1.) We don’t condone betting here at Defiantly Dutch—mostly because we suck at it—but if you’re wagering on tonight’s game, take the under. The Flying Dutchmen allowed 62 points in each of their final two Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic games while Wagner has given up 58, 73 and 54 points in its first three games. Each team also has three new starters under a first-year head coach, so it may not be the smoothest of games, especially on Nov. 26. Add it all up and this should be what Tom Pecora used to dub a rock fight.
2.) Charles Jenkins is going to have a big game. The senior superstar looked spent Sunday, when he took just 10 shots in the loss to Nebraska. Jenkins was surely grumpy after the 0-3 trip to Puerto Rico, so focus won’t be a problem. And the few days off should have him primed for a classic box score stuffer.
3.) This will be a good test for Dwan McMillan. The junior point guard looked much better Sunday and was one of the few bright spots in the loss to Nebraska, but Wagner coach Danny Hurley was McMillan’s coach at St. Benedict’s and knows his former player’s strengths and weaknesses as well as anyone. It’ll be a good sign if McMillan continues his improvement against his old coach.
4.) Greg Washington has to get involved. Don’t be surprised if Jenkins gives Washington the same kind of pep talk he gave him before the Farmingdale game, when Jenkins promised Washington he’d block the first shot of the game. The Dutchmen cannot succeed if Washington is scoring two points a night and is merely adequate on the boards.
5.) Why aren’t there more weekend night games at Hofstra? Not really related to this game, just a personal rant. This is only the second Friday night home game in the last 10 years. Part of that is because the CAA rarely plays on Friday nights, but you’ll notice the Dutchmen never play conference games on Saturday nights, either. The best way to actually boost attendance at Flying Dutchmen home games and get the students on board is to turn these into weekend night events. Sorry, but there’s a lot more buzz to a 7 or 8 pm start than a 4 pm start. And yes, “buzz” might be the operative word among the students who arrive for a night start, but it’s not like a game on campus is going to inspire students to do something that students have done, every single night of every single week of every single year, since the dawn of time, or at least 1935. Explain there will be a zero tolerance policy who try to turn this a basketball game into Happy Hour at Fezziwigs (Google it, kids!) and enjoy the heightened anticipation and better atmosphere that nighttime games provide. Rant over.