Skip to content

Pregame Shootaround 12.7.12: Light Friday as finals approach for many schools

Dec 7, 2012, 1:58 PM EDT

Shabazz Napier AP

Each day, CollegeBasketballTalk brings you the “Pregame Shootaround,” which will be posted at 2 p.m. ET and lay out a preview for the slate of games that night. We’ll take a look at some key match-ups and important games, as well as make some predictions and point out what you need to watch for. Take a look below at today’s edition:

Note: The weekend editions of Pregame Shootaround will be published half an hour prior to tip-off of the day’s first game.

Game of the Day: Harvard at Connecticut (7 PM) 

Tommy Amaker’s Crimson have made a habit out of beating Boston College on a consistent basis, but the same can’t be said of their recent history with UConn. The Huskies have won all three meetings during Amaker’s tenure and own a 15-2 edge in the series. The Crimson are young but talented, with sophomore forward Wesley Saunders and freshman point guard Siyani Chambers leading the way. With the loss of Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey many ruled the Crimson out of the Ivy League race, but even with just two upperclassmen in the rotation (junior Laurent Rivard and senior Christian Webster) Harvard shouldn’t be overlooked.

And that goes for UConn tonight, as the Huskies have struggled in the paint this season. Enosch Wolf did score 12 points in their loss to NC State on Tuesday night, but Kevin Ollie’s team will only go as far as guards Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier take them. Harvard doesn’t have much in the way of size but they’ve been the better rebounding team of the two (Harvard grabs 69.8% of opponents’ missed shots while UConn corrals just 60.3%). If the Crimson can take advantage of UConn’s issues inside while keeping Napier and Boatright in check, they have a shot.

Who’s getting upset?: Manhattan vs. Marist (7 PM) 

The light schedule means that a team with two wins (Manhattan) is the pick to be upset by another team with just two wins. Steve Masiello’s Jaspers are one of the favorites to win the MAAC, but this week has already seen both Iona and Loyola (MD) go on the road and drop league games. Devin Price leads the way for the Marist team that’s averaging just 54.1 points per game, and to be frank the Red Foxes were beaten like they stole something the last time they took the court (91-57 loss to Army). The Jaspers haven’t been much better offensively (56.8 ppg; and missing George Beamon certainly doesn’t help matters), and if they continue to struggle Marist has a shot.

Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: VCU at Old Dominion (9 PM; NBC Sports Network) 

Don’t consider the Rams to be a mid-major personally (especially with the move to the Atlantic 10), but they are on the road playing what should be an emotional game against Old Dominion. The Monarchs have struggled mightily in their final season before leaving the CAA for Conference USA, so maybe the sight of an old rival can fire up Blaine Taylor’s group. ODU is averaging 15.1 turnovers per game, and with VCU forcing nearly 19 turnovers per contest things could get out of hand if the Monarchs don’t take better care of the basketball. But look for ODU to come out with a little more fire and make things tough on VCU in Norfolk.

Five Things to Watch For

1) Iowa State looks to make it four straight wins over Iowa, but the home team has won seven of the last eight meetings in the series (ISU’s win in 2010 being the exception). Forward Will Clyburn leads the Cyclones in both points and rebounds, and Fred Hoiberg’s team has been one of the nation’s best teams when it comes to hitting the boards. Iowa has to keep the Cyclones off the offensive glass if they’re to defend Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

2) South Carolina made just 35.9% of their shots in losses to St. John’s and Clemson. With Jacksonville in town the hope is that the Gamecocks can get going offensively, with Brenton Williams and Bruce Ellington leading the way.

3) Siena’s looking to snap a five-game losing streak as they host Rider in the MAAC opener for both. Mitch Buonaguro’s team has won eight of the last 11 meetings in the series, and Siena’s going to need players other than O.D. Anosike to step up if they’re to make it nine of 12. Guard Nurideen Lindsey  leads four Broncs in double figures with an average of 14.3 points per game.

4) Two slumping teams meet in Milwaukee as the Panthers host Northern Illinois. The Huskies are averaging just 54.3 points per game, which is only two touchdowns more than what their MAC champion football team has averaged (40.8 ppg).

