PORTLAND, Ore. — It’s time for a little game analysis.
I haven’t done one of these in a while, it feels like. This one will be an easy read — in short, Texas Southern really does not have the personnel or play style to even remotely challenge the Wildcats. This one shall be a good ol’ fashioned blowout.
PREDICTION: Arizona by 34
WHO TO KNOW: Senior guard Madarious Gibbs (14.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.3 apg, 2.9 to) was the SWAC player of the year. Junior guard Chris Thomas (12.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg) was once a 5-star, Top-10 recruit. He’s not that anymore. Deverell Biggs (11.4 ppg) transferred from Nebraska and is solid for the Tigers.
Stats and observations
- Well, KenPom gives Southern a 2 percent chance to win the game… so, you’re saying there’s a chance?
- At 208, the Tigers are the second-worst KenPom ranked team in the tournament. Specifically, Southern is woefully inefficient on defense (221nd in adjusted efficiency) and on offense (178th). Their adjusted tempo is 217th in the country, and they turn the ball over on 19.9 percent of their possessions.
- Oh, and they allow opponets to corral 34.2 percent of their offensive rebounds. Not like that’s Arizona’s strength or anything…
- Malcolm Riley is the only big man for Southern who’s even remotely productive. And by “big man” I mean he’s 6-foot-5.
- Stanley Johnson is 6-foot-7, and he essentially plays shooting guard. (I know that’s not completely accurate. In a reality Arizona plays guard, forward, forward, forward, center, but for the sake of argument and because I say so, on an NBA 2k lineup he’s the shooting guard. Deal with it).
- “Every game, it’s gonna be important to rebound, big or small,” Johnson said. “We need to impose our will on the glass.” And they will.
- Southern is a guard-heavy team, yet it only makes 5.3 3-pointers per game as a team. Which is one thing that sometimes gives Arizona trouble. Oh, and Southern plays man-to-man, and doesn’t have the personnel for zone, often the Wildcat kryptonite.
- So, yeah, good luck guys.