Sizzling In The Spotlight: Bennett & Wesner's College Basketball For December 10
Photo courtesy of Alonzo Adams and USA TODAY Sports.

Sizzling In The Spotlight: Bennett & Wesner's College Basketball For December 10

With a "vacation" on the horizon, Peyton Wesner and Tyler Bennett will face off for the last time until December 21. Check out who picked who!

peyton-wesner
Peyton Wesner

Would you look at that! Peyton Wesner has taken the lead! After grabbing the top of the standings, Wesner will attempt to hold his spot by choosing wisely in four games this evening. However, with Canisius taking the court against Penn State, could Tyler Bennett start his rally on the backs of the Golden Griffins. Find out who the guys are picking in the last edition of "Sizzling in the Spotlight" until December 21.

7:00 PM EST
3-4 Canisius @ 5-3 Penn State

Canisius
Coming In:
---78-76 Loss - Quinnipiac
Resumé Wins:

---96-86 - Monmouth
Single-Digit Losses:
---77-73 - St. Bonaventure
---98-96 @ Buffalo
Players to Watch:
#1 Malcolm McMillan
(SR)
---21.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, & 4.1 APG.
#22 Phil Valenti (JR)
---15.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, & 2.7 APG,

Penn State
Coming In:
---76-66 Loss @ George Washington
Power Conference Wins:

---68-62 Win - DePaul
---67-58 Win @ Boston College
"Never Shoulda Happened" Losses:

---86-74 - Radford
Players to Watch:
#33 Shep Garner (SO)
---16.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, & 1.9 SPG.
#10 Brandon Taylor (SR)
---15.9 PPG & 6.4 RPG.

Bennett: 
Canisius is a team who relies on their offense. They have topped the 80-point mark five times, and the 90-point mark in three of those games. However, their defense has let them down on a few occasions, for they enter having lost 3 of their last 4 games. Penn State has been steady on defense, allowing less than 68 points per game this season. In a gut-instinct pick, the Golden Griffins steal a win from the Nittany Lions.
---Canisius 80, Penn State 75

Wesner:
Fantastic, another matchup of offense versus defense! Six days ago, the Canisius Golden Griffins "upset" (if you would like to call it that, this journalist will) Justin Robinson's Monmouth Hawks in a game that didn't have an ounce of defense. In fact, when the final horn sounded, Jim Baron's team had posted a whopping 96 points on a team that held Notre Dame to 68 and Dayton to 73 in Orlando! However, the Golden Griffins were edged by Quinnipiac on the second night of a back-to-back the next day. So do they really have any momentum heading into State College to take on Penn State? Although the Nittany Lions were one of two power conference teams to be defeated by Radford this season, Shep Garner and Brandon Taylor's squad will not be handed a loss this evening. Even with five double-digit scorers on Canisius, their defense has been anemic at best. Think about it, they allowed 96 points to Buffalo. Buffalo! No, Penn State won't score 96 points, but with the better of the two defenses, to go along with two very talented scorers, the Nittany Lions will come away with a victory over the nation's 11th highest scoring team.
---Penn State 74, Canisius 72

4-2 Louisiana-Monroe @ 5-2 Kent State

Louisiana-Monroe
Coming In:
---81-70 Win - Louisiana-Lafayette
Quality Wins:

---64-54 - Chattanooga
---81-70 - Louisiana-Lafayette
Player to Watch:

#13 Majok Deng (SR)
---18.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, & 1.5 BPG.

Kent State
Coming In:
---80-75 Win @ NJIT
Quality Wins:

---66-62 @ Cleveland State
---80-75 @ NJIT
Single-Digit Losses:
---72-69 @ Southern Illinois
---85-76 @ Pittsburgh
Player to Watch:
#35 Jimmy Hall
 (JR)
---16.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG, & 3.2 APG.

Bennett:
The Kent State Golden Flashes have played some strong basketball this season, entering Thursday night at 5-2. Their two losses have been by a combined 12 points, and they are riding a mini two-game winning streak. Jimmy Hall and Khaliq Spicer give the team a formidable front court duo, and the Warhawks will be in for a tough challenge to keep them under wraps. Kent State wins their third straight game.
---Kent State 80, Louisiana-Monroe 71


Wesner:
47. Last season, Kent State and Louisiana-Monroe combined for a total of 47 wins! So far this year, the two squads already have nine! In a game that will pit two of the best post players east of the Mississippi River against each other in Majok Deng and Jimmy Hall, these two squads facing off has the potential to be the best game of the night! But who wins? Through this journalist's eyes, Deng is a better player than Hall. Why? Deng is more of a defensive anchor, who shoots better from outside the paint and at the charity stripe than his counterpart. Although the Golden Flashes do have the better of the two backcourts thanks to their very good guard duo of Kellon Thomas and Xavier Pollard, the Warhawks have more depth. Remember this, Kent State lost a mid-November game in Carbondale against Southern Illinois. Okay, the Salukis are currently 8-1, but here's a secret: SIU won't win more than 16 games this season. In other words, they have just played very easy opponents! So, with that on the table, Kent State should have won that game. Luckily for the Golden Flashes this evening's battle is in Kent, Ohio. What does that mean? The points from home-court advantage will lead to a quality mid-major victory.
---Kent State 79, Louisiana-Monroe 74


