The Northern Kentucky Norse are on a nice little run. Winners of 9 of their last 11, the Norse are coming off of an awesome comeback against another hot team in the Detroit Titans. The Norse are not a great defensive team, ranking 212th overall. But they bring a serious offense attack led by guards Trevon Faulkner and Marquis Warrick. The freshman Warrick was the catalyst in their victory of Detroit, scoring 20 points in their 1-point victory. Northern Kentucky has too many guys that can penetrate the paint and handle the inside. They are a matchup problem for their non-defensive minded foes.
Oakland has a surprisingly high scoring offense, averaging 75 ppg (82nd in the nation). They score a lot due to their pace, they rank 87th in the nation in pace, the second highest in the Horizon League. The Grizzlies have Jalen Moore who averages 18 ppg on the season. They are going to try and push the pace to make up for their lack of defensive identity. Oakland has been horrible controlling the glass and defending opposing shooters, giving up an effective field goal shooting percentage of 56.1%.
Offensivly these two teams can match each other but the big difference between the two is on the defensive end where the Norse will have the advantage. The advantage will also be huge for Northern Kentucky, they are 22nd in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage. Oakland will have such a disadvantage on the boards it will be tough for them to quicken the pace in order to play the way they want to. If the Norse control the pace they should be able to score at will against a Grizzlies team that gives up one of the highest true shooting percentages in the nation. Northern Kentucky has too many advantages to lean any other way. They should be able to control this game and win easily.
Play of the day: Northern Kentucky Norse -1.5
The Horizon League tournament is continuing Tuesday night with a matchup of one of my favorite teams the Detroit Titans versus the Northern Kentucky Norse.
Detroit is on a 11-2 run over their last 13 games after a dreadful start to the season. The offense has been the story for the Titans, they are averaging 76 ppg on the season. They have put up at least 80 points in 6 of their last 7 games. They are led by arguably the best guard in the Horizon League in Antoine Davis. Davis put on a show inthe first round of the Horizon tournament scoring 46 points against Robert Morris. He leads an offensive that has an effective field goal percentage of 54.7% and as a team they are one of the top free throw shooting teams in college basketball shooting an astounding 80% from the line.
Northern Kentucky has an efficient offense of their own, ranking 139th in the nation in offensive efficiency. The Norse are strong on the inside averaging 54% from inside the arc and average a 34% offensive rebound rate. Their advantage on the inside will allow them to score against a mediocre Detroit defense. The Norse feature guards Trevon Faulkner and and Marquiss Walker, both have the ability to penetrate the defense and get easy buckets.
This game features two teams that are efficient on the offensive end while lacking the ability to get consistent stops on defense. The Detroit offense will set the tone behind Antoine Davis and try and get this game to a more uptempo pace. This being a conference tournament game means we will likely see a lot of fouling at the end which plays in perfectly for the over. Detroits ability to his outside shots and put away teams on the free throw line should lead to a victory and a higher scoring matchup. I am leaning towards Detroit at -1.5 but my favorite play is the over.
Play of the day: Over 146 (Like Detroit -1.5)