BANKER (Southern Utah vs. East. Washington)
Southern Utah is a team that you probably do not know much about. They play in the Big Sky conference out West and one thing that Southern Utah does really well is run offense. In their wins this year they have scored 116, 88, and 87 and they are playing good basketball at the moment as they are coming off two very solid wins against Yale and Bowling Green where their offense excelled leading them to victory.
This team is also very experienced as their top 7 players in usage rate are all seniors. They are led by John Knight has scored in double figures in every game this season and can really get to the rim whenever he wants. He is averaging 19/5/4 on 60% shooting which is impeccable given his volume and usage rate. Knight does not shoot the ball very well form the outside as he has only attempted 2 threes in 6 games this year but with his ability to get to the rim and get fouled, he doesn’t need the outside shot.
Southern Utah goes up against an Eastern Washington squad who lost their best 3 players from last year to transfer as the Groves brothers went to Oklahoma and Kim Aiken Jr transferred to Arizona. Eastern Washington struggled to begin the season as they lost their first 2 games giving up an average of 87.5 points in those contests. EWU is coming off a very weird game in which they came from behind in the 2H against Washington state to win outright as +18-point dogs and think this is the definition of a letdown spot for them.
While it was an impressive win, this EWU team lost to UC Davis a few weeks ago who then had one of the most embarrassing losses in NCAA history losing to a D2 art school. I see southern Utah being able to get into the paint and scoring at will and think they will be able to get enough stops down the stretch to come away with a win and cover. Score Prediction: SUU 81-72
Utah State is a team who has gotten some national attention over the last few years due to the impressive talents that have come out of there including Sam Merrill and Neemias Queta. Utah State also got a new coach this year from UMBC and brought his best player with him in Brandon Horvath who is a legit 6’10 big man who can spread the floor, bang inside, rebound, and block shots at a high level.
Utah State is also led by Senior Justin Bean who is averaging 23/13/3 on 68% shooting which are just monster numbers. They face Saint Mary’s who is a very disciplined team who plays excellent defense, but Utah State will have the two best players on the court in this matchup with Horvath and Bean. I think these two combined with the home court advantage of playing this game in Logan, Utah will put Utah State over the top. Score Prediction: Utah State 62-56
Wisconsin Green-Bay is probably another team that you haven’t heard much about as they have really struggled to start the year so why are they a favorite in this matchup? Wisconsin Green Bay comes in at 1-5 but they have played a very tough schedule which includes losses to Wisconsin, UNCG, Weber St, and FIU who have all shown to be very strong teams this year. They face off against Robert Morris who has gotten blasted by every big opponent they have played.
40-point loss to Kentucky, 18-point loss to Davidson, 14-point loss to Ohio, an 11-point loss to UCF and a game where they blew a 15 point 2H lead to a very weak mount st mary’s team. Green Bay has been much more competitive this season and I believe playing at home will give them a boost in this very winnable matchup. Score Prediction: Green Bay 74-65