7:30 PM EST
7-2 Iowa @ 7-0 #4 Iowa State (ESPN2)
***Spotlight Game

Iowa
Coming In:
---90-56 Win - Western Illinois
Resumé Wins:

---89-61 @ Marquette
---84-61 - #20 Wichita State
---78-75 - Florida State
Single-Digit Losses:
---82-77 - Dayton
---68-62 - #17 Notre Dame
Player to Watch:
#20 Jarrod Uthoff
(SR)
---17.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.0 SPG, & 2.9 BPG.

#4 Iowa State
Coming In:
---63-34 Win - Buffalo
Power Conference Wins:

---68-62 - Colorado
---99-77 - Virginia Tech
---84-73 - Illinois
Players to Watch:
#31 Georges Niang
(SR)
---16.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, & 3.5 APG.
#2 Abdel Nader (SR)
---15.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
#11 Monte Morris (JR)
---15.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 6.8 APG, & 2.0 SPG.
#32 Jameel McKay (SR)
---14.0 PPG, 11.8 RPG, & 1.5 BPG.

Bennett:
An instate rivalry game is one game that fans look forward to each and every season, and the battle between the Hawkeyes and Cyclones fits the bill. In the absence of Fred Hoiberg, the Cyclones have been rolling under new bench boss Steve Prohm. Georges Niang and company are one of the nation’s best teams, and they will flex their muscle in a rout of the Hawkeyes.
---Iowa State 86, Iowa 70

Wesner:
Jarrod Uthoff versus Georges Niang, Abdel Nader, Monte Morris, and Jameel McKay? Hmm, this is going to get ugly. Even with "star senior" Jarrod Uthoff and key contributors Peter Jok and Adam Woodbury, the Iowa Hawkeyes do not stand a chance tonight against the Iowa State Cyclones. That is, if Steve Prohm's squad continues to come ready to play. Since an opening night "slug it out" win over Colorado, Iowa State has won all games by at least 11 points. Tonight will be no different. Yes, the Iowa Hawkeyes are a very formidable foe, but Woodbury is too susceptible to foul trouble and Jok is just inconsistent. Throw in the fact that Niang could be guarding Uthoff, and all signs look to a frustrating night for Fran McCaffery.
---Iowa State 82, Iowa 67

8:00 PM EST 
3-7 IUPUI @ 2-5 Missouri State (ESPN3)

IUPUI
Coming In:
---80-53 Loss - #11 Purdue
Quality Wins:
---72-70 @ Indiana State
Player to Watch:
#0 Darell Combs
(JR)
---15.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 2.9 APG, & 1.6 SPG.

Missouri State
Coming In:
---64-63 Win @ Oklahoma State
Resumé Wins:

---64-63 @ Oklahoma State
Single-Digit Losses:

---74-69 - Minnesota
---69-68 - Utah State
Player to Watch:
#4 Dequon Miller
(JR)
---10.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, & 3.3 APG.

Bennett:
Missouri State is coming off their best performance of the season, a 64-63 road win over Oklahoma State. Dequon Miller put up 21 points in the win, and that could be the game to get the Bears back on track. However, the IUPUI Jaguars have been more impressive, even in their losses (4 defeats by single digits). The Jaguars come away with a big road win.
---IUPUI 78, Missouri State 70

Wesner:
It's TAX Season! Following a fairly turbulent start to the season (20.3% field goal percentage), Motlow State transfer Dequon Miller played his best game in a Missouri State uniform by netting 21 points on 8 for 16 shooting from the floor. Tonight, he will have another great game! Despite IUPUI entering Springfield, Missouri, with a 1-0 record versus Missouri Valley Conference opponents (opening night victory at Indiana State) and four of their seven losses being of the single-digit variety, the Jaguars simply do not have enough offensive firepower to head back to Indianapolis with a victory. For instance, Marcellus Barksdale's stats have somehow regressed in his senior's year! Although Loyola Ramblers transfers Nick Osbourne and Matt O'Leary have played very well for their new school, Darell Combs has been the only accountable scorer. Make sure to keep an eye on the one-on-one battle between IUPUI's Combs and Missouri State's Miller, for both have the potential to be the best guards in all of mid-major basketball by the end of their collegiate career.
---Missouri State 67, IUPUI 63

Standings:
1. Wesner 146 pts (117-62)
2. Bennett 141 pts (113-66)

***Spotlight Games are worth two points in opposed to one.

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