Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#809 Tulane vs.
#810 St. Louis
Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 1:30pm EST
Written by Blake V.

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#809 Tulane University
#810 Saint Louis University
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Tulane will play Saint Louis in the first game of the Jerry Colangelo Classic at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix on Sunday afternoon. The one-day event also includes Liberty against Grand Canyon and Saint Mary’s against No. 19 Dayton. Tulane and Saint Louis both come into Sunday’s contest with 7-1 records.

Tulane off to quick start

Tulane is off to a hot start this season. The Green Wave opened the year with a trio of wins against Southeast Louisiana, Jackson State and Northwestern State. Their lone loss came against Mississippi State in their fourth game of the year. However, they have bounced back with four wins against Middle Tennessee State, Utah, Southern, and Southern Miss. Tulane was a 7.5-point road underdog on the road against the Utes, but the Green Wave forced 20 turnovers and turned them into 18 important points.

The Green Wave are led by junior guard Teshaun Hightower, who is scoring 17.0 points per game and grabbing 4.9 rebounds per game. He is second on the team with 3.0 assists per outing. He is 13 of 38 from beyond the 3-point line. Senior forward K.J. Lawson is second on the team in scoring with 15.8 points per game and 4.6 boards per game. Lawson has the most made 3-pointers for Tulane, making 14 of 33 attempts from beyond the arc. Senior guard Christion Thompson is averaging 12.9 points per game and is leading the team with 7.0 rebounds per outing. Sophomore guard Jordan Walker is the final player in double figures, scoring 10.1 points per game. He also leads the team with 3.5 assists per contest.

Saint Louis led by double-double duo

Saint Louis has had a similar start to the 2019-20 season, winning its first three games against Florida Gulf Coast, Valparaiso, and Eastern Washington. Similar to Tulane, the Billikens lost their fourth game of the year. Saint Louis lost an 83-66 decision to No. 12 Seton Hall. The Billikens bounced back with wins against High Point, Belmont, Boston College, and Southern Illinois. Saint Louis was a 1.5-point road underdog against Boston College, but a 40-point second-half propelled them to a win.

The Billikens are led by junior guard Jordan Goodwin, who is scoring 15.9 points per game. He is averaging a double-double, grabbing 10.4 rebounds per game. Junior forward Hasahn French is also averaging a double-double, scoring 14.5 points per game and is adding 10.4 rebounds per game as well. French leads Saint Louis in offensive rebounds with 3.9 per game. Freshman guard Gibson Jimerson is the only other player in double figures, adding 10.0 points per contest. He has three times as many 3-pointers as his next closest teammate, making 18 of 41 from beyond the arc.

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These teams might have identical records, but one team is clearly better than the other. Saint Louis is ranked No. 113 in KenPom’s rankings, while Tulane comes in at No. 216. The Billikens are simply too good at the top of the lineup for the Green Wave to handle. Jordan Goodwin and Hasahn French are one of the best duos in the country, with both players averaging a double-double. I expect those guys to get their teammates involved as well. Saint Louis will kick-off the one-day event with a win over Tulane.

Prediction: Saint Louis

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Saint Louis looks to slow the game down and play solid defense. The Billikens are No. 55 in KenPom’s adjusted defense rankings, while their tempo is No. 201. Tulane looks to speed the game up a little bit more, coming in at No. 165 in tempo. I expect Saint Louis to play a little bit more up-tempo in this game than they generally do, knowing they have better athletes than Tulane. The Green Wave will do enough offensively to help push this game over the total, but not enough to cover the spread as the underdog.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.