It’s A Weeding Wednesday…Part One…And Two–We’ve Added On…

I’m closing in on lunch, so we’ll go halfsies with tonight’s games. And don’t think I’ve forgotten about “What If.” We’ll still play, but it is a much better game tomorrow or Friday.

Tonight is going to provide all manner of hoo-baby moments and results. How do I know this? Even if the favorites win every game; even if the most boring confluence of game results occurs; the impact on the standings is monumental.

The chatter will be deafening. Why? Because, as we stated a couple weeks ago, the CAA Tournament is going to be a war of matchups. What occurs tonight sets up Saturday which sets up those matchups. This is going to be a very fun week, even though I will struggle with it–more detail on that later.

That said, what are we looking towards tonight?

The Dub at VCU: In two of the past three meetings between these schools in Richmond, there’s been explosives. Three seasons ago VCU trailed by 19 points with five minutes to play and 10 points with two minutes to play; yet rallied to win in overtime. Two seasons ago, The Dub trailed by 15 points in the second half and rallied to roll VCU. Plus, you are looking at two teams playing very good basketball.

We’re going to watch matchups and adjustments particularly closely. For The Dub, we want to see how they guard Eric Maynor, but more importantly how they adjust. Benny Moss is a big believer that the Hawks must stop the dribble drive. So how well does Maynor shoot it? Who guards him? Obviously TJ Carter is a good answer, but I fear for Chad Tomko matching up with Jamal Shuler. For VCU, it’s about how they try to handle Vladie Kools. Kuljanin will push Larry Sanders all over the court, so the obvious call for Anthony Grant is to Kirill Pischalnikov. But that hampers the VCU team defense and its ability to guard, in particular, Todd Hendley.

The important facets? If VCU is knocking down the jumpers UNCW is in all kinds of trouble. They will have to guard VCU out to the three point line, and that opens up Moss’s worst fears: Eric Maynor running free into the lane. Other side? Todd Hendley shooting from 15 feet, and Chad Tomko playing like a junior. I say that because Vladie Kools is good for 15 and 12, and TJ Carter 16 points, six rebounds, and five assists. It’s going to come down to the “other guys.”

Vegas says VCU -13 and I say that is crazy talk. I think it is lower scoring than most people believe. VCU 63, UNCW 57.

***

Biggun’ #2…The Tribe at George Mason: We’ll start by assuming there will be no motorcycle fumes, burnt popcorn, or cell phone battery radiation in the Patriot Center that will affect Will Thomas. That aside, the Ohio game on Saturday, I think, summed up the Patriots’ entire season. I still don’t know what to make of this team, and we’re closing in on March.

Stashing the jokes (for now), William & Mary is like the irresistable force. You are going to get consistent play and effort. They remind me of UNCW from a few years back. They aren’t going on a sexy 16-2 run over 1:30; rather, they will string together three 10-4 runs and you’re suddenly down by a bunch.

For Mason, establishing John Vaughan is the key. Much like UNCW above, I expect Thomas and Folarin Campbell to have their usual outputs. It’s Vaughan and Dre Smith that need to make a difference. Plus, they will need to defend for 35 seconds every possession, something they haven’t much been interested in over the past few games.

What it comes down is whether or not The Tribe is shooting the basketball. They got away from their sets in the Towson game and paid the price. Mason’s defense needs to establish a similar game flow. I think they will; we always take defense over shooting. I like Mason round about 66-59.

***

The rest of the games after my turkey sandwich.

***

Nor’easter at ODU: These two duked it out at the beginning of the month, with the Huskies prevailing in Mattews 67-60. This may have been ODUs freshmen wake up call game, as Nor’easter pushed ODU around and was generally the tougher team. Nor’easter outrebounded ODU 40-31 and shot 27 free throws to ODUs 12. Of course, Nor’easter also made 24 free throws and ODU five. It was a game ODU only turned the ball over six times and lost.

ODU is a different team now, playing different basketball. Nor’easter is still one of the most quiet tough teams in the conference. This one is going to be low scoring, with free throws again telling the story. I like the home team 57-52.

Hofstra at Delaware: Sorry Hens fans, but this is the game where the rest of the conference starts looking at matchups and praying they don’t draw Hofstra. I like the Pride, 76-71.

Finally, Dean Keener admitted it was a different feeling coaching on Saturday. Teams always lost the second game of emotional situations. We’ll take Drexel at home here. And go with Ga State over Towson. Roadie and all. With Ga State involved, though, it will be a last possession game.

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~ by mglitos on February 27, 2008.

6 Responses to “It’s A Weeding Wednesday…Part One…And Two–We’ve Added On…”

  1. MGL, it’s a shame you’re missing the Tribe tilt. Fairfax (it’s a Fairfax address, right?) will be rockin’.

  2. You’re a very wise man…a wise man…

  3. does a win tonight for the dub eliminate any chance for vcu to snag an at large bid and possibly two bids for the caa come tourny time? in other news… feel my teal baby!

  4. Keep betting against the hens. We seem to do well when that happens!!!

  5. as predicted, the tribe played mason tough, but every time they got the game close, mason exerted their physical superiority. if w&m had one guy who could get his own shot, that game could have gone the other way. still a decent performance for the tribe against a good team.

  6. When have the hens every done well?

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