Maverick Maniac's Musings

February 9, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game #27 Preview – IUPUI

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Previews — Jon Green @ 11:19 am

Omaha Men's Basketball Preview - IUPUI - 2-9-13

Live Stats
Live Video ($8?)
Live Audio (Free – IUPUI Feed)

Omaha got schooled 68-50 at Western Illinois on Thursday. That’s all that needs to be said about that game as far as I’m concerned… on to the next one.

IUPUI
Omaha heads to Indianapolis on Saturday looking to steal one last road win in their first trip through the Summit League. Omaha already has wins at South Dakota and Kansas City and to get a 3rd would have to feel like a very successful season. IUPUI is the perfect candidate to get that win against as they’ve lost nine straight and find themselves at 1-10 in conference.

That not to say it’ll be easy to get a win, but it’s definitely something UNO can achieve. Omaha won the first matchup in Omaha 90-79 and if they shoot like they did that night, over 60%, it’ll be difficult for IUPUI to keep pace.

The Jaguars are down to seven scholarship players and the depth has been a real problem for them. They lost their best player to an eligibility issue and this is a season that hopefully for them is just a bad year to forget and not the start of a lot of bad seasons in a row.

Mitchell Patton averages 13 points and five rebounds inside and has to smile seeing what big men have done to Omaha lately. Donovan Gibbs is the other player in double figures averaging 10 points and just over six rebounds. These two big men will try to hurt Omaha inside where they might be vulnerable.

Omaha has so many weapons and with what seems to be advantage on the perimeter Omaha’s guards will try to get going and propel Omaha to a victory in this one. Justin Simmons seems to be a consistent big time scorer and the question is if CJ Carter or Marcus Tyus can be his 20-point teammate in this one, a role both have played this year.

Sorry for the briefer than normal preview. Didn’t get started on this early enough and have a women’s game to prep for.

Expected Starters
IUPUI
Guard – Greg Rice – 5-11 – Senior – Averaging 8.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists.
Guard – Sean Esposito – 6-3 – Senior – Averaging 7.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.
Guard – P.J. Hubert – 6-5 – Junior – Averaging 5.9 points and 1.0 rebounds.
Forward – Donovan Gibbs – 6-7 –Junior – Averaging 10.4 points and 6.3 rebounds.
Center – Mitchell Patton – 6-9 – Junior – Averaging 13.4 points and 5.0 rebounds.

Omaha
Point Guard – CJ Carter – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 9.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
Guard – Alex Phillips – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 8.5 points and 2.5 rebounds.
Guard – Justin Simmons – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 16.0 points and 3.9 rebounds.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 7.7 points and 4.4 rebounds.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 – Junior -  Averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Three Things to Watch
1) Post Play – John Karhoff is usually pretty solid inside but today he might have his handful. Welhouse will have to help down low a lot and the Mavericks will expect to give up some points and rebounds inside, limiting them is the key.

2.) Perimeter Advantage – Justin Simmons is the best guard in this game and if can play like he has been 20+ points are probably in the cards. The real question is whether UNO can push their advantage outside to include another guard going off, be that Carter or Tyus probably.

3.) Good start – Getting down 20-0 is not an option. IUPUI is no Western Illinois, but a good start will get UNO’s confidence back if it started to wane at all.

Prediction
Not going to go way out on a limb and pick an upset. Not even really going to call this one close. Western Illinois is a dang good team and well rested right now. If they don’t come out rusty I expect them to be in control throughout. I’ll take the Leathernecks 81-64. Might be underrating Omaha’s offense but with a slower pace expected it’s not as bad as it might look. I’m also going to predict that Justin Simmons doesn’t score 20 points tonight. not a huge limb but he has done it in four straight games.

Massey – IUPUI wins 84-80
RealTimeRPI – IUPUI wins 85-79

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