New Mexico Lobos
Mon, Nov. 25th-Legends Classic
No. 18 Auburn Tigers:
The Tigers are 5-0 on the year but the Lobos might be their biggest test of the season so far aside from Davidson. Bruce Pearl’s squad is led by the duo of freshman forward Isaac Okoro (14.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 2.0 APG) and senior guard Samir Doughty (18.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 2.6 APG). The Tigers like most years are tall, athletic and play tough defense. And even though their five wins haven’t been against top ranked competition, the Tigers beat those teams with ease. The Lobos have already lost one game on the season but a win against a ranked Auburn squad would be huge.
Tues, Nov. 26th
Possible Opponents: Wisconsin Badgers, Richmond Spiders
Sun, Dec. 1st
Travis DeCuire’s Grizzly squad is 1-4 on the season which includes losses to three high major programs and a loss to Montana Tech, which may be the upset of the century inside the state of Montana. This Montana team was picked to finish first in the Big Sky by the Media but a tough non-conference schedule is proving difficult and it doens’t get much easier with games at New Mexico and Oregon.
Montana is a young team, especially in the front court but they are led by senior guard Sayeed Pridgett and he is leading them in every major statistical category. Pridgett is averaging 17.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 3.6 APG and 1.8 SPG. He has former Oregon State Beaver Kendal Manuel to help out (12.8 PPG). But the Grizzlies really need a win this week and they may get one before the Lobos on Sunday with two games before that earlier in the week.
San Diego State Aztecs
Mon, Nov. 25th
Tennessee State Tigers:
The Tigers are 3-2 on the season and have a nice win against Lipscomb under under their belt. Brian Collins’ team has four players averaging ten points or higher in those five games. But they are led by 6-6 freshman guard Carlos Marshall Jr. who is averaging 13.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 2.6 APG.
Thurs, Nov. 28th-Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational
Greg McDermott’s Bluejay’s are 4-1 going into the week with a 76-67 win over North Florida on Sunday. Creighton is led by a tremendous duo in the back court, and sophomore guard Marcus Zegarowski and junior guard Ty-Shon Alexander have looked dominant together averaging around seventeen points a piece. This matchup against the Aztecs should provide fans in Las Vegas a show. Both teams are gaining steam heading into the week, so let’s see who comes out with the win.
Fri, Nov. 29th
Possible Opponents: Texas Tech Red Raiders or the Iowa Hawkeyes
San Jose State Spartans
Wed, Nov. 27th
Oregon State Beavers:
Wayne Tinkle’s Beavers are 5-1 on the year with a neautral site loss against Oklahoma being their only blemish on the year. Keeping the tradition alive of coaches son’s starring for the program in Corvallis, senior forward Tres Tinkle is leading this team with 21.7 PPG, 9.5 RPG and 4.7 APG.
Backing him up is another coaches son, junior guard Ethan Thompson who himself is having an impactful season averaging 13.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 4.2 APG. Rounding out this potent Beavers offense (averaging 79.5 PPG) is senior forward Kylor Kelley who is averaging 13.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG but more importantly 4.3 BPG, including a season high 7 blocks against Grambling State on Saturday. Oregon State is a tough team for anyone to have on their schedule at the moment and the Spartans play them in Corvallis on Wednesday.
Sun, Dec. 1st
The Second Pac-12 opponent of the week for the Spartans are the Bruins of UCLA. And Mick Cronin currently has his team 4-1 in his first season in Los Angeles. Their only loss comes at the hands of a Hofstra team who is picked to win the CAA this year but lost to the Spartans on opening night. Surprise sophomore Jalen Hill is leading the Bruins in points, rebounds and blocked shots (15.2 PPG, 9.0 RPG and 1.6 BPG) and has 6-9 junior guard Chris Smith helping with the scoring averaging 14.8 PPG.
This team has a combination of youth and upper class man, but had very few guys returning with meaningful minutes under their belt. The Bruins have preformed well so far this season and look for them to have no problem keeping that up come Sunday.
Nevada-Las Vegas Running Rebels
Tues, Nov. 26th
Jackson State Tigers:
The Tigers of Jackson State are 1-5 so far, but that lone win comes against New Orleans-Southern and their losses to division one opponents haven’t been close. They do have SWAC preseason defensive player of the year Jayveous Mckinnis back and averaging 11.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG and 1.8 BPG. He and leading scorer junior guard Tristan Jarrett (16.7 PPG) need some help from from their team if they hope to get their first win against a division one opponent some time this week.
Sat, Nov. 30th
John Brannen’s Bearcats are 3-2 after a Sunday night loss to Bowling Green in overtime at the Paradise Jam Invitational. Brannen comes to Cincinnati after leading the Norse of Northern Kentucky to three straight twenty win seasons and two NCAA tournament appearances in four years. The Bearcat’s roster features a former Norse in 7-1 260 junior center Chris Vogt who followed his coach to Cincinnati. He and senior guard Jarron Cumberland anchor this offense and they have plenty of help. This will be a tough game for UNLV and expect Cincinnati’s leaders to step up against the Runnin’ Rebels after a tough loss on Sunday.
Utah State Aggies
Fri, Nov. 29th
Saint Mary’s Gaels:
The Gaels are 5-1 on the year with a lone loss to Winthrop that stands out on their schedule. Saint Mary’s is led by senior guard Jordan Ford who leads the the Gaels in scoring with 20.5 PPG and steals with 2.0 SPG. Ford is receiving solid help from his teammates but the lack of a go-to big man down low like in years past has taken what made St. Mary’s offenses so dangerous in the past away. Ford is having a good season but is expected to create his own scoring opportunities a little too often so far and needs some other players to help facilitate this.
Tues, Nov. 26th-MGM Resorts Main Event
Texas Christian Horned Frogs:
Jamie Dixon’s Horned frogs are 4-1 on the year so far receiving their first loss of the year to Clemson on Sunday in overtime. TCU has four player currently averaging ten points or more but are led by senior guard Desmond Bane with 17.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 3.6 APG and 2.0 SPG.
The Horned Frogs are very well rounded and are getting solid play from a backcourt that includes Edric Dennis and sophomore guard RJ Nembhard. Not to mention sophomore center Kevin Samuel who is averaging a near double-double with 12.6 PPG and 9.6 RPG. TCU is going to cause problems for teams in the Big-12 as the season progresses but for now the Cowboys are looking for a win come Tuesday against their former conference mate.