College Hoops Monday: Your Commentary
The first "Big Monday" of the season delivers a pair of undefeated teams (in conference play) in the Big East followed by "Bedlam" in the Big 12. Villanova visits Louisville in a game that should prove to be entertaining given the deep backcourts. Villanova will have to deal with a Louisville defense that pressured full-court only to fall into an active 2-3 zone. But they've got plenty of playmakers and perimeter shooters with Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher leading the way. The key for the Cardinals will be to turn the Wildcats over while limiting their own miscues. The trio of Edgar Sosa, Jerry Smith and Preston Knowles has the experience and talent to handle themselves well against Villanova's backcourt but will they display the required discipline?
Inside Villanova will have to keep Samardo Samuels from getting too involved in the Louisville offense. Luckily for them Antonio Pena has played solid basketball all season and Isaiah Armwood has also earned a spot in the rotation. Jay Wright can also turn to Mouphtaou Yarou, who is expected to see between twenty and twenty-five minutes on Monday as the Wildcats slowly work him back following his bout with Hepatitis B. Look for both team to run so the impact of tempo should be minimal; instead keep an eye on turnover margin and rebounding margin. The winner in those two areas will most likely move to 4-0 in Big East play.
As for the Bedlam Series game between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma this may be "circle the wagons" time for the Sooners, who have struggled mightily and are coming off of a 91-60 beating at Baylor on Saturday. Simply put Jeff Capel has a young team that's been rather inconsistent within games much less their season, but the hope is that the sight of a bitter rival can give this team some life. Oklahoma State will pressure and offensively lean on one of the nation's best small forwards in James Anderson. If Willie Warren and Tommy Mason-Griffin can't deal with the Cowboys' pressure this one could get ugly.
7p ESPN Villanova at Louisville
7p ESPNU Morgan State at Hampton
9p ESPN Oklahoma State at Oklahoma
9p ESPNU Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Alabama State
7p Iona at Loyola (MD)
7p Canisius at Siena
8p Eastern Illinois at Murray St
9p Belmont at Lipscomb
9:05p Hawaii at Utah St
10p San Jose St at Fresno St
Villanova over Louisville: Despite the experience of the Louisville guards they have trouble at times taking care of the basketball and not falling victim to poor shot selection. In addition to the play of their experienced guards Villanova has freshman Maalik Wayns, who was named Big East Rookie of the Week last week and has earned more and more playing time. The Wildcats are an extremely difficult team to guard with either man or zone, which will be the difference at Freedom Hall.