CSS Saturday Basketball Preview

CSS Saturday Basketball Preview
January 18, 2013, 4:02 pm
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Wereright around the halfway point in the college basketball season, and thisSaturday will provide another action-packed lineup. CSS is set to bring youlive coverage of four games, so lets take a look at the slate ofmatch upsahead.Drexel (5-11) at William & Mary(7-9) 2:00 p.m.Drexelenters Saturday riding a three-game losing streak after dropping its last game51-43 to James Madison. The Dragons average just 62.9 points and 11.8 assistsper game, both far down the list in the national rankings.Injuriescontinue to plague Drexel, with Chris Fouch out for the year and Damion Lee andDarryl McCoy missing time recently. Expectations were set fairly high for thismid major. Can they find a way to bounce back in the winning direction willailments popping up left and right?William& Mary shoots 45 percent from the floor as a team, but that stat hasntspared it from losing six straight games. The Tribe shot 38 percent from thefield and 27 percent from beyond the arc this past Wednesday in a loss toGeorgia State Panthers. Leading scorer Marcus Thornton isnt shooting well inrecent games despite averaging 18 points per game this season. He made justthree 3s in his last 15 shots from downtown.SMU(11-8) at UTEP (9-7) 4:00 p.m.January hasnt been kind to Southern Methodist, as theynow sit at 1-4 in the new year. Jalen Jones recorded another double-doubleagainst Southern Miss on Jan. 16, but the Mustangs couldnt hang with the teamone of the top teams in Conference USA.The defense needs to step up for a win on Saturday. SMUfinished with just four steals and let the Southern Miss shoot 49 percent fromthe floor in its most recent loss.UTEPs 9-7 record might not be an accurate portrayal ofthe teams talent, as it faced rather stiff competition in the early stages ofthe 2012-2013 season. The Miners are now 6-2 since losing to then No. 21 UNLVback in mid-December. Three players average scoring in double-digits, withsenior guard Konner Tucker leading the way with 12.7 points per game. Tucker missedthe first seven games of the year, but is now shooting 52 percent from 3-pointrange.UAB(8-9) at Southern Miss (14-4) 6:00 p.m.UAB is still in search of its first conference victory.The Blazers have dropped three straight games, most recently losing 69-53 toMemphis after shooting an appalling 32 percent from the floor. UAB missed all13 3-point shots in that game, so making a single basket from downtown againstSouthern Miss will be an instant improvement. Keep an eye on Rod Rucker. Thejunior forward posted a double-double in his last three games, and hes leadingthe team with 14.3 points and 8.4 boards per game.Southern Miss is catching fire at this point in theseason. The Golden Eagles are on a six-game winning streak and currently sit 15thin the country averaging 49 percent shooting from the floor.Dwayne Davis leads the team with 13 points per game, butits more of a collective effort here. Six players chip in at least sevenpoints each game. The team also combines for 15.2 assists on average as well.Expect a lot of ball movement.LSU(9-5) at Georgia (6-10) 8:00 p.m.Conference play is not going well for either SEC squad.Both are 0-3 in the early stages and both are looking to break three-gamelosing streaks.LSU took South Carolina to overtime on Wednesday, butthe free throw disparity was too much to overcome down the stretch. The Tigerscommitted 26 fouls and sent the Gamecocks to the line 37 times. Shavon Colemanleads the team with 12.6 points per game, but a few monster games earlier inthe year skew his stats a bit. Coleman is scoring a lowly seven points perouting during the Tigers current skid.We'veseen UGA on top of No. 1 Indiana and No. 11 UCLAheading into halftime. The second half, though, continues to be an issue forthe Bulldogs. Sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continues to provide theonly consistent scoring threat with 16.8 points per game.Vincent Williams suddenly broke out for 23 points inUGAs most recent loss to Missouri, so maybe help is on the way in the scoringdepartment. If the Dawgs can find a solid No. 2 option on offense, they mightbe able to walk away with their first conference victory on Saturday night.

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