Four the Love of Fourplay…

We’ll start by repeating a note from Monday (maybe Tuesday, I don’t actually look back), especially since the weakest link in the chain has been handled:

If Drexel loses in Matthews and JMU loses in The Stu tonight, four teams are tied for fourth with four games to play. You know, that final position for the bye.

Glancing at the schedules–and be clear there was no more effort than looking at the sheet of paper with everyone’s schedule–I have to give the advantage to Hofstra.

After tonight, the two toughest games:

Drexel has to go to DeeCee and hosts Nor’easter. JMU has to go to Hofstra and hosts VCU. ODU hosts VCU and goes to Nor’easter on the final day of the season (marker!). And Hofstra hosts JMU and travels to Ga State.

But there are games tonight:

JMU at VCU: The ever-quotable MNFC told me yesterday that it was “highly doubtful” either Andrey Semenov or Juwann James would play tonight. But it seems to be a rather fluid situation, so check Dopirak’s linky line to the right for a possible update.

Personally I don’t want to see James play again; rather, have him in uniform and construct one helluva senior night tribute to the JYD. I mean making grown men cry type atmosphere. The kid deserves it.

As for the game, this is not really playing into Brady’s wheelhouse. They are shorthanded, playing a freshman point guard against a team that has chosen to re-establish its press, and needing to find a way to defend Eric Maynor.

If Kyle Swanston doesn’t hit five threes (in less than 36 attempts) it could be a very long night. Bully for the Dukes: VCU is terrible at defending the three.

Still, this is a wrong place, wrong time game, kind of like getting boxed into traffic by the old fart driving 10mph below the speed limit in the left lane.

VCU 77, JMU 66.

Drexel at Nor’easter: Very quietly, because Poor Bill doesn’t do it any other way, Nor’easter has become a top three offensive team in the conference, scoring 1.08 points per possession and shooting 47.4% from the field. I think Mull may have said it (and my apologies if I am incorrect and misattributed) but those are the two most important offensive stats and quite frankly third is far behind.

On the other side, Nor’easter is also leading the conference in points allowed per possession (.909) and second in feild goal percentage defense (38.6%).

That’s a nasty combination.

It’s about comfort. Drexel plays very solid defense, as always, but the Dragons don’t force a ton of turnovers. Rather, Bruiser has his players stay in your face and then box your arse out. And Nor’easter will be very comfy at home and with players three inches taller at every position. (Hint: Givens and Spencer will struggle tonight.)

Defense will rule. Big time.

Nor’easter 14, Drexel 10.

Georgia State at Towson: It seems folks have forgotten about the Panthers, but Rod Barnes is gluing together the parts for a team that could push anybody in this league. Joe Dukes is going to get a ton of run for cofnerence first team honors, and deservedly so.

Meanwhile, Towson is a mess. The Tigers have lost nine of 10 and continue to juggle their lineup, looking for that right combination. The problem is  that we’re getting into late February.

Of course that means, in this wacky season, Towson wins going away.

Flying Tigers 68, Panthers 61.

***

UNCW at The College: This matchup is between the two teams in the conference you least like to pick on. Really. The UNCW fans are among the best and Wilmington is the best roadie in the conference. And the Tribe has been down for so long and their coach is such a good guy and smart guy that if you taunt them or give them a hard time you feel like you want to shower afterwards.

But at a combined 5-21 this tests the mettle of even me.

Still, I have this overwhelming feeling that I want to pick a tie, mostly because I want to the right thing for my friends over at G: TB and I’m going to need Benny Moss to help me with real estate one day. Yes, I am a weenie sometimes.

UNCW 71, Tribe 67.

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~ by mglitos on February 11, 2009.

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