College Hoops Tuesday: Your Commentary

    
January 4th, 2010

Tuesday's schedule is a light one but there is a very good game to check out in the Mountain West as New Mexico visits a talented group of Aztecs. Darington Hobson has been outstanding for the Lobos and if you concentrate solely on the junior college transfer than a player like Roman Martinez can jump up and make you pay. Steve Alford's squad picked up its lone loss of the season on the road, falling at Oral Roberts, so it would not be a surprise if SDSU pulled off the upset. 

Steve Fisher has one of the best freshmen on the West Coast in Kawhi Leonard, who's boosted by the fact that he doesn't have to be an "all-world" player on the floor. Billy White leads the team in scoring with an average of 12.6 points per game, and four players are currently averaging double figures. They aren't as proficient as the Lobos offensively, meaning that they're going to have to defend and take advantage of any mistakes New Mexico makes. It's the conference opener for both teams and a win for the Lobos would be huge since it would be on the road. 

As for the other games on the schedule, Minnesota's trip to Purdue stands to offer the most drama. But if Matt Painter's Boilermakers play the way they did in whipping West Virginia the Golden Gophers will be in trouble. And while neither team is much of a threat right now for an at-large bid, Southern Miss visiting Marshall will give some insight as to who may be able to challenge the likes of Memphis, Tulsa and UTEP in Conference USA. Freshman big man Hassan Whiteside has been sensational for the Thundering Herd this season. 

TV GAMES

7p ESPN Minnesota at Purdue
7p ESPN2 Texas at Arkansas
7p ESPNU Notre Dame at South Florida
9p BTN Iowa at Illinois
10:30p MTN New Mexico at San Diego St 

OTHER GAMES

7p Southern Miss at Marshall
7p Georgia Tech at Georgia
8p UCF at Ole Miss

ONE PREDICTION

New Mexico over San Diego State: Look for this to be close affair and if New Mexico can survive an early surge from the Aztecs they'll likely escape with the win. While Hobson and Martinez get the bulk of the press for the Lobos, keep an eye on guards Phillip McDonald and Dairese Gary. One of these two, if not both, may have to exceed their scoring averages of just over ten points per game. Lobos by four.