Last Updated: 2017-03-06
Place: MARRIOTT CENTER, Provo, Utah
Date/Time: Monday November 14th, 2016. 10:00 PM ET
TV Coverage: ESPN 2
Monday night college basketball will showcase couple of very exciting games. One of those interesting match-ups televised on ESPN 2 Tip-Off Marathon is the game between the Princeton Tigers who will travel west and face the BYU Cougars at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
BYU Cougars hope to continue their winning streak against the Tigers
The BYU Cougars have played the Princeton Tigers on 4 different occasions, coming out on top in all 4 games. On Monday night, the Cougars will try to extend that winning record as they host the Ivy League top contender in a season opener at the Marriott Center. After a season with 26 wins, in which they made the NIT semifinals, Cougars coach Dave Rose enters his 12th season at BYU with high expectations, especially considering that he has finally gathered a group loaded with talent. Despite the fact that Cougars have lost two of their top 3 scorers from last season, Kyle Collinsworth (15.3 ppg) and Chase Fischer (18.2 ppg), the Cougars will have enough firepower to defeat the Tigers. Sophomore G Nick Emery (16.3 ppg) and senior F Kyle Davis (11.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg) are marked as the potential leaders on the team. In addition, Coach Rose brought in some nice transfers in Senior G L.J. Rose (averaged 9.8 ppg, 5.3 apg as a junior at Houston) and Sophomore G Elijah Bryant (averaged 14.2 ppg at Elon University). The BYU offense should once again look pretty decent. Last year they have averaged 83.6 ppg while allowing 72.8 ppg, making it a scoring differential of +10.8. The Cougars were decent from the field, shooting 46.3% (59th in the Nation last year) and hitting 38.2% from the 3-point line (33rd).
Can the Tigers roar scare away the Cougars
The Princeton Tigers look mighty, once again, having all of their leading scorers back. In fact, the Tigers have everyone back except Mike Washington, who averaged less than 4 minutes per contest last season. Big addition for the Tigers is the return of Hans Brans (averaged 11.4 ppg and 7.5 rpg in 2014/2015), who missed the entire last season with a torn ACL. Henry Caruso (15 ppg and 6.2 rpg), Steven Cook (11.7 ppg and 1.7 apg) and Devin Cannady (11.6 ppg) will be the main threat for the Cougars on Monday night. Offensively, the Tigers were ranked 39th in the nation, scoring 79.1 ppg, while allowing only 68.6 (90th), with a scoring margin of +10.5. Their shooting percentages from last season proved that the Tigers are offensively oriented team, shooting 46.4% from the field and 38.3% from the 3-point line (ranked 31st in the nation). Important to note regarding the Tigers is the fact that they know how to take care of the ball, turning the ball over only 331 times during the last season, which ranked them at the sixth spot of teams with fewest turnovers per game.
Princeton vs BYU Prediction
There is no doubt that the Princeton Tigers will win plenty of games this season once again, and possibly take the Ivy League, but the BYU Cougars are my favorites in this game and I expect nothing less than a clean W in front of their home crowd at the Marriott Center. BYU is a tough cookie to beat at home, while the Tigers are not exceptionally good when they have to travel across the country, which is why the -4 BYU Cougars are my pick.
The current total is set to 159. Considering that both teams can go off easily, I would go with the Over in this one.