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Courtside Players Club (1/2/24)

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(2 Picks)


6:30PM EST: UConn -22.5 (3 Units)


The Huskies have gotten off to a shaky start in Conference Play, losing @ Seton Hall and then beating St. John's in a game that came down to the wire. They lost big Donovan Clingan for 3-4 weeks against Seton Hall and then played St. John's 3 days later. They didn't get much time to adjust to life without the big man before taking on St. John's. The Red Storm also have Joel Soriano, one of the best Bigs in the country.


Depaul is just a bad basketball team, ranking outside the top 200 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. They rank 243rd in shooting % and 355th in total rebounding. The rebound struggles stem from playing small. They don't have a Big on the roster. The only Center on their roster is a 6'9 Freshman who averages just over 11 minutes per game. Outside of that they play two 6'8 Forwards. They just aren't a team that can exploit the loss of Clingan. Even after losing Clingan the Huskies were outrebounded by just 1 in their loss to Seton Hall. Then in their first full game without him against one of the best rebounding teams in the Nation they were outrebounded by 3. They should dominate the boards today.


Dan Hurley is a phenomenal coach and with 9 days off between starts he'll have the Huskies better prepared for life without Clingan. Depaul's gotten smoked in each of their last 2 road games, losing by 25 @ TX A&M and 16 @ San Francisco. This is also their first road game since December 6th. UConn beat Depaul 88-59 at Home and 90-76 on the road last year. This current Depaul team is significantly worse than last years too.


8:30PM EST: St. John's -6.5 (3 Units)


The Red Storm are an ascending team and are only going to get better as HC Rick Pitino continues to mold this team. They're 1-1 in Big East play with a 15-point win over Xavier and a 4-point loss at UConn. It's the defense that stands out of late. They held UConn to just 42.9% from the field and Xavier to 34.9%. St. John's is running a matchup zone more frequently and it's been great. It really created problems for UConn and Xavier. They've only ran it on 47 possessions so far but they're holding teams to just 21.2% from the floor when they do. They didn't run it much against Hofstra in their last game because they're an elite 3-PT shooting team and space the floor well.


Butler doesn't pose that threat. They rank 128th in 3PT %, 236th in 3-PT Rate, and 168th in spacing. They're looking to attack the Rim and the matchup zone makes it difficult to get there. Without elite perimeter shooting that zone stays tight. Butler hasn't shot more than 19 3's in 3 straight games against Power 6 opponents. They just aren't that type of team.


Defensively Butler ranks 91st in defensive efficiency. They've held just 1 Power 6 team below 74 points this season and it was a Home game against a very bad Georgetown offense. They still gave up 64. St. John's ranks 38th in adjusted offensive efficiency and they have a plethora of scoring options.


Being at Home's a major boost. It's very difficult to go on the road and win, especially in the Big East. St. John's has won 4 straight Home games against Butler and all by Double Digits. They'll be able to score on Butler and that matchup zone should cause problems for a Butler team that's league average against it.

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