Our College Hoops staff broken down three of the best games of the night from three different conferences, including the Texas A&M vs.. . LSU game, the ACC Florida State vs.. . Clemson and the Big Ten’s Purdue vs.. . Rutgers.
If you’ve finished watching the Cheez-It Bowl and need something else to get you through the night, you’ve come to the right place. When those games are over, move on to the Alamo Bowl for even more college sports fun.
Check out each of the three college hoops game summaries listed below, including betting analysis and selection.
All quoted odds were updated from Monday evening and via DraftKings. Specific betting recommendations at the end of each matchup breakdown come from Sports Betting which, at the time of writing, offers preferred odds.
Always shop at the best price on our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically shows the best lines for each game.
Texas A&M opens the SEC game on Tuesday when it comes to Baton Rouge to face LSU.
Texas A&M has taken care of the business against smaller opponents so far this season, but failed its biggest test against the TCU. Buzz Williams is looking to improve his squad from 131st place in the last KenPom ranking last year.
To do that, he needs to address a few key problem areas for the Aggies to be considered an above-average SEC roster.
The Tigers should be one of the better teams in the SEC behind Cameron Thomas and Trendon Watford as they are in the top 10 for offensive efficiency according to KenPom.
The Tigers rank sixth in offensive efficiency, and much of that can be attributed to Thomas and Watford. Thomas joined a starting grid that brought back three starters who averaged double digits last season and is now leading the pack at 22. 8 points per game.
The reason LSU is so good offensively is because they absolutely turned off the lights. The tigers occupy the 11th. Place in the effective field target percentage and hit with a ridiculous 62 shots. 9% clip out of the arch.
Defensively, Texas A&M has improved dramatically from last season, but there is still a long way to go. The Aggies occupy the 46. Place in defensive efficiency and are below the NCAA average when defending enemy shots.
However, they excelled at turning opponents around as they have the ninth highest turnover rate in the country. The LSU takes really good care of the ball so the Aggies may have some difficulty defending.
The reason the Aggies struggled on offense last year was because they didn’t have a consistent point guard play and a consistent top scorer.
These issues weren’t fixed until 2020, which has resulted in Texas A&M ranking 114th on offensive efficiency. The biggest area of concern right now on the offensive is the maintenance of the ball. The Aggies spin the ball on Jan.. around. 2% of their property, the second worst rate of any Power Five school in the country.
Another big problem is that almost 28% of their points come from the free throw line, which is the country’s seventh highest percentage. Relying on points from the charity strike is unsustainable, so the Aggies will have to shoot the ball much better if they want to conflict with the LSU’s offense.
The Tigers weren’t good at defense, but they did an excellent job of defending 3-ball and only allowed 27. 9% to the opponents in the first six games. Texas A&M shoots a low percentage of 3 so it can fight offensively on Tuesday night.
The LSU should be able to outperform Texas A&M but are currently looking at some missing parts.
Its undisputed leader Javonte Smart missed the final game against Nicholls State due to COVID-19 protocols. If he can’t walk on Tuesday, I’ll have a hard time seeing how the LSU will find consistency on both ends of the floor.
Smart is worth about 2. 5 points on the dispersion in my projections. So if he can’t walk the tigers will only be projected as -3. 03 favorites at home.
So I think the aggies at 7 have some worth. 5, but that is only possible if Smart cannot play.
Two of the ACC’s top teams meet on Tuesday night when the state of Florida travels to Clemson. Old school basketball fans will love this match as the two clubs play very hard and are among the best in the nation defensively.
Florida State comes 5-1 into this game and ranks 18th in the AP poll. place. The Seminoles suffered a surprise home defeat to UCF in December. 19, but they also have several quality gains.
Despite losing two lottery picks, Leonard Hamilton did a great job reloading and has a team capable of battling for another ACC title in the regular season.
Clemson is 6-1 and got off to a hot start. He has already defeated four Power Five opponents. The Tigers dropped their ACC prelude at Virginia Tech, but got a great opportunity to take out the Seminoles after eight days of rest at home.
