The Belmont Bruins face off against the Arizona Wildcats on Friday. Both teams have shown promise early in the season, making this game a must-watch. Belmont, with a 2-1 record, aims to continue their offensive prowess, led by Cade Tyson's impressive 19.0 points per game (PPG). On the other hand, the undefeated Arizona Wildcats, boasting a 3-0 record, look to capitalize on their balanced attack, with Keshad Johnson leading the charge. Let's delve into a detailed analysis of both teams and make our predictions.
Belmont's Offensive Firepower
The Belmont Bruins have started the 2023-2024 college basketball season with a record of 2-1, positioning them for a promising campaign. One of their standout attributes is their offensive potency, averaging an impressive 86.0 points per game (PPG). Leading the charge is Cade Tyson, their top scorer, with an impressive 19.0 PPG. Tyson's scoring ability is further highlighted by his efficient shooting, boasting a 52.0% field goal percentage.
While Belmont excels in scoring, they face challenges on the defensive end, allowing an average of 81.7 PPG. Their field goal percentage defense of 51.0% indicates room for improvement in this area. Rebounding is a vital aspect of the game, and Malik Dia emerges as the leader in this department, averaging 6.3 rebounds per game (RPG). In terms of playmaking, Ja'Kobi Gillespie takes on the role of the leader in assists, contributing 4.3 assists per game (APG). Gillespie is also the second leading scorer, providing 16.7 PPG.
Belmont's shooting proficiency shines through with a 51.0% field goal percentage, ranking 56th in the nation. Their three-point shooting, at 29.9%, demonstrates their ability to stretch the floor, albeit with room for improvement. In the free-throw department, they shoot at 63.5%, an area they may want to sharpen as the season progresses. On the defensive end, the Bruins record an average of 5.0 steals per game and 1.3 blocked shots per game, showing their capacity to disrupt opponents' plays.
Unbeaten Streak and Defensive Prowess
The Arizona Wildcats have commenced the 2023-2024 college basketball season in remarkable fashion, boasting an unblemished 3-0 record. Arizona's performance thus far has been characterized by their strong defensive foundation, limiting opponents to just 63.7 PPG. Their prowess on the boards is evident, averaging an impressive 49.3 RPG, emphasizing their ability to control possessions. Keshad Johnson stands out as the team's leader in both scoring, with 15.0 PPG, and rebounding, securing 7.0 RPG, showcasing his versatility.
Efficiency is a cornerstone of Arizona's offense, as they maintain a 51.8% field goal percentage, ranking 45th nationally. Their three-point shooting, at 41.0%, is another impressive facet, placing them 31st in the nation. Kylan Boswell is a notable contributor, averaging 13.3 PPG while shooting a remarkable 66.7% from the field. The Wildcats' ability to efficiently convert their field goals and three-pointers puts them in a favorable offensive position.
The Wildcats' defense is further fortified by their 4.7 blocked shots per game, demonstrating their shot-contesting capabilities. Additionally, they record an average of 10.3 steals per game, indicating their prowess in forcing turnovers and capitalizing on transition opportunities. As they approach the game against Belmont, Arizona's strong defensive and efficient offensive performances position them as formidable contenders in the matchup.
David’s Pick - Arizona Wildcats -23.5
In this matchup, I have to give the edge to the Arizona Wildcats. Their strong defensive presence, efficient scoring, and rebounding prowess make them a formidable opponent. Belmont's defensive struggles could be exploited by Arizona, especially on the boards. While Belmont has offensive firepower, Arizona's overall balance and defensive capabilities should secure them the victory. The statistics speak volumes in favor of the Arizona Wildcats. Their stifling defense, allowing just 63.7 PPG, will make it challenging for the Belmont Bruins to maintain their offensive prowess. Additionally, Arizona's dominance on the boards, averaging 49.3 RPG, will likely lead to second-chance opportunities and limit Belmont's possessions.
Offensively, the Wildcats maintain a 51.8% field goal percentage and shoot an impressive 41.0% from beyond the arc. With Keshad Johnson and Kylan Boswell leading the charge, their efficient scoring is likely to overpower Belmont's defense, which has allowed 81.7 PPG. In summary, the combination of Arizona's strong defense, efficient scoring, and rebounding dominance positions them as the favorites in this matchup. Belmont's defensive vulnerabilities and the Wildcats' balanced attack are key factors in my prediction of Arizona winning this game.