ACC Basketball: Tuesday Preview

With no games last night, Tuesday marks the first time this week that we have seen basketball around the ACC. There are four conference teams in action tonight, including #10 Virginia hosting #14 West Virginia in a non-conference top 15 match-up. Here’s the preview.

 

Colgate (2-5) Vs. Syracuse (6-2), 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU
Game Notes

  • After a 6-0 start that featured two top 25 victories, Syracuse has lost two straight games coming into the game against Colgate. The Orange are led by senior forward Michael Gbinije, who is averaging 20.0 points per game on 50% shooting this season.
  • Colgate has really struggled to put points on the board so far in 2015. The Raiders rank 308th in the country as they average 65.6 points per game entering the contest.

Prediction

This will be the first home game for the Orange since Jim Boeheim began serving his suspension for a violation of NCAA rules. While they have dropped two straight with tough losses to Wisconsin and Georgetown, Syracuse should have very little trouble dismantling Colgate in this game to get back on track. Expect big nights for seniors Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney, as the Orange should roll to their seventh win of the season.
Syracuse 78   Colgate 50

 

Florida (6-1) Vs. #17 Miami (FL) (7-1), 7:00 PM ET on ESPN2
Game Notes

  • Jim Larranaga’s Miami Hurricanes have gotten off to a red-hot start this year due in large part to their explosive offense. At 87.6 points per game, the Hurricanes are ranked 12th in the nation in scoring.
  • While Miami’s offense has been very good so far, Florida could slow down the Hurricanes by ensuring that they do not get many second chance opportunities. This all starts in rebounding the basketball effectively, where the Gators should hold a significant advantage. At 46.0 rebounds per game as a team, Florida ranks 4th in the nation. Miami? They sit at number 184 in the country in that department, as they average nine rebounds less at 37.0 per game.

Prediction

Florida will try to ensure that Miami senior guard Angel Rodriguez does not repeat last year’s performance. Rodriguez scored 24 points against the #8 Gators the last time they met, which was a 69-67 Hurricanes victory last season. While Florida should out-rebound Miami in the game this evening, they are not nearly as balanced as the Hurricanes are offensively, which I believe will end up being the difference of the game. I expect Miami seniors Sheldon McClellan (15.9 ppg.) and Rodriguez (12.4 ppg.) to both exceed their averages offensively, to help the Hurricanes pull away late and notch another early season signature win in the non-conference schedule.
Miami (FL) 82    Florida 74

 

#14 West Virginia (7-0) Vs. #10 Virginia (7-1), 7:00 PM ET on ESPN

Game Notes

  • This game is all about who takes over the tempo. Virginia very rarely blows teams out, even if they are inferior, due to their grind it out style on defense paired with the slow methodical offense that they run. West Virginia meanwhile, loves to get out and run, which will be something to watch in the early part of the game, as the team that gets best established early, should have a considerable advantage.
  • West Virginia’s defense has turned opponents over with incredible success, averaging 23.4 per game. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers turn the ball over less than any team in the entire nation, as they only commit 7.4 turnovers per game.

Prediction

Virginia’s starting point guard London Perrantes is pivotal to this game. He is one of the nation’s most poised players, and does an excellent job in setting up the Cavaliers’ offense. His status is in question heading into the game, after he had appendix surgery a little over a week ago, which has caused him to miss the last two games. If he is able to go, it will be a huge lift for the Cavaliers, and should allow coach Tony Bennett to stress a bit less about the pressure defense of the Mountaineers. As I write this though, Perrantes’ status is very much up in the air, and with that currently being the case, I’m going to roll with the Mountaineers to go into Madison Square Garden and upset the Cavaliers, due to their ability to win the turnover battle and convert them to easy points on the other end.
West Virginia 68   Virginia 60

 

Stony Brook (4-2) Vs. Notre Dame (5-2), 9:00 PM ET on ESPNU
Game Notes

  • Stony Brook has gotten their season off to a 4-2 start due in large part to their work in sharing the basketball and rebounding. The Seawolves are ranked first nationally on the glass, as they average 48.8 rebounds per game. Extra possessions have turned into extra points off of some impressive assist numbers for Stony Brook as well. They currently rank 13th in all of college basketball in the assist column as they average 19.0 helpers per game.
  • While the Irish have clearly missed the presence of veterans Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton off of last year’s Elite 8 squad, Demetrius Jackson has played well within the offense in an added role. He enters action on Tuesday night averaging 18.7 points on 53% shooting.

Prediction

Stony Brook will be a challenge for Mike Brey’s Notre Dame defense. The Seawolves enter action scoring 83.2 points per game, while the Irish defense gives up around 65 points per game coming into tonight’s contest. Notre Dame must win on the glass and limit the turnovers if they want to avoid a home upset. With that being said, I think they will, which should lead to a victory at home, where they are so difficult to beat.
Notre Dame 72   Stony Brook 65
 

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