Friday, December 21, 2007

San Francisco Preview

If you kept watching the Pitt/Duke game last night, you were in for a treat. After a twelve point halftime deficit, the Panthers stormed back to tie with 5 and half minutes remaining. The closing minutes of regulation and overtime made up some of the most exciting basketball you'll see in nonconference play. Congrats to Pitt for staying unbeaten, but losing Mike Cook for the year with an ACL tear must make the victory bittersweet. Georgetown will try to hold serve and stay atop the Big East power poll with a win over Memphis tomorrow.

On to Saturday's opponent. Playing a Jesuit university should make for good fare no matter the opponent. The alma mater of Pete Rozelle plays in the West Coast Conference with #18 Gonzaga and previously ranked St. Mary's. The Dons won back to back national titles in 1955 and 1956 and claim 15 NCAA tournament appearances (but only one in the last 25 years).

San Francisco has played two major opponents so far this year. The season opener was a 71-55 loss to Oklahoma followed two weeks later by a 31 point defeat to the Oregon Ducks. In both contests, the Dons kept their turnovers pretty low but had few assists to contrast them. They were outclassed on the boards by the Ducks 39-27 and the Sooners 35-31. San Francisco is horrid from beyond the arc, only hitting 7 of 40 attempts in those two games and giving up 7.5 more made baskets to their opponents with a similar number of attempts.

Sophomore forward #33 Dior Lowhorn is the top scorer, averaging 21 points and 7 rebounds a game. #10 Manny Quezada can rack up a good number of assists from the shooting guard slot, but also turns it over in bunches. He averages 17 points, 4 assists, and 5.5 turnovers a game. 12 of those turnovers came in one contest against UC Irvine. Freshman #13 Myron Strong seems to be taking over more ballhandling responsibility and averages 14 points and 4 assists a game. #41 Danny Cavic rounds out the list of frequent starters. He'll play on the wing.

#0 Hyman Taylor started down low last game, but has only played more than 20 minutes twice this season. #23 James Morgan will rotate in and out with Taylor in the post. Christian Hernandez and Dean Hadley will also get some minutes, but 7 footer Jared Casey will probably sit this one out.

With the top four players averaging 30+ minutes a game and no one else over 14, this will be a interesting exercise in bench depth. It's not often that Coach Brey uses his starters less frequently than the opposing coach.

Shouldn't be too much trouble, but we need to come out focused and put the Dons away early.

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