New Orleans Privateers (1-0) at Northwestern Wildcats (0-0)
College Basketball: Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
The Line: Northwestern Wildcats -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The New Orleans Privateers will travel to Welsh-Ryan Arena to take on the Northwestern Huskies this Thursday night in College Basketball action.
The New Orleans Privateers opened up their season with a victory after easily defeating the D-III Spring Hill Badgers, 95-66, this past Tuesday. New Orleans was outstanding on the defensive end and had not trouble securing the victory after a 20-1 Privateers run gave New Orleans a 40-14 lead with 5:27 left in regulation. New Orleans shot 48.5% from the field, 41.7% from beyond the arc, and forced the Badgers into committing 29 turnovers in the victory. Leading the way for the Privateers was Ezekiel Charles who had 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and a block in 25 minutes.
New Orleans finished last year with a 16-17 (11-7 Southland) record however, after losing basically all the main pieces from the 2016-17 team that won the Southland Conference and made it too the NCAA Tournament, the season was successful as the Privateers crushed preseason expectations and even got a bid to the CBI Tournament in which they loss in the 2nd round to Campbell. New Orleans lost their leading scorer in Travin Thibodeaux (16.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.1 bpg) however, have a good amount of experience coming back led by Bryson Robinson (9.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.8 apg), Troy Green (7.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.0 apg), Ezekiel Charles (7.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.0 apg), and Lamont Berzat (4.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.1 spg). The Privateers like to play a fast paced style of basketball and if they can do a better job when it comes to turnovers, the Privateers could once again be one of the better teams in the Southland.
The Northwestern Wildcats made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in the 2016-17 season however, couldn’t repeat that success last season as the Huskies lost their last 7 games and finished their year with an overall record of 15-17 (6-12 Big Ten). Head Coach Chris Collins will no longer have Scottie Lindsey (15.2 ppg; 3.8 rpg, 1.7 apg) and Byrant McIntosh (11.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 5.1 apg) however, will bring back some experience with Vic Law (12.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 spg), Dererk Pardon (11.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.2 apg), and Aaron Falzon (5.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg). Northwestern brought in one of their best recruiting classes in the history of the program and will hope that Miller Kopp and Pete Nance can make immediate contributions for the Wildcats. In the backcourt, Northwestern should be able to count on graduate transfer, Ryan Taylor who averaged 21.3 ppg on 42.6% shooting from the field at Evansville last season. Northwestern should be a decent team this season and could compete in the Big-10 if some of their young talent can provide immediate contributions.
The Privateers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Wildcats are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 Thursday games however, are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
New Orleans is a fun team to watch as they can shoot the basketball and put up a ton of points, however, they’re not in the same class of a Northwestern team that I think is going to be better than many expects are predicting. This game has yet to be lined but I’m initially leaning towards taking the Huskies as long as the line isn’t completely outrageous.