Monday, November 17, 2008

College Basketball Preseason NIT Preview

Dennis Felton's boys take the floor tonight in West Lafayette, IN on the campus of Purdue University, for the 2008 Preseason NIT. The tournament this year features a pretty solid group of teams, including Top 25 Purdue, Davidson and Oklahoma, along with other perennial top programs such as Arizona, Boston College and St John's.

The Dawgs grabbed the #6 seed in the 16 team tournament, but somehow got locked into the same bracket with the #1 seed Purdue, and will face Loyola Chicago from the Horizon League tonight at 9:30 PM. Loyola is coming off a 7-point loss this weekend to Division II Rockhurst College. It is worth noting that in that game, Loyola guard JR Blount scored 42 points on 12-22 FG shooting and 17-20 from the FT line, almost an unheard of number of trips to the line for a guard not named Kobe or Michael. Keep an eye on that matchup tonight.

The Dawgs should (by all rights) advance tonight, but getting by the preseason Big 10 favorite Purdue, in their building, with a young squad - will be a tall task. The Boilermakers play a small, guard oriented lineup, and return 7 of their top 8 scorers and rebounders from a team that won 25 games a year ago. This will be much more than a solid test for UGA, should the Dawgs get past Loyola tonight as expected. Make no mistake, the Purdue fans will be looking to exact revenge for the NCAA tournament 12 years ago, when the Tubby Smith coached Dawgs knocked Cuanzo Martin (far left of picture) led and #1 seed Purdue out of the NCAA tournament in the 2nd round. OK, maybe not, but I remember it. (Martin is actually a current Purdue assistant, so perhaps he remembers it as well. One might also remember that he was one of the many esteemed Atlanta Hawks draft picks from the 1990's. But I digress.)

Incidentally, you can watch Purdue open up against Eastern Michigan tonight at 7 PM on ESPN2. No TV for UGA - Loyola, but if the Dawgs do advance, the game against Purdue will be 7 PM Tuesday on ESPNU. The winner of the Purdue bracket advances to New York City and Madison Square Garden on November 26th for the semifinals.


Bop said...

Good preview JJ. If UGA could somehow slide by Purdue, it would be a huge step in positioning themselves down the road for postseason. Purdue is going to make a serious run for the Big 10 title. Purdue is a contender for the Final 4 this season (yeah I really like this teams prospects).

Interested to see what Butler does tonight defensively against JR Blount. Should be a good early matchup for him to prepare him for the Jodie Meeks on the schedule.

Here's hoping Thompkins plays soon. Sounds like he's getting close.

Otto said...

poop the bed....

JJ said...

Oh well. So much for that.

I think I am going to take up stamp collecting or model trains.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it hard to be a UGA basketball fan? I didn't listen to the game but from all accounts that is a HORRIBLE loss. Maybe we can get Thompkins back in the lineup and it will make a difference. I don't see DF making it past this year if the team doesn't produce better results than this.

Anonymous said...

hahaha, nothing more hilarious than optimistic dawg b-ball fans.

Felton sucks. I cant wait till he is gone. Then, MAYBE, i will join in on the optimism.

fwiw, i do go to the games, just never get my hopes up.