Hamilton has been one of the top coaches in college basketball for the past decade. He continues to recruit at a high level and take on players who fit his style of play. Not many programs can lose two lottery picks and still field a top 25 team to attend a large conference, but Hamilton has the Seminoles at that level.
This year’s Florida state roster has all the typical Hamilton qualities. Most importantly, it’s very deep and balanced. Nine Florida state players play double-digit minutes on average, and MJ Walker is the only player to average more than 30 minutes per game.
The Seminoles have had great success on both ends of the ground. You are on the 31st. Place in the adapted offensive efficiency and the 29. Place in the adapted defensive efficiency per KenPom.
Much of the Florida state’s defensive success has been attributed to superior length and athleticism. Start guards Walker and Anthony Polite stand 6-foot-5 respectively. 6-foot-6. Scottie Barnes, 6-foot-9, is more of a real guard, but starts with the three and can guard almost any position thanks to his length and athletic ability.
Hamilton has a strong four-man rotation in the forecourt, with each player standing at least 6-foot-8 and the middle balsa Koprivica at 7-foot-1 being the tallest.
The offense is spearheaded by Walker and five-star freshman Barnes. With the departures of Trent Forrest and Devin Vassell, Walker has taken on a larger role and exceeded expectations early on. He scores 16 points per game if 42% shoot out of 3 and 92% shoot out of the strip. Those numbers will put him on an All-ACC team if he holds it up for the rest of the season.
Barnes only collects just under 11 points per game, but what was really impressive is the skill he showed as a distributor. Barnes leads the team with 4 assists. 2 per game and is a nightmare to defend when he is the main broker.
His only weakness was shooting outside early on. Barnes is only doing 26. 7% of his 3-point attempts per year. The Tigers will try to take advantage of this by keeping Barnes off the trail and forcing him to hit her with jump shots.
Brad Brownell did a great job putting together the current Clemson roster, which is one of the best he’s had in his eleven years at school.
Brownell has put together a nice mix of veterans and young talent to work with. The Tigers are also one of the deeper teams in the ACC, with an 11-man rotation and no player playing an average of more than 27 minutes per competition.
That depth plays a huge role in Clemson’s success in defense, where it ranks second in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.
The Tigers have the third best goal defense in college basketball and only give up 53. 4 points per game. They stifle opposing crimes and keep the opposition 37% out of the field and 28% out of the 3-point range.
Those numbers are even more impressive when you factor in Clemson’s schedule, as there were already five major conference opponents in the first seven games.
Aamir Simms, preseason All-ACC striker, is one of the conference’s top center-backs. He offensively leads the way for the Tigers and posts 12. 1 point per game on 59. 6% shoot.
Brownell has the luxury of a roster with two very good point guards. Al-Amir Dawes and Fordham Transfer Nick Honor both play at a high level and are often on the floor together trying to get the most out of their talent. Both can score and distribute the stone, and Honor is an excellent outside shooter.
As a team, the tigers are nothing special from the outside and do 34% of their shots from a distance. If Honor and Clyde Trapp don’t see their shots drop early, it could be a long night for the Clemson offense.
This is an important early league game as both clubs have what it takes to fight for the conference crown. With Duke, Virginia and North Carolina all appearing to be off-season, the state of Florida looks like the best team in the league, and Clemson is not far behind.
I expect tight play across the board and the spread feels about right as Clemson is a small favorite at home.
I see value at the bottom when two elite defenses clash and no crime is played in a hurry. At 131 points, the total is pretty low, but I don’t think it’s pretty low enough. The first team to 60 should come out with the win.
The Boilermakers have struggled in their previous two street games, a 20 point lead in Miami and a 15 loss in Iowa. Meanwhile, Rutgers goes into this game with five home wins, 6-1, including an impressive 91-88 win over Illinois.
In the past, the Boilermakers relied on dynamic players like Caleb Swanigan and Carsen Edwards to get the bulk of the rating while they relied on role-players and shooters to level their lineups. This season they are a team where « the whole is greater than the sum of the parts ».
