Villanova's first game in the Charleston Classic is against Western Michigan - tipping off at 11:30 on Thursday on ESPN2. The winner advances to play the winner of Wake Forest vs. UTEP on Friday at 1:30 on ESPN2.
Western Michigan, coached by Steve Hawkins, is picked to finish 4th in the Western Division of the Mid American Conference by most prognosticators. They are 1-1 on the young season with a win over non-D-1 Marygrove and a 17-point, road loss to Oakland. The stats are too useful two games into the season but Western Michigan is off to a rough start - shooting 20% from three-point range as a team and 40.4% from 2 point range - an effective FG% of 37.9. The Broncos defense has struggled to force turnovers but has held opponents to the D1 average of 49.2% effective FG.
The Broncos are led by Junior, 6-3, Guard Thomas Wilder. He is a combo-guard that can shoot the three and distribute the ball well while making good decisions. He shot 37.6% from three-point range last season and had an ORtg of 109.7. He is joined by PG, Bryce Moore (6-2, Soph), SF Tucker Haymond (6-6, Sr), PF Brandon Johnson (6-8, Frosh), and 7-0, Soph, Center, Seth Dugan. Jarrin Randall (5-11 Frosh) can back up either guard spot off the bench while 6-10, Junior, Forward, Drake Lamont gets the back-up minutes at the pivot. Randall has not been shy about shooting despite being a Freshman - he has taken 34.2% of shots.
The Cats are projected to win 84-64 (97% probability) by Kenpom. This is a "take care of business" game for the Cats.
Should the Cats advance, the most likely opponent is Wake Forest (projected to win 82-72 (81% win probability) over UTEP.
VUSports will have more on Wake Forest and UTEP later ...
Link to Full Bracket: