Detroit Titans vs. Youngstown State Penguins - 3/3/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Youngstown State Penguins (11-20) at Detroit Titans (14-17)
College Basketball: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm (Calihan Hall)
The Line: Detroit Titans -8.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 3
The Youngstown State Penguins will travel to Calihan Hall to take on the Detroit Titans in the first round of the Horizon’s League Men’s Championship this Tuesday night.
Youngstown State finished the regular season with a 11-20 record while ending up with the worst record in the Horizon at 2-14, however, will have the opportunity to play in the conference tournament as Milwaukee (2013-14 Horizon Champions) were banned from postseason play this season due to academic reasons. Youngstown State is currently ranked 284th in the RPI Standings and has played the 199th ranked SOS. The Penguins most impressive performances this year came in two close losses at Illinois State (85-73 OT) and at home vs. Green Bay (63-62).
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Youngstown State really struggled on the defensive end this year as they allowed opponents to average 74.7 ppg (ranked 337th) on 45.3% shooting (ranked 294th). Along with allowing opponents to score at will, Youngstown State didn’t have much of a presence in the paint as they averaged just 2.0 bpg (ranked 324th) and have a rebound margin of -3.6 (ranked 303rd). Youngstown State does have an impressive offensive which scored an average of 71.6 ppg (ranked 76th) and love to run the floor to try to outscore their opponents. On the season, the Penguins were led by Marcus Keene (15.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.1 spg) and Bobby Hain (14.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.0 apg).
Detroit finished the regular season with a 14-17 record while gaining the 5th seed with a 7-9 record in the Horizon. Detroit was projected to finish in the middle of the pack this season although they were returning one of the better players in the Horizon, in Juwan Howard Jr who average 18.3 ppg and 5.5 rpg as a Junior. The Titans are ranked 197th in the RPI Standings and has played the 122nd SOS. Detroit will enter the Horizon League tournament with great momentum as they were able to knock off the regular season conference champions, the Valparaiso Crusaders, 63-60 last week.
Similar to Youngstown State, Detroit struggled on the defensive end as they allowed their opponents to average 70.9 ppg (ranked 288th) on 44.5% shooting (ranked 260th). Detroit allowed teams to get to the free-throw line against them as they average 21.2 personal fouls per game (ranked 323rd). Detroit was able to put up points on the offensive end as they averaged 71.1 ppg (ranked 83rd) on 44.5% shooting (ranked 111th). The Titans averaged 7.1 three-pointers per game (ranked 89th) and 39.1% three-point shooting (ranked 24th). On the season, Detroit was led by Juwan Howard Jr. (17.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.5 apg) and Paris Bass (12.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.9 apg).
The Penguins are 13-27-3 ATS in their last 43 vs. the Horizon League. The Titans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall however, just 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
Detroit was able to defeat Youngstown State in both match-ups this season (93-87 OT at home & 83-70 at Youngstown St.). With recent wins over Cleveland State and Valparaiso at home, I feel that Detroit has the confidence that they have the ability to make a run in the conference tournament. Detroit is a better team at home and I think that they'll be able to score at will against the Penguins. Look for Detriot to pull away from Youngstown State in this one and will win this on by double-digits. Take Detroit at home to cover.