The foundation is Trevion Williams, a 6-foot-10, 265-pound man. The big junior has hit double digits in five straight games, including a 30-point, 11-rebound performance against Indiana State.
Junior Sasha Stefanovic (11. 3 PPG, 3. 5 APG, 50. 9% (3 points) is a light-out shooter, but only averages six points per game and 30% (3 out of 10) out of 3 in Purdue’s two real street games.
Freshman Guard Brandon Newman (10. 1 PPG, 44. 2% 3 points) scored a game high of 17 points in the Boilermakers’ 73-70 home win against Maryland. Junior Guard Eric Hunter (12. 8 PPG, 3. 5 APG) looks perfectly healthy after a knee injury last season and has averaged 17 PPG in Purdue’s last two wins.
Preseason production of 7-foot-4,285-pound newbie Zach Edey has slowed, with six points or less in three of the last four games. With Rutgers’ up-tempo style (114. at the adjusted speed per KenPom) the efficiency of Edey will again be limited.
Purdue always plays a strong defense and is again in the top 40 for defensive efficiency. But he’s struggling to find consistent offensive options on the road, and he has a huge lead over a understaffed Miami team.
At home against Maryland, the Boilermakers scored 40 of their 73 points from Williams’ inside moves and 3-pointers (10 of 22). . Your only path to success in this game is to play superior defense and get hot from the depths, which will be difficult against a similarly defensive Rutgers team.
The Scarlet Knights are expected to rank fifth in the preseason Big Ten poll, and rank 11th with wins in Maryland and at home against Illinois. Place in the country. They also beat Ohio State, 59-51, on the road with eight minutes before center Myles Johnson was fouled.
Your offense begins with Junior Ron Harper Jr. . The 6-foot-6 guard is the seventh best goalscorer in the country at 23. 4 points per game. He shoots 50% (25 out of 50) of 3 while adding 7. 1 rebounds and 2. 1 templates per game.
Harper is accompanied by Senior Jacob Young (15). 9 ppg) and Junior Montez Mathis (14. 3 ppg). Young is a great mediator (5th. 6 ppg) and superior defender (2. 4 steals) but took a severe drop in the Ohio State loss and had to be helped in the locker room.
The key to this game is 6-foot-11, 255-pound center Myles Johnson. With newcomer Cliff Omoruyi out of action for an indefinite period of time due to a knee injury, Johnson has to stay out of bad trouble.
Rutgers was beaten 29-9 by the state of Ohio after Johnson fouled. Omoruyi has not trained since the injury and was excluded from this game.
Rutgers should get a boost with the return of 6-foot-7 freshman Mawot Mag, who missed the team’s first three conference games after injuring his ankle in training. Mag provides the much-needed depth with three rebounds per game in just 11 minutes.
Senior Guard Geo Baker is back in shape after an ankle sprain and has played an average of more than 30 minutes per game in the three games since his return. He became the first Scarlet Knight to be named a preseason All-Big Ten since attending the conference in 2014.
Rutger’s calling card is defense, and few teams can match the efficiency of the Scarlet Knights under the pikielli. In the past four seasons, Rutgers finished 28th this year. , 46. , sixth and 15th. Place on the defensive.
The Knights are great at defending 3-pointers and keeping opponents down to just 30. 5% from outside the arch. This is especially important against a Purdue team generating 36. 8% of your points from 3. until 45. Place in the country.
This line opened at Rutgers -4 but set to 3. 5 due to the uncertainty of injury.
Omoruyi’s absence hurts Rutger’s depth, but Mag’s return, Pikiell’s defense, and success in the RAC should be enough to beat Purdue.
I expect Purdue to do another poor street shooting as the Scarlet Knights defense limits Williams inside. I support Rutgers and put the 3. 5 points at home in which projects a comfortable home win should be.
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College Basketball, Purdue Boilermakers Men’s Basketball, Ohio State Buckeyes Soccer, Rutgers Scarlet Knights Men’s Basketball
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