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College Basketball Week 4 Midweek Preview

(24) Clemson at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is looking to recover from a blowout loss to Penn State. Keve Aluma must be their go-to player inside giving them easy points. Additionally, Aluma will need to defend Aamir Simms at a high level and match him offensively. The guards for Virginia Tech will need to match the production of Clemson’s guards. Jalen Cone and Cartier Diarra will both need to produce scoring-wise off the bench for Virginia Tech. Tyrece Radford needs to emerge for Virginia Tech on both ends. Moving forward, Clemson will need to defend at a high level to win on the road at Virginia Tech. John Newman and Al-Amir Dawes need to showcase their ability to take over games with their scoring. The depth of Clemson will be a major factor with Nick Honor and P.J. Hall leading the way. Overall, Clemson is playing at a high level and that will continue at Virginia Tech.
Matchup to Watch: Aamir Simms vs Keve Aluma
Prediction: Clemson 73 Virginia Tech 62

Minnesota at (13) Illinois

Ask an expert: Sam Vecenie gives draft projections for Kofi Cockburn | The Daily IlliniRichard Pitino has his Minnesota team off to a strong start on the season at 6-0, but now gets a road test at Illinois. The scoring ability of Marcus Carr will continue to be important in this game keeping up with Ayo Dosunmu especially. Additionally, Liam Robbins has been an impact transfer with his ability to score in the paint at ease. Therefore, the matchup inside between Liam Robbins and Kofi Cockburn will be crucial. Additionally, the wing play of Both Gach will be key as their second perimeter scorer in a matchup with Adam Miller. The perimeter shooting will be important in this game with Adam Miller against Gabe Kalschuer’s shooting will be important. The ability for Ayo Dosunmu to take over games will be key yet again for Illinois to win this game. This game will be tight, but Illinois will bounce back off of the loss to Missouri.
Matchup to Watch: Liam Robbins vs Kofi Cockburn
Prediction: Illinois 82 Minnesota 78

(21) Duke at Notre Dame

This is a great opportunity for Notre Dame to keep building on their success to start the season. Nate Laszewski has been terrific for Notre Dame providing scoring inside and on the perimeter. Therefore, the matchup with Laszewski and Matthew Hurt will be key in deciding the outcome. The ability of Prentiss Hubb to get tough buckets and provide a driving presence for Notre Dame is critical. The shooting from three is what makes Notre Dame go with Cormac Ryan and Dane Goodwin give that consistently. As for Duke, they must be able to shoot and score the basketball at a way higher level. Therefore, the frontcourt of Matthew Hurt and Jalen Johnson will need to lead the way. The guards in Wendell Moore and D.J. Steward must make plays offensively for Duke to have an opportunity in this game. Getting consistent play from Jeremy Roach is very key for Duke to make this offense flow. Notre Dame has too much offense for Duke to keep up with until proven otherwise.
Matchup to Watch: Nate Laszewski vs Matthew Hurt
Prediction: Notre Dame 77 Duke 74

(20) Ohio State at Purdue

Zach Edey - Men's Basketball - Purdue University AthleticsThe frontcourt battle in this game will be a determining factor in the outcome. With Ohio State missing E.J. Liddell there will be a void inside for them against Trevion Williams and Zach Edey. Therefore, Kyle Young will have a very tall task in this game defending the paint for Ohio State. It will need to be a team effort. Furthermore, the perimeter of Ohio State will need to control this game with C.J. Walker and Justice Sueing making plays offensively. Eric Hunter and Brandon Newman will need to impose their size against the guards of Ohio State. The shot-making ability of Sasha Stefanovic will be a major factor in this game. Overall, the frontcourt of Purdue will be too much for Ohio State to handle.
Matchup to Watch: Ohio State’s Front Court Defense vs Purdue’s Bigs
Prediction: Purdue 73 Ohio State 66

(5) Kansas at (14) Texas Tech

This game will be very important for Texas Tech to establish itself as one of the best teams in the country. Their offensive identity will need to evolve with Mac McClung and Terrance Shannon being their go-to players. The inside play of Marcos Santos-Silva will be important against David McCormick in this game. This game will be built out on the guard and perimeter play of both teams. Therefore, the shot making of Kyler Edwards and Nimari Burnett’s scoring will be key for Texas Tech. Additionally, Kansas will run a lot of 5 out concepts and will be a challenge for Texas Tech to defend. The emergence of Jalen Wilson cannot go unnoticed being a go-to scorer and a matchup problem for teams. The perimeter defense with Marcus Garrett and Ochai Agbaji will be tough on the Texas Tech guards. The identity for Kansas has been established and will come away with a big win against Texas Tech.
Matchup to Watch: Kansas Perimeter D vs Texas Tech Perimeter
Prediction: Kansas 76 Texas Tech 69

Images Courtesy of, Clemson Athletics, Purdue Athletics, The Daily Illini

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