GAME OF THE WEEK...
(2) Wake Forest at New Mexico - Wednesday
Everyone knows about Wake Forest, highly ranked by everyone and the preseason number one according to this site. But what about the Lobos of New Mexico? Wake Forest and the entire country will learn much more about UNM Wednesday night when the Deacons pay a visit to Albuquerque and "The Pit."
Picked third in the Mountain West this season by SCS.com, the Lobos have gotten off to a 10-1 start. Their only loss of the year came nearly a month ago on the road at Oregon. UNM led by a bucket at the half but fell behind in the second period and eventually lost that contest by four points. In the win column, New Mexico has already knocked off Santa Clara (a team that defeated North Carolina earlier this season) by 34 points, beaten rival New Mexico State twice, and most impressively, hammered an up-and-coming Tennessee team by 19 points this past Saturday.
The Lobos are led by star senior forward Danny Granger, a Louisiana native and preseason all-conference pick by almost every publication. Thus far, Granger is averaging nearly 19 points a contest on 48% shooting from behind the three-point arc while also pulling down nearly 10 rebounds each night out. Five other Lobos average between nine and eleven points per game: Mark Walters (11 ppg), David Chiotti (11), Troy DeVries (10), Kris Collins (9), and Alfred Neale (9). A strength of the Lobos has been the consistent three-point shooting of Granger, Walters, DeVries, and Neale. All four players shoot at least 42% from three-point land.
Wake Forest, meanwhile, is coming off yet another impressive win this past weekend. The Deacons hosted and knocked off Texas by one point in Winston-Salem on Saturday, taking their record to 11-1 this season. That one loss came nearly three weeks ago on the road at Illinois. Skip Prosser's club has been led by three double-digit scorers: Justin Gray (16 ppg), Eric Williams (15), and Chris Paul (14).
One interesting aspect of this game to watch will be the rebounding. New Mexico has out-rebounded their opposition by over eight a game thus far, while the Deacons claim less than three more rebounds than their opponent on average. If Wake Forest can rebound well and keep the UNM shooters from getting hot, they should be able to come away with a win. "The Pit," however, is known as one of the toughest places in America to play, and a regional TV audience will be watching to see what the Lobos can do. In a squeaker...
The Editor Says: Wake Forest
THE WEEK'S OTHER TOP MATCHUPS...
Texas Tech at Iowa - Tuesday
The Red Raiders were upset at home last week by a pesky Ohio State team, and the Big Ten test gets even tougher this week. The Hawkeyes have been rolling early this season. Off to a 9-1 start, they have not lost since November 24 against North Carolina. No change expected.
The Editor Says: Iowa
UCLA at Michigan State - Tuesday
The Bruins squeaked past Michigan in Los Angeles this past Saturday and now get a shot at the Wolverines' rival. Tom Izzo's team is again expected to contend in the Big Ten and is definitely the favorite in this one. Expect the Spartans to control the game and take the victory.
The Editor Says: Michigan State
Pacific at Fresno State - Tuesday
With a light schedule of games on tap this week, this battle out west appears to be one of interest. The Tigers are 4-2 thus far with one of those losses to Kansas. FSU, meanwhile, is 6-1, has already beaten USC, and lost to Oregon by just one point last weekend.
The Editor Says: Fresno State
UAB vs Clemson (Honolulu, HI) - Tuesday
Mike Anderson's squad is coming off an Elite Eight trip last spring but has started somewhat slow this fall. The Blazers are 5-2 with big road losses to both Oklahoma State and Richmond. Clemson is 7-1 and has already beaten Ohio State and South Carolina early in the season.
The Editor Says: Clemson
(1) Illinois vs Missouri (St. Louis, MO) - Wednesday
The Tigers have been pitiful most of the season but showed a little life last Saturday afternoon. Down 31-16 at the half to Indiana, MU rallied and knocked off the Hoosiers by three. Illinois has played as well as anyone in the country this season. Who will the crowd favor in St. Louis?
The Editor Says: Illinois
COULD BE INTERESTING...
Princeton at Temple - Monday
Northwestern at Arizona State - Monday
Oral Roberts at Georgetown - Monday
Vermont at (3) North Carolina - Tuesday
Manhattan at (11) Arizona - Tuesday
NC State at BYU - Tuesday
Santa Clara at Arizona State - Wednesday
Wisconsin-Milwaukee at (9) Kansas - Wednesday
Charlotte at Indiana - Wednesday
Richmond at (15) Pittsburgh - Thursday
Providence at Memphis - Thursday
The Editor's CBB Records:
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