I'm very interested to see how the Mount handles two conference games this weekend. On the road and a game involving the preseason favorite, I'd probably be happy with a split.
Video for tonight's game should be available via the Sacred Heart website. Subscription fees may apply.
The easier of the two games comes tonight against Sacred Heart. The Pioneers enter the game at 1-4. More than a week layoff since they earned their first victory of the season over New Hampshire. Surprisingly, Sacred Heart has struggled on the offensive end of the court. That is not the normal situation for a Dave Bike coached team. Turnovers have been a real problem for SHU as they have turned it over on better than 1/4 of their possessions. The Mount, which hasn't done a very good job forcing turnovers must look to exploit that.
One other area to watch. The Mount has certainly surrendered too many offensive rebounds. But the Pioneers haven't done much on the offensive glass. So if they all of a sudden start creating second chances, it could be a long night for the Mounties.
The Mount is looking to bounce back after Monday's loss to Navy. I would expect the Mount to have a big advantage inside with the play of Shawn Atupem and Raven Barber. They must have big nights if the Mount is going to win on the road. And the Mount must get better guard play, 20 turnovers as they had against Navy can't happen.
I watched a good bit of the San Diego State/St Mary's game last night. SDSU is good. They will do very well in the Mountain West this year and could be a problem in the NCAA tournament for many teams. They've got good balance and a few guys who can really play. They've got a tough game with Wichita State upcoming and a road trip at Cal next week but they could remain unbeaten for quite some time.
Also, watching Purdue last night makes you realize just how tough the Boilers are. They aren't real spectacular. But they are tough and that will carry them a long way. Makes you want to root for them as well.
Richard thinks Louisville is quietly playing some of the best basketball. We'll agree. At least partly. Quietly is accurate. The Cardinals haven't played anyone - sans their opener with Butler (who isn't the same Butler), so we really don't know what the Cards have. Next Saturday's game with UNLV might give us an idea, but we're taking a wait and see approach.
Quinnipiac almost rallied to beat UMASS last night. Would have liked to see that happen. Now with the loss, you'd expect that they will refocus before their conference opener with the Mount on Saturday.
Is Oregon State the worst BCS conference basketball program? The Beavers have losses to Seattle, Texas Southern and now last night Utah Valley. Some pretty suspect losses. Hard to see them faring too well in the PAC 10, but hey it is the Pac 10. Of course some folks at Penn State might think its the Nittany Lions after that painful loss, 62-39 to Maryland last night.
Speaking of which - all the games that have our attention tonight - minus the Mount of course - are from the Pac-10/Big 12 Hardwood Series. Kansas gets another chance to show it is the best team in the country (sorry Dukies) and we'd like to get another look at Missouri late against Oregon. Something about that one smells upset though.
Another big win for the Monarchs of Old Dominion. Knocking off Richmond who was fresh off the win over Purdue. Watch them closely in the CAA this year.
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