#6 Arizona Wildcats (2-0) at San Diego State (1-0)
When you think about an Arizona offensive attack that features all starters in double figures and a successful head coach in Sean Miller who was also a super player at Pittsburgh, you think of the word composed. Freshman, Alex Gordon faces his first road test, but hasn’t disappointed thus far as he’s had 2 consecutive double-doubles without being too selfish and has meshed well with his teammates. Arizona’s shooting has been very accurate thus far, coming off of a 91-57 thrashing of the Long Beach State 49’ers for our NCAA basketball picks.
In their most recent game, the Wildcats outshot the 49’ers 58.6% to 27% holding Long Beach State to just 12 assists and outrebounded their opponent 45 to 29 thanks to Gordon. Along with Gordon, Duquense transfer, T.J. McConnell dished out 8 assists. McConnell has had the leisure of distributing the ball to players like Gabe York. York comes off the bench and is instant offense, averaging 13 points per game and is 5 for 11 from beyond the arc on the season.
This is a very unselfish team that’s can play on both sides of the court. You have to like the way that Arizona has looked thus far, but the true test comes on the road when they face the Aztecs.
Good Coaching Wins
If all of you take a trip down to memory lane and remember the Michigan Fab 5 and the coach that orchestrated that team is Steve Fisher. Fisher hasn’t won a National Championship, but he’s the long time head coach of an Aztec team that has won 40 of its last 41 non-conference home games. This is a team known for good defense and the Aztecs defense is starting off this season like they left off last season as they held UC Riverside to just 41 points, 4 assists, and 1 of 9 shooting from 3-point range in a lopsided 77-41.
The Aztecs are a team in which if you suit up, you get to play. Forward, J.J. O’Brien led San Diego State in their opener with just 24 minutes and 11 players played 12 minutes or more. There are no heroes here, but senior Xavier Henry is definitely a viable option as he proved in the season opener when he scored 15 points.
NCAAB Pick- Arizona -3 at Bet 365
A Un-winnable Game?
This may be the case for the 20 point NCAAB odds underdog Detroit Titans as they enter Gampel Pavillion, a place where UConn has never lost a season opener and the Huskies are 72-4 against non-conference opponents on their floor.
This is a senior that has a championship under his belt and continues to get better as a player. Napier is coming off of a triple-double in a victory over Yale and is the only player in the history of UConn basketball to record 2 triple-doubles for his career. On the season, Napier is averaging 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game. Look for Napier to have an easy time of it against another rather weak opponent in Detroit.
Connecticut is a team that has shot the lights out, averaging 52.5% from beyond the arc and the catalysts have been Napier, Omar Calhoun, and Ryan Boatright.
The one concern that Connecticut has entering this game is their inability to control the glass. They’re coming off of a game against Yale in which they were rebounded and now have to face Juwan Howard Jr. who, aside from averaging 20 points per game, is also grabbing 10.5 rebounds per game; he’s a chip off the old block, the son of Juwan Howard, who was a member of the Fab 5 and a very good professional basketball player in his own right.
Look for Howard Jr. to have a big game against Connecticut, but his team is overmatched and will be playing in a hostile environment.
NCAAB Pick- Connecticut -20 at Bet 365[gameodds]14/249426/?r-1=19-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]