Youngstown State Penguins (8-24) at Pittsburgh Panthers (8-24)
|Date & Time||Tuesday November 6, 2018, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Panthers -14 -- Over/Under: 144
ESPN - ACC Network
The Youngstown State Penguins will travel to the Petersen Events Center to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers this Tuesday night in College Basketball action.
It was another tough season for the Youngstown State Penguins last season as they finished the season with just an 8-24 overall record while finishing Horizon League play with a 6-12 record. Youngstown State last 13 of their last 16 games and was bounced from their conference tournament in the 1st round after being defeated by the Cleveland State Vikings, 72-71. Defense was once again the root of the problems for the Penguins as although it’s expected that they will give up points with their fast-paced style of play, the finished the year ranked just 339th in scoring defense & 351st in defensive FG%. Youngstown State will have a lot of new faces as they no longer will have their top two scorers in Cameron Morse (15.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.1 spg) and Braun Hartfield (13.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.7 spg). Returning for the Penguins will be Garrett Covington (8.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.1 spg) and big man Naz Bohannon (7.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.4 apg). For Youngstown State to be competitive this season, they are going to need some of their younger players to make immediate contributions and will hope that freshman Darius Quisenberry and Atiba Taylor will be able to do just that. Head coach Jerrod Calhoun is in just his 2nd year with the Penguins, however, unless they find a way to improve on the defensive end, it could be another long year for the Penguins.
It was a season to forget for the Pittsburgh Panthers as although they were able to pick up some wins early in the 2nd against less than stellar competition, the Panthers finished the season with just an 8-24 overall record while going winless (0-18) in ACC play. Pittsburgh struggled in all aspects of the game last season as they finished the year ranked just 349th in scoring offense, 338th in rebound margin, and 339th in turnover margin. Pittsburgh decided no to bring back Scott Stallings and will hope that Jeff Capel and help inject some energy into a program that has fallen apart since the departure of Jamie Dixon. The good news for Capel is that the Panthers return their leading scorer from last season in Jared Wilson-Frame who averaged 13.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.6 apg in 32 games last season. Also returning for the Panthers will be Shamiel Stevenson (8.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.0 apg), Terrel Brown (4.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg), Khameron Davis (4.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.0 apg), and Kene Chukwuka (2.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg). Capel did a nice job recruiting some talent for the Panthers as they’ll hope that Trey McGowens, Au’Diese Toney, and Xavier Johnson can provide results from the get-go. Pittsburgh has to be happy they landed Chapel, however, Pittsburgh is still in full rebuild mode and it’s hard to expect much from the Panthers this season.
The Penguins are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Panthers are 4-1 TS in their last 5 games overall and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games.
As much as Pittsburgh is going to struggle against once ACC play starts, the Panthers are still the much more talented team in this matchup. I’m not sold on Youngstown State will be able to do much on the defensive end even against an unproven Pittsburgh offense and as I think Capel will have the Panthers ready to play in this one, I’m counting on the Panthers to pull away in the 2nd half of this one and cover this large home spread.