Prospect Watch - February 9, 2012

Today’s prospect watch looks at some key players in the WCC’s biggest rivalry, a battle in Mississippi, and two of the Big 10’s best big men going head to head.


St. Mary’s at Gonzaga

Matthew Dellavedova torched Gonzaga for 26 points, including 5 three-pointers, in their meeting last month.  With the Zags still sticking around the WCC race, Dellavedova will need another big game on the road to keep the Gaels undefeated in conference play.

What to watch tonight? Dellavedova will go right at the young Gonzaga backcourt, looking to get Rob Jones involved in the post and hopefully leading to him getting good looks from behind the arc (40% on the season).

Elias Harris has seemingly bounced back from a disappointing sophomore season to post decent numbers in a balanced Zags offense.  In the teams’ first meeting, Harris has 17 points and 10 rebounds, but he will need to do much more to knock off the Gaels.

What to watch tonight? Look for Harris to get involved early in the Zags offense, especially on the perimeter where the Gaels don’t have a great defensive option to stop him.  If Harris can get going from the perimeter, look for Robert Sacre to get more room to operate in the post.

 

Ole Miss at Mississippi State

Arnett Moultrie is having a great year in his first season for the Bulldogs since transferring from UTEP.  He is averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds, while shooting 55% from the field.  In the teams’ last meeting, the Rebels were able to keep Moultrie off the offensive glass where he is most effective.

What to watch tonight? With Moultrie and Renardo Sidney having a huge size advantage over Ole Miss, look for the Bulldogs to establish the two of them early around the lane.  I have a feeling Moultrie will not be kept off the offensive glass in this game.

Illinois at Indiana

Meyers Leonard, the Illini’s 7’1 center, has made great strides in his sophomore year, giving them a legitimate low post option.  While he has done plenty on the offensive end, it is his ability to alter shots which has helped Illinois to victories over Ohio State and Michigan State.

What to watch tonight? Leonard will have his hands full guarding Cody Zeller in the post, but the Illini will need to establish him in the post to enable Brandon Paul and DJ Richardson to get some space on the perimeter.  Look for Illinois to go to him early in the game, and possibly get Zeller in foul trouble.

Cody Zeller has been having one of the best freshman seasons in the country, leading Indiana in points and rebounds, while shooting 65% from the field.  He has shown great poise and skill for his age in the post, while showing steady improvement on the defensive end.

What to watch tonight? The Zeller-Leonard battle will be one to watch tonight.  Zeller is more skilled on the offensive end, while Leonard is the better defender.  Zeller’s major role tonight will be setting screens and trying to pull Leonard away from the rim with his ability to hit mid-range jumpers.

 

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