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College Basketball

College Basketball Week 13 Midweek Preview

Purdue at (25) Rutgers

Rutgers has another opportunity to get closer to making its first NCAA tournament since 1991. The play inside from Akwasi Yeboah has given Rutgers very good production on both ends with his athleticism and versatility. Containing Trevion Willaims will be a major task for Rutgers in this game with the lack of size they have. Furthermore, Caleb McConnell is emerging into a solid contributor for Rutgers in the backcourt as a secondary option. In addition, Geo Baker is coming back and he must begin to elevate as the go-to the player and lead them in scoring consistently. Ron Harper’s production has been vital for Rutgers giving them consistency in each game. Rutgers must continue to play with grit and toughness against a Purdue team that can match that.
As for Purdue, they must start winning quality games to have a chance for the NCAA tournament. This starts with the play of Trevion Williams who must dominate in their matchup against Rutgers. Also, Isaiah Thompson has been a major boost for Purdue off the bench with his scoring ability. Sasha Stefanovic will need to make big shots as Aaron Wheeler and Eric Hunter have been inconsistent offensively. Next, the size of the Purdue guards must disrupt the flow of Baker and Harper for Rutgers. Rutgers is unbeaten at The RAC and that will continue against Purdue.
Prediction: Rutgers 56 Purdue 52

(5) Florida State at Virginia

Image result for leonard hamiltonFlorida State has an opportunity to continue to stay atop the ACC with a quality game against Virginia. A key for Florida State will be to be able to defend Mamadi Diakite at a high level. In addition, the guards in M.J. Walker and Trent Forest must score a high level from the perimeter against Virginia’s stingy defense. Devin Vassell needs to continue to emerge as a high-level scorer who can be depended on. Furthermore, Patrick Willaims must continue to develop as an all-around player who can contain wing scorers such as Braxton Key in this game. The versatility of Florida State will give Virginia difficulty offensively.
For Virginia, Key must be a viable option offensively to give them a player with size who can attack matchups. Diakite needs to be a force for Virginia in this game with Florida State not having great size inside. Also, Kihei Clark needs to be able to establish the pace for Virginia on both ends. In addition, two scorers that must emerge for Virginia to give them an opportunity in this game are Jay Huff and Tomas Woldentensae. Florida State will be too difficult for Virginia to get consistent success in this game.
Prediction: Florida State 60 Virginia 52

DePaul at (10) Seton Hall

Seton Hall is emerging as a team that is legitimately looking like a Final Four threat. They’re led by Myles Powell who is possibly the best player in the country with his scoring and overall leadership. He must be able to set the tone against the DePaul backcourt. In addition, Romaro Gill needs to continue to play at a high level with his shot-blocking ability and scoring inside in a tough matchup with Paul Reed and Jaylen Butz. Also, Quincy McKnight must continue to be a terrific defender on the perimeter and will need to be against Charlie Moore. In addition, the depth of Seton Hall has helped them as well with guys like Tyrese Samuel, Anthony Nelson and Jared Rhoden. Seton Hall’s defense will be key with containing Moore and Reed especially.
DePaul must get big wins to boost their NCAA tournament resume and this game gives them that opportunity. Moore needs to be very efficient with his shooting in this game. In addition, Reed must use his athleticism inside against Gill. Further, big shots must be made by Jalen Coleman-Lands consistently to open up the Seton Hall defense. DePaul will need to be effective in containing Powell to have an opportunity in this game. The play of Seton Hall has been too good and they will cruise past DePaul in this matchup.
Prediction: Seton Hall 73 DePaul 60

(12) West Virginia at Texas Tech

Image result for chris beardThis could very well be the biggest test for West Virginia to this point in the season. The overall toughness and defense of West Virginia gives them an opportunity to beat any team in the country. First off, their interior defense with Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver is exceptional and needs to play well very in this game. Next, Miles McBride gives West Virginia a go-to option on the perimeter who can make tough shots. Furthermore, Jordan McCabe does a very good job of running the team and will have a difficult matchup against Davide Morretti. Jermaine Haley plays with great size and ability to contribute in a multitude of ways. The depth of West Virginia will play a major factor in this game with Gabe Osabuohien and Chase Harler as guys who will bring productive minutes off the bench.
Now, with Texas Tech their perimeter must play at a high level with Morretti, Jahmi’us Ramsey and Kyler Edwards. They will also have to handle the defensive ball pressure that West Virginia will apply all game. The interior of T.J. Holyfield must play well in this game against Tshiebwe and Culver on both ends to open up the interior for Texas Tech. Chris Clarke needs to show his versatility and contribute in all aspects of this game. If Texas Tech wants to win this game they need to contain West Virginia off the boards and having their backcourt play extremely well.

 

Prediction: Texas Tech 66 West Virginia 63

(18) Iowa at (15) Maryland

Maryland is coming off a huge win against Indiana and must continue that momentum. The backcourt for Maryland must continue to keep care of the ball consistently and that starts with Anthony Cowan. They also need to get very good play from Eric Ayala who can score the basketball and getting the versatility from Darryl Morsell. In addition, Aaron Wiggins must shoot the ball very well in this game to keep up with the offense of Iowa. The most important matchup will be inside with Jalen Smith against Luka Garza. Maryland will have a great opportunity in this game.
As for Iowa, their ability to get Garza the ball is the key and he can dominate inside and has a big matchup against Jalen Smith. Next, C.J. Frederick has stepped up in the absence of Jordan Bohannon with his ball control and shooting ability. In addition, Joe Wieskamp must score at a high level in this game against Darryl Morsell in this matchup. Iowa must step up the tempo of this game as their offensive efficiency ranks second in KenPom. If Iowa gets a dominant Garza and good perimeter defense they will win this game. Iowa will get the win with Garza being too much for Iowa.
Prediction: Iowa 77 Maryland 73

Images Courtesy of, CBS Sports, Tallahassee Democrat, The Michigan Daily,

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