Breakdown: Arizona vs. Drexel

Arizona will open it's trip to New York City with a game against Drexel on Wednesday night. The winner of the game will head to the NIT Championship game. Rad on for a complete positional breakdown, including a score prediction.

Arizona vs. Drexel
Nov. 27 at 5:00 pm
Madison Square Garden


Point Guard

PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. Frantz Massenat (6-4, 190, Sr.)

Massenat's scoring average is down a bucket from last season, but he is also averaging one more assist. He is a big point guard that could give McConnell some trouble in that regard and he is going to likely put up at least ten shots on Wednesday. Massenat hurt UCLA with an efficient 20-point effort, but really struggled against Rutgers. If McConnell has the advantage here, it probably is not a big one. Massenat should be able to score more and get his assists as well.

Shooting Guard

SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Chris Fouch (6-2, 185, Sr.)

There are not a lot of guards that are tougher than Fouch and it will be fun watching him guard Johnson. He averages a team-high 17 points per game, but takes 13 shots each one to do it and only shoots 40 percent. Fouch has a tendency to really push things when the game is not going his way and Johnson should be able to take advantage of it. The numbers may wind up being similar, but Johnson is more likely to have a complete and efficient game.

Small Forward

SF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Damion Lee (6-6, 200, Jr.)

Lee is somewhat similar to Fouch in that he can score, but he does not do it at a strong percentage. Gordon is the more athletic player and he is three inches bigger, which should be a nice advantage for him. Lee is capable of putting up points, but he is going to have difficulty keeping Gordon out of the lane and off the glass.

Power Forward

PF: Brandon Ashley (6-8, 230, So.) vs. Rodney Williams (6-7, 190, Fr.)

Kazembe Abif's concussion is bad news for Drexel because he is really the only other post presence besides Ruffin. Drexel could choose to start Tavon Allen, but then the Dragons have absolutely no bench. Our guess is that Bah or Rodney Williams gets the start and Allen plays major minutes like normal, but it is going to be interesting to watch. Either way, it is a big loss for Drexel and Ashley's advantage gets bigger.


C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 235, So.) vs. Dartaye Ruffin (6-8, 250, Sr.)

Ruffin is good on the glass, but not a major scorer. This will be an interesting one for Tarczewski because Drexel will likely try to draw him out and take him out of the game. On the other hand, this is also an opportunity for the big man to impose his will and have a solid game. Tarczewski is the better player here, but we definitely have to keep an eye on how Drexel attacks him.


Bench: Tavon Allen is 6-foot-7 forward that is going to get plenty of minutes, as he averages 22 a game and turns that into 13 points. Beyond that, Drexel does not have much. Freshman Rodney Williams will probably play about ten minutes, but he won't do much with it. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson matches Allen and Gabe York is better than any secondary player Drexel has, so the Wildcats get the advantage here.

Coaching: Sean Miller vs. James Flint

Flint has done a nice job with Drexel and is approaching career victory number 300. The difference here, once again, is that Miller is doing it at a higher level and not losing many games on the way. Arizona is more talented than Drexel, but Miller has that talent playing the right away and deserves credit for it.


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Prediction: This game probably will not be as easy as people think. Drexel is a tough team that doesn't give up and can defend well. The issues it is going to have are on the glass and being able to score enough to stay in contention. Even if Drexel defends well, Arizona's size should allow it to score enough points and pull away in the second half.

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