Saturday, December 11, 2010

Five pre-game thoughts: Florida Atlantic

1.) Brad Kelleher is free! He probably won’t start, but expect him to get 15-20 minutes off the bench right away. And if you’re reading this on your Blackberry or what not—cheer like hell when he enters the game.

2.) Imagine if Charles Jenkins has a big first half. Jenkins scored 33 of his 40 points after halftime in Wednesday’s epic win over Binghamton, which continued a season-long trend of taking over on offense in the second half. One of these days he’ll be in control from the opening tip. Imagine how high the scoreboard will go when he does. Why not today?

3.) The defense will not rest today. Lost in the hubbub of the big win Wednesday was the fact Binghamton, one of the lowest-scoring teams in the nation, utterly shredded the Dutchmen defense from start to finish. Mo Cassara—pardon the pun—prides himself on stingy defense, and Wednesday marked the first time in six games the Dutchmen allowed more than 63 points. He surely stressed defense in practices Thursday and Friday.

4.) No wait, Brad Kelleher is not free. The NCAA just suspended him another four games for not allowing the guy to the right of him at the bowling alley to go first, way back in 2002.

4b.) Don’t sleep on Florida Atlantic. The Dutchmen are 5-0 all-time against the Owls, but Florida Atlantic has recorded back-to-back “Red Line Upsets” (thank you Mid-Majority) this year over Mississippi State and South Florida. The Owls allow just 68.2 points per game—0.7 points less than the Dutchmen—and average 10.1 turnovers per game, so this is a matchup of similar styles.

5.) Look for a big bounce back game from David Imes, who struggled badly from the opening tip against Binghamton. He’s too good to have two straight duds and he’ll play a big role against a Florida Atlantic team that doesn’t feature a starter taller than 6-foot-8.

5b.) No, really, Brad Kelleher is free. Finally.

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