DUQUESNE DUKES (0-0)
ARIZONA WILDCATS (1-0)
2K Classic - Opening Round
Tip-off: Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Arizona -8.5, Total: 149
A new-look Arizona team tipped off its 2011-2012 campaign against Valparaiso last week, and aims to remain undefeated against another mid-major in Duquesne.
The No. 16 Wildcats will miss the production of last year’s two leading scorers, including lottery pick Derrick Williams, but they found new ways to rack up points in their opener on the back of senior forward Jesse Perry who notched a double-double. Although Arizona finished last season on a streak of four consecutive ATS wins, this squad is clearly having a tough time adjusting. They struggled in their win against Valparaiso, taking an ATS loss. Under head coach Ron Everhart Duquesne is 5-0 in season-opening games, and sports a high-octane offense that has led the A-10 in scoring three times during his tenure. Arizona may squeak out the win in the game, but play on DUQUESNE for the cover, as the Wildcats will need to adjust to a fast tempo and a well-coached team.
This FoxSheets trend also likes the Dukes to cover.
ARIZONA is 1-9 ATS (10.0%, -8.9 Units) off a home no-cover where the team won straight up as a favorite over the last 3 seasons. The average score was ARIZONA 71.5, OPPONENT 75.0 - (Rating = 2*).
Arizona brings back three starters from last season in Kyle Fogg, Solomon Hill and Perry. In their opening matchup against Valparaiso, Perry led the way with 14 points and 10 boards. Notably, the Wildcats’ starters will have to improve on their outside shooting, as the starters went a combined 0-for-5 from downtown. Fogg added 16 points in the game, but outside of Fogg and Perry, the other three starters managed only 15 points on 3-of-13 shooting combined. Arizona barely won the rebounding battle (34-32) and committed 15 turnovers in the victory.
The Dukes will also be adjusting without their two leading scorers from last season, Bill Clark and Damian Saunders, who were also the team’s two leading rebounders. However, they do return the engine of the team, T.J. McConnell, who dished out 140 assists last season, helping Duquesne lead the nation in that category. He also swiped 91 steals, another category in which the Dukes led the country. He should see himself as a bigger scoring threat as well in 2011-2012, with the departure of Clark and Saunders, and will be a real danger to the Wildcats.