The Match up: Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils at Washington Huskies
Game Info: 12/27/13- 7:30 pm tip off at Alaska Airlines Arena
TV Info: PAC 12 Networks
Mississippi Valley State Record: 2013-14: 3-7, 2012-2013: 5-23
Coach: The Delta Devils are coached by second year man Chico Potts. Potts was the primary assistant coach on the 2011-12 Mississippi Valley State team that won the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) regular season and tournament titles, and made the NCAA First Four, where they eventually lost to Western Kentucky. Potts is a Mississippi native who played at both LSU and Delta State. Potts was suspended from the team in July after being arrested on a domestic violence charged, but was reinstated back onto the team later that month.
The Delta Devils have faced off against many major conference opponents this season, including matchups against Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Northwestern. The Delta Devils will go to Pullman to face the Cougars on Saturday after playing the Huskies tomorrow.
Mississippi Valley State’s first win of the season came in a blowout 108-48 win over Champion Baptist College. Junior DeAngelo Priar led all Delta Devils in scoring with 18, and 13 players so action for the Devils. The Delta Devils other two wins came against Longwood University and Tougaloo College.
Just one player from Mississippi Valley State has gone on to play in the NBA. Alphonso Ford was a 2nd round pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1993. Ford played just 11 games in the NBA. He played six games with the Seattle SuperSonics in the 93-94 season. Ford averaged 32.7 PPG for the Delta Devils during the 1990-91 season and finished his collegiate career with a 29 PPG average.
Players to Watch
Anthony McDonald- The 6’1 junior guard is the team’s leading scorer at 15.3 PPG. McDonald hails from Aberdeen, Mississippi, and played two years at Mississippi Delta CC before signing with the Delta Devils. McDonald shoots 40% from the field, 43% from three, and 81% from the line, but isn’t much of a facilitator, averaging just 1.5 APG. His high scoring game of the season came in an 81-79 loss to Monmouth in which he scored 26 points.
DeAngelo Priar- The 6’3 junior guard is the Delta Devils 2nd leading scorer at 12.6 PPG. Priar transferred to Mississippi Valley State after playing two years at Holmes Community College in Mississippi, where he averaged 12 PPG as a sophomore. Priar is a native of Tchula, Mississippi.
James Currington- The 6’6 freshman forward is the team’s leading rebounder at 5.9 per game and scores 10.1 PPG. Currington played at Paul W. Bryant High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and averaged 14 PPG his senior season. Currington shoots 57% from the field and 67% from the free throw line.
The Huskies Win If…
They get some production out of their frontcourt. At this point you can tell that the Huskies have the guards to compete with almost any team in the nation, but they have struggled to get production at both ends of the court from their big men. Mississippi Valley State’s tallest player, 6’11 center Julius Francis, plays just 11 minutes per game, and the rest of the Delta Devils roster is similar to the UW’s, a plethora of guards and forwards. If the Huskies are able to score in the paint and pound the Delta Devils down low, this one could end up being a blowout.
The Huskies Lose If…
A lot would have to go wrong for the Huskies to lose this one, but I think it all starts with turnovers. After playing a solid first half against UConn, the UW was never able to come back due to 11 2nd half turnovers. The same thing happened when UW held a 9 point lead at half against San Diego State but blew it because of turnovers. Mississippi Valley State averages 77.2 PPG as a team, so the Huskies can’t afford to turn the ball over and give up easy buckets. On a night where they will be competing with the bowl game and a limited amount of fans will be in the stands, the Huskies need to stay focused and play with intensity to avoid a letdown.
Sitting as a 23 point favorite, the Huskies should win this one easy but will have to bring the intensity themselves as many fans will be at home watching the football game. The UW’s last few non conference match ups provide them with some confidence boosters as they head into Pac-12 play and this game against the Delta Devils should be no different. In the end, the Huskies are the more talented team and if they come to play with focus and passion, they should have no problem.
Leave your predictions for the game in the comments section below. Go Dawgs!