BANKER (Charleston vs. Stetson)
This game is a matchup on contrasting styles. Charleston and new coach Pat Kelsey love to get up and down the floor and score as much as possible with an almost sloppy type of game in order to gain extra possessions. He had success at Winthrop for years with this strategy and now has employed it at Charleston with some early success already. Charleston is off to a 7-3 start with their only losses coming on the road against UNC, Oklahoma St, and Furman.
All solid teams and tough places to play. Now they face a Stetson team who is very offensively challenged and has played a weak schedule to this point as well. Stetson only has 1 win over a D1 opponent this season and that was a 1-point win over Lamar who is a bottom feeder in the Southland conference. Their other 2 wins have come against lowly D2/D3 teams. In their losses this year, their offense has been their downfall. In their 6 losses this season they have only averaged 59.67 total points per game.
That will not fly in a game vs a team like Charleston with a potent offensive attack. Charleston is 21st in the country in points per game averaging 82.1 and they are top 70 in almost every major offensive category. Charleston has played a much harder schedule to this point as well as they gave North Carolina a scare and kept the game somewhat close vs Oklahoma state until the final 6-8 minutes. Stetson really hasn’t been tested this year as they best team they’ve faced is probably Georgia Tech and they lost that game by 25. Bottom line here is that I don’t think Stetson has the personnel or scoring ability to keep up with Charleston and their fast/up tempo style of play. Final score prediction: 78-66 Charleston.
UMBC is a team with a very solid offensive team but has struggled on defense at times. This is a good matchup for them as they finally get another home game against a UNCG team who has really struggled to score this year. UMBC is also 3-0 at home this year including 2 blowouts over American and Columbia. UMBC played very well over Princeton in their last game but one cold stretch late in the 2H was their downfall.
I expect UMBC to play much better getting their first home game in almost 2 weeks. UNCG is an offensively challenged team who has played a tough schedule so far but has struggled on the road. UNCG is 2-4 on the road so far but has lost their last 4 and has lost multiple overtime games as well so they have faltered in the clutch. I think UMBC gets back on track here at home and overwhelms UNCG with their strong and efficient offense. Final score prediction: 72-67.
Oral Roberts is a team I’ve written about a few times now who has the star power in Max Abmas but lacks depth. They have a very strong offense and have also played a very tough schedule to this point. They come into this game with a mediocre 5-5 record, but their losses have been on the road including losses at Colorado state, Oklahoma state, TCU, and Missouri state. Their lone home loss came to Oklahoma state by a single point in overtime as 10-point underdogs.
They face a team in UT Arlington who has really struggled to score so far this season. They have a common opponent in Oklahoma state and UT Arlington lost to them by 43 in their season opener. Bottom line is I think Oral Roberts and Max Abmas will be too much for UT Arlington and their subpar offense to overcome on the road.