The season kicks off tomorrow night at the BJC with a pesky William & Mary club from the tough CAA. Tipoff’s at 6:30 and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network. So what can we expect from either team going into this game?
William and Mary is coming off of a 17-16 season, where they made a remarkable run in the CAA tourney but fell just one game short of stealing the CAA’s automatic bid. They only lose 2 starters and have a solid nucleus coming back. They’ve been picked to finish middle of the CAA. This is who we’re up against:
PG – Sean McCurdy – He’s a transfer from Arkansas, who will be eligible for the Tribe for the first time. He appeared in 61 games with the Razorbacks in 2 seasons, so he’s got experience. He has been said to possess exceptional speed and does a good job creating scoring opportunities for his opponents.
SG – David Schneider – Listed as a preseason All-CAA honorable mention. He had to handle most of the PG duties for the Tribe last year. He averaged 10.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 3.8 APG last season. Many Tribe fans are excited to see what he can do with McCurdy now taking over as the PG. He’s made 106 career 3-pointers in 2 seasons, so he’s got range. He’s one of those all-out hustlers that will dive for every loose ball. Looking forward to seeing him play.
SF – Darrell Sumner – He was instrumental in the Tribe’s run in the CAA Tourney, averaging 15 points and 5 boards. The most versatile and athletic player for the Tribe, who can score in a variety of ways. He would be a great matchup for Jeff Brooks, but more on Brooks’ status in a bit.
PF – Chris Darnell – Experienced with a big body (6’9″). Most likely candidate to fill in for Alex Smith until he returns from injury. Nothing imposing, but he could give us fits with his size. Might occasionally hit a three. However, I’d be stunned if he could handle Cornley’s quickness on the defensive end.
C – Peter Stein – Another returning starter. Not a major scoring threat, but holds down the fort in the paint on defense. Another big guy at 6’9″. Rebounding and defending are this dude’s game.
They like to play at a slow tempo. I’ve heard mild comparisons to Northwestern/Princeton. They’ve got some shooters and they’re deep. Also, if you haven’t noticed, they’ll be a lot taller than us. I’m going to have to assume DeChellis is going to try to push the tempo and use our athleticism to outgun these guys. Our backcourt will be key in this game. We’ve got to take advantage of our superior speed and quickness, and we must defend the perimeter.
Jeff Brooks is questionable for the game, tomorrow. He hasn’t practiced as of Tuesday. He took an Andrew Jones elbow to the forehead and suffered a concussion a week ago, today.
Billy Oliver is definitely out having suffered 2 concussions already – I never heard a story on how these concussions occurred. He did participate in the Canada tour….
Prediction: To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if PSU loses tomorrow. William and Mary does not appear to be a scrub mid-major team, and PSU rarely plays well in November. But I can’t pick the Lions to lose. The line I saw is PSU -11.5. So I’ll take W&M against that spread and say PSU wins 69-59….Battle takes over late.