College Basketball Midweek Preview Week 2:
Virginia at (15) Houston
Virginia has a great opportunity to pick up a quality win on the road at Houston. The interior play for Virginia will be critical against a physical frontline of Houston. Therefore, Jayden Gardner will need to be productive on both ends and establish the Virginia offense inside. The guard play will be important to set the tone on both ends which begins with Kihei Clark and his defense, as well as, Armann Franklin’s ability to play off the basketball to be a go-to scorer. Virginia will need to show their capabilities to be a very good defense to slow down Houston’s perimeter.
As for Houston, their success begins with the play of Marcus Sasser who is their best player with is a terrific offensive player. Also, the frontcourt depth for Houston is very deep and experienced giving Houston advantages in the paint and on the boards. Continued, Kyler Edwards has added experience to the perimeter and added a shot maker for Houston. Now, if Houston can get Tramon Mark back for this matchup Houston will be even stronger on both ends against Virginia.
Houston’s physicality on the defensive end and boards will be a major factor in their win over Virginia. Along with, Marcus Sasser developing into one of the best guards in the country.
Matchup to Watch: Kihei Clark vs Marcus Sasser
Prediction: Houston 68 Virginia 59
BYU at (12) Oregon
As for BYU, Alex Barcello is one of the best guards in the country with his scoring and setting the tone for BYU. The development of having a true secondary scorer will be important for BYU as the season continues. For the matchup against Oregon, they can have advantages in the frontcourt with the size of Caleb Lohner and Gavin Baxter. Also, the versatility defensively of Gideon George will be important for BYU slowing down the Oregon perimeter. Furthermore, the overall offensive capability of Mark Pope’s teams while at BYU gives them great potential and the ability to win at Oregon.
Oregon has one of the most complete starting lineups in the country. This begins with the guard play of Will Richardson who’s capable on and off the ball. As well as, having the tempo from Jacob Young and the toughness of DeVion Harmon in the backcourt. The versatility of Quincy Guerrier will allow for further flexibility for the Oregon offense and will flourish in time for Oregon. The frontcourt development of Emmitt Williams and Franck Kepnang will be very key for Oregon on both ends. Also, the eventual depth of Oregon will need to be developed and could be an issue against BYU.
The experience in the backcourt for Oregon will get the job done against BYU to get a very solid win.
Matchup to Watch: Alex Barcello vs Will Richardson
Prediction: Oregon 74 BYU 71
(19) Ohio State at Xavier
The battle of Ohio will be a great opportunity for both teams to get a quality win. As for Ohio State, EJ Liddell is the focal point for their offense and will be key in defeating Xavier. Also, the development of Malachi Branham will be important for Ohio State adding a wing threat for Ohio State. Next, Justice Sueing will need to get back to being the player he was a year ago adding versatility on both ends for Ohio State. The play of Jamari Wheeler is vital for Ohio State’s offense to operate smoothly. Continued, Zed Key adds physicality to the frontcourt and his efficiency could be important in this game.
As for Xavier, this is a great opportunity to start the build towards having an NCAA tournament resume. First off, Paul Scruggs is the tone-setting with his ability score and getting others involved. Furthermore, the development of Colby Jones is very important for Xavier to have a matchup problem for teams. The frontcourt for Xavier needs Jack Nunge to emerge as a dependable player in place for Zach Freemantle. Also, the perimeter needs to add further consistent scoring with Adam Kunkel and Nate Johnson. The ability to slow down EJ Liddell will be crucial for Xavier in this matchup with Jerome Hunter.
Ohio State will go on the road and pick up a very solid road win at Xavier. The scoring and matchup problem of EJ Liddell will be too much for Xavier to handle.
Matchup to Watch: EJ Liddell vs Jerome Hunter
Prediction: Ohio State 72 Xavier 65
College Basketball Midweek Preview Week 2
Images Courtesy of, 247 Sports, BY ASHLEY YOUNG
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