Friday Lookahead

Not much to talk about from last night. UNC rolled again without having to need a perimeter game, Cuse overwhelms another opponent but still turns it over a ton and Cal looked better.

The Evan Turner show continues tonight..

For Friday..we have a full slate, here are a look at games that should provide the best play on both sides or at least be competitive..

UMASS @ UCF – Jermaine Taylor moves on and leaves a huge absence for UCF. Keith Clanton, Marcus Jordan and Nik Garcia headline a solid group of freshmen on an overall young team. Taylor Young, AJ Tyler and AJ Rompza are 3 returning starters who all enter their junior year. Young was actually more efficient than Taylor last year and should get many more opportunities in his absence. On the UMASS side, Derrok Kellogg will try to get things going this year after a rough year that failed to live up to expectations. Gone are Chris Lowe and Tony Gaffney. Ricky Harris, Anthony Gurley and David Gibbs are good wing players to work with and Hashim Bailey, a Memphis transfer should be the big man to watch. Terrell Vinson leads the freshmen class. Small edge to UCF here at home.

Cleveland State @ St. Bonaventure
– A great year, culminanting in an upset win over Wake Forest, was the result of a senior laden, hard nosed team. Now, only Norris Cole returns for CSU. St. Bonaventure returns 4 starters from a young 15 win team that dropped a few close ones. It’s a program that has been revived and should take a few more steps forward this year. Again, an edge to the home team.

Rider @ Mississippi State – One reason this shows up, Ryan Thompson. The younger brother of Jason is good enough to keep Rider, a consensus top 3 pick in the MAAC, close. Mississippi State is a big and talented team, but if they resort to shooting a ton of 3 balls, Rider may be in this one toward the end.

Niagara @ Auburn – Another top MAAC team on the road at an SEC school. In this one, Niagara may win straight up. The Purple Eagles are always well coached and Tyrone Lewis, Bilal Benn and Rob Garrison lead the way this year. DeWayne Reed is the man to watch on the Auburn side.

Stanford @ San Diego
– Landry Fields and Josh Owens will have to lead the way to grab a win with a tough road opener here for the Cardinal. Brandon Johson returns for San Diego after suffering injury last year. He was great in 07-08 with their tournament appearance. Devin Ginty, Matt Dorr, and De’Jon Jackson all return as starters to go alongside Johnson.

New Mexico St @ St. Mary’s
– Omar Samhan returns for what seems like his 6th year of college hoops. Despite resembling Josh Peck from The Wackness, he has improved each and every year. Gone is star Patty Mills and All League player Diamon Simpson. The result of that is that it is Samhan’s team now and we’ll see what Randy Bennett is made of. NMSU is a young and talented team, returning all 5 starters from a 17 win team. Per nmstatesports.com, The Aggies had four players average double figures in 2008-09, guard Jahmar Young (17.9), guard Jonathan Gibson (14.1), forward Troy Gillenwater (12.1) and forward Wendell McKines (12.1). The NM State point guard, Hernst Laroche ranked No. 18 in the NCAA in assist to turnover ratio (2.48) and was the No. 2 freshman in the country a year ago. I’ll go with NMSU with an impressive road win here.

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