The 24th ranked Baylor Bears (4-1) square off against the Charleston Cougars (2-2) in the Charleston Classic. Baylor is the heavy favorite in this game, but Charleston has managed to outrebound all 4 of their opponents, and if Baylor is unable to stop this, it could prove to be a deciding factor in this game.
Tip-off is scheduled for Saturday at 9:00 pm ET at the
Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.This game can be seen on ESPN 3.
Most NCAA Basketball odds sites list Baylor as a 17.5 point favorite
while the total is currently unavailable for this game.
Charleston could be without wide bodied forward Trent
Wiedeman. Wiedeman missed the victory over Boston College with an ankle injury
and his status is uncertain for this game. A Cougars offense that only averages
62.5 points per game and 37.3 rebounds per game can sure use the services of
Wiedeman, who is a double figure scorer and fills up space in the paint at 6
foot 8, 255 pounds.
Both teams have already faced 2 of the same teams in St.
John's and Boston College. Baylor is coming off of a 97-78 victory over
St. John's in where they were completely effective on the offensive end. The
Bears shot 54.8% from the field and were an eye popping 11 of 18 from 3 point
territory. This was a game that they dominated.
Charleston on the other hand, was defeated by the Red Storm,
64-53. The Cougars shot just 37.5 % from the field and 33.3% from 3 point
range. This game was a total flop from beginning to end as Nori Johnson led
Charleston with just 11 points.
Against BC, things were a different story for Charleston, as
senior guard Andrew Lawrence scored 17 of his 22 points in the 2nd half to
rally the Cougars over the Eagles in a narrow 4 point, 71-67 victory.
Baylor didn't dominate but took control of the Boston
College game when they needed to with a 10-0 run as guard Pierre Jackson scored
a game high 31 points for the Bears.
The Cougars defense will need to continue to control the
boards and the defense will need to take a stand or they'll have no chance against
the powerful offense of Baylor.
The ability to score
This will clearly be the difference in this game, as the
Baylor Bears average 83.2 points per game (ranked 20th) and are led by point
guard Pierre Jackson. The senior is quick and efficient. On the season, he's
averaging 20.2 points, 7 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. Jackson shoots 50%
from the field and a solid 41.4% from beyond the arc.
Look for Jackson to be the go to guy, but teammates Cory
Jefferson and Isiah Austin are each coming off of double-doubles against St.
John's. Anyone of these 3 players are capable of leading this team to victory
along with junior guard Brady Heslip. Heslip is coming off of a monstrous
performance; a 29 point game on 8 of 12 shooting from beyond the arc.
This team contains a lot of strength scoring-wise and on the
boards. It will take something short of a miracle for Charleston to keep pace
with the Bears.
The senior guard leads the Cougars and is by no means a
pushover as Lawrence was a member of the British team in the 2012 Olympics.
Lawrence has the tendency to get into foul trouble but was still effective in a
win over Boston College. In 20 minutes of play, Lawrence poured in 22 points
and went to the charity stripe 12 times. With Wiedeman's status up in the air,
Andrew Lawrence will need to carry this team on his back in order for
Charleston to compete in this game.
No on to my NCAA Basketball picks for tonight's matchup. Charleston provided a gallant effort against Boston College,
but rebounding aside, they're greatly overmatched against Baylor. Too much
offense for the Bears and too little offense for the Cougars will give Baylor
an easy victory in the Charleston Classic.
NCAA Basketball Picks: Baylor -17.5 at 5Dimes