Utah State vs Penn preview. First round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational

Utah State vs Penn preview. First round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational

Mountain West Basketball

Utah State vs Penn preview. First round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational

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Utah State vs Penn preview. First round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational


The Myrtle Beach Invitational kicks off!


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Utah State vs Penn preview:

The Myrtle Beach Invitational kicks off on Thursday, November 18th, featuring Utah State from the Mountain West. Other teams include Davidson, New Mexico State, Penn, East Carolina, Old Dominion, Indiana State, and Oklahoma round out the eight-team field. 

The Aggies’ first matchup comes on Thursday at 2:30 PM EST against the University of Pennsylvania from the Ivy League. 

Matchup: Utah State Vs. Penn

Time: 2:30 EST

TV: ESPNU

KenPom Odds: Utah State -9

Penn key players:

Jordan Dingle: It was tough figuring out what all Ivy Teams look like after not playing in the 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic canceling their season. They lost one of their top players in program history with AJ Brodeur, but “Sophomore” Jordan Dingle is the new star for the Quakers. In three of Penn’s first four games, Dingle scored 20+ points, including 23 against Florida State. The dynamic scoring guard figures to pose the biggest scoring threat to Ryan Odom’s Aggies.

Jonah Charles: The third-year freshman gives Dingle a nice sidekick on the perimeter. On the season, Charles is the second-leading scorer with 12.5 points per game. 

Max Lorca-LloydThe Quakers don’t have much in the frontcourt department, which could be an absolute disaster against the Aggies Justin Bean and Brandon Horvath. There’s only one starter in their lineup above 6-foot-6, and that’s Max Lorca-Lloyd. The 6-foot-9 Lorca-Lloyd blocked six shots over the first four games this season. 

The Ryan Odom era didn’t start hot, falling to UC Davis in the season-opener. They came motivated in game two, taking down the Richmond Spiders In Annapolis, Maryland. In the win over the experienced Spiders squad, Bean and Horvath scored 48 of the team 85 points, and 7-footer Trevin Dorius added 12 off the bench.

I mentioned the Aggies’ top players, returning star Justin Bean and Brandon Horvath, who followed Coach Odom to Logan. That pairing is combining for 41 points per game in the early going. Neither are Neemias Queta defensively, but they can shoot the ball from deep and stretch the floor. Where’s the production coming from besides those two? I’d look at Utah transfer Rylan Jones. In 2019-20, Jones attempted 127 three-pointers, making 38.6 percent of them. Since then? Jones only attempted 46 in the past 19 games between the end of last year and the start of this year. If the Hollday, Utah native shoots the ball the way he’s capable, that opens up more offense.

I’d also monitor how another UMBC transfer R.J. Eytle-Rock plays the next few games. After going 2-7 against UC Davis, he only attempted one shot in the victory over Richmond — A guy that averaged 14.5 points for the Retrievers needs to show flashes of what he’s done throughout his college career. 

Prediction:

Utah State 80, Penn 67

I can’t see the Quakers stopping Horvath and Bean on offense, or outrebounding them, which is the main reason the Aggies’ coast to victory against their Ivy League counterpart. The Davidson/New Mexico State game will be over by the time they play, meaning they won’t have to wait to figure out who’s next on the schedule.

 


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