College hoops preview capsules
Northwestern at Penn?State
Tipoff: 8 p.m., Bryce Jordan Center
Records: Penn State (8-6, 0-2 Big Ten); Northwestern (9-6, 0-2 Big Ten)
Coaches: Pat Chambers is 20-26 in his second season at Penn State and 62-54 in his fourth season overall. Bill Carmody is 188-197 in his 13th season at Northwestern and 280-222 in his 17th season overall.
Radio: ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM
Probable starters: Penn State – G D.J. Newbill, 6-4 So. (14.9), G Jermaine Marshall, 6-4 Jr. (14.6), F Ross Travis, 6-6 So. (7.6), F Brandon Taylor, 6-7 Fr. (7.1), C Sasa Borovnjak, 6-9 Jr. (5.4). Northwestern – G Dave Sobolewski, 6-1 So. (10.9), G Reggie Hearn, 6-4 Sr. (14.2), F Kale Abrahamson, 6-7 Fr. (5.2), F Jared Swopshire, 6-8 Sr. (8.8), C Alex Olah, 7-0 Fr. (7.0).
Notes: Penn State has a quick turnaround after Monday’s 74-51 home blowout at the hands of Indiana. … Chambers is not fretting over the significant differences in styles between the high-flying Hoosiers and the patient, Princeton-style offense of the Wildcats. “We just have to stay focused and worry about us,” he said. … PSU (63.4 ppg) and Northwestern (66.5 ppg) rank 11th and 10th respectively in the Big Ten in scoring. … The Lions won six straight in this series before NU swept both meetings last season. … The Wildcats are without talented senior forward Drew Crawford. He tore the labrum in his left shoulder in December, and the injury required season-ending surgery. … Without Crawford, Northwestern was crushed by No. 2 Michigan at home (94-66) and No. 9 Minnesota at home (69-51) to open Big Ten play.
Mirror prediction: Penn State 62, Northwestern 55
Comment: Losing Crawford, who averaged 17 points in the two wins over PSU last season, is a killer for the Wildcats. The Lions, meanwhile, have had much more time to adjust to losing their leader, Tim Frazier (ruptured Achilles’ tendon).
Mirror prediction record: 12-2
– Mark Brennan
St. Francis men at Monmouth
Tipoff: 7 p.m., The MAC, West Long Branch, N.J.
Records: St. Francis (1-12, 1-1 Northeast Conference), Monmouth (5-10, 0-2)
Coaches: Rob Krimmel is 1-12 in his first season at St. Francis. King Rice is 17-30 in his second season at Monmouth.
Web stream: radio.francis.edu
Probable starters: St. Francis – G Umar Shannon, 5-11 R-Jr. (14.3), G Greg Brown, 6-2 Fr. (2.5), F Earl Brown, 6-6 So. (7.6), F Stephon Mosley, 6-6 Fr. (7.8), G Stephon Wyatt, 6-1 So. (7.5). Monmouth – G Dion Nesmith, 6-0 Sr. (7.1), G Jesse Steele, 5-8 Sr. (8.3), G Andrew Nicholas, 6-6 So. (14.3), G Stephen Spinella, 6-4 Sr. (7.4), F Ed Waite, 6-3 Sr. (7.3).
Notes: This will be the final time St. Francis travels to West Long Branch for a league game as Monmouth will make its move from the NEC to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference next year. … The Red Flash are 4-26 at Monmouth. … The Hawks dropped their first two conference games last week to Wagner and Mount St. Mary’s, and are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, including losses to Syracuse, Maryland and Villanova. … The Red Flash are 7-67 in road games over the last five seasons. … St. Francis travels to Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tip.
Mirror prediction: Monmouth 80, St. Francis 64
Comment: St. Francis. On the road. It doesn’t look promising anytime soon.
Mirror prediction record: 12-1
– Nate Foreman