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NIT Round 1 Preview and Open Thread

The Trojans of Alabama visit the Rebels of Oxford tonight in the opening round of the National Invitational Tournament or, as it's colloquially referred to, the "Never In Tourney" bracket (I know it's not funny. Neither are any of the other joke anagrams). Both teams are disappointed in their current situation--our Rebels were officially the second team out and Troy got upset big time by the Mean Green in the Sun Belt Tournament--but hope to salvage whatever sort of redemption they can muster  by earning a few wins in barely-noticeable postseason play.

For a quick look on what to expect tonight and your evening's open thread, click away. Also, no Red Cup Radio tonight because a) we're lazy b) there's a game on and c) we're all gettin' our Irish on tonight.


Get it? Because they're Troy? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. It's really funny. 

Troy's basketball team consists of a few former bigger league players who couldn't cut it with the big boysmoderately talented athletes of the SEC West.  Most notably are former Mississippi State point guard, Richard Delk, who is averaging just over 12 points per game, and former Alabama center Yamene Coleman who is a 6'9" starter who sees a significant chunk of minutes down low.  In fact, he sees nearly all of the minutes down low because he is unfortunately the only player for the Trojans who is over 6'6".  To give you an idea as to how much of a size advantage this gives our Rebels, consider that we have six guys who are either 6'6" or higher on the roster.

I know, I know, one of them is Deaundre Cranston so that tally is a bit misleading. But, it is still significant.

Troy will not win underneath the basket. Buckner and Henry should both have good defensive games and Coleman will either be in significant foul trouble or exhausted down the stretch.

Guard Brandon Hazzard is the offensive weapon Troy will need to utilize if they're going to score enough points to win tonight. He is averaging over 16 points per game and has a season high tally of 30. He also shoots 38.9 from behind the arc (meaning he'll be about 50% against the Rebels, if not 100%) which is more than enough to make him dangerous. Antywan Jones, a Cleveland, MS native is also a dangerous shooter--although he doesn't see as many minutes as Hazzard--with a 40+% three-point percentage.

It is apparent that Troy's game is centered around perimeter and mid-range shooting, due to their lack of size underneath. If the Rebels can give them fits on the perimeter--something we can do fairly effectively--their interior game should be rendered fairly impotent (KA-ZING ANOTHER SEX REFERENCE!) against our post.

Old Piss Weebuls - 72
Troy Brojans (brah) - 60

If we win, and assuming the Memphis Tigers defeat St. Johns, the Rebels will play host to the Tigers in Oxford. Lulz.