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The Southern Miss Eagles (7-3) soar into Manhattan, KS to claw with the Kansas State Wildcats (7-2) on Wednesday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
With a 7 p.m local CT start time, the Eagles arrive in Manhattan as underdogs on the road to a Kansas State team that has lost 2 of their last 3 games.
The Eagles had their modest 3-game win streak snapped last time out against Wichita Stata, 63 – 60. The Saturday affair had the Eagles as 8-point underdogs to the Shockers, but a game Eagles team came to play their first of two games in the Sunflower State, and kept it close all night.
It Is Time To Become Road Warriors!
When the Eagles faced Wichita State last Saturday, it was the first of 6 straight road games for Southern Miss and it obviously started 0 – 1 with the 63 – 60 loss to the Shockers.
Taking on the No. 28 Wildcats in a rematch from the 2012 NCAA Tournament. We've got your notes and streaming links here! #SMTTT
— Southern Miss MBB (@SouthernMissMBB) December 18, 2018
Tonight, the Eagles are underdogs for a 4th time this season, although they have beaten the line all three times and are 3 – 0 ATS as dogs.
Southern Miss guard Cortez Edwards led all Eagles scorers with 15 points in the loss to the Shockers. Edwards has scored double-digits in all but one game this season, which came against Rust College back on December 2 as he fell 1 point short with 9 on that night. It’s not every day we get to bring up that vaunted Rust College program that lost 106 – 46 to the Eagles. Anyway, Edwards leads the team in scoring with his 14.2 PPG, and his 6 boards a night are also a team high.
Senior guard Tyree Griffin scored 12 against the Shockers, which still has him 2nd on the scoring list with his 13.6 PPG. Griffin’s numbers are a mirror-image from his stats in his 1st season with Southern Miss last year. After transferring from Oklahoma State after his sophomore campaign, Griffin scored 15 PPG as a junior here at Southern Miss, although his average is down to 13.6 this season. He is, however, shooting an identical 43.1% from the floor as he did last year, and his 35.8% from 3 is .1% up from his 35.7 last season. Griffin has also scored in double-digits in 9 of his 10 games played this year.
If you’re expecting a defensive battle tonight, you are on to something because these 2 defenses are spectacular. The Eagles rank 27th in the nation allowing only 62.4 PPG, and they rank 33rd guarding the 3-ball with their 38.6% allowed per game.
Oh, You Like To Defend? So Do We Here In the Little Apple
While the Southern Miss defense has more then held their own this season, the K-State defense has been even better. The Cats rank 10th in the nation allowing 58.6 PPG, and opponents are only making 28% of their shots from distance against Kansas State.
The defense can only do so much, however, because the offense has been struggling to find fluidity this season. Kansas State’s offensive rankings are all near the worst in the country, as their 69.6 PPG has them ranked 290th in NCAA, and their 30.9% from 3 puts them at 293rd in the country with the long ball.
Last time out against Georgia State, the Cats found their way to a 71- 59 win to snap a 2-game skid. The positive came with a negative, however, as senior forward Dean Wade suffered a right foot injury that might see him off the court for some significant time.
Wade managed to reach the double-digit mark with 12 points before he was taken off the court, and his 13.6 PPG will not be easy to simply replace.
What his absence will do is make Barry Brown Jr‘s life more difficult, as the team’s leading scorer will have to adjust to more double-teams. Brown scored 21 against Georgia State last time out, and went 8 for 10 from the floor while burying 4 of his 5 shots from distance.
Also note that senior guard Kamau Stokes might be absent tonight as well, as he is the team’s 4th leading scorer with 9.2 PPG. He came off the court against Georgia State after 29 minutes of action, but scored 15 points to go along 5 boards before exiting the game.
- Wildcats are 7-15 ATS in their last 22 non-conference games.
- Golden Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Golden Eagles are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games.
- Over is 5-2 in Golden Eagles last 7 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Well if the line setters want to give me double-digits and change, then who am I to argue about thinking dog in this spot? I will not argue that point with anyone, because with both Wade and Stokes likely out for Kansas State, on top of the fact that the Eagles aren’t exactly a weak 7 – 3 in 2018, I will take these points with the road team.
Southern Miss +13.5 is your 4* Play on the Side.
Prediction: Southern Miss +13.5
Full-Game Total Pick
This total is tough, and I will leave it as a 2* play because my confidence isn’t screaming out with pride. I expect it to be 65 – 60 game, but obviously that can go astray easily with only a 3-point cushion on the number.
Be gentle with this play and make it light!
The Under 128 is your 2* Play on the Total.
Prediction: Under 128