01/26/2008 MWC Basketball Preview

Todays games are huge with first right now a 4 way tie and will be narrowed down this week. Also the winless bunch of the league are playing each other in Wyoming and Colorado State.

(11-6) (10-7)

John M. Huntsman Center 12PM MT TV:

Never thought that the words TCU is in first place in the MWC for basketball, but they are currently in a four way tie for first place, and this game against Utah on the road is a chance for TCU to prove they are for real in this conference race. TCU has not played too well on the year when playing on the road with a current record away from Ft. Worth is 1-5 and their only win came against woeful Colorado State. On contrast Utah is 8-2 at home, so it looks like Utah has the upper hand in this game. The thing about both teams is that they both had tough times in playing tough games when the game is on the line, but TCU was successful in one of the tight games when they came from behind in the second half to defeat New Mexico at home. TCU likes to run a full court press to create turnovers and rely on their high pressure man to man defense to force bad shots and turnovers to win. Utah has the defense to stop and slow down the TCU offense that is not the best since they shoot 42% from the field and at 63% from the line, so with Utah’s solid defense this could be difficult for TCU to come by with the Utes defense. If Utah can hold down Henry Salter, Kevin Langford, and Brent Hackett who are TCU’s main scoring options by scoring 55.3% and after that the scoring drops of significantly, and these are the players that Utah needs to focus on. If TCU’s press is successful then Utah will be in trouble and the way that they have played while being down. This game should be interesting because Utah plays extremely well at home and TCU has yet to have a signature win on the road. Look for this to be a close game but Utah will win because of their home record and stout defense at home.

(14-4) (14-5)

Cox Arena 1 PM PT TV:

This is co-game of the week along with BYU/New Mexico and this game is between one of the many first place teams in conference play. Looking at these teams records one would think these teams are amazing, but as most teams in this league there are flaws. Looking at these teams flaws they both have the same problem with limited offense production both teams average 71 and 69 points respectively, but the main concern is that San Diego State shoots 44% from the field and have a Point Per Shot as 1.24 and then UNLV shoots even worse at 40.6% from the field and have a 1.20 PPS. It is safe to say that these teams are sloppy in their shooting, but that also goes out to the teams ball handling and especially the Aztecs who average 14 turnovers per game. Nonetheless this game is of the top teams in the league and will help shape the conference race. SDSU is more balanced on scoring with 6 players who average at least 8.5 points per game in comparison to 4 players who score at least the same amount. The home court is huge in this league and look for the Aztecs to take this game from the Rebels to stay in at least a tie for the conference lead.

(6-12)(6-11)

Arena-Auditorium 2PM MT TV: CSTV PPV

This game is the 207th meeting in the boarder war, but this has more significance then normal, because they are both winless in conference play. This game will bring one team out of the basement for the time being and the fact that Wyoming is at home and they are very difficult to defeat at home, and toss in that CSU is 0-8 in true road games so look for this to be 0-9. Both teams do have some scorers Wyoming had Brandon Ewing and Colorado State has Marcus Walker and both average 17 points per game and are who to watch for today. This may not be the most sound game played but with the rival and both teams wanting their first conference win this game should be hard fought, but look for Wyoming to win this game since they are at home.

(14-4)(14-5)

Marriott Center 4PM MT TV:

Here is the other game of the week with BYU who is tied for first with one loss and then New Mexico that is chasing them with two losses. BYU just got out of a mini slump by defeating San Diego State that was previously undefeated in conference play. The tough part of this game for New Mexico is that the game is at BYU who has a home winning streak nearing 40 games. New Mexico itself is 3-4 on the road and if the Lobos want to be considered a threat or even an at large candidate for the NCAA’s they need a signature road win. New Mexico who has a balanced scoring team needs a player to explode for at least 20 to keep the Lobos in this game. Also, New Mexico needs to slow down the trio of scores from BYU in Trent Plaisted, Lee Cummard, and Jonathan Tavernari. This will be a tough game because New Mexico is a good team but the way the Cougars play at home there is no way to go against BYU at ho me.

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