scheme wise for Game 1, and nothing really changes on that front, but Coastal lost Colton Ray-St. Cyr for the rest of the series in game 1, which is a fairly substantial blow. Wyoming simply didn’t show up defensively after the long trip to Conway, as they were toasted routinely in transition and provided zero help side defense on penetration. They looked sluggish and Labinowicz was throwing down dunks all over them (including an ill advised windmill attempt instead of running out clock, which riled up Wyoming up a bit I’m sure). The quick turnaround back to Laramie is tough, but I expect a much more thorough defensive effort tonight against short handed Coastal, who at least does have some experience out west and in altitude this year, as I mentioned in the game 1 preview.

PREDICTIONS: Wyoming -8, UMBC -2, Furman +3



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