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Vanderbilt vs. Marquette - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Marquette Golden Eagles (20-13) at Vanderbilt Commodores (19-14)

College Basketball: Friday, November 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm (Alumni Hall)

The Line: Vanderbilt Commodores -2.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS Sports Network

The Vanderbilt Commodores and Marquette Golden Eagles will travel to Alumni Hall to open their seasons in the Veterans Classic this Friday night.

The Vanderbilt Commodores will start their 2015-16 season without longtime head coach Kevin Stallings on the sides as Stallings was replaced in the offseason by Valparaiso’s coach, Bryce Drew, after taking the job at Pittsburgh. Drew will have a lot of work to do as the Commodores will no longer have the services of Wade Baldwin IV (14.1 ppg, 5.2 apg) and Damian Jones (13.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg). Vanderbilt does return 3 starters from last year’s squad in Luke Kornet (8.9 ppg, 3.0 bpg), three-point specialist Matthew Fisher-Davis (9.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg), and Jeff Roberson (9.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg). Vanderbilt will hope the newcomers Clevon Brown and Payton Willis who should have the opportunity early in the season to become difference makers for the Commodores. Vanderbilt was one of the bet three-point shooting teams in the country last season but if Bryce Drew is going to have success in this 1st year, he will need to ensure the Commodores protect the ball better as they ranked 301st in the country in turnover margin at -1.8.

Vanderbilt vs. Marquette - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Marquette Golden Eagles had a great start to their 2015-16 season but struggled once conference play started and for the 3rd straight year, missed out on the NCAA Tournament.  Coach Wojciechowski will once against have his work cut out for him this season as the Golden Eagles lost one of the best players in the Big East in Henry Ellenson (17.0 ppg, 9.7 rpg) who declared for the NBA draft. Marquette comes into the season with a lot of experience in the backcourt and returns two starters from that backcourt in Jajuan Johnson (10.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg) and Hannif Cheatham (11.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg). The Golden Eagles do return big man Luke Fisher (12.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg), however, with the loss of Ellenson, the Golden Eagles will not have much depth in the frontcourt this season. Marquette will hope that UNC-Ashville transfer, Andrew Rowsey, can pick up where he left off at UNC Ashville as he averaged almost 20 ppg as a Sophomore. Marquette will once again try to push the pace with their talented guards but will hope to continue to improve protecting the ball as they ranked 237th in turnover margin last season at -0.7.

The Commodores are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Fridays games. The Golden Eagles are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Friday games however, the Golden Eagles are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.

Both these teams are projected to be once again in the middle of the pack of their respected conferences this season. I loved the Vanderbilt hiring of Bryce Drew in the offseason as I think he has a great chance of making the Commodores one of the better SEC teams, however, as I do think it will take some time for Vanderbilt to adapt to Drew’s system, I think the experienced guard play of the Golden Eagles will be too much for Vanderbilt to handle. I’m taking Marquette and the points in this one. 

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Marquette Golden Eagles +2.5

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