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Courtside Players Club

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Courtside Players Club (12/19/23)

CBB

(1 Pick)


8:30PM EST: Marquette -4.5 (3 Units).


Conference play is officially underway this year and the reigning Big East regular season and Tournament Champs go on the road to Providence for Conference Game number 1. The Golden Eagles have been pretty much as advertised to begin the season. They're one of the Country's best and are very much battle tested. They have the 24th ranked Strength of Schedule thus far with big wins over Kansas and Texas. They also lost to Purdue by a Basket.


We like them to come out strong in Conference Play against Providence with first year Head Coach Kim English. The Friars are 9-2 but played the 297th easiest schedule in CBB thus far. They have Wins over Wisconsin and Georgia but losses to Oklahoma and Kansas State. Providence plays tough defense (21st in AdjD) but struggle on offense (119th AdjO). The Golden Eagles are known for their offense (12th AdjO) but are very strong on defense (19th AdjD). They do a great job applying pressure and taking away passing lanes. Opponents average 16 turnovers per game against them, 19th most in CBB. That's also come against some very good offenses. Providence is anything but and are currently turning it over 14.4 times per game (309th).


Providence does have an experienced starting 5 but they lack elite Depth. The 4-man bench they operate with consist of 2 Freshman and 2 Sophomore’s that combined to average just over 15 minutes per game last year. They're getting just 14.27 bench points per game, which ranks 328th. They've also had an incredibly generous schedule to get those Bench points. Marquette gets significantly better contribution from their 3-man bench and all 3 were with Marquette last season. The least experienced one is Ben Gold, who is probably the best one. The 6'11 Sophomore Forward averages 5.9 points per game on 14.1 minutes. He's shooting 35% from behind the Arc and has the unique ability to stretch the floor and provide spacing which will come in handy against a tough interior Providence defense. Remember his name for next year, when he takes Ighodoro's spot.


Providence just doesn't have the offense. They're going to run into some dry spells and while it'll be tough on Marquette's offense, the takeaways should lead to easy transition baskets. The Friars also lack length inside. Josh Oduro is their big at 6'9 240. Marquette starts Ighodoro who is 6'11 and 235. He's a very athletic big man too. He'll put stress on Oduro and when he comes out, Ben Gold comes in.


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