Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Night Big Sky Predictions

It’s Thursday night in the Big Sky, and you know what that means – five conference games!! Let’s break them down quick, as always, with a prediction.

Northern Colorado 79, @ Northern Arizona 71
DeWayne Russell will be interesting to watch in this game, because he has quickness that will be tough for the UNC guards to match up against. But NAU will need someone else to step up and be a second scorer, with the most likely candidates being Gabe Rogers or Max Jacobsen. UNC seems to be hitting their stride, with Derrick Barden and Connor Osborne creating extra possessions on the offensive glass. This should be an entertaining game, but I think the Bears have a little more firepower.

@ Montana 67, Idaho State 54
Idaho State should be very prepared, as Bill Evans will be extremely familiar with all of the Grizzlies. Unfortunately, the Bengals won’t be able to score enough points to keep up with Montana, especially in Missoula. Fresh off a scare against Montana State, the Grizzlies will be ready to play because they know that one letdown is the difference between being at home for the conference tournament and going to Weber State (just ask Weber State about their game in Pocatello last year). Kareem Jamar has been on a roll lately.

Weber State 76, @ Montana State 66
With Weber State’s trip to Montana coming on Saturday, it is easy to envision them looking past this game. But WSU’s depth is so good that if some guys don’t come fully focused, there are plenty capable players that Randy Rahe can turn to. The Bobcats have played well lately, and they will need a great defensive effort in this game. Antonio Biglow returned from suspension last week, but I think the team is better when he plays off the bench and Marcus Colbert starts at PG. If Biglow embraces that role, he would be a huge weapon for Brad Huse.

@ Southern Utah 65, Portland State 62
About the only thing I can promise for this game is that it will involve a lot of fouls, since Southern Utah is involved. I think the difference will be that in the second half, when SUU needs a bucket, the Vikings aren’t going to be able to stop Jackson Stevenett. The loser drops to 3-6, but luckily, they will still be right in the thick of things.

@ Sacramento State 66, North Dakota 60
Last year when these teams met in Sacramento, the Hornets beat UND fairly handily, winning by 11. This year, they will return home from a 4 game roadtrip, while UND heads out on a the road after a long homestand. Of the Hornets eight conference games, just three of them have come at home, which should put them in a good position. I expect the Hornets to pound it inside, and hope to get a big day from Konner Veteto.

Last Week: 4-1
Season: 15-5

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  1. Here's hoping for wins by Weber and UM, setting up a battle of undefeated teams Saturday night in Missoula.

  2. No doubt, that would be fun...

  3. Perhaps it was just the home court, but UND's Huff, Anderson, and Webb are all coming on strong. Huff, who is finally healthy and can eat whole food again after a broken jaw, is really coming into his own. Webb has his three point range back. Anderson is shooting and distributing well. If Brekke can come back from a concussion, UND's rebounding and inside game would vastly improve. Guess this road trip will tell if UND is heading on up.

  4. No doubt, those three (and Huff in particular) has been playing great basketball. Still have some concerns about their inside play... with Brekke's injury, Salmsonsen hasn't done anything in his first year, and Traylor I think is hurt also? Just a lot of pressure on those guards.

  5. Salmonson is redshirting and Traylor is academically ineligible for the 2nd semester...huge blow to UND.

  6. Ah gotcha, I was wondering. Thank you for the update there.