Things are heating up in the GSC, and it’s time to see if teams like Southern Arkansas and Christian Brothers will continue to make noise. Here’s my take on tomorrow night’s matchups.
Southern Arkansas (5-10, 2-2 GSC West) at Delta State (12-1, 3-0)
SAU has pulled off two surprises by winning at Henderson State and at home against Harding, so it’s time to see how they handle a road game against the best team in the division. DSU features the type of athleticism that SAU may not have seen at all this year, which is saying a lot, since the Muleriders have faced D-I Tulsa and a host of solid D-II schools. The Muleriders are not a very good rebounding team, and they’ll running into several talented big men in Jasper Johnson, Sandrell Spann, and Victor Brown. Personally, I don’t see how they can win this game. SAU’s only strength so far has been ball-handling, but that’s an even bigger strength for the Statesmen. SAU is off to a hot start in the conference season (well, 2-2, compared to 3-8 prior to that), so I think they could make it close, but Delta State is just way too strong to lose this one.
Computer prediction: DSU 79-70
My prediction: DSU 78-67
Ouachita Baptist (9-7, 1-2) at Arkansas Tech (10-5, 1-3)
This game will further help me gauge where Arkansas Tech deserves to be in the rankings. Their schedule was not so weak that I can just write off their fast start to the season, but they’re also not playing well so far in their GSC schedule. The Tigers always give teams tough games, although I think this is a down year for them, so it will be interesting to see how the Wonder Boys handle this one at home. Denarryl Rice will have his hands full guarding Lucky Butler, and Butler will face the same troubles (though I think Rice is somewhat overrated). OBU’s other solid player, George Kirby, probably will struggle against Rone Smith and Ike O’Hanson, and OBU will also have to focus on containing the shooting presence of Andrew Stanek. I think ATU has too many weapons for Ouachita to handle, although it should be a close one.
Computer prediction: ATU 66-65
My prediction: ATU 66-64
Christian Brothers (8-5, 2-1) at Henderson State (5-7, 1-3)
I say this for every Henderson State preview, but it’s worth repeating: the Reddies have solid players but not a solid team. They have the potential to beat anyone, yet fail to do so regularly. I expect them to use some confidence that they may have picked up in the UCA victory to take out Christian Brothers, which I see as one of the less-talented teams in the division. However, like everything for the Reddies, it probably won’t be easy. Kevin Weybright has found a supporting cast in the early part of the Bucs’ conference slate, so if they continue to perform, this could be a very good game. The Bucs don’t really have anyone to match Kelvin Brown, but players like Ryan Johnson typically make enough mistakes to cancel out Brown’s solid play on the offensive end. Still, I think the Reddies are more talented, and they should come out with a close home win.
Computer prediction: CBU 65-64
My prediction: HSU 66-64