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Kennesaw State Owls Game Preview/Open Thread

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The Huskies try to extend their winning streak to 3 games

NCAA Basketball: Kennesaw State at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Tuesday, 11/28/17

Tip-Off Time: 6:00pm PST

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: KOMO 1000

Location: Hec Edmundson Pavilion at Alaska Airlines Arena, Seattle, Washington

Betting Line: Washington -14.5

Kennesaw State 2017-18 Statistics:

Record: 1-5

Points For per Game: 68.4 ppg (252nd)

Points Against per Game: 82.8 ppg (306th)

Strength of Schedule: 51st

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 98.0 (281st)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 109.7 (301st)

Note: The efficiency numbers are weighted with preseason expectations. They’re a better way to judge offense and defense than raw point totals right now (and always) given the small sample sizes.

Kennesaw State Key Players:

C- Jordan Jones, Sr. 6’8, 205: 6.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.2apg, 44.8% FG, 71.4% FT

Jones is the biggest body on the Owls at 6’8 and is primarily in the game as a defensive rebounder since he doesn’t take many shots. He has 0 blocks on the season so he’s not a true rim protector.

F- Kosta Jankovic, Jr. 6’7, 200: 9.6ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.8apg, 47.1% FG, 80% FT, 44.4% 3pt

The Serbian stretch 4 has added a 3-point shot to his arsenal so he can’t be ignored around the arc. He’s been incredibly efficient and is Kennesaw’s best offensive rebounder.

F- Nick Masterson, Sr. 6’6, 202: 12ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.2apg, 55.8% FG, 100% FT, 55.7% 3pt

Masterson is 15th in the country in True Shooting % so despite the fact that he doesn’t touch the ball much, he’s their biggest offensive weapon. He is priority #1 for closing out on shooters and the UW defenders in the corner can’t lose track of him when the ball rotates.

G- James Scott, Jr. 6’5, 188: 15.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.0apg, 36.7% FG, 68.8% FT, 26.5% 3pt

Scott is 6th in the country in percentage of his team’s shots so he’s incredibly ball dominant. And it’s hurting the team because all of his percentages are horrendous. If he wants to score 18 points on 22 shots then the Huskies should be more than happy to let him.

G- Tyler Hooker, Sr. 6’0, 150: 10.7ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.5apg, 41.3% FG, 53.8% FT, 31.3% 3pt

Hooker is the shortest player for the Owls but Masterson is more of a point guard than he is. Looking at his statistical profile he’s pretty average around the board and not exceptional at anything in particular.

The Outlook

While I’m not aware of a state called Kennesaw, the Owls are from Kennesaw, Georgia. Don’t feel bad, I didn’t know either. This will be the worst team that the Huskies have encountered to this point. If they are finally going to win a game by double digits, this should be it.

The Owls have played a tough schedule (road losses to Butler and Florida State) but their only win was against D-II Piedmont and their closest loss was in overtime at home to #219 Tennessee State. The offense looks very similar to UC Davis in that it’s dominated by one player, is above average shooting 3’s, but attempts among the fewest 3’s in the country. James Scott dominates the ball but this team would be a lot better off giving possessions to Masterson. If they do that and choose to shoot a ton of 3’s then the offense could find success against UW.

There aren’t a lot of defensive strengths in the Owls’ statistical profile but their best is that they aren’t giving up a ton of free throws. That will be tested against a team in Washington that has to grind out opponents at the charity stripe. Kennesaw State has decent size everywhere but down low so expect the Huskies to attack with Noah Dickerson and hope he doesn’t pick up early fouls.

UW hasn’t been able to pull away in their games against teams in Kennesaw’s general tier in Eastern and Seattle U but both those teams are better than the Owls. If Washington is in a one possession game with 2 minutes left against this team then that’s a very bad sign. I think the Huskies finally manage to blow one open tonight.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 88, Kennesaw State Owls- 69

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