Sizzling In The Spotlight: TB & PW's Picks For November 14
Wes Washpun and Jeremy Morgan will attempt to continue the winning tradition left by Seth Tuttle at 12:00 PM EST in our "Spotlight Game" against Colorado State. Photo courtesy of Cliff Jette of The Gazette.

Sizzling In The Spotlight: TB & PW's Picks For November 14

After each won 14 games and predicted North Florida "upsetting" Illinois, Tyler Bennett and Peyton Wesner will attempt to claim the top spot in the head-to-head standings for themselves today.

peyton-wesner
Peyton Wesner

Western Illinois over Wisconsin! William & Mary with a dominating victory at NC State! The opening night of the 2015-2016 college basketball season definitely lived up to the hype surrounding it. Could Saturday's action steal some Week 11 college football highlights? Check out who Tyler Bennett and Peyton Wesner are going with in today's top games.

12:00 PM EST
Colorado State @ Northern Iowa
***Spotlight Game

Players to Watch:
Colorado State:
Gian Clavell (SR)
---9.2 PPG & 3.7 RPG.
Northern Iowa:
Wes Washpun (SR)
---7.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.6 APG, & 1.0 SPG.

Bennett:
Both the Colorado State Rams and the Northern Iowa Panthers lose star big men, in J.J. Avila for the Rams and Seth Tuttle for the Panthers. The Panthers relied on their depth a season ago, and those players will be pushed into the spotlight this season. Wes Washpun, Matt Bohannon (5.7 PPG & 1.7 RPG) and Jeremy Morgan will lead the Panthers on offense this season. The depth of Northern Iowa will be too much for Joe De Ciman and the Rams in their season opener.
---Northern Iowa 66, Colorado State 58

Wesner:
No Seth Tuttle for Northern Iowa and no J.J. Avila or Stanton Kidd for Colorado State. In other words, this game would have been more entertaining last year. Both teams are going through very similar situations as their senior leaders from a year ago have graduated. So who has the advantage? UNI, for the reason of playing this MWC/MVC showdown in their house. Expect Panthers' floor general Wes Washpun to probe the Rams' defense, leading to wide open three pointers from Matt Bohannon and Paul Jesperson (5.9 PPG & 2.3 RPG).
---Northern Iowa 67, Colorado State 63

2:00 PM EST
St. Francis (NY) @ Boston College

Players to Watch:
St. Francis (NY):
Tyreek Jewell (SR)
---9.3 PPG & 3.7 RPG.
Boston College:
Eli Carter (SR)
---8.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, & 2.0 APG.

Bennett:
This season, both the Boston College Eagles and the St. Francis (NY) Terriers will be searching for new options on offense. The Eagles are without Ryan Anderson and Olivier Hanlan, while the Terriers are missing Brent Jones and Jalen Cannon. Both teams will turn to new offensive sources to try and score an opening game victory. Boston College comes away victorious in a less-than-stellar game.
---Boston College 69, St. Francis (NY) 65

Wesner:
Last season the St. Francis (NY) was three points short of making their first NCAA Tournament in school history. Now, with "star seniors" Jalen Cannon and Brent Jones into the real world, the chances look slim of making history with only Tyreek Jewell remaining. Equally depleted is the Terriers' opponent this afternoon, Boston College. The Eagles are trying to rebound from a 13-19 season, and that was with 19 points per game scorer Olivier Hanlan in addition to Aaron Brown! Despite eight freshman on their roster, Florida transfer Eli Carter and senior Dennis Clifford (6.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, & 1.2 BPG) will help BC soar to a 1-0 season mark.
---Boston College 61, St. Francis (NY) 54

Florida Gulf Coast @ Ohio

Players to Watch:
Florida Gulf Coast:
Justin Debose (SR)
---11.6 PPG & 3.9 RPG.
Ohio:
Antonio Campbell (JR)
---10.0 PPG & 7.6 RPG.

Bennett:
Appropriately known as Dunk City, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles will contend again this season in the Atlantic Sun. Getting a healthy Filip Cvjeticanin back can’t hurt matters, and the return of Julian DeBose is a big help. DeBose gained valuable experience playing for Kansas in the World University Games in the off-season. Ohio will be a tough test to open up the year, but expect the Eagles to soar to a victory.
---Florida Gulf Coast 76, Ohio 64

Wesner:
The Bernard Thompson and Brett Comer era has finally ended in Fort Myers. Fortunately for Florida Gulf Coast in regard to this matchup, double-double machine Maurice Daly Ndour saw his time in Athens end at the same time for Ohio. With the aforementioned stars no longer suiting up, FGCU's Julian DeBose and Ohio's Antonio Campbell will need to step into the role of scorer. Who will do it better today? That is as tough to answer as who will win the teams' season opener.
---Florida Gulf Coast 64, Ohio 62

7:00 PM EST
Norfolk State @ South Carolina

Players to Watch:
Norfolk State:
Jeff Short (SR)
---19.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, & 1.9 APG.
South Carolina:
Duane Notice (JR)
---11.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG, & 2.7 APG.

