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College Basketball Week 3 Midweek Preview

Game Previews

Vermont vs (7) Virginia

Vermont will be looking to continue to add to its resume as the American East favorites. Virginia will want to sustain their success on the defensive end at an elite level. For Virginia, it all starts with the play of Kihei Clark with his tenacity defensively disrupting the ball handler and his poise offensively. In addition, Jay Huff will need to continue to provide scoring as a stretch four. The guard play must improve offensively with Casey Morsel and Tomas Woldentensae. Defensively the back end is continuing to flourish with Mamadi Diakite and Braxton Key.
As for Vermont, offensively they must have a great game from their go-to player in Anthony Lamb. In addition to Robin Duncan providing perimeter scoring against the stingy Virginia defense. Also, the Vermont offense must be able to get out in transition to create offense while Virginia is not set. In order, for Vermont to have a chance in this game, they must be efficient offensively. Virginia will give Vermont too many issues offensively and will contain Anthony Lamb.
Prediction: Virginia 61 Vermont 51

(4) Kansas vs East Tennessee State

Image result for isaiah mossEast Tennessee State is the favorite to win the SOCON and has the ability to challenge Kansas. Kansas is looking to find consistency with their outside shooting and inside rotation. As for East Tennessee State, Bo Hodges leads the way offensively and provides good help on the boards. Also, the frontcourt is led by Jeromy Rodriguez and Lucas N’Guessan to give them scoring and consistent interior defense. Now, off the bench Tray, Boyd is capable of providing a spark with his shot-making ability.
Isaiah Tisdale will need to score at a high level to keep East Tennessee State in this game. Now for Kansas, the guard play by Devon Dotson leads the way with his speed and ability to score. Also, Udoka Azubuike needs to produce as the dominant big man he can be for Kansas to reach its potential. Isaiah Moss needs to continue the ability to stretch the defense with his perimeter jumper. Furthermore, Ochai Agbaji must be consistent to provide Kansas a major threat on the wing. East Tennessee State is an NCAA tournament capable team, but Kansas has too many options to stay with them.

Prediction: Kansas 82 East Tennessee State 70

(1) Duke vs California

Duke is looking to continue its start on the defensive end and with its quality in depth. California in year one under Mark Fox is off to an unbeaten start. Starting with Duke, their success predicates with the play of Tre Jones on both ends if he becomes a scoring threat this team elevates to another level. Also, the strength of this team is in the frontcourt with Vernon Carey Jr. and Matthew Hurt as they compliment each other very well. The ability for Carey Jr. to dominate the interior and allow Hurt to stretch the perimeter is vital to their success. In addition, the defensive presence of Cassius Stanley is great as he disrupts the perimeter and gets out in transition. Duke’s depth is the key to their success with such activity on the defensive end.
For California, they are led by Grant Anticevich who provides the ability to stretch the floor greatly, which should be a great matchup with Matthew Hurt. Also, the guard play of Matt Bradley is sensational with his scoring ability along with, Kareem South alongside him. In addition, the depth of California should provide them a chance to stay with Duke’s substitutes. This starts with Andre Kelly as he provides depth to the frontcourt. California is off to a great start under Mark Fox, but Duke will be too much in the Garden for California.
Prediction: Duke 83 California 69

Georgetown vs (22) Texas

Image result for omer yurtseven georgetownThese two teams have opportunities to elevate their teams in NCAA tournament expectations. Texas already has a strong resume win on the road against Purdue. Matt Coleman has continued to develop his game as a complete player becoming a threat offensively. In addition, Andrew Jones can provide a scoring punch off the bench effectively. Also, Jericho Sims is providing the energy on the boards and finishing around the rim. Defensively, Texas has stepped up and given them an identity.
With Georgetown, Omer Yurtseven is providing a scoring threat offensively to open up the perimeter. Next, James Akinjo must continue to provide shooting and distributing while remaining efficient. Continued, Mac McClung must be able to be a more effective shooter than he has been to start the season. In addition, the wings must emerge as well, with Jamorko Pickett and James LeBlanc offensively while maintaining a strong defensive presence. Georgetown needs a breakthrough game and will find a way to edge out Texas in this matchup.
Prediction: Georgetown 67 Texas 63

New Mexico vs New Mexico State

The battle over New Mexico should be a high-level game for state bragging rights. To start with New Mexico, the emergence of JaQuan Lyle is vital to their success as he is a high-level scorer who the offense can lean on. Also, Carlton Bragg has provided toughness and a presence in the interior with his ability to score and rebound. Next, Makuach Maluach gives the Lobos another option next to Lyle who can provide offense. JJ Caldwell needs to be more efficient as the point guard but is capable of running the offense for New Mexico. This team is highly talented with the amount of power 5 players they have.
For New Mexico State, Queen Trevelin is the primary option offensively and must match JaQaun Lyle in this game. In addition, Ivan Aurrecoechea has provided quality play in the frontcourt with additional scoring. Further, Terrell Brown will need to make a difference in this matchup on both ends. Also, the depth of the New Mexico State must produce as well. The star power of New Mexico will outlast New Mexico State in this matchup.
Prediction: New Mexico 76 New Mexico State 71

Images Courtesy of, The Kansas City Star, Washington Post,

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