Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Mornining Shootaround

Hey guys welcome to my new Saturday Morning Shootaround segment. My name is Austin. I am a huge college basketball fan. I am unbiased towards all teams however I am a huge Duke Blue Devil fan. Hopefully throughout the 2008-2009 NCAAM season I can bring you some information you will enjoy about the current weeks games. Without any more delay, here is the key matchups for Opening Weekend (Nov 22nd-Nov 23rd).

Top 25 teams in action on Saturday Nov 22

#3 Louisville 0-0 vs Morehead St 0-3
Prediction 96-60 Louisville

When you talk Louisville basketball this year, the first thing that has to come to mind is 5 star recruit Samardo Samuels. At 6'8'' this big man at only 18 should develop very nicely this year. Samuels, by many recruiting agencies, was ranked #1 this past year. Look for Samuels to get off to a hot start here vs Morehead. Also you can't forgot why Louisville is ranked #3 to kick off the year. Junior PG Egdar Sosa can be a game changer when playing at his best. However, last year he regressed from his outstanding freshman season. Also, Earl Clrak forms the trio of this years team look for him to step up after C David Padgetts graduation to a double double guy. Morehead is led by a solid post game all 3 of their top scorers are big men. However, in this game, the likes of Maze Stallworth and Leon Buchannan just stand no chance against Louisville's strong big men.

#6 Pitt 2-0 vs Indiana (PA) 2-0
Prediction 87-55 PITT

Pitt led by Sam Young and Dejuan Blair are another talented Big East team. Pitt is known as a school who was had great sucess without having any real stars. This year that could change. Dejuan Blair proved as a freshman that he could play with the Big Boys. He will continue to do this. Blair could be a darkhorse POTY canidate. Indiana a D-III doesn't have much of a chance in this one even if they played Syracuse to a 77-67 score last week in preseason.

#10 Purdue 3-0 vs Coppin State 1-0
Prediction 82-62 Purdue

Purdue last year had a coming out party last year. Look for it to continue this year. Led by G E'Tuan Moore the Boilermakers have a real shot at winning the Big 10 this year. Look for Purdue's balanced attack and solid defense to carry them over Coppin State and their guard heavy attack. Last weekend, they beat Wilmington 94-73 having 4 G as their top scorers.

#14 Oklahoma 3-0 vs Gardner Webb 0-2
Prediction 100-67 Oklahoma

Led by Sophomore F Blake Griffin Oklahoma already has a big win on their resume after beating Stephen Curry's Davidson Wildcats 82-78. Griffin in 3 games so far this year is dominating having 3 double double's and averaging 23 PPG and 19.3 RPG. With performances like these, the Sooners will be hard to stop with G Willie Warren and F Taylor Griffin backing up the Blake. Gardner who lost 85-84 on Tuesday night plays in a 3 guard set and all 3 can score. Anyways, Griffin and the Sooners win big.

#17 Marquette 2-0 vs Milwaukee 3-1
109-75 Marquette

Marquette has some pretty solid talent. G Dominic James, G Jerel McNeal, and G Wesley Matthews led this team. All 3 should play at the pro level. Marquette is a contender in the Big East and should be a serious threat come tournament time. Look for these guards to overwhelm Milwaukee but G Avery Smith and company should keep it close early.

#18 Georgetown 1-0 vs Drexel 1-0

Georgetown lost their best player last year in C Roy Hibbert to the NBA; however, a more talented C has come to take his place. Greg Monroe was highly regarded much like Samuels to be the top recruit in the country. Monroe brings an atheletic power player to this team almost the opposite of Roy Hibbert's finesse style. With G Jessie Sapp and G Chris Wright also returning, the Hoyas should be making another run in March.

Upset Special for Week 1:

Washington over #24 Kansas

Washington has been an intriguing team over the past few years. They certainly have underacheived. This year look for F Jon Brockamn to turn into what people thought he would be coming in. Washington has many talented players and should be able to beat the Defending National Champs.

Games to Watch For:
Monday November 24

9:30 PM ESPN U
#1 North Carolina vs Chaminade
The top ranked Tar Heels head to Maui and kick off the invitational vs host Chaminade

5:30 PM ESPN 2
Indiana vs #9 Notre Dame
Also in Maui, we get to see how bad Indiana will be or how good Luke Harangody and Notre Dame are. I got money on the first Tom Crean you get a mess down in Bloomington.

7:30 PM ESPN 2
Syracuse vs #19 Florida
Can Billy Donovan and the Gators beat Syracuse? This is a great early season test for both teams.

Potential Matchups (they're are some real good ones, but the only problem is that they all are potentially good matchups)

#8 Texas vs #9 Notre Dame
This could be a semifinal in maui winner and winner would move on to play North Carolina. Maui is a place to watch this week. There could be some really good games.

#1 North Carolina vs #8/9 Texas/Notre Dame
Again, Maui is the place to be for early season top action.

Thank you for reading this season opening article. Hopefully, you'll stay tuned for the many more to come this year. I will be appearing occasionally on Vito's podcast as well as the NCAAM insider. Any ? E-mail them to me @ They could be answered on the show or in a future article.

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