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Game 1: Wright State

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Wright State's Todd Brown celebrates the team's bid to the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
Wright State's Todd Brown celebrates the team's bid to the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

Conference: Horizon League

2009 Record: 20-13, 12-6(t3-rd). No postseason.

Coach: Brad Brownell, 147-73, 64-33 at Wright State. 3 NCAA appearances, 1 at Wright State.

Key Players:

Todd Brown, 11.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, .398 3FG%,

Cory Copperwood: 9.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 11.9 OR%, 4.4 BLK%

Scouting Wright State:

Wright State was one of the slowest teams in the nation last year, averaging just 62.8 possessions per game, which was 306th in the nation. They slow the game down, play a deliberate pace and hang their hat on their defense, which was the 30th best in the nation last year. On defense they force a good amount of turnovers and force teams to take tough shots. They also will allow teams second chance points on offensive rebounds. Offensively they are a bit challenged. They don't make a high percentage of their shots or create second chances, and lack a true go-to guy, and playing without Vaughn Duggins hurts their depth (he's their best scorer, but suspended). They take care of the ball reasonably well though, and do a good job of getting to the free throw line where they hit 69% last season.

How to Beat Them:

Tempo is going to be the key. Games with more possessions favor more talented teams, and the Huskies definitely have that advantage. If the point guards push the tempo on offense and get out into transition, then apply pressure on defense and create turnovers UW should have no trouble creating a cushion early in this game. Venoy Overton's play is going to be key, because running the transition offense and playing full court defense are his specialties. The Huskies have to take advantage of their superior athletes and get the ball inside to score. If the guards fall in love with the perimeter shot it could get ugly.

Prediction:

Wright State isn't a cupcake. They return basically everybody from a team that was pretty good last year. Because of their style and the fact that they're a senior heavy team, they're not really an ideal opponent to open up against, especially with the Huskies not yet having an established shooter. If the Raiders were at full strength, I'd expect this to be a good game, but unfortunately without Duggins (a first team All Horizon selection) and John David Gardner (injured and the team's best passer) they probably don't have the depth to play with the Huskies for all 40 minutes. It might stick close for the first half, but look for UW to pull away in the second half. The Dawgs should have no trouble winning by double digits in this one. 

UW 67 - WSU 52 (The first of many victories over a WSU this year!)

Vegas: UW -15 (I promise, I picked my score before I looked up the spread)

Viewing: 7:00* FSN NW, Bank of America Arena

*Start time approximate, depending on the finish of the Belmont vs. Portland State game preceeding it.