Monday marks another new set of GSC West games, so let’s take a look at the non-Harding matchups.
Central Arkansas (9-3, 2-0 GSC West) at Arkansas Tech (10-3, 1-1)
Two teams that played fairly weak non-conference schedules will face off in the most important game not involving Harding. More is typically expected of UCA than simply squeaking out a road win in Russellville, but they may have to settle for that, since the Wonder Boys are performing considerably better than usual. UCA has no legitimately outstanding players so far this year. Rather, they rely on Darryl Jones, LeMar Phillips, and Stephin Booth as their most efficient players, with solid contributions from point man Joey Cortez. ATU is similar, with Denarryl Rice, Andrew Stanek, Ike O’Hanson, and Rone Smith all doing their parts. I think the Bears will still come out with a win, but it should be tougher than usual.
Computer prediction: UCA 63-62
My prediction: UCA 65-62
Christian Brothers (6-5, 0-1) at Ouachita Baptist (9-6, 1-1)
Kevin Weybright and Sam Bradley do a good job leading the Buccaneers, but CBU still doesn’t have enough other talent to win a lot of GSC games. Lucky Butler and the Tigers, on the other hand, are talented enough to at least hang with, if not beat some of the other GSC teams. Beyond him, there are at least adequate contributions from George Kirby and Justin DeLamar, so in this battle of teams that probably will not be in the playoff picture, I expect the home-team OBU Tigers to come out on top.
Computer prediction: OBU 72-70
My prediction: OBU 72-68
Southern Arkansas (3-10, 0-2) at Henderson State (3-6, 0-2)
From a talent standpoint, the Reddies look better on paper than the Muleriders, who have just 2-3 solid contributors in Kenny Langhorne, Leon Stone, and Brandon White. HSU has Kelvin Brown, Brandon Daniels, and Antoine Vinson, who are all performing fairly well right now, but they also give tons of minutes to players like Ryan Johnson, who has been one of the least efficient GSC players for what seems like 8 years now. I think the Reddies will win this one, though, in this battle of two teams looking for their fourth wins.
Computer prediction: HSU 61-60
My prediction: HSU 63-59
A preview of the Harding at UAM game is forthcoming.