Wednesday: 0-0, (0.00%)
November: 74-72-1, (50.68%)
December: 68-65-1, (51.12%)
Season: 142-137-2, (50.89%)
Sides: 74-63-2, (54.01%)
Totals: 68-74, (47.88%)
Overall: 142-137-2, (50.89%)
No plays yesterday but 1-1 on Tuesday with of course the side winning and the total losing. I’m not terribly concerned about the growing gap between my sides (54%) and my totals (under 48%) but I’d be foolish to ignore it completely. As a result I’ll start scaling back on my totals a bit. Good news is my sides at now over 54% are rolling along very well. Here’s what I’ve got today…
La Salle (+10.5): I love this Dayton team but they are at a point now where they are probably over-valued a bit. Personally I made this line 8 and I think we see a max effort type showing from the Explorers. I’ll briefly touch on the motivational angle later but for now let’s just jump right into the game itself. Dayton destroys teams on the inside, led by Toppin and to a lesser extent guys like Mikesell, Landers and Watson. Toppin is 6’9″ but aside from him it isn’t traditional big guys doing the damage, it’s strong, athletic wings who aren’t afraid to get into the paint and mix it up. La Salle while by no means great does have some solid wings of their own and perhaps more importantly excellent depth. Howard has been using a 10 man rotation and all 10 of those guys are averaging double digit minutes per game. Being able to keep throwing fresh bodies in there against Toppin in particular is huge. Offensively for La Salle it’s all about shooting 3’s and luckily for them defending the 3 point line has been one of Daytons few weaknesses. Dayton is allowing opponents to shoot 35.1% from 3 point land which is 251st in the nation. On the other end La Salle shoots it a 35.3% from 3 which is 91st in the nation. La Salle also scores about 36% of their overall points from 3 which is 72nd in the nation. Spencer, Deas, and Phiri are all very solid from deep and should create some issues for the Flyers defense. It’s also worth noting that this game is basically La Salle’s super bowl. This is circle the calendar type stuff for them and I expect one of those 110% effort kind of showings. I don’t think they have enough to pull an upset but I see them hanging around throughout and likely losing by half a dozen or so.
Saint Louis (+3): If you’ve followed me a while you know my thoughts on Duquesne by now. Year after year they schedule the weakest non conference schedule they possibly can. Usually they beef up their record beating up on weaklings and people fall into the trap of actually thinking they are good. The truth is, they aren’t. This is a mediocre team at best and sure enough with back to back losses by an average of 15.5 points they are starting to be exposed. Tonight against Saint Louis I think that continues. Just about everything Duquesne wants to do offensively is from the inside. They shoot 55.9% from 2 point land which is 10th best in the nation. Hughes and Weathers do the heavy lifting on that front but against Saint Louis they’ve found an opponent where it’ll be very tough to succeed inside. The Billikens only allow opponents to shoot 39.4% from 2 which is 4th in the nation. Also only 44.2% of the points Saint Louis allows are from 2 point land which is 322nd highest in the nation. In other words they lock up the paint pretty damn well. French doesn’t have the height of your prototypical shot blocker but he’s one of the best in the nation at it. He’s a huge eraser and between the shots he’s either blocking or altering he covers up mistakes all over the place. I’ll concede that the Saint Louis defense has been shaky against the 3 but Duquesne isn’t built to take advantage of that. The Dukes are 264th in the nation from 3 so to put it simply it’ll be tough as hell for them to score inside and they don’t shoot it well from deep. Offensively Saint Louis isn’t a juggernaut by any stretch but it’s inside with French and Goodwin where I think they thrive. I talked about French earlier and with Goodwin they have the best rebounding wing in the nation. He’s undersized at 6’3″ but is relentless on the glass and averages 11.4 rebounds per game. I made this line Saint Louis -1 so I’ll happily take my chances with 3 points in my back pocket.
Out of time for write ups today but did want to hit on those games as they are my two favorite plays on the board. The complete card is listed below.
La Salle (+10.5)
Saint Louis (+3)
Minnesota/Purdue Un 133.5
UT Arlington/Arkansas St Over 138