SLU vs. Washington
Time: 11:00 p.m. CT
TV: Pac-12 Network
Players To Watch:
Dwayne Evans.He used his dominant presence against SIUC last week, but it'll be a different story against the Pac-12 Huskies. Aziz N'diaye is 7-feet tall and the Huskies have plenty of other bangers down low in the post. How Evans will fare is very important to the outcome. He certainly can't pick up some cheap fouls like he has recently.
Jordair Jett. He's perhaps the most important player for the Bills tonight. Will he be healthy enough to go full bore? We saw him struggle to explode and play effective defense against the Salukis on Saturday.
Keys To The Game
Don't get frazzled. UW is at its best when they make you get up and down the floor. In fact, they're excellent in transition defense, giving up just .76 points per possession (PPP). They allow just 40.7 percent shooting in those types of situations. SLU needs to slow the ball down and work in the half-court. The Huskies give up a whopping .90 PPP within the half-court. They aren't particularly disciplined and opponents shoot nearly 50 percent against them in these situations.
Work Inside-Out, but not too much. Aziz N'diaye won't kill the Billikens on offense, but he's a superb defender. He's an easy 7-foot tall and opponents are shooting just 8/28 when he's guarding them this season. It will be paramount that SLU hits some outside threes, but it needs to attempt to work with Remekun, Manning, etc. in the post in order to get open jumpshots from the perimeter.
Vegas Line: Washington favored by 1.5
My Thoughts: After watching tape on UW, it's clear that they're underperforming. Sure they lost some talent from last year's squad, but they're still plenty talented enough. So why have they lost to Albany at home? Or gotten drubbed by Colorado State at home? Their defense has been terrible. They're letting up far too many points this season. SLU will be tested by the UW offense, however. Synergy rates the Huskies as "excellent", scoring .945 PPP. They score a whopping 1.103 in transition and .91 in the half-court. The Bills must key on Abdul Gaddy and C.J. Wilcox and exploit guys like Andrew Andrews who has been pitiful this season on both sides of the ball.
St. Louis native Scott Suggs will miss the ballgame for the Huskies, but they still have enough firepower to down SLU if it isn't stout on the defensive end.
When it's all said and done, the one main factor very well may be how SLU rebounds the basketball. N'diaye and Co. do well on the offensive glass and the Billikens have shown a bit of deficiency in the area. Will we see the team that played against Texas A&M or the squad that got roughed up by Santa Clara? We'll find out in a couple of hours!