Friday, December 22, 2006

Davidson at Arizona State

Countdown is under two hours now for the championship game of the Sleep America Classic between the Davidson Wildcats and the Arizona State Sun Devils. ASU is coached by Herb Sendek who instituted a Princeton-style offense while at N.C. State. In the past few seasons, some of Davidson's toughest games have been against teams that have slowed down the offensive flow of the game and limited the Wildcats to fewer shot attempts. Davidson will either have to go crazy on the offensive boards, create transition points off of turnovers, or raise their shooting percentage. They won't be scoring anywhere near 80 points in this game if they shoot under 40% from the field.

The Wildcats showed some fatigue during last night's game as there were stretches in the first and second halves when they allowed Ohio to work their way back into the game through turnovers and missed rebounding opportunities. Davidson can't afford to be sloppy against a team that slows the game down and limits opportunities to score. It will be interesting to see how fatigue affects this one.

Look for increased minutes from Steve Rossiter, Bryant Barr, Andrew Lovedale and Will Archambault as the Wildcats try to use their depth to counteract fatigue and (if we get the same whistle-happy refs as yesterday) foul trouble. While Coach McKillop might try some pressure defense to create turnovers in the passing lanes, don't be surprised to see the Wildcats briefly come out in zone looks after timeouts. They have been very effective in messing with set plays and keeping the offenses off guard.

Final Prediction: Davidson 70 Arizona State 62

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