Friday, November 19, 2010

Five pre-game thoughts: Western Kentucky

1.) Shake it off. Lopsided loss to North Carolina aside, this can still be a productive and positive weekend for the Flying Dutchmen. In fact, it was two years ago this weekend that the Dutchmen bounced back from a one-sided loss to an ACC foe (98-69 to Clemson) to win two games at the Charleston Classic. That loss to the Tar Heels will sting a lot less if the Dutchmen come home 3-1 or 2-2 instead of 1-3.

2.) This is a good matchup for the Dutchmen: According to the Western Kentucky game notes, the Hilltoppers have only one starter as tall as 6-foot-6, and Juan Pattillo played just 18 minutes last night against Minnesota. This could be a confidence-boosting game for Greg Washington as well as David Imes’ coming out party.

3.) Look for all five starters to play at least 28 minutes. Only Shemiye McClendon played as many as 15 minutes off the bench last night in a 44-point loss, so Mo Cassara seems committed to riding his horses as much as possible—out of necessity—until Brad Kelleher is freed from NCAA prison. Expect McClendon, Yves Jules and Stephen Nwaukoni to get the most time among the reserves.

4.) Mike Moore has been solid in two games, but he’ll need to be more accurate from 3-point land to really give the Dutchmen that 1-2 punch they have lacked since In Guards We Trust. A 4-of-9 shooting tonight would go a long way towards ensuring a win.

5.) Dwan McMillan needs to show the form he displayed against Molloy and Farmingdale. McMillan’s first Division I game was against UNC, so his struggles were entirely understandable, but he’s the Dutchmen’s only answer at point guard until Kelleher returns so McMillan will need to channel Chaz Williams, circa early last season, to settle the Dutchmen in the early portion of the non-conference schedule.

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