Who’s hungry for college basketball?
Here’s today’s installment of “The Breakfast Buffet”, a daily column that can be found here every single morning getting you caught up to date on everything that’s happened from the day/night before and everything that’s going to happen in the next 24 hours.
Things To Sample
Zach Edey against Duke’s big men
The 7-4 Edey has been an unstoppable force — as many expected — out of the gate this season with increased usage. Entering today’s game against Duke in one of the the PK85 title games (the event features two eight-team tournaments), Edey is averaging 21.5 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks while shooting 63.3 percent from the field. He’ll have his work cut out to replicate those numbers today against Duke’s front court troika of Dereck Lively II, Ryan Young, and Kyle Filipowski. In Friday’s win over Xavier, the Blue Devils’ baseline defense held the Musketeers’ power forward/center combo of Zach Freemantle and Jack Nunge to a combined nine points and 10 rebounds.
A battle of undefeated teams takes centerstage tonight in Portland in one of the title games of the PK85. The Cyclones are still riding a wave of momentum after Friday’s upset of top-ranked North Carolina while the Huskies have quietly been as impressive as any team in the sport. Both head coaches in this game — Dan Hurley and T.J. Otzelberger — are defensive minded tacticians that always get the most out of their teams on annual basis. With defense expected to be played at an elite level on both sides, the ability of each offense to go “over the top” will be incredibly important. Keep an eye on UConn sophomore Jordan Hawkins, who is looking more and more like the best shooter that Hurley has ever coached. The 6-5 Hawkins is averaging 17 points in two games this week in Portland and is 8-20 from three-point range during that span.
Saint Louis visits Auburn
This game might not be getting the same amount of attention as other matchups on today’s slate, but it’s quietly a massive opportunity for both the Billikens and the Atlantic 10. Saint Louis (5-1) won two of three games against power conference competition last week, beating both Memphis and Providence while losing to Maryland. Today’s road game at Auburn (6-0) is the last power conference matchup remaining on the Billikens’ regular season schedule. A win today for Travis Ford’s squad would greatly enhance Saint Louis’ chances for earning an at-large berth to the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
On The Side
- This is the most vulnerable Gonzaga (4-2) team that college basketball has seen since the Bulldogs earned an 11 seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. In the five NCAA Tournaments that have been played since 2016, Gonzaga has been a No. 1 seed four times and a four seed in 2018. The Bulldogs would have also been a No. 1 seed if the 2020 NCAA Tournament wasn’t cancelled due to COVID. Gonzaga’s two losses have come by a combined 37 points.
- Purdue freshman Braden Smith has a chance to have a “Ryan Arcidiacono type” career for the Boilers. The 6-foot point guard is mature beyond his years and improves with every single game. In his first two games at the PK85 in Portland, Smith has tallied nine assists to just three turnovers while averaging 11.5 points and 5.5 rebounds.
- Kansas’ lack of size was exposed in Friday night’s loss against Tennessee as the Vols out rebounded the Jayhawks by 18. Rick Barnes’ squad earned a 14-point win despite turning the ball over 24 times.
- UConn’s two freshmen big men — Alex Karaban and Donovan Clingan — have had a major role in the Huskies’ dominance in the PK85. Through two games, Karaban is averaging nine points and three rebounds while the 7-2 Clingan is averaging 6.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. Karaban is also 4-7 from three-point range in the event.
- Dayton’s 0-3 record in the Battle 4 Atlantis is going to make it incredibly hard for the Flyers to earn an at-large berth to the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Dayton (3-4) only has one game remaining against a power conference team as it travels to Virginia Tech in December.
- Saint Louis at Auburn
- North Carolina/Alabama (PK85)
- Duke/Purdue (PK85)
- Xavier/Gonzaga (PK85)
- UConn/Iowa State (PK85)
- The Breakfast Buffet: Oscar Tshiebwe, Xavier/Creighton, Keyontae Johnson/Florida
- Midseason All-Americans for the 2022-23 season
- The Breakfast Buffet: Xavier begins its massive week at UConn, Jahvon Quinerly, Bryce Hopkins
- The Breakfast Buffet: Kansas State gets a crack at Hilton Coliseum, North Carolina/Syracuse, Trayce Jackson-Davis
- Episode 378 — Xavier’s Sean Miller