It’s a great time of the year for sports fans, with football nearing the playoffs, bowl season, and college basketball starting up again. Also starting up along with hoops season is Student Union’s “What to Watch For Roundtable”, brought to you by myself and fellow writer Doug Wattley. Last season, we tried to get this up every Friday but, not going to lie, there were a couple missed weeks. This season we vow to do better. Each Friday we’re going to highlight key matchups for the weekend, betting lines we think may hit, teams on upset alert, and key players to watch. Follow along (approximately) every Friday to see what to watch for each weekend.
Game of the Weekend
Chase Swaringen: #15 Syracuse vs. #13 Oregon (Nov. 16th) – Although both teams picked up early losses, this is still an excellent matchup. Bol Bol has been a sensation so far for the Ducks and Jim Boeheim and his 2-3 zone are always tough to play especially in a near home-court environment with this game being in Madison Square Garden. A lot of people knock these early season tournaments but they create great matchups early on in the season and allow teams to find weaknesses to correct for later when March comes around.
Doug Wattley: UConn vs. Iowa (Nov. 16) – On paper, Syracuse vs Oregon might look like a better game to watch. However, both UConn and Iowa picked up big wins in the 2K Classic to earn the right to play in the winner’s bracket. UConn’s offense was what really impressed me as they controlled the pace en route to 83 points against the stingy 2-3 ‘Cuse D. For Iowa, they’ll be able to pull out a tough win IF the high energy we saw Thursday night shows up again.
Player to Watch
Chase Swaringen: Romeo Langford, Guard, Indiana – Langford has been spectacular in his first few games as a Hoosier but will have to play on the road for the first time since wearing the cream and crimson. Many predict Langford will be a top ten pick in next year’s NBA draft. However, he will have to show that he can make big plays in hostile environments to be dominant on the next level. Langford has his first chance to prove he can quiet crowds when the Hoosiers face the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville on Sunday. The Razorbacks aren’t expected to be anything special in the SEC but have some young talent that could come out energized in their home arena. Watch for Romeo to be the x-factor if the Hoosiers are to get their first road win.
Doug Wattley: Jalen Carey, Guard, Syracuse – Despite the early loss to UConn, Jalen Carey had himself a game. As a freshman, Carey is taking on an even bigger spotlight due to 5 star recruit Darius Bazley decommitting from ‘Cuse to play in the G-League. In the game against UConn, Carey looked in control totaling 26 points and 7 rebounds. He also wreaked havoc on the top of the 2-3 zone on his way to three steals. After one big game at MSG, he’ll be tested again Friday night against Oregon at the same venue. I expect a Syracuse win, largely due to the help of Jalen Carey.
Chase Swaringen: Davidson vs. #23 Purdue (Nov. 16th) – In a game muchcloser to home for Davidson an upset isn’t out of the realm for the hot-shooting Wildcats against a Purdue team that lost a lot of pieces from what was a historic season a year ago. Carsen Edwards is a dominant player but Davidson has a lot of guys that can score from behind the arc. It may be a shootout Friday in Charleston.
Doug Wattley: Wofford @ Oklahoma (Nov. 18) – College basketball fans really took notice of Wofford last year after they upset UNC. This year, they have a similar team and lost by 11 to a very talented UNC team. Oklahoma is a much different team this year and are vulnerable without their Superman, Trae Young. Even in Norman, I see Wofford beating Oklahoma to hand them their first loss of their young season.
Easy Money (Lines Subject to Change)
Chase Swaringen: LSU (-12.0) vs. Louisiana Tech — Take LSU
Doug Wattley: St. Johns (-2.5) @ Rutgers — Take SJU…please.