Hoops du Jour
Michigan State at PSU men
Tipoff: 1 p.m., The Palestra
Records: Penn State (9-7, 1-2 Big Ten); Michigan State (11-5, 3-0 Big Ten)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers is 81-96 in his sixth season at Penn State and 123-124 in eight seasons overall. Tom Izzo is 534-210 in his twenty-second season at Michigan State and overall.
Radio: ESPN 1430
Probable Starters: Penn State — G Shep Garner, 6-1 Jr. (13.1), G Tony Carr, 6-3 Fr. (11.8), F Josh Reaves, 6-4 So. (8.5), F Lamar Stevens, 6-7 Fr. (12.4), F Mike Watkins, 6-9 Fr. (9.9). Michigan State — G Cassius Winston, 6-0 Fr. (7.3), G Joshua Langford, 6-5 Fr. (5.9), G Eron Harris, 6-3 Sr. (12.9), F Matt Van Dyk, 6-5 Sr. (2.1), F Nick Ward, 6-8 Fr. (13.7).
Notes: Payton Banks is starting to become a more consistent shooter. Exactly 70 percent of Banks’ made shot attempts are from beyond the arc. … Josh Reaves has only played in 11 games this year but has the second most steals in the Big Ten (25). … Lamar Stevens has matured very quickly this season, becoming the second leading scorer for the Lions … Michigan State had a difficult out of conference schedule that featured Duke, Kentucky, Baylor and Arizona. The Spartans’ best player, Miles Bridges, has been struggling with injuries throughout the season but is expected to return with limited minutes. Besides Bridges, the Spartans’ starting lineup features three freshmen. Nick Ward has been named the Big Ten freshman of the week three times this season.
Mirror Prediction: Michigan State 80, Penn State 72
Comment: After a big loss on the road to Michigan, the Lions are in need of a series of practices rather than a matchup against one of this Big Ten’s toughest teams. Expect a high-scoring game. The Lions will be in comeback mode for most of the contest, which can lead to poor shot selection and turnovers. If the Spartans can ensure that pressure is put on the Lions, they should extend their conference record to 4-0.
Mirror prediction record: 13-3
— Paddy Cotter
Pittsburgh men at Syracuse
Tipoff: Noon, Carrier Dome, Syracuse N.Y.
Records: Syracuse (9-6, 1-1 in ACC); Pittsburgh (12-3, 1-1 in ACC)
Coaches: Kevin Stallings is 12-3 in his first season at Pittsburgh and is 467-286 in his 24th season overall. Jim Boeheim is 893-348 in his 41st season at Syracuse.
TV: ACC Network
Probable starters: Pittsburgh — G Chris Jones 6-6 sr. (6.7), G Jamel Artis, 6-7 sr. (21.4), G Cameron Johnson, 6-8 so. (12.7), F Sheldon Jeter, 6-8 sr. (7.7), F Michael Young, 6-9 sr. (22.7). Syracuse — G Tyus Battle, 6-6 fr. (8.4), G John Gillon, 6-0 sr. (8.8); G Andrew White III, 6-7 sr. (15.7), F Tyler Lydon, 6-9 so. (13.5), F Taurean Thompson, 6-10 fr. (8.9).
Notes: Syracuse leads the all-time series 65-44, but Pitt is 5-2 against the Orange since joining the ACC. The Panthers are 18-7 over the last 25 meetings. … Pitt is coming off its best win of the season, over No. 11 Virginia, thanks to a 42-24 advantage on the boards. … The Panthers are ranked No. 29 in the most recent RPI. … Jeter, averaging just 7.7 points per game this year, is averaging a double-double (14.3 points, 10.3 rebounds) per game over the past three contests.
Mirror prediction: Pittsburgh 82, Syracuse 75
Comment: Jamie Dixon dominated the Orange over his tenure. How will Stallings fare in his debut?
Mirror prediction record: 11-4
— Michael Boytim
LIU Brooklyn at SFU men
Tipoff: 4 p.m., DeGol Arena
Records: Saint Francis (5-9, 2-1 NEC), LIU Brooklyn (9-7, 2-1)
Coaches: Rob Krimmel is 49-88 in his fifth season at Saint Francis and overall. Jack Perri is 66-74 in his fifth season at LIU and 86-83 in six seasons overall.
Radio: WWGE AM-1400
Probable starters: Saint Francis — G Jamaal King, 5-10 So. (13.2), G Randall Gaskins Jr., 6-3 Fr. (8.0), G Isaiah Blackmon, 6-1 So. (11.1), F Josh Nebo, 6-8 So. (10.7), F Keith Braxton, 6-4 Fr. (11.8). LIU Brooklyn — G Jashaun Agosto, 5-11 Fr. (11.8), G Julian Batts, 5-11 Fr. (4.1), G Iverson Fleming, 6-1 Sr. (13.9), F Jerome Frink, 6-7 Sr. (17.1), F Nura Zanna, 6-7 Jr. (8.6).
