James Michael McAdoo

Pregame Shootaround 11.27.12: Getting you ready for Tuesday night’s slate of games

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Each day, CollegeBasketballTalk brings you the “Pregame Shootaround,” which will be posted at 2 p.m. ET and lay out a preview for the slate of games that night. We’ll take a look at some key match-ups and important games, as well as make some predictions and point out what you need to watch for. Take a look below at today’s edition:

Game of the night: No. 14 North Carolina vs. No. 1 Indiana

This will be Indiana’s first big test of the season, after winning two games in Brooklyn and capturing the Legends Classic title. Of course, Georgetown (now ranked) is no slouch, but the Tar Heels offer some very good match-ups for IU. Take a look at “Five Things to Watch For” for the McAdoo-Zeller breakdown. Also keep an eye on Marcus Paige vs. Yogi Ferrell, two young guards matching up against each other. Should be a good one at Assembly Hall.

Who’s Getting Upset?: Texas against Sam Houston State

I’m not saying it’ll happen, but keep a look out for it. Without Myck Kabongo in the lineup as he waits for an eligibility ruling from the NCAA, the Longhorns are vulnerable. They lost to both USC and D-II Chaminade in Maui, then came back with a victory over a rebuilding Mississippi State team. Sam Houston kept it close in their opener against Arkansas, so we’ll see what happens.

Mid-Major matchup of the night: Lehigh vs. Quinnipiac

QU was able to take Connecticut into double overtime a few weeks back, so can they channel that magic and beat Lehigh? C.J. McCollum, as always, is the focal point for Lehigh. He’s averaging 25.7 points per game on the year.
Five Things to Watch For:

1)     James Michael McAdoo vs. Cody Zeller in the post is one of the better one-on-one match-ups we’ve seen so far this year. Preseason All-American vs. forward looking to have a breakout season. Both are expected to be lottery picks in the 2013 NBA draft. Zeller: 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds. McAdoo: 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds.

2)     Michigan had a good showing in New York City in the NIT Tip-Off, but they have another test waiting for them with NC State. Couple of good match-ups in this one: Lorenzo Brown vs. Trey Burke, TJ Warren vs. Glenn Robinson III.

3)      Can Minnesota carry its momentum from Atlantis back to the States? Gophers would like to have Andre Hollins back on track. He scored 41 points against Memphis, but then put up just eight on 1-of-8 shooting from the floor against Stanford.

4)     Tulane takes on Loyola New Orleans. In and of itself it’s not a marquee game, but Tulane is headed to the Big East in all sports, as announced today, so expect no shortage of references to that during the broadcast.

5) The backcourt combination of Tray Woodall and James Robinson has been stellar for Pittsburgh. They take on Howard.

The Rest of the Top 25:

No. 18 NC State vs. No. 3 Michigan

Texas Southern vs. No. 19 Colorado

No. 21 Minnesota vs. Florida State

Other notable games:

Pittsburgh vs. Howard

Maryland vs. Northwestern

Iowa vs. Virginia Tech

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
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Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
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Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.