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Indiana State Sycamores vs. Drake Bulldogs - 2/9/14

Drake Bulldogs (12-11) at Indiana State Sycamores (17-6)

College Basketball: Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm (Hulman Center)

The Line: Indiana State Sycamores -10 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports Midwest, Comcast Sportsnet Chicago, Fox College Sports (Pacific)

The Indiana State Sycamores take on the Drake Bulldogs in a Missouri Valley Conference clash on Sunday afternoon at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Indiana State is coming off a loss to 2nd ranked Wichita State, as they hung tight but couldn’t get enough going offensively against one of the best defenses in the nation. Prior to that, they won at Northern Iowa in a mild upset. Their goal now with the realization that they will not catch the Shockers at the top is to stay in 2nd place for the MVC tournament. The Sycamores are led by senior Jake Odum with 12.3 ppg and has 110 assists to just 43 turnovers. There are 4 others who average 10+ points per game, which include Manny Arop (11.7 ppg), Dawon Cummings (11 ppg), Khristian Smith (11 ppg), and Justin Gant (10.8 ppg), who all shoot better than 36% on three-pointers. The Sycamores have been off shooting the 3-ball lately, but still come in with a 38% mark from downtown. They are shooting 46.4% from the field.

Indiana State Sycamores vs. Drake Bulldogs - 2/9/14

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Drake Bulldogs have really hit a rut in conference play and are now just 3-8 and tied for last place. They have dropped 3 of their last 4 games - all double-digits losses (2 of those were home games). They have struggled on the defensive end, while having their own struggles shooting. The Bulldogs are led by senior Richard Carter (17 ppg) and Jordan Daniels (12.3 ppg). On the season, they are shooting 45% while giving up the same percentage on defense. They shoot well from downtown at 40%. First year head coach Ray Giacolleti is not experiencing what many first year coaches in the league have who haven’t inherited a very talented group and have been riddled by the injury bug.  

I look for Indiana State to cover the spread (not by much) while they are not a team that is going to blow other teams out of the water. Although they likely are bummed at missing a chance to knock off the 2nd ranked team in the country, they realize the importance of winning conference games, especially at home. In addition, the fact that Drake has been beaten by good margins when they do lose gives me the feeling that trend will continue. I think Drake might actually trail by just a few in the first half with a bit of letdown for Indiana State from their last game. So I think the stronger play might be Drake in the first half.

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