How to watch, listen or stream
Time: 11:30 a.m. ET
Radio: 610 Sports Radio
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Spread: Villanova opened as a 23-point favorite. The line was docked down to 21.5.
Records ATS: Western Michigan (0-1) || Villanova (2-0)
Villanova and Western Michigan begin their quests to win the 2016 Charleston Classic.
After winning last year’s Preseason NIT, the Legends Classic in 2014, and the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis, ‘Nova is seeking their fourth-straight preseason tournament title.
This will be the first time, dating back to at least the 1949-50 season, that WMU and Villanova have met per Sports-Reference’s play index.
What to watch for
Ineffectiveness from 3 on one end, not so much on the other
Western Michigan has gotten off to a brutal start from the perimeter this season. The Broncos are shooting 20 percent from long range, which ranks 321st in the country in the early goings as of writing. This doesn’t bode well against a ‘Nova team that is allowing just 25.9 percent of 3-pointers to be converted so far this season.
Conversely, WMU’s defense has been relatively average. The Broncos are allowing just 34.8 percent of 3-point attempts to be converted against them, but ‘Nova has been shooting well. Unlike their skittish start from 3 a year ago, the ‘Cats are posting a mark of 37.9 percent from the perimeter. If they start to knock down their long-range attempts, look out: It could get ugly in a hurry.
Another issue down low?
Villanova didn’t have anybody who could stop Purdue’s Isaac Haas on Tuesday night. Haas made life miserable down low for the Wildcats, and Caleb Swanigan had his fair share as well as the ‘Cats seem to be sorely missing the big body of Daniel Ochefu.
WMU could take advantage of this issue that ‘Nova has as they too have a 7-footer on the roster. Sophomore Seth Dugan is a 7-foot tall, 240-pound hoss who has put up solid efficiency numbers so far this season as one might expect. His FG%, eFG% and TS% all hover around 56-57 percent and he’s been a strong rebounder also.
Obviously the talent gap between the two should allow for ‘Nova to get the win. However, Dugan could have his way with the interior defense that the Wildcats will trot out if they aren’t careful.
Does Jalen’s hot start continue?
Sophomore point guard Jalen Brunson has gotten off to a great start this year. Brunson’s posted double figures in his first two games this year, hashing out to an average of 13.5 points per game along with 3.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game as well. All of which while shooting 50 percent from the 3-point line, 83.3 percent on 2-point attempts, and 64.2 percent from the field. WMU’s defense may not be able to handle what Brunson will bring to the table, so another huge game could be on the horizon for the Lincolnshire, Illinois native.
For more coverage, visit our pals over at VU Hoops.