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College Basketball Week 3 Weekend Preview

Florida at (20) Florida State

The in-state battle will be very important for both teams to continue to see their rosters come together. The athleticism and versatility in this game will be very good with players like Scottie Barnes for Florida State and Scottie Lewis of Florida. The point guard play of Florida must continue to develop with Tre Mann continuing to grow in that role. One of the best players in this country is Keyontae Johnson and Florida State will need to contain his production throughout. Balsa Koprivica going against Collin Castleton with both having the ability to step away from the basket will be an interesting matchup. Where this game will be won is on the defensive end as Florida has yet to click on that end and that is stable for Florida State. Also, the scoring on the perimeter with M.J. Walker and Noah Locke will be important in deciding the outcome of this game. The Florida State defense will overwhelm Florida in this matchup to earn the win.
Matchup to Watch: Scottie Barnes vs Keyontae Johnson
Prediction: Florida State 74 Florida 66

Alabama at Clemson

The overall depth of Clemson will test Alabama in this matchup. Clemson’s ability to bring Nick Honor and Hunter Tyson to be apart of the second unit is really important for their success. The guards of Alabama are very good with Jaden Shackleford and Jahvon Quinerly leading the way, as well as, having the perimeter defense from John Petty and Herbert Jones. Next, John Newman and Al-Amir Dawes give Clemson consistency on their perimeter with their scoring and ability to control the game. Therefore, this game should have offensive firepower with both teams having the ability to score at a high level. Now, the most important matchup in this game will be Alabama guarding Aamir Simms with his versatility at the five. He can pose matchups problems for a lot of teams. The most important player for Alabama will be Jordan Bruner and his ability to keep up with Aamir Simms throughout the game. The consistency of Clemson will outlast the talent of Alabama in this matchup.
Matchup to Watch: Jordan Bruner vs Aamir Simms
Prediction: Clemson 78 Alabama 72

(6) Illinois at Missouri

Missouri has had a very good start to the season. Now, Missouri will get their biggest test yet against Illinois. The guard play for Missouri will be very important in this game needing Mark Smith and Xavier Pinson to play at a high level. Jeremiah Tilmon will be critical in this game and must compete for each possession against Kofi Cockburn. The depth will be very important for Missouri to get that secondary scoring with Javon Pickett. As for Illinois, they will need Ayo Dosunmu to be his best against a very competitive backcourt for Missouri. Also, the ability for Trent Frazier and Adam Miller to make shots consistently for Illinois makes them dangerous. Cockburn must impose his ability over Jeremiah Tilmon will be important to establish the paint. Illinois’ ability to score at a high level will be difficult for Missouri to keep up with, but it will be a very difficult win for Illinois.
Matchup to Watch: Jeremiah Tilmon vs Kofi Cockburn
Prediction: Illinois 73 Missouri 67

(19) Richmond at (11) West Virginia

This game will be a very interesting game of styles with Richmond’s Princeton offense against the physicality of West Virginia. Furthermore, the ability of West Virginia to guard Grant Golden will be vital in this game. Now, on the other side, how Golden handles the physicality of Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver will be vital for Richmond. Next, the backcourt of Jacob Gilyard and Blake Francis gives Richmond an edge with their overall quickness and scoring ability. Further, Miles McBride will be a tough matchup for Richmond with his size against the guards of Richmond. The ability for West Virginia to shoot from the perimeter will be important with Sean McNeil and Taz Sherman. The most important player could be Nathan Cayo as he’s been very productive and will be key against the West Virginia bigs. Overall, the physicality of West Virginia will disrupt the flow of Richmond’s offense.
Matchup to Watch: Grant Golden & Nathan Cayo vs Oscar Tshiebwe & Derek Culver
Prediction: West Virginia 72 Richmond 67

(13) Texas at (2) Baylor

This game will be a very good opener to Big 12 play for both of these teams. Both of these teams defend at a high level with having tremendous individual defenders. Therefore, the first matchup to watch will be Matt Coleman against the defensive ability of Davion Mitchell. On the other side, the perimeter defense of Courtney Ramey versus Jared Butler will be crucial for Texas. The offensive firepower of Baylor will be difficult for Texas to keep up with. Therefore, they will need more scorers outside of Matt Coleman to emerge. Continued, the frontcourt battle will be interesting with Greg Brown’s versatility against a player like Mark Vital who does a little bit of everything. Depth in this game will be there as both can rely on production from their bench. As for Baylor, the scoring of Adam Flagler and having the energy of Jonathan Tchamwa-Tchatchoua off the bench is crucial. Texas having the energy of Brock Cunningham and the interior scoring of Kai Jones will be important in this matchup. The ability to play on both sides of the floor for Baylor better than Texas will be the difference in this game.
Matchup to Watch: Davion Mitchell’s Defense vs Matt Coleman
Prediction: Baylor 76 Texas 71

Images Courtesy of, Baylor University Athletics, Clemson Tigers, The Dominion Post

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