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Men’s Basketball @ James Madison Preview

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Probable Starters:

UMBC (0-4):
C- Robbie Jackson (9.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, .571 FG%)
G- Adrian Satchell (3.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
G- Chauncey Gilliam (15.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.3 spg)
G- Matt Spadafora (7.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.3 spg)
G- Chris De La Rosa (6.5 ppg, 7.3 apg, 3.3 rpg)

Key Reserves:
F- Jake Wasco (0.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg, .500 FT%)
G- Bakari Smith (1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, .250 FG%)
G- Shawn Grant (10.5 ppg, 1.3 spg, .484 FG%)
G- Nick Groce (2.5 ppg, 1.0 apg, 0.8 rpg)
G- Brian Neller (3.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg, .222 3-PT%)

James Madison (2-2)
F- Trevon Flores (2.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.8 bpg)
F- Julius Wells (13.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.8 apg)
G- Ben Louis (6.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 apg)
G- Darren White (14.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, .432 FG%)
G- Pierre Curtis (10.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.5 apg)

Key Reserves:
F- Matt Parker (5.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, .400 FG%)
F- Dazzmond Thornton (6.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg, .667 FG%)
G- Alioune Diouf (3.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, .294 FG%)

As UMBC sits at 0-4 they are absolutely desperate for a win. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a little shake up in the starting five so Randy Monroe can get his five best players on the court. That would mean either moving Adrian Satchell or Matt Spadafora out in placee of Shawn Grant. While some say he is a great guy off the bench, the stats don’t lie. He’s second on the team in scoring average and only playing about half of the game (21.0 minutes per game). Right now he is just more productive that Spadafora and Satchell. While his defense is not great, Spadafora and Satchell have had very bad moments multiple times this year…and besides, they are 0-4, something isn’t working. But don’t expect any change this game.

One thing that UMBC does have going for them is speed. But the problem with that is they lack size outside of Robbie Jackson and Jake Wasco who aside from this last game have been limited in playing time because of foul trouble. When that happens opposing teams have used their size and strength to get past the UMBC defense (which has been a major problem this year).

While James Madison has a good amount of size, and are expected to do well this year, it is not out of the question that UMBC can win this game. James Madison moves the ball around a lot to make their offense run. Every play has a good number of assists, and that is evidence, as well as me actually seeing them, that they pass a lot. With the speed UMBC has that could be their problem. While they will burn UMBC a few times because of the poor defense being played, if UMBC can use their speed to their advantage and anticipate a pass rather than a player driving past them, it could work in UMBC’s favor and they desperately need it to right now.

To be honest, it depends on how hungry UMBC is for a win. James Madison is expected to beat UMBC, but if UMBC plays like they are tired of losing, they could steal this one and start their road trip on a good note.

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