The Manhattan Jaspers and The Hofstra Pride, from two of the better non-BCS conferences, will face off on Wednesday night.
Both teams have won four of their last five games. Neither team was picked to do particularly well, but both have played well so far.
Hofstra (5-3, 1-0 CAA) caught the nation's eye by playing Connecticut close on the road and almost pulling out a miraculous victory.
Manhattan (5-3, 1-1 MAAC) has not had a signature win or game, but the Jaspers are on a hot streak ever since Junior College transfer Rico Pickett returned from a two-game suspension.
Keys For The Pride
Big men cannot get into foul trouble. The Jaspers don't have as much size as the Pride. If their big men get into foul trouble, it will open up opportunities that the Jasper big men normally would not have in the post.
Conversely, if Hofstra gets the Jasper big men in foul trouble, it will open up even more opportunities for them if they force Djibril Coulibaly and Kevin Laue to play more.
The Pride need to take advantage of open three-point shots. The Jaspers tend to have poor perimeter defense. The Pride have two great three-point shooters in Cornelius Vines and Charles Jenkins.
Jenkins shoots 48.4 percent from three. Although Vines is only shooting 27.5 percent from three this year, he has the ability to get hot from beyond the arc if given open looks.
He shot 33.2 percent last year and hit six threes in one game against Connecticut this year.
Keys For The Jaspers
The Jaspers need to find a way to hold Charles Jenkins to a minimal amount of points.
I would suggest giving Patrick Bouli extra playing time in Wednesday's game. Although Bouli takes away from the offense, he is by far the best defender for the Jaspers.
The best way to keep Jenkins from a huge game would be to have him guarded closely by Bouli. Bouli might be able to keep Jenkins from driving and should be able to stick close to him beyond the arc.
The Jaspers cannot afford to give Cornelius Vines open threes and let him get hot. As I said before, Vines will not miss if he gets hot. Pearson is the second-best defender for the Jaspers. He should be guarding Vines.
Tip-Off: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 7 PM