Bennett:
Norfolk State could be a power conference team’s nightmare if RaShid Gaston had stuck around for another season. With his transfer to Xavier, Jeff Short is the big man on campus. They take on a much-improved Gamecocks team who are led by Sindarius Thornwell. Incoming freshman P.J. Dozier will have his hands full with Short, but the Gamecocks have enough talent elsewhere to come out on top.
---South Carolina 77, Norfolk State 66

Wesner:
If only RaShid Gaston would have stayed at Norfolk State, the Spartans would win a game like this. Unfortunately, his departure to leaves "star senior" Jeff Short without a teammate that can score the basketball with general ease. As talented as the preseason MEAC Player of the Year is, he will not be able to single-handedly bring his team to victory versus a South Carolina squad that brings back five of its top six scorers, including "jazzy juniors" Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell.
---South Carolina 70, Norfolk State 59

Harvard @ Providence

Players to Watch:
Harvard:
Tommy McCarthy (FR)
---12.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, & 3.0 APG.
Providence:
Kris Dunn (JR)
---15.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 7.5 APG, 2.7 SPG.

Bennett:
This game could have had a different ending if Harvard still had Siyani Chambers in the lineup. Tommy Amaker will have to adapt without Chambers, who is out for the season, and the Crimson likely won’t be the same team they’ve been in recent years. With Providence, Kris Dunn alone gives the team a chance to win on any given night. On opening night, the Friars will come away with a victory, and expect Dunn to stuff the stat sheet.
---Providence 74, Harvard 60

Wesner:
Does it even matter the Crimson are coming off a win against a Division II school? No, not at all. Harvard, which is dealing with absence of their top two scorers' from last season (Wesley Saunders due to graduation and Siyani Chambers from season ending injury) is looking for a player to net needed baskets. On the other side of the court, Providence is also without their best player from last year, LaDontae Henton. Fortunately, the Friars still have future NBA point guard Kris Dunn, who will ultimately own the court in a blowout victory.
---Providence 72, Harvard 50

7:30 PM EST
UCF @ Davidson

Players to Watch:
UCF:
B.J. Taylor (SO)
---12.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, & 2.5 APG.
Davidson:
Jack Gibbs (JR)
---16.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.5 SPG.

Bennett:
Davidson
is expected to contend for the Atlantic 10 title this season, and forward Jack Gibbs is a big reason why. However, the Wildcats should be on upset alert with Central Florida coming to town. Freshman big man Tacko Fall was granted eligibility from the NCAA to play this season, giving them a big boost up front. Additionally, sophomore guards Adonys Henriquez and B.J. Taylor will give the Wildcats fits. But not enough to keep Gibbs and company from edging out a win.
---Davidson 70, UCF 63

Wesner:
Beware Davidson, Tacko is free. UCF seven foot, six inch freshman Tacko Fall was ruled eligible to play by the NCAA yesterday, meaning he will be a factor tonight against the Wildcats. Fall joins a very young and talented Knights' team that includes the stud sophomore duo of B.J. Taylor and Adonys Henriquez. Unfortunately for fans of the university with a 0-10 football team (UCF), Davidson will prevail on the shoulders of upperclassmen Jack Gibbs, Brian Sullivan, and Jordan Barham, who will combine for 50+ on the night.
---Davidson 80, UCF 67

9:00 PM EST
Cleveland State - Akron
---Coaches - Cancer Classic in Kent, OH

Players to Watch:
Cleveland State:
Andre Yates (JR)
---6.0 PPG & 1.7 RPG.
Akron:
Pat Forsythe (SR)
---10.0 PPG & 4.9 RPG.

Bennett:
Cleveland State is always a contender in the Horizon League, relying on their defense to get the job done. This season, they will need to rely on their defense more than ever. They will struggle on offense in the early parts of the season, which bodes well for Pat Forsythe and the Akron Zips. In the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, Akron will open up with a solid victory over a quality opponent.
---Akron 70, Cleveland State 59

Wesner:
NO Trey Lewis and NO Anton Grady, means NO wins against veteran teams for Cleveland State. The Vikings, who are a completely new group due to the transferring of both Lewis (Louisville) and Grady (Wichita State), must find a way to stay competitive in games without scoring a high number of points. So defense is key? Absolutely, but no amount of defense will be able to contain the combination of Pat Forsythe, Noah Robotham, and Kwan Cheatham Jr.
---Akron 69, Cleveland State 54

9:30 PM EST
0-1 Texas Southern @ Creighton
---Men Who Speak Up Main Event

9:30 PM EST

0-1 Texas Southern @ Creighton

Players to Watch:
Texas Southern
Malcolm Riley (SR)
---20.0 PPG & 2.0 RPG.
Creighton:
James Milliken (SR)
---9.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG, & 1.8 APG.

Bennett:
It’s year two for Creighton in the post-Doug McDermott era, and year one didn’t go so well. This time around, the Bluejays have another star on their roster, in Boston University transfer point guard Maurice Watson Jr. He has excellent court vision, a scoring touch, and will be an impact player all season long. Taking on an always tough Texas Southern team, Watson will be the difference and lead his team to victory.
---Creighton 77, Texas Southern 67

Wesner:
On Friday, Texas Southern was ripped to pieces by the New Mexico Lobos. Tonight, the Tigers will still lose, by a much closer margin. While Creighton, who is still trying to find an identity since superstar Doug McDermott graduated, has players that can produce like senior James Milliken and junior Isaiah Zierden, they are going to have another long season in the Big East. However, Texas Southern is not from the aforementioned conference; therefore, the Blue Jays will fly to 1-0. Make sure to keep an out for Texas Southern's Malcolm Riley as he is coming off a 20 point performance against New Mexico.
---Creighton 68, Texas Southern 56

Standings
1. Bennett 14 pts (14-9)
2. Wesner 14 pts (14-9)

***The Spotlight Game is worth two points while the rest are only worth one.

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