Notes: The Red Flash throttled Saint Francis Brooklyn on Thursday, 81-56, with four players scoring in double figures, led by Nebo’s 14 points. The 25-point victory was the Flash’s largest in an NEC game since a 60-34 win at Bryant in 2010. … SFU has won two games in a row after dropping their previous seven contests. … LIU Brooklyn is coming off an impressive road win at Robert Morris on Thursday, 65-54. The Blackbirds were picked to finish fourth in the NEC and are led by Frink, who’s averaging 17.1 points and 8.9 rebounds. … Zanna is the brother of former Pitt player Talib Zanna.
Mirror prediction: Saint Francis 80, LIU Brooklyn 74
Comment: This is a big game for the Flash as they try to win a third straight NEC contest against a team that should be in the thick of the league race all season.
Mirror prediction record: 12-2
— Cory Giger
Penn State women at Purdue
Tipoff: 2 p.m., Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.
Records: Penn State (11-4; 1-2 Big Ten); Purdue (10-6; 1-1 Big Ten)
Coaches: Coquese Washington is 171-128 in her 10th season at Penn State. Sharon Versyp is 224-126 in her 11th season at Purdue and 341-191 in her 17th season overall.
Probable starters: Penn State — G Teniya Page, 5-7 so. (19.6), G Lindsey Spann, 5-6 R-jr. (11.3), G Amari Carter, 5-8 R-fr. (6.7), F Kaliyah Mitchell, 6-2 sr. (7.6), F Ashanti Thomas, 6-4 so. (3.9). Purdue — G Andreona Keys, 5-10 jr. (9.4), G Ashley Morrissette, 5-9 sr. (14.6); G Dominique Oden, 5-8 fr. (10.5), F Bridget Perry, 6-2 sr. (10.7), F Dominique McBryde, 6-2 so. (6.8).
Notes: The Lady Lions defeated Iowa on Tuesday and picked up their first Big Ten win. … Purdue leads the all-time series, 29-19, and has won the last two meetings. … Lady Lion guard Teniya Page is fourth in the Big Ten in scoring at 19.6 points per game. … Purdue evened its Big Ten record at 1-1 with a win over Michigan State on Wednesday.
Mirror prediction: Penn State 68, Purdue 66
Comment: Penn State will want to avoid dropping to 1-3 in the Big Ten and try to pick up a big conference road win.
— Judd Manning
LIU Brooklyn at SFU women
Tipoff: 1 p.m. at DeGol Arena, Loretto
Records: Long Island Brooklyn (2-11 overall, 1-1 Northeast Conference); Saint Francis (4-9, 1-1).
All-time series: Saint Francis 45-17. SFU defeated LIU, 72-64, on Feb. 20.
Last time out: LIU Brooklyn was defeated by Bryant, 62-53 on Dec. 31; Saint Francis lost at Sacred Heart, 73-63. on Dec. 31.
Coaches: Stephanie Oliver is 11-32 in her second year at LIU Brooklyn; Joe Haigh is 56-82 in his fifth season at Saint Francis.
Online video: NEC Front Row
Online stats: www.sfuathletics.com
Probable starters: LIU Brooklyn — G Dionne Coe, 5-6 Gr. (4.3), G Seneca Richards, 5-11 Fr. (4.0), G Victoria Powell, 5-7 Fr. (4.0), F Gabrielle Caponegro, 6-0 Fr. (3.5), C Aja Boyd. 6-2 Fr. (9.7). Saint Francis — G Katie Reese, 5-8 R-Sr. (12.9), G Jess Kovatch, 5-9 So. (21.0), G Maya Wynn, 5-11 Jr. (9.7), G/F Halee Adams, 5-9 R-Jr. (6.7), F Ace Harrison, 6-2 Gr. (13.9).
Notes: The game is part of a doubleheader with the men’s teams, which is scheduled to tipoff at 4 p.m. … Saint Francis was picked to finish third in the preseason poll, while Long Island University Brooklyn was tabbed in the fifth spot … Kovatch averaged 29.5 points per game in the two meetings between the two squads last year — both SFU victories … The Blackbirds Shanovia Dove, a preseason All-NEC selection, comes off the bench and leads the team in scoring with 14.7 per contest … The Red Flash have won the last three in the series.
Mirror prediction: Saint Francis 83, Long Island Brooklyn 68
Comment: The Red Flash (79 points per game) are the top scoring team in the NEC by a wide margin (79 ppg), while the Blackbirds are in the ninth position with 52.8. The difference is 26.2 per game which is going to prove to be too much for LIU in this game.
Mirror prediction record: 8-5
— Nate Ritchey