Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday's Pregame Beat

Maui Invitational:

10:00 pm: No. 6 Duke vs. No. 14 Kansas: This will end up being the game of the night. Its Duke and Kansas, how could it not be? Both of these teams are working through some kinks right now. Duke's big men are going to have a difficult time matching up with Thomas Robinson. While the Plumlees mayhave a similar physical profile, you can't measure heart, determination and effort level with a vertical leap.

That said, Duke's perimeter is more of a proven commodity than Kansas. As good as Elijah Johnson looked against UCLA, that's one of the first times that he's had a performance like that. Is this a sign of things to come or just another tease of his talent? For Duke, the question is whether or not they will be able to find another player on the perimeter than can create their own shot.

2:30 pm: Tennessee vs. Chaminade: Jeronne Maymon has a sore achilles. That's about all you can get out of this game.

5:00 pm: No. 8 Memphis vs. Georgetown: In terms of talent, Georgetown is way overmatched in this game. But its not always about talent, as Michigan proved when they knocked off the Tigers on Monday. The Hoyas also run a unique offensive system, one that emphasizes execution and discipline. But the difference between Michigan and Georgetown is vast. The Hoyas are very, very young and don't have the kind of back court that Michigan does. In fact, Markel Starks and Jason Clark have combined for as many assists as Nate Lubick this season (11) and have five fewer as a duo than Henry Sims.

7:30 pm: No. 15 Michigan vs. UCLA: Think about this for a second: UCLA lost by 16 to a rebuilding Kansas team, and it was considered a step in the right direction and a moral victory. That's about where this program is this season. The Bruins have some serious back court struggles this year and can't shoot all that well from three. That's a bad sign when facing Michigan.

Preseason NIT

7:00 pm: Stanford vs. Oklahoma State: Both of these teams have the potential to be a sleeper in their respective conferences this year. Oklahoma State has a couple of talented freshmen in LeBryan Nash and Cesar Guerrero to go along with their upperclassmen. Stanford is in a similar boat, but playing in the weak Pac-12 means that this group could very well end up being a top six team in the conference.

9:30 pm: No. 5 Syracuse vs. Virginia Tech: Syracuse has had a pretty impressive start to the season, but they have yet to play anyone. Virginia Tech isn't exactly a Final Four contender, but this is a group that may be talented enough to make a run at a tournament bid. I really like their back court of Dorenzo Hudson and Erick Green. But that back court is going to have a very difficult time dealing with the likes of Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters. This should be a good gauge for both teams.

The rest of the top 25:

7:00 pm: Radford @ No. 2 Kentucky: Radford doesn't have the interior strength that Old Dominion did, meaning that the only reason Kentucky struggles is because their team has checked out for the vacation.

7:00 pm: VMI @ No. 3 Ohio State: VMI can get out, run the floor and rain threes. It will need to be a monsoon for them to keep this game close.

8:00 pm: UT-Arlington @ No. 10 Baylor: This is the final game before Perry Jones makes his return to the lineup.

8:00 pm: Alabama A&M @ No. 13 Alabama: Tony Mitchell might be the most exciting player in the country to watch.

8:30 pm: SDSU @ No. 23 Arizona: The Aztecs have a very good perimeter attack, but they don't have much inside. The good news? Arizona doesn't have much of a front line, either, and it has become further weakened with Sidiki Johnson's suspension. There is a real chance that SDSU can win this game.

Other notable games:
- 7:00 pm: Milwaukee @ Michigan State
- 7:00 pm: Richmond @ Rutgers
- 7:00 pm: St. Joe's @ Iona
- 7:00 pm: St. Mary's @ Denver
- 7:00 pm: Western Michigan @ Purdue
- 7:00 pm: Gardner-Webb @ Butler
- 9:00 pm: Oregon @ Nebraska
- 9:30 pm: Illinois vs. Illinois State

No comments: