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Gameday Capsule: UT Martin at MSU

 

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UT MARTIN (3-7) at MISSISSIPPI STATE (8-1) 

 

BROADCAST INFO: 7 p.m. on SEC Network+ with Bart Gregory and Charlie Winfield, plus the MSU Radio Network. 

 

UT MARTIN's LAST 5: L 65-55 vs. UMKC, L 84-60 at LSU, L 66-63 at UT Chattanooga, W 92-78 at Arkansas State, W 127-92 vs. UC Clermont. 

 

MSU's LAST 5: W 59-56 vs. Jacksonville State, W 83-59 vs. North Dakota State, W 61-59 vs. Dayton, W 95-62 vs. North Georgia, L 65-50 at Cincinnati. 

 

UT MARTIN's RESUMÉ: UT Martin is that classic mid-major that isn't expected to get to the NCAA Tournament without winning its conference but is still good enough to surprise a few Power 5 teams on its way to a possible automatic berth. It already did so at Illinois in the second game of the season, losing 77-74. The LSU blowout is a bit of a headscratcher in that department, though. That being said, UT Martin has clearly shown the ability to lose to teams significantly worse than MSU, according to KenPom: Southern, Akron and Marshall, for instance. 

 

UT MARTIN PROJECTED STARTERS 

 

G 1 Matthew Butler, R-Sr., 6'2", 185 -- 17.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.3 spg, scored all of UTM's last 15 points in the loss to Chattanooga. 

 

G 4 Parrish Hewitt, Fr., 6'3", 175 -- 7.1 ppg, coming off a huge game against UC Clermont: 29 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks. 

 

G 11 Darius Thompson, Jr., 6'3", 185 -- 6.4 ppg, 90 percent free throw shooter, scored 16 points on LSU. 

 

F 12 Fatodd Lewis, R-Jr., 6'8", 225 -- 14.8 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, one of the best rebounders in the Ohio Valley Conference. 

 

C 5 Terrence Parker, Jr., 6'9", 230 -- 5.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, has only had more than 4 rebounds in a game once in his last five after starting the season with a double-double. 

 

MISSISSIPPI STATE PROJECTED STARTERS 

 

G 0 Nick Weatherspoon, Fr., 6'2", 195 -- 11 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.2 spg, scored in double-digits in seven of his nine career games.  

 

G 23 Tyson Carter, Soph., 6'4", 165 -- 13.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.1 spg, 4-14 (28.5 percent) over his last two games after scoring 25, 35 and 20 points in a four-game span. 

 

G 11 Quinndary Weatherspoon, Jr., 6'4", 205 -- 13.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.4 apg, 45 points shy of 1,000 points for his career. 

 

F 35 Aric Holman, Jr., 6'10", 225 -- 11.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.5 bpg (3rd in the SEC), three blocks and four steals against Cincinnati while going scoreless. 

 

F 24 Abdul Ado, R-Fr., 6'11", 250 -- 6.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg, shooting 66.7 percent from the floor. 

 

NOTES: KenPom gives MSU a 92 percent chance of winning this game with a projected final score of 76-61...MSU's field goal percentage defense (37.8) ranks 19th in the nation...In addition to the listed starters above, over the last five games, UT Martin has used a lot of guard DelFincko Bogan and forward Jailen Gill; Bogan is one of the nation's best at getting steals...Abdul Ado is already in the MSU history books: his 20 blocks are tied for 10th most by a MSU freshman, and the Bulldogs still have 22 regular season games left...Matthew Butler is the workhorse for UT Martin, as he's played 88.2 percent of its minutes...22.3 percent of MSU's possessions have ended in turnovers, which ranks 305th out of 351 Division I teams in the nation.

 

 

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