GAME OF THE NIGHT
Robbie Hummel was supposed to be a National Player of the Year Candidate for Purdue this season. Unfortunately, another ACL injury cost him his season.
The Boilermaker senior leadership banded the team together, and Purdue has gotten off to a great start in the Big Ten. But, this trip to ”The Barn” in my opinion, is the toughest game on the slate thus far for Purdue.
Minnesota is 1-3 in the Big Ten, but they’ve lost all three of those games on the road to ranked opponents; Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State.
It starts with a pair of senior leaders; guard E’Twaun Moore and forward Jajuan Johnson, the heart and soul of Purdue.
Moore is silky-smooth with the ball in his hands. He can penetrate and create his own shot, and possesses a fine floater when he gets in the lane. He’s averaging 18.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.1 apg and 1.7 spg.
Jajuan is an athletic forward with a huge wingspan. He’s great finishing on the break. He also has an array of moves in his post game, and can step out and hit a jump shot. Johnson averages 19.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg, and 2.5 bpg.
Role players like Ryne Smith, Kelsey Barlow, Terone Johnson, Lewis Jackson and D.J. Byrd have all stepped up.
Purdue plays tough, in your face, man-to-man defense.
“The Barn” is an 82-year old facility, but it’s one of the toughest places to play in the country. The floor is raised two-feet off the ground, so coaches and players sit below the playing surface. The only other raised floor in college basketball is at Vanderbilt.
The Golden Gophers have a balanced attack; solid both inside and outside.
Blake Hoffarber, Trevor Mbakwe, and Ralph Sampson III all average double-digits in scoring.
Al Nolen has been good at the point guard position. His greatest asset is his ability to create turnovers. He averages 3.7 apg.
The story for Minnesota has been the stellar play of the 240-pounder inside, Trevor Mbakwe. Mbakwe returned to team practice on Monday after being sidelined for an assault accusation.
Mbakwe is a fantastic rebounder who averages 10.4 rpg and 13.4 ppg.
The match-up inside of Mbakwe and Johnson will be fun to watch.
PREDICTION- Min 56-54
THE BEST OF THE REST
- CAA- Old Dominion 12-3 (3-1) at Drexel 10-4 (2-2)
If Drexel wins this one is it possible that the Colonial can get two bids for the NCAA Tournament?
Old Dominion is the favorite, but Drexel has an impressive road win at Louisville that they can count on come Selection Sunday.
In order for Drexel to have a shot at the Big Dance,I think they have to go at least 13-3/12-4 in conference play and get to the final of the CAA Conference Tournament.
Drex- 64-62 OT
- ACC- Virginia Tech 10-4 (1-1) at North Carolina 11-4 (1-0)
The team always on the bubble in the Hokies vist Chapel Hill. This would be a nice road win for Tech.
- Pac10- (18) Washington 12-3 (4-0) at Stanford 9-5 (2-1)
Interesting road test against Stanford.
- BEast- Providence 11-6 (0-4) at West Virginia 10-4 (2-2)
The Mountaineers have to take care of business at home against an inferior opponent.
- A10- Rhode Island 9-6 (0-1) at Richmond 13-4 (2-0)
The Rams haven’t gotten off the quick start they’ve been accustomed to the last couple of years.
The Spiders have felt the effects of the loss of guard David Gonzalvez. He and Kevin Anderson complemented each other well.
I expect Richmond to patch things up in conference play and once again be an at-large selection in the tournament.
- ASun- Lipscomb 9-6 (4-2) at Belmont 14-3 (6-0)
The two best teams, in my opinion, in the Atlantic Sun do battle.
Lipscomb has forward Adnan Hodzic, the favorite to win the A-Sun Player of the Year award for the second straight year.
Belmont is the team that almost shocked Duke as a 15th seed in the First-Round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. They lost to Tennessee by just a point earlier this season.
- BSouth- Winthrop 7-8 (3-2) at Coastal Carolina 14-2 (5-0)
Just like in the Atlantic Sun, the two best teams in the Big South meet up.
The Chanticleers are a potential 14/15 seed in the NCAA Tournament if they win their Conference Tournament. They have the size inside to hang with a BCS team in a potential first round encounter.
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!