Diamond Head Classic Preview

12/22/13 in NCAABB   |   EdIsaacson   |   15 respect

The last of the big Holiday tournaments before conference play starts in full next week, the Diamond Head Classic may not have a lot of star power, but it has some very good teams and the potential for some quality match-ups. Iowa State is the favorite heading in, but St. Mary’s has been tough, Boise State can score points, and Oregon State has two of the top scorers in the country. Here is a look at each of the Diamond Head Classic teams: 
Dec 22, 2013;  Honolulu, HI, USA; The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors try to stop Boise State Broncos guard/forward Anthony Drmic (3) during the first half of the game at  Stan Sheriff Center. Mandatory Credit: Marco Garcia-USA TODAY SportsAkron
Keith Dambrot’s Zips come to Hawaii having won four in a row since a 1 and 2 record to start to the season. Forward Quincy Diggs is off to a great all-around start, averaging 12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2 steals per game. Fellow senior forward Demetrius Treadwell has been a force around the basket, averaging almost 15 points and 9 rebounds per game. The loss of center Zeke Marshall to graduation has left a gap in the middle, but sophomore Pat Forsythe and freshman Isaiah Johnson are combining for almost 11 points and 7 rebounds per game, and almost 2.5 blocks combine per contest.  Sophomores Jake Kretzer and Reggie McAdams add some strong perimeter shooting. The point guard position is still a bit of an issue with junior Nyles Evans not being a great distributor and more often looking to take a shot.  

Boise State
The Broncos, one of the favorites in the Mountain West conference this year, are coming into the tournament having lost 2 in a row (Kentucky and St. Mary’s) after an 8-0 start.  The strength is in the backcourt with one of the top scoring trios in the country – Derrick Marks, Anthony Drmic, and 3-point specialist Jeff Elorriaga. The attention the perimeter draws helps senior forward Ryan Watkins get good opportunities around the basket. Watkins is averaging 10 points and 9.7 rebounds on the year.  The rest of the rotation is filled out by more perimeter players – guards Igor Hadziomerovic, Mikey Thompson, and Thomas Bropleh. Freshman Nick Duncan gets some minutes on the interior, but Leon Rice’s team doesn’t have a good interior presence, especially on defense. When they play, they will give up a lot of points and hope to just outscore the other team.

George Mason
Paul Hewitt’s Colonials are coming in having lost 4 of their last 5 games. The team is led by senior guards Bryon Allen and Sherrod Wright. Allen does a good job getting the Colonials into their offense and can be a scorer when needed. Wright loves to attack the basket and he does a great job using his body to get him there. Combined, the two are averaging over 28 points per game.  Sophomore Marko Gujanicic is a skilled forward who can put up points quickly and is improving on the defensive side.  After these three players, the scoring drops off.  Hewitt’s club will rely on perimeter defense to keep them in games, especially stopping the three-point shot. The Colonials are holding teams to around25% shooting from behind the arc so far this season. It’s important for them to be solid on defense as they are one of the worst teams in the country turning over the ball.

The Warriors haven’t gotten much national attention in years, but Gib Arnold’s team this season is a lot of fun to watch. Senior forward Christian Standhardinger has turned into one of the nation’s most versatile scorers, able to score in the post or in the mid-range area efficiently. Sophomore forward Isaac Fotu is athletic and can be a force on the offensive boards. The backcourt of Keith Shamburger and Garrett Nevels isn’t very big, but they know how to get into the defense, and are both capable of getting the team out in transition. Senior Brandon Spearman is an athletic guard who is tough to stop when he is isolation. Senior center Davis Rozitis doesn’t play a ton of minutes, but when the 7-footer is in, he gives the team an added rim-protector. The Warriors will play a fast-paced game and will hope that pace will force opponents into mistakes (15 turnovers per game).
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