College Basketball Friday Preview: First Full Night!

    
November 12th, 2010
Friday brings about the first big day on the college basketball schedule and while most have taken the scheduling strategy of an initial "warm-up", there are some very enticing matchups on the slate. The biggest may be Seton Hall playing the first game of the Kevin Willard era at #22 Temple, the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic 10. Pirates center Herb Pope, who had a horrific health scare in the offseason as a heart ailment resulted in his losing consciousness following a workout, makes his return to the court and he'll definitely be tested with Temple's Lavoy Allen being one of the better frontcourt players in the nation. Allen was a First Team All-Atlantic 10 performer in 2009-10, averaging 11.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game last season and like Pope is a double-double machine. Head coach Fran Dunphy also welcomes back savvy guard Juan Fernandez, who has reminded many of another Argentinian who donned the cherry and white (Pepe Sanchez), and Ramone Moore who was named the A-10's top sixth man a season ago.

But the Pirates certainly don't lack for talent themselves with senior shooting guard Jeremy Hazell ranking among the best scorers in college basketball. The key for Hazell this season will be shot selection; he was given the green light in both volume and selection under former head coach Bobby Gonzalez and that got both he and Seton Hall in trouble at times. There's nothing wrong with being an efficient scorer, something that the Pirate coaching staff may be reminding Hazell of going into the season. Memphis transfer Jeff Robinson has the talent to make things happen on the wing so long as he doesn't get trigger happen from beyond the arc, and point guard Jordan Theodore finally has the keys to the Seton Hall attack. Look for the junior from Paterson Catholic to be a breakout performer in the Big East this season, and fellow PC alum Fuquan Edwin will have ample opportunities to make an impact as well given his skill and athleticism.

Temple won last season's meeting 71-65 at the Prudential Center as they were able to control tempo for the majority of the contest. Guards Fernandez and Ryan Brooks combined for 45 points in the victory while Hazell shot 4-17 from the field (1-11 3PT). Seton Hall won't play as reckless under Coach Willard but they'll still look to run when the opportunity presents itself. Can the Pirates keep Allen, Michael Eric and the rest of the Owls off the glass? Temple outrebounded Seton Hall 48-35 last year, meaning that the likes of Ferrakhon Hall, Robinson, and Patrick Auda (just to name three) will need to help out Pope inside if the Hall is to leave Philadelphia with a win. The only bad thing about this contest: no television. The game can be watched at OwlSports.com however, and Seton Hall's website will provide live audio if you prefer their point of view.

As for other games on the slate, #21 Georgetown going to Old Dominion (7 PM on MASN) is another game to keep a close eye on. The Hoyas have actually lost two of the last three meetings with both defeats coming in McDonough Gym (Georgetown's on-campus facility), and it would not be a surprise of Blaine Taylor's team made it three of four. The Monarchs, who are the preseason favorite to win the CAA, return four starters led by guard Kent Bazemore and forward Keyon Carter. John Thompson III does return his starting backcourt in Chris Wright, Austin Freeman and Jason Clark, but the question for the Hoyas is how they deal with the departure of Greg Monroe inside. Freshman Nate Lubick has received high praise and there are also some solid returnees back on campus, but all will need to step into larger roles in 2010-11.

Other teams who need to be on the lookout tonight include North Carolina (hosting the preseason Atlantic Sun favorite in Lipscomb; keep an eye on senior center Adnan Hodzic), Syracuse (hosting Northern Iowa who despite the personnel losses will be a factor in the MVC) and Tennessee (Chattanooga could be dangerous, especially for a team that looked so poor in an exhibition loss to Indianapolis University on Monday night). And for an under the radar good matchup later in the evening check out Pacific, one of the top teams in the Big West, visiting UTEP in the first game of the Tim Floyd era. College basketball is here...let us rejoice.

Top 25

8:30 PM Eastern Michigan at (2) Michigan State
9:00 PM James Madison at (3) Kansas State (ESPNU)
7:00 PM North Carolina A&T at (5) Ohio State (ESPN3)
8:00 PM Bucknell at (6) Villanova (ESPN3)
8:00 PM Longwood at (7) Kansas (ESPN3)
7:00 PM Lipscomb at (9) North Carolina (Fox Sports Carolinas)
7:00 PM East Tennessee State at (10) Kentucky (ESPN3)
7:00 PM North Carolina-Wilmington at (11) Florida
9:00 PM Southern University at (12) Gonzaga
7:00 PM Northern Iowa at (13) Syracuse (ESPN3)
9:30 PM Grambling State at (14) Baylor
9:00 PM Centenary at (19) Memphis
9:00 PM Chattanooga at (20) Tennessee
7:00 PM (21) Georgetown at Old Dominion (MASN)
7:30 PM Seton Hall at (22) Temple
7:30 PM Campbell at (23) Virginia Tech

