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Gameday Capsule: MSU at Cincinnati

 

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MISSISSIPPI STATE (8-0) at No. 25 CINCINNATI (7-2) 

 

BROADCAST INFO: 6 p.m. on ESPN2 with Kevin Brown and John Thompson. Also on the MSU Radio Network with Neil Price. 

 

CINCINNATI's LAST 5: W 75-48 vs. Richmond (neutral), W 78-53 vs. Wyoming (neutral), W 83-51 vs. Alabama State, L 89-76 at No. 10 Xavier, L 66-60 vs. No. 22 Florida (neutral). 

 

MSU's LAST 5: W 80-75 vs. Stephen F. Austin, W 59-56 vs. Jacksonville State, W 83-59 vs. North Dakota State, W 61-59 vs. Dayton, W 95-62 vs. North Georgia. 

 

CINCINNATI's RESUMÉ: This would be a lot stronger if Cincinnati found a way to win one of its last two games, both of them against top 25 KenPom teams in its first two games against such teams. It's still possible to argue that the Bearcats have done more than MSU has so far by playing competitively with Florida on a neutral court and beating two top 150 KenPom teams (Buffalo and Wyoming) and neutral floors. Long story short: Cincinnati may be an NCAA Tournament team, but it needs to start winning games like this one quick considering it's also got UCLA and SMU in the next six weeks. 

 

CINCINNATI PROJECTED STARTERS 

 

G 3 Justin Jenifer, Jr., 5'10", 175 -- 6.9 ppg, 2.7 apg, only 5 turnovers. 

 

G 34 Jarron Cumberland, Soph,, 6'5", 215 -- 11.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.1 apg, 58.3 percent free throw shooter. 

 

G/F 1 Jacob Evans III, Jr. 6'6", 210 -- 13.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.6 apg,, 10 steals in 9 games, exactly half of his field goal attempts are 3-pointers (42 of 84). 

 

F 11 Gary Clark, Sr., 6'8", 230 -- 13.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.3 spg, 20 turnovers in 9 games. 

 

F 24 Kyle Washington, Sr., 6'9", 230 -- 9.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 8 blocks in 9 games, 17-21 from the FT line. 

 

MISSISSIPPI STATE PROJECTED STARTERS 

 

G 0 Nick Weatherspoon, Fr., 6'2", 195 -- 10.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1 spg, 23-10 assist-turnover ratio. 

 

G 23 Tyson Carter, Soph., 6'4", 165 -- 14 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.75 apg, 88.9 FT percentage (16-18).  

 

G 11 Quinndary Weatherspoon, Jr., 6'4", 205 -- 13.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.6 apg, 53.9 FG percentage, has not had a turnover in two of his last three games but did turn it over five times against Dayton. 

 

F 35 Aric Holman, Jr., 6'10", 225 -- 11 ppg, 7.3 rpg (2.1 offensive rpg), 11 blocks in 8 games, 11-18 from 3-point range. 

 

F 24 Abdul Ado, R-Fr., 6'11", 250 -- 7.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.4 bpg, leads the team with 25 turnovers. 

 

NOTES: KenPom gives MSU a 14 percent chance of winning and projects a final score of 75-64 in favor of the Bearcats. It is the only non-conference game MSU is projected to lose...Other than at the free throw line (67.4 percent), Cincinnati is as good as anyone MSU has faced this year: 37.6 3-point percentage and 53.1 2-point percentage are both top 100 in the nation, as is its steals allowed percentage of 7.6 percent...This game will be decided when MSU has the ball inside the 3-point line: MSU ranks fourth in the nation in 2-point offense (61.9 shooting percentage on 2-pointers) and Cincinnati ranks second in the nation in 2-point defense (38.8 shooting percentage allowed)...I'm calling Gary Clark Cincinnati's best all-around player: he's a top 75 player in terms of offensive efficiency but also deserving of national ranking as a defensive presence in both block percentage and steal percentage.

 

 

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