5) Ed DeChellis’ Navy Midshipmen have won three of their last four entering tonight’s game at Mount St. Mary’s, and despite not having a player averaging double figures offense may not be an issue tonight. While Mount St. Mary’s is forcing an average of 19.0 turnovers per game what happens when foes take care of the ball hasn’t been good, as teams are shooting 57.2% from the field.

Other Notable Games 

Jacksonville at South Carolina (7 PM)

Canisius at Fairfield (7 PM)

Iowa State at Iowa (8 PM)

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Latest Posts
  1. Gonzaga lands Washington transfer Nigel Williams-Goss

    May 3, 2015, 1:55 PM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Gonzaga landed a huge transfer in former Washington guard Nigel Williams-Goss.

  2. Louisville’s Rick Pitino raises separate funds for charter jet use in recruiting

    May 3, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Louisville head coach Rick Pitino’s charter jet use is examined in a new report.

  3. Former Old Dominion forward Richard Ross offered to join Minnesota Vikings mini-camp

    May 3, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Former Old Dominion forward Richard Ross is continuing to pursue the NFL and has been invited to a mini-camp.

  4. UTEP receives commitment from former Oregon guard

    May 2, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    After being dismissed from Oregon, Dominic Artis spent a year at Diablo Valley CC in California but did not play basketball.

  5. Former Mercer guard Ike Nwamu commits to UNLV

    May 2, 2015, 9:33 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Nwamu averaged 15.1 points per game and shot 37.4 percent from three at Mercer last season.

  6. Former Alabama forward headed to UTPA for final season of eligibility

    May 2, 2015, 7:41 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Dakota Slaughter didn’t see much playing time at Alabama, but that could change at UTPA.

  7. Four-star shooting guard Kenny Williams commits to North Carolina

    May 2, 2015, 5:36 PM EDT

    Jon Lopez/Nike Jon Lopez/Nike

    A high-level perimeter shooter, Williams can help a team that was lacking in that area in 2014-15.

  8. East Carolina plans on meeting full cost of attendance for scholarship athletes

    May 2, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    ECU scholarship athletes in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball will receive an extra $4,025 in scholarship money beginning August 1.

  9. Three Florida Class of 2015 commits update status after Billy Donovan’s departure

    May 2, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Florida has four Class of 2015 recruits signed for next season.

  10. Elite Class of 2016 guard De’Aaron Fox focuses on defense and leadership this spring

    May 2, 2015, 2:15 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    De’Aaron Fox is one of the elite players in the Class of 2016 and he’s spending the spring focusing on defense and being a leader.

  11. How Jaylen Brown’s commitment made a huge impact on the finalists recruiting him

    May 2, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Jaylen Brown’s commitment shook up the college basketball world on Friday night.

  12. Arizona State guard will transfer

    May 2, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Arizona State is losing a sophomore guard to transfer

  13. Former starter returning to America East contender Stony Brook after year in junior college

    May 2, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Ahmad Walker is returning to Stony Brook after a season in the junior college ranks.

  14. Mixtape of top-50 Baylor Class of 2016 commit Mark Vital (VIDEO)

    May 2, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    (Reebok) (Reebok)

    Baylor commit Mark Vital gets it done when it comes to dunks.

  15. UPDATED: 2015-2016 College Basketball Way-Too-Early Preseason Rankings

    May 1, 2015, 10:45 PM EDT

    Marcus Paige (Getty Images) Getty Images

    The return of Buddy Hield pushes previously unranked Oklahoma into our way too early rankings.

  16. Five-star wing Jaylen Brown commits to California

    May 1, 2015, 10:20 PM EDT

    (adidas) (adidas)

    Jaylen Brown ended his long and complicated recruitment and committed on Friday night.

  17. Former Miami (OH) point guard selected by Green Bay Packers in NFL Draft

    May 1, 2015, 9:28 PM EDT

    Quinten Rollins, Javarez Willis AP

    Former Miami (OH) point guard Quinten Rollins transitioned to football after his college basketball career finished and now he’s been drafted to the NFL.

  18. Indiana big man will transfer

    May 1, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Indiana freshman center Jeremiah April will transfer.