NCAA Division I Games

1:00 PM Henderson State at North Texas
4:00 PM Gardner-Webb at Charlotte
4:30 PM Milwaukee at Portland
5:00 PM Kent State vs. Iona*
6:00 PM Towson at Miami (OH)
6:00 PM MacMurray College at Tennessee-Martin
6:05 PM Indiana State vs. Texas-Pan American*
6:30 PM Florida Gulf Coast at Indiana
7:00 PM Stony Brook at Connecticut (ESPN3)
7:00 PM Bowling Green at Howard
7:00 PM Southern Miss at South Florida
7:00 PM St. Francis (NY) at Boston College
7:00 PM Boston University at Northeastern
7:00 PM Tennessee Tech at North Carolina State
7:00 PM Stetson at Wake Forest
7:00 PM Rutgers at Princeton
7:00 PM North Greenville at Furman
7:00 PM Citadel at Richmond
7:00 PM William & Mary at Virginia
7:00 PM W. Virginia Tech at Marshall
7:00 PM Vassar at Army
7:00 PM West Florida at UCF
7:00 PM Florida Atlantic vs. UC Davis*
7:00 PM Columbia at La Salle
7:00 PM VA Intermont at Liberty
7:00 PM Norfolk State at Long Island
7:00 PM Tulane at Maryland-Eastern Shore
7:00 PM Oglethorpe at Mercer
7:00 PM Asbury at Morehead State
7:00 PM Johnson and Wales (Den) at North Carolina Central
7:00 PM Randolph College at Virginia Military
7:00 PM Lafayette at Wagner
7:00 PM Western Michigan at Xavier
7:05 PM Samford at Youngstown State
7:30 PM St. Francis (PA) at American University
7:30 PM Charleston Southern at Georgia Tech
7:30 PM Mississippi Valley State at Georgia
7:30 PM Rider at Massachusetts
7:30 PM Erskine at East Carolina
7:30 PM Lehigh at Penn State
7:30 PM Piedmont at Coastal Carolina
7:30 PM Bryant University at Cleveland State
7:30 PM Georgia Southwestern at Kennesaw State
7:30 PM Cornell at Albany
7:30 PM Millikin at Akron
7:30 PM Jacksonville at Miami (FL)
7:30 PM Denver vs. UC Santa Barbara*
7:30 PM Western Kentucky at Saint Joseph's
7:30 PM UNC Greensboro at Virginia Commonwealth
8:00 PM Northern Arizona at Iowa State
8:00 PM Texas A&M-Kingsville at Bradley
8:00 PM Northwestern State at LSU
8:00 PM Wofford at Minnesota
8:00 PM Arkansas State at Mississippi
8:00 PM Waldorf College at North Dakota
8:00 PM South Dakota at Nebraska (ESPN3)
8:00 PM Coppin State at Oklahoma
8:00 PM Appalachian State at Tulsa
8:00 PM Western Carolina at Clemson
8:00 PM Presbyterian at Vanderbilt
8:00 PM Alcorn State at Texas A&M
8:00 PM Nicholls State at Houston
8:00 PM Texas Lutheran at Texas-Arlington
8:00 PM Tennessee State at Mississippi State
8:00 PM Concordia ILL at Chicago State
8:00 PM South Dakota State at Eastern Illinois (ESPN3)
8:00 PM Florida Memorial at Florida International
8:00 PM Brown at Fordham
8:00 PM Drexel at Loyola (MD)
8:00 PM Tennessee-Temple at Middle Tennessee
8:00 PM Brewton Parker at Savannah State
8:00 PM Howard Payne at Stephen F. Austin
8:00 PM Louisiana-Monroe at Texas Tech
8:00 PM Huntingdon at Troy
8:00 PM St. Francis (ILL) at Western Illinois
8:05 PM Spring Hill at South Alabama
8:05 PM Truman State at UMKC
8:05 PM Alabama State at Creighton
8:05 PM New Mexico State at Louisiana-Lafayette
8:05 PM Lyon College at Lamar
8:05 PM Indiana-Northwest at Valparaiso
8:30 PM Georgia Southern at Notre Dame
8:30 PM Austin Peay at Saint Louis
8:30 PM Sul Ross at Texas State
8:30 PM Florida A&M at Alabama
8:30 PM St. Bonaventure at Canisius
8:30 PM Eastern Kentucky at Loyola (IL)
8:35 PM San Jose State at Eastern Washington
8:45 PM Millsaps at Southeastern Louisiana
9:00 PM North Carolina-Asheville at Auburn
9:00 PM North Florida at Florida State
9:00 PM St. Thomas (TX) at Rice
9:00 PM Fresno State at Brigham Young
9:00 PM Grand Canyon at Utah
9:00 PM Prairie View A&M at Marquette (ESPN3)
9:00 PM Oakland at West Virginia
9:00 PM Northwestern at Northern Illinois
9:00 PM Cal State Bakersfield at Santa Clara
9:00 PM IPFW at SIU-Edwardsville
9:00 PM Arkansas-Little Rock at Southern Methodist
9:00 PM Elon at South Carolina
9:00 PM Jackson State at TCU
9:00 PM Huston-Tillotson at Texas-San Antonio
9:00 PM Maine at Utah Valley
9:05 PM Pacific at UTEP
9:30 PM Tabor College at Northern Colorado
9:35 PM Oral Roberts at Missouri State
10:00 PM Idaho State at Colorado
10:00 PM Occidental at San Diego
10:00 PM Morgan State at Loyola Marymount
10:00 PM North Dakota State at Oregon
10:05 PM Pepperdine at Portland State
10:30 PM Cal State Northridge at UCLA
10:30 PM UC Riverside at UNLV
11:00 PM Seattle at San Francisco
11:30 PM College of Idaho at Saint Mary's
12:00 AM Montana State at Hawaii
2:30 AM Central Michigan vs. Cal State Fullerton*