Both teams come into the week with identical 1-1 overall records but the Vikings’ victory came against a D-II school. Missouri State is one of the mid-major teams to watch this season and they could very well represent the Missouri Valley Conference in the NCAA Tournament this season. The Bears will be faced with a very tough non-conference schedule. After playing Cleveland State, they will travel for road and neutral court games against Xavier, Miami, and LSU. Can Missouri State stay focused and cover the spread at home against Cleveland State on Tuesday night?
Cleveland State earns confidence-building win vs. EdinboroCleveland State took down D-II Edinboro 79-54 on Saturday to even up their record at 1-1 on the season. Deante Johnson scored a team-high 13 points to lead four Vikings in double-figures as Cleveland State shot a healthy 11-for-24 from 3-point range on the night. Franklyn Penn had 12 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Torrey Patton and Tre Gomillion added 11 apiece for the Vikings in the confidence-building win.
Dennis Gates’ squad comes into the week ranked No. 315 in the latest KenPom rankings in part due to the offense’s struggles in their opening-game loss to Minnesota. Cleveland State shot just 3-for-19 from deep in that game and turned the ball over 16 times in the 85-50 blowout loss. The Vikings come in scoring 90.4 points per 100 possessions for the season (322nd in the NCAA) while allowing 103.5 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end of the floor.
Cleveland State is hoping they can build on some of the things they did well against Edinboro over the weekend, especially on the defensive end of the floor. Minnesota was able to get nearly anything they wanted at the rim in the season-opener, shooting 64.3 percent from inside the arc as a result.
Cook carries Missouri State to first winMissouri State bounced back from their season-opening loss with a 59-50 victory at home over Alabama State on Sunday. Senior guard Keandre Cook put the team on his back, scoring 31 points and hitting 6-of-7 from 3-point range in the win. Tulio De Silva added six points and 14 rebounds for the Bears, who managed to escape with a win despite turning the ball over 20 times on the night.
Dana Ford’s squad enters the week slotted at No. 179 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 1-1 start. Ford is in his second year with the program and is looking to build on a solid first season in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bears finished with a 16-16 record and a 10-8 record in conference play last year but have a mix of holdovers and incoming talent that should make them one of the favorites in the MVC this year. Senior Tulio Da Silva was supposed to be their best returning player (14.3 points, 7.4 rebounds per game) but he’s off to a slow start to the season. Instead, it was Cook who shouldered the load offensively over the weekend. The fellow senior shot 37 percent from deep and scored 20 points or more five times last year.
The Bears come in scoring 96.7 points per 100 possessions (213th in the NCAA) and allowing 98.0 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end of the floor (143rd in the NCAA). Turnovers have been a problem for Missouri State through two games. During that span, they’ve coughed up the basketball on 22.9 percent of their offensive possessions (261st in the NCAA) despite playing at one of the slowest paces in the country (334th in adjusted tempo).
On defense, the Bears rely on forcing turnovers and defending the 3-point line to get stops. Missouri State has forced their opponents to turn the ball over on 22.9 percent of their defensive possessions (83rd in the NCAA) while holding them to only 23.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc (45th in the NCAA).
- Vikings are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games.
- Vikings are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Missouri Valley.
- Vikings are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Tuesday games.