Home > Current Updates > Inside the Bracket: Old Spice Classic

Inside the Bracket: Old Spice Classic

dave1In this edition of Inside the Bracket, let’s take a peak at the Old Spice Classic:

Teams: Purdue, Oklahoma State, Butler, Washington State, Memphis Siena, LSU, St. Joseph’s

Favorite: Oklahoma State – Through five games, Marcus Smart and the high-powered Cowboys are averaging over 100 points a game.  That includes a dominant 101-80 victory over Memphis.  Smart and Markel Brown combine to average 36 points a game.  OSU has the firepower to make a deep run next March.  If the Cowboys continue to play defense and rebound, they’ll be tough to beat in Orlando.

Contenders: Memphis – The Tigers have to be disappointed by the drubbing Oklahoma State put on them in Stillwater.  How will they respond?  Memphis is arguably the second most talented team in the field.  Shaq Goodwin must continue to progress.  Nick King leads the Tigers in scoring through three games; he’s also second on the team in rebounding.  Overall, the Tigers share the scoring load with nine players averaging at least five points.  As the season is young, there are some questions about how this year’s group will mesh.

Biggest Opportunities: Butler / LSU – Following the graduation of Rotnei Clarke and Andrew Smith, and Brad Stevens’ departure to the Boston Celtics, most anticipated a rebuilding year for Butler under first-year coach Brandon Miller.  That may still be the case, but the Bulldogs arrive at the Old Spice Classic undefeated with a victory over Vanderbilt.  With its move to the Big East and several new faces, Butler’s pre-conference schedule isn’t as deep.  A quality non-conference win (or two) would certainly boost the Bulldogs’ resume moving forward.  LSU has a chance to return to the NCAA tournament in 2014.  An opening two-point road loss at Massachusetts is actually looking pretty good right now.  Andre Stringer and Johnny O’Bryant III combine to average almost 36 points a game.  The Tigers are also one of the best rebounding teams in the country.

Best Opening Matchup: Oklahoma State vs. Purdue – Big Ten vs. Big 12.  Purdue is one of those teams that could potentially finish anywhere from fifth to tenth in the Big Ten.  While the Boilermakers are unbeaten through five games, they haven’t left Mackey Arena and escaped Northern Kentucky by a single point.  That was without center A.J. Hammons, who missed the NKU game for non-injury reasons.  A 7-footer who can move and block shots, Purdue needs Hammonds to be a threat at both ends of the floor in support of top scorers Ronnie and Terone Johnson.  Oklahoma State will be a heavy favorite, but you have to think the Boilers will be ready to bring some energy and fight to the floor.

Action begins at 12:o0 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.  Nothing like some good hoops between turkey and maybe a little football.

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Categories: Current Updates
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