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February 13, 2013Follow @SeanWKURivals
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Let's face it, this is a battle of mediocre Sun Belt basketball teams on Thursday night. The Florida Atlantic Owls (11-15, 6-9) have lost six of their last seven games, coming off a razor-thin 72-71 loss to South Alabama on Saturday.
The Hilltoppers (13-12, 7-7) showed a bit of promise with the return of Jamal Crook two weeks ago, reeling off consecutive wins over Troy and North Texas before being embarrassed at home Saturday in a 67-49 loss to Arkansas State.
Will Crook Be A-Foot
It was clear the maestro of this offense, Jamal Crook, was playing hobbled last Saturday against the Red Wolves.
Sure, you can blame it on those sugar sweet Chicago Bulls-esque jerseys the ballers from Jonesboro were sporting, but, it was obvious that playing two games in three days took a toll on Crook's rehabbed foot.
With four days to rest up, it will be interesting to see how Crook will respond.
Head coach Ray Harper made things very clear this week, there will be a new starting lineup for Florida Atlantic.
I put my Professor "X" mutant skills to quality use and reached into the mind of coach Harper and can positively tell you that Thursday's starting lineup will be:
G: Spence Sheldon
G: Teeng Akol
G: T.J. Price
F: George Fant
C: Marcus Vasquez
The Moody-Gantt Effect
There is a reason I have Marcus Vasquez in the starting lineup, because somebody has to be up in the grill of the Owl's dynamic backcourt duo of Stefan Moody and Greg Gantt.
Like a Spanish Fighting Bull, Gantt loves seeing red and cashes some major checks against the Hilltoppers. He already hung 22 points on WKU back on January 12th, helping the Owls escape Diddle Arena with a 66-62 win.
Stefan Moody has burst onto the scene as a freshman, averaging 14.2 points per game for the Mike Jarvis crew. He is now a solid fixture in the Owls' starting lineup and is becoming a dangerous scoring threat.
My Psychic Predictions
- Crook's foot will be healthy, meaning the offense will run silky smooth.
- Teeng will block five shots and shoot eight three pointers.
- Greg Gantt will score 30 points because he is Greg Gantt.
- Caden Dickerson will score 13 points, nailing three 3-pointers.
- Kene Anyigbo will play more than one minute.
- The Burrow will have a multitude of empty seats, despite the "white-out" marketing efforts.
Tops win a close one, 67-65!
The Owls have nice facilities, just check out the locker room
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