Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday Preview

Gonzaga vs. Maryland- Best first-round game of the Maui Invitational. Gonzaga did not look impressive in their win over Idaho, but are still one of the best teams in the country. Adam Morrison is a super scorer, while JP Batista is a tough player to stop inside. Derek Raivio is an excellent point guard who does not get nearly enough credit nationally. Maryland is deep and talented. Nik Caner-Medley is an inside-outside threat, while Chris McCray is a good shooter and defender. James Gist and Mike Jones are athletic scorers that could be difference-makers. DJ Strawberry is not a true point guard, but he is playing there for the Terps. Morrison against Caner-Medley is going to be an excellent match-up, both big-time scorers. It's going to be a very high-scoring game, and the Zags have more options up and down the roster than do the Terps. Prediction: Gonzaga by 2

Arizona vs. Kansas- Two annual powers face off in a good Maui Invitational game. Arizona has a slew of perimeter players that can play many positions. Hassan Adams can be one of the best players in the country by the end of the season if he takes over leadership of the team. Chris Rodgers is a good all-around guard, while JP Prince is a big point guard. Ivan Radenovic is an underrated forward. Kansas is starting over, although they have a lot of talent that could be tough to deal with come February. Mario Chalmers is a good point guard, while Julian Wright and Brandon Rush are excellent freshman on the wings. CJ Giles and Sasha Kaun are solid down low. Arizona has more experience, and a better team as of now. Kansas does not have an answer for Adams, and Radenovic is going to be a match-up problem. Prediction: Arizona by 5

Connecticut vs. Arkansas- Another first-round Maui Invitational game. UConn is led by Josh Boone, who looked like one of the best big men in the country against Pepperdine. Rudy Gay looked for his shot more, but was not very efficient. Gay, Boone, and Hilton Armstrong are the best shot-blocking trio in the country. Craig Austrie is serviceable point guard. Arkansas has the best player in the SEC in Ronnie Brewer. He is a versatile athlete. Eric Ferguson is eligible for today's game at the point after serving a one-game suspension. Charles Thomas and Darian Townes are solid frontcourt players. Gay against Brewer might be one of the best match-ups you will see all season. The Razorbacks will keep it close by forcing Austrie into turnovers with pressure. The difference will be the inside game of the Huskies. Prediction: Connecticut by 8

Texas vs. West Virginia- Semi-finals of the Guardians Classic. Texas may be the most talented team in the country. Daniel Gibson is a Top 2 point guard, while PJ Tucker is one of the toughest match-ups at forward in the nation. Brad Buckman is a top-notch power forward, and Lamarcus Aldridge has the potential to be an excellent center. He is averaging a double-double. West Virginia has a gang of shooters, both inside and outside. Kevin Pittsnogle is an inside-outside threat, while Mike Gansey is going to have a breakout season on the perimeter. Patrick Beilein and Joe Herber are two more perimeter-oriented players, while JD Collins is a decent point guard. The size and talent advantage that the Longhorns have over the Moutaineers will be the difference. Pittsnogle is not a good defender, and 6-5 power forward Frank Young is too small for Buckman and Aldridge. In addition, Tucker is much too strong for Herber. This could be a blowout if the Longhorns play to their potential. Prediction: Texas by 9

Kentucky vs. Iowa- The other semi-final game in the Guardians Classic. This should be the better game of the two. Kentucky is a very deep team that has many lineup options, both up front and on the perimeter. Rajon Rondo is developing into one of the best players in the country. He is the best defender in the nation, and is starting to use his athleticism and strength to become a scoring threat. The wing quartet of Ravi Moss, Patrick Sparks, Joe Crawford, and Ramel Bradley all average around 20 minutes per game and can all score. Down low, Rekalin Sims is a decent rebounder and scorer, while Sheray Thomas does a lot of the dirty work. Bobby Perry and Shagari Alleyne provide depth. Iowa has one of the best trios in the country in guards Jeff Horner and Adam Haluska and forward Greg Brunner. Horner is an underrated point guard, Haluska is an excellent scorer, and Brunner is a very good low-post option. Mike Henderson and Erek Hansen are decent players in the starting lineup. Doug Thomas is an outstanding rebounder off the bench. I think Iowa has the advantage in this game. Kentucky plays excellent defense, but their offense is lacking thus far. They do not have a definitive second or third option, which makes them easier to defend. Behind the Big 3, the Hawkeyes will get the win, and let the nation know that the are a team to be reckoned with in the process. Prediction: Iowa by 3

Old Dominion at Wisconsin- Both teams had wins over the weekend that most expected them to win by more. Wisconsin escaped in 2 OTs against Eastern Kentucky, while ODU had a surprisingly tough run with Fordham. Alando Tucker showed he is one of the best players in the country after scoring 38 points and grabbing 10 boards. Brian Butch has shown potential inside, while Marcus Landry is a scorer at forward. Kammron Taylor is a quick point guard that can score. ODU counters with Alex Loughton on the inside, who is averaging a double-double. Drew Williamson and Isaiah Hunter form a good backcourt, while Valdas Vasylius is a good scoring forward. This is my upset pick of the day. If ODU can shut down everyone other than Tucker, like EKU did, they can pull off the win. Loughton is going to have a big game inside. Prediction: Old Dominion by 2


  1. hey, i gotta ask how you got your job. i have my own blog goin, and i include sports comments/predictions.

  2. My job? Haha, this isn't my job. I do this for fun, my man. Down the road, I'll find a way to make money off of it, but for now, I just do it to get some name recognition in the college hoops world.