WASHINGTON - MARCH 17: Kent Bazemore #24 of the Old Dominion Monarchs grabs a high pass over Ronald Nored #5 of the Butler Bulldogs during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Verizon Center on March 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Your undefeated USF Bulls (3-0) head up to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT to face the Old Dominion Monarchs (2-1) in Game 3 of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off.
Game is scheduled for 2:00 PM and will be streamed online at ESPN3.com. If you don't have a subscription to ESPN3.com, Jim Lighthall and Todd Kalas will have the call for you on 1250 WHNZ. Here are your probable starting lineups for tonight.
|6' Sr. Marquel De Lancey||G||6'1" Soph. LaVonte Dority|
|6'3" Fr. Dimitri Batten
||G||6'4" Jr. Shaun Noriega|
|6'3" Sr. Trian Iliadis
||F||6'8" Soph. Victor Rudd|
|6'8" Fr. Jason Pimental
||F||6'10" Sr. Augustus Gilchrist|
|6'9" Sr. Chris Cooper
||F||6'8" Ron Anderson Jr.|
Old Dominion is a team in transition this year. The Monarchs have to replace 3 starters from last year's team that made it to the NCAA Tournament. One player they do have back is 6'5" SR Kent Bazemore (8.3 PTS/2.0 REB/2.0 STL) who was named CAA Preseason Player of the Year.
However he has been limited so far this season after having foot surgery in August. Somehow he was able to recover in time to start the season, but has seen his minutes diminish after each game so far this year. Stepping up for Bazemore has been Dimitri Batten, who leads the team in scoring with 10.3 PPG. Batten is the team's only legitimate 3-point shooter, going 7-17 so far this year.
Also starting in the backcourt are PG Marquel De Lancey (8.7 PTS/2.3 AST/2.0 REB) and Trian Iliadis (6.7 PTS/4.7 REB/2.3 AST). De Lancey is more of a combo guard who will look for most of his points slashing to the lane. Iliadis stays more on the perimeter, but he hasn't had the same success as Batten, going 3-14 from behind the arc this year. 6'2" Breon Key (6.0 PTS/2.0 REB) is the other option off the bench.
The main option in the post is Chris Cooper (8.3 PTS/10.0 REB/2.3 BLK/2.0 STL) who has been a force on the offensive boards, already grabbing 13 so far this year. Jason Pimentel (6.0 PTS/7.0 REB) has filled in nicely at the 4. The Florida native is still a little inexperienced, but it looks like he has the potential to be productive in the post for the Monarchs. 7' Soph. Anton Larsen (4.3 PTS/2.0 REB) is still a little raw, but his length will be a problem for the Bulls' posts today.
The frontcourt is getting a bit of relief as 6'8" Jr. Nick Wright is back after serving a 3-game suspension. Wright was slated to start this season at power forward, but its unclear how much time he will get tonight.
Even after three games, we still don't know much about ODU. We do know that they turn the ball over quite a bit, but they've basically been without two of their best players. Bazemore is still not 100% and who knows how long he can go. ODU have slowed their tempo down to try to counteract their lack of scoring, and with the exception of Northern Iowa its worked well for them.
In the end it'll come down to post play. The guards should cancel each other out, especially if Bazemore is able to log significant minutes. USF has ODU each have had a significant edge in rebounding this year, and this will be the first time each team has gone up against a frontline as formidable as each other. In the end I think that the USF trio down low will be able to hold off the Monarch bigs.
USF by 5.