Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Night Preview

Syracuse vs. Florida- The championship of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Both teams looked very impressive in the semi-finals, with Syracuse beating Texas Tech by 35, and Florida defeating Wake Forest in a sloppily played close game. Gerry McNamara broke out of his slump last night, and the Orange looked much more crisp and far better than they had in the two prevous games. Terrence Roberts is playing very well on the inside, averaging nearly a double-double. Demetris Nichols, Louie McCroskey, and Josh Wright are giving solid production on the wings, while freshman Eric Devendorf might be the key to this team. On the other hand, Florida looked very sloppy last night in a win. Corey Brewer is an emerging star, while Taurean Green is going to be a very good point guard. Lee Humphrey is an excellent shooter, while Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and Chris Richard are a very productive post trio. If Florida presses McNamara like they did Wake's Justin Gray, and force turnovers, they could keep it close. However, the defense of the Orange will be too much for the young Gators to handle. Prediction: Syracuse by 4

Wake Forest vs. Texas Tech- The consolation game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Both teams looked very unimpressive last night. Texas Tech had a lot of trouble scoring last night against the Syracuse zone, as they lack three-point shooters. Jarrius Jackson and Martin Zeno are an excellent backcourt, with Jackson one of the best guards in the conference, and Zeno an emerging star. Outside of those two, no one is a consistent scorer. Wake Forest turned the ball over way too much against Florida, as a result of scorer Justin Gray not being a natural point guard. However, Gray is a very good scorer, while Eric Williams can be one of the best post players in the country. Wing Trent Strickland is averaging a double-double. Post player Chris Ellis a solid option on offense. No one on Texas Tech can stop Williams on the inside, although Zeno could have a big day for them. The difference will be the interior play of the Demon Deacons. Prediction: Wake Forest by 7

Georgia at Old Dominion- Not as hyped as the aforementioned games, this match-up will pit a high-major team at the bottom of their conference against one of the best mid-major teams in the country. Georgia has an excellent backcourt in Levi Stukes and freshman Mike Mercer, as well as Sundiata Gaines and Channing Toney on the perimeter. Old Dominion counters with Alex Loughton, one of the best low post players in the nation. Isaiah Hunter and Drew Williamson are a solid backcourt, while Arnaud Dahi is a versatile forward. The Bulldogs are loaded on the perimeter, while the Monarchs have the distinct advantage down low. ODU has the better balance, and gets their first of what should be many victories this season. Prediction: Old Dominion by 8

UNC-Wilmington at Colorado- This is a game between two teams that could surprise nationally this season. UNC-Wilmington has already shocked some people, by defeating Wyoming and Northwestern. They are a deep team led by guard John Goldsberry, an excellent all-around point guard that is a very good passer. The forward combo of Todd Hendley and Beckham Wyrick are solid frontcourt contributors. Colorado has one of the best unknown players in the country in Richard Roby. Chris Copeland is solid up front, while Marcus Hall is a productive guard. The Buffaloes are deep and experienced. UNC-Wilmington has looked impressive so far this season, but I see Roby having a big game for Colorado, and leading them to victory. This could definitely be another upset victory for UNC-Wilmington, though. Prediction: Colorado by 3

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