In this exciting college basketball showdown, the New Orleans Privateers will face off against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on November 20, 2023. Both teams have had varying degrees of success early in the season, making this matchup intriguing. The Privateers, with a record of 2-1 and sitting atop the Southland Conference, are coming off a 73-70 road loss against the Loyola Chicago Ramblers. Meanwhile, the Cowboys, at 1-3 are looking to not fall too behind in the Big 12 Conference, are on a two-game losing streak after a 66-64 overtime home loss agains the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This clash promises to be a battle of contrasting styles, and the outcome is uncertain. Let's delve into a detailed analysis of both teams to determine the likely winner.
Privateers' Strong Start and Efficient Scoring
The New Orleans Privateers have emerged as early contenders in the 2023-2024 college basketball season. Sporting a record of 2-1 and sitting proudly atop the Southland Conference, they are making a statement. A key factor in their success has been their efficient scoring. With an average of 92.0 points per game, they demonstrate a balanced offensive attack. Leading the charge is guard Jordan Johnson, who boasts an impressive 23.3 points per game, making him one of the top scorers in the nation. He's not just a scorer; he's also a playmaker, averaging 5.3 assists per game, further solidifying his importance to the team. On the boards, guard Jamond Vincent leads with an average of 7.0 rebounds per game, providing crucial second-chance opportunities.
When it comes to shooting, the Privateers maintain a respectable 44.9 field goal percentage, demonstrating their ability to convert scoring opportunities efficiently. However, their three-point shooting stands at 30.2%, indicating room for improvement beyond the arc. One area where they excel is free throw shooting, boasting a stellar 77.8 free-throw percentage. This proficiency at the charity stripe can be a game-changer in close matchups. Additionally, their prowess in rebounding, averaging 41.7 rebounds per game, highlights their ability to control the boards.
Defensively, the Privateers are no slouches. They have a solid steals leader in Johnson, who averages 2.7 steals per game, contributing to their ability to disrupt opponents' offensive flow. In the blocked shots department, forward D’Ante Bell is the leader with 0.7 blocks per game, offering rim protection. With their efficient scoring, strong rebounding, and defensive prowess, the New Orleans Privateers are a well-rounded team poised for success in their upcoming clash with the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Cowboys' Struggles and the Need for Improvement
The Oklahoma State Cowboys have encountered a mixed start to the 2023-2024 college basketball season, posting a 1-3 record. Offensively, they have averaged 68.0 points per game, which needs to improve going forward. Guard Javon Small has been the leading scorer for the Cowboys, contributing 16.0 points per game, while also leading in assists with 4.7 per game. His ability to score and control the boards makes him a crucial player for the team. When it comes to crashing the boards, guard Quion Williams leads with 6.8 rebounds per game.
However, the Cowboys have struggled in some key shooting categories. They currently maintain a field goal percentage of 42.2, which leaves room for improvement in terms of shot accuracy. Similarly, their three-point shooting percentage stands at 32.7, indicating a need to improve their long-range accuracy. Free throw shooting has been a challenge for the Cowboys, with a low 60.3% success rate. These inefficiencies from the charity stripe can be detrimental in closely contested games. On the defensive end, the Cowboys have shown strength, allowing an average of 66.5 points per game, which ranks 255th nationally.
Defensively, the Cowboys have displayed prowess, with guard John-Michael Wright leading in steals, averaging 1.2 steals per game. In the blocked shots department, center Brandon Garrison leads with 1.2 blocks per game, providing rim protection for the team. While their offense has room for improvement, the Cowboys' defensive capabilities are worth noting. Their ability to limit opponents' scoring opportunities will be a key factor in their matchup against the New Orleans Privateers. Overall, the Cowboys possess the potential to turn their season around, and their upcoming clash with the Privateers will be a test of their capabilities.
David's Pick: New Orleans
I believe the New Orleans Privateers have the upper hand in this matchup. Their efficient scoring and solid rebounding provide a balanced attack that can exploit the Cowboys' defensive vulnerabilities. Jordan Johnson's scoring prowess and the team's impressive free throw shooting give them an edge. On the other hand, the Cowboys' struggles with offensive efficiency, particularly in field goal and free throw percentages, could prove detrimental. While the Cowboys have a strong defense, the Privateers' ability to control the pace and score efficiently should lead them to victory.
I'm picking the New Orleans Privateers to win this game due to their stronger offensive capabilities and balanced play. The statistics support this pick, as the Privateers have a higher average points scored and a better field goal percentage (44.9 vs. 42.2) compared to the Cowboys. Additionally, the Privateers' free-throw percentage (77.8%) far surpasses the Cowboys' (60.3%), which could make a significant difference in a closely contested game. While the Cowboys have a solid defense, their offensive struggles are likely to be their downfall in this matchup. The Privateers' ability to score efficiently and control the game's tempo should lead them to victory.