After a couple exciting games last night in Dayton, the relatively small Ohio town gets to host two more before the second and third rounds begin action in the UD Arena this weekend.
Let’s preview tonight’s last two games of the First Four.
(16) LIU Brooklyn vs. (16) James Madison
For the record, the only thing I know about James Madison is that it is named after our 4th president. But upon further review, one can see that the CAA Champions can play a little ball too. JMU brings a star in Rayshawn Goins to Dayton for a matchup with LIU for the right to face Indiana on Friday. Goins will miss the first half after head coach Matt Brady suspended him for an arrest this week.
For LIU, the Blackbirds bring in a dynamic scorer in Jamal Olasewere. He comes in averaging 18.9 points per game for an offense that averages just over 78 points per game. The Blackbirds will need to lock up on defense however, in order to advance.
Players to Watch
If you look past Olasewere, you will see C.J. Garner, a stud, senior guard who averages 16.1 points per game. LIU has been without Julian Boyd for much of the season. Before he was injured, he was averaging 18.5 points per game.
For James Madison, look for A.J. Davis to play a big role in spelling Goins in the first half. Davis comes in at 12.1 points per game and hails from nearby Columbus. Expect him to want to put on a big show for his hometown fans.
James Madison overcomes Goin’s early suspension and wins
(13) La Salle vs. (13) Boise State
In one of the more intriguing matchups this week in Dayton, Boise State will take on La Salle with the right to face Kansas State on the line. Boise State and La Salle are two at large teams from the Mountain West and Atlantic Ten, both conferences gaining more respect this season in terms of teams in and seeding, but these two teams are considered the last two in.
For Boise State, they must focus on getting good shots as they shoot close to 46% per game.
For, La Salle, the Explorers, I love that name, need to pound the ball inside against Boise State. Neither team rebounds the ball very well, so the battle of the boards will go a long way in deciding who wins tonight in Dayton. Boise State was a surprise team this season, owning a signature win over Creighton. And La Salle finished 5th in the A-10, with wins over Villanova, Butler and VCU.
Players to Watch.
Boise State sends out a couple studs in their starting lineup and it all starts with Anothony Drmic who comes in averaging 17.3 points. Spelling him will be Derrick Marks who has 16.3 points per game and scored 38 on March 2nd in a win over Colorado State.
On the other side, La Salle’s offense is keyed by a pair of guards in Ramon Galloway and Tyreek Duren, who average 32 points between the two. La Salle and Boise are both very balance teams.
Boise State has 7 players who average at least 5.1 points per game. While La Salle has 6 players that average at least 6.4 points per game.
This one will be fun and likely be a back and forth game, another tasty appetizer before the second and third rounds begin on Thursday. I like Boise State