College Hoops NIT Quarterfinals: BYU Cougars vs Southern Miss Golden Eagles

2013 NIT Quarterfinals
Brigham Young Cougars vs Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Reed Green Coliseum – Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Opening Line: Southern Miss -6
Current Line: Southern Miss 5 1/2
Opening Total: 151
Current Total: 152
Opening Money Line: Southern Miss -250 / BYU +210
Current Money Line: Southern Miss -245 / BYU +205

BYU is a 5.5 point underdog at Southern Miss Wednesday in the NIT quarterfinals.
BYU is a 5.5 point underdog at Southern Miss Wednesday in the NIT quarterfinals.

The 27-9 Southern Miss Golden Eagles will take on the 23-11 BYU Cougars Wednesday in Hattiesburg in the NIT quarterfinals. The winner will play either Baylor or Providence in next week’s semifinals in New York. BYU and Southern Miss have never played each other before.

Southern Miss finished second in Conference USA at 12-4, 4 games behind 16-0 Memphis. The Golden Eagles lost to Memphis 91-79 in double overtime in the Conference USA championship. Southern Miss wasn’t selected for the NCAA tournament as Conference USA wasn’t really strong enough to seriously be considered for two spots. THe Golden Eagles were given one of the 4 #1 seeds in the NIT though. Southern Miss beat Charleston Southern 78-71 in the first round and Louisiana Tech  63-52 in the second round Monday. Both games were in Hattiesburg.

BYU finished third in the West Coast Conference with a 10-6 record, but they weren’t on the same level as Gonzaga or St. Mary’s. Four of their six conference losses came to those two teams. The Cougars were upset by San Diego 72-69 in the WCC quarterfinals. BYU was given a #3 seed in the NIT. The Cougars beat Washington 90-79 in the first round, and beat Mercer 90-71 in the second round Monday. Both games were in Provo. The Cougars had to make the 1,700 mile trip to Hattiesburg on Tuesday.

BYU is coached by Dave Rose. The Cougars have losses to Florida St and Notre Dame in a tournament in Brooklyn, at Iowa St, Baylor, to St. Mary’s twice, Gonzaga twice, at San Diego, and at home to San Francisco.   BYU has key wins over UTSA, CS-Northridge, Montana, Utah, Weber St, Virginia Tech, Utah St, Loyola Marymount twice, San Francisco, Pepperdine twice, Santa Clara twice, Portland twice, Utah St and San Diego. BYU is 15-17-1 ATS and the total is 11-14 this season.

BYU is outscoring teams 77-70 this season. The Cougars are #11 in scoring nationally. BYU is shooting 45.8% from the field and 33.8% from 3 point range. The Cougars make 72.8% of their free throws. BYU is #20 in rebounding with 38.6 per game, and they give up 31.4 per game. Cougar opponents are shooting 42.3% from the field and 33.4% from 3 point range. BYU averages 16 assists, 8 steals, 2 blocks, and 12 turnovers per game.

Guard Tyler Hawes averages 21.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Brandon Davies averages 18 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1 blocks per game. Guard Matt Carlino averages 11.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Guard Brock Zylstra averages 7.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal per game. Josh Sharp, Craig Cusick, and Nate Austin also get significant minutes, but none of them average more than 4.6 points per game. Sharp is questionable with an Achilles’ injury.

Southern Miss is coached by Donnie Tyndall, in his first year. The Golden Eagles have losses at New Mexico St, at Arizona, at Louisiana Tech, at Wichita St, at Central Florida, Memphis 3 times, and at Marshall. USM has wins over Western Kentucky, at Georgia, Liberty, Denver, at Rice, Houston, at SMU, UAB 3 times, Marshall, at Tulsa, Tulane, East Carolina twice, Central Florida, and UTEP twice. The Golden Eagles are 16-16-1 ATS and the total is 15-7 this season.

Southern Miss is outscoring teams 74-63. The Golden Eagles are #31 in scoring nationally. Southern Miss is shooting 48.3% from the field and 38.4% from 3 point range. The Golden Eagles are in the top 20 nationally in both categories. USM makes 69.8% pf their free throws. The Golden Eagles average 35.5 rebounds per game and give up 26.3 per game. Southern Miss is #9 in rebounds allowed. Golden Eagle opponents are shooting 40.8% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. USM averages 15 assists, 10 steals, 3 blocks, and 15 turnovers per game.


Guard Dwayne Davis averages 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Jerrold Brooks averages 10.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Neil Watson averages  9.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.8 assists. Forward Jonathan Mills averages 9.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Michael Craig is out for the season with an ankle injury. He averaged 9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. Forward Daveon Boardingham averages 8.4 points, 4 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. He is questionable with a knee injury. Rashard McGill, Cedric Jenkins, and Norville Carey make up the rest of the rotation.

BYU is 3-0-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 4-0 against Conference USA teams, 4-1 in non-conference games, 16-35-1 after a cover, 2-5 in road games after 3 or more straight home games, 4-11 against teams with winning home records, and 4-12 in road games.

Southern Miss is 7-3 ATS against teams with losing road records, 9-4 in non-conference games, 3-7-1 after a straight up win, 4-11-1 overall, 3-10-1 against teams with winning records, and 0-4 in Wednesday games.

These are two of the highest scoring teams in the country, so this should be an up and down game. Neither plays great defense, but USM is better. I think fatigue could be an issue for BYU having to travel so far yesterday. I like Southern Miss to win at home.

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