Thursday's NCAABK Action
January 10, 2013
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ARIZONA WILDCATS (14-0) at OREGON DUCKS (12-2)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Arizona -1.5 & 143
Oregon will get a crack at No. 3 and undefeated Arizona as the Ducks host the Wildcats Thursday night.
The Ducks aren’t ranked, but they are 7-1 SU in their past eight games, wining three straight games by 13+ points. They have a good shot in this one after the Wildcats have nearly lost three games in a row. Arizona most recently eked out a three-point win against Utah, needed a controversial overtime to beat Colorado in the previous game and beat San Diego State by just one point in the game before that. The Wildcats have looked ugly lately, but they are too talented not to like with a nearly even line here. While they are led by a group of seniors, they also have a talented crew of freshmen that will have its ups and downs throughout the season. And with this crew working to a 2-0 (SU and ATS) mark on the road thus far, they have shown they can handle winning away from home.
Two seniors pace the Arizona offense in Solomon Hill (13.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG) and Mark Lyons (14.1 PPG, 3.1 APG). Hill has 18.3 PPG (57% FG) and 6.7 RPG in the past three games, but Lyons, a Xavier transfer, is shooting just 11-of-39 from the floor (28%), including 5-for-18 threes in his past three games. Nick Johnson (12.2 PPG), a sophomore guard, rounds out the double-digit scorers, but he too has been off the mark in the past three games at 7-for-33 FG (21%) and 3-for-15 threes. The team also has a considerable amount of freshman talent, such as 7-foot center Kaleb Tarczewski (6.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG) has struggled to be consistent offensively, but has all the tools to become a threat on the block with his size and athleticism. The same goes for fellow first year F Brandon Ashley (8.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG), who is coming off an 11-point performance against Utah in which he made 5-of-7 field goals.
Oregon’s offense has no player averaging a dozen points per game, but there are still five Ducks that average double-digit points. Freshman G Dominic Artis (10.1 PPG) scores the least of this crew, but leads the team in assists (3.6 APG), while freshman Damyean Dotson (team-high 11.8 PPG) shoots 50% FG and has an athletic build with a 6-foot-5 frame. Tony Woods (10.8 PPG) has great size for a center at 6-foot-11, but isn’t a great rebounder (3.7 RPG). Forwards Carlos Emory (10.3 PPG) and E.J. Singler (10.2 PPG) round out those five players, but a sixth player to watch is senior F Arsalan Kazemi (8.5 PPG), who paces the team in rebounding (9.8 RPG) and shoots 58% from the floor.
SAINT MARY’S GAELS (12-3) at GONZAGA BULLDOGS (15-1)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Gonzaga -9.5 & 146.5
Saint Mary’s will look to give No. 9 Gonzaga its second loss of the season as WCC play heats up on Thursday night in Spokane, WA.
Both of these teams have featured remarkably efficient offenses to start the year. The Bulldogs are 11th in Division I with 80.7 PPG, making 51.5% of their field goals (3rd in nation). The Gaels, meanwhile, score an impressive 79.5 PPG on 50.1% shooting (10th in Division I). The Bulldogs are the superior team this year but the double-digit margin is too much for them to cover against this potent Gaels offense. The Bulldogs may have dangerous scorers in the paint, but the best player between both of these teams may be SMC guard Matthew Dellavedova (17.4 PPG), who has the potential to single-handedly keep any game close.
Dellavedova (17.4 PPG, 6.7 APG) has been a one-man wrecking crew all season with lethal scoring abilities and also the potential to be an elite passer. He’s hitting 2.6 threes per game at a 42% clip while making a ridiculous 91% FT. The 6-foot-4 senior turns it over 3.0 times per game, but that comes with how much he touches the basketball in his 36.6 MPG. Junior guards Stephen Holt (10.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG) and James Walker III (10.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG) are the team’s two other solid scoring threats in the backcourt. Brad Waldow (9.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG) and Beau Levesque (9.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG) can score from the forward position, though they will be outsized by the Gonzaga bigs on Thursday.
Kelly Olynyk (17.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG) paces the Bulldogs offense, making an incredible 67.5% FG. The 7-footer is coming off a monster performance with 33 points (12-of-15 FG) and 10 rebounds in Saturday's 81-74 win at Santa Clara. Senior PF Elias Harris (15.1 PPG, 6.8 RPG) has scored in double-figures in 14 of 15 games this season. PG Kevin Pangos (11.8 PPG, 3.7 APG) runs the offense very well with a 2.6 Ast/TO ratio, and is a solid shooter, making 2.1 threes per game on a 41% clip. SG Gary Bell Jr. (10.1 PPG) joins him in the backcourt while C Przemek Karnowski is a dangerous 7-footer off the bench, scoring 7.7 PPG and making 67.1% FG. Also pay attention to PG David Stockton who doesn’t score much (4.1 PPG), but like his Hall of Fame father John, he can dish the rock when he’s in, averaging 3.1 APG in just 19.3 MPG.