La Salle Explorers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Preview and Pick – Point Spread

LaSalle Explorers (7-3 2-4 ATS) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-1 3-1-1 ATS) Ford Center, Oklahoma City, OK 8:30 PM EST Monday December 21, 2009 on ESPN2
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Explorers +9.5 / Cowboys -9.5
Over/Under: 144

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Tonight in the All College Classic in Oklahoma City the Oklahoma State Cowboys take on the La Salle Explorers. While the Cowboys are not really at home they will have home court advantage in this game being played in their home state.

The Cowboys have only lost one game this season, but they have not played a very tough pre-Big 12 schedule. However, in their last game they beat a tough Stanford team. La Salle is 7-3 and 2 of their 3 losses have come to teams ranked in the top 10 (Villanova and Kansas).

La Salle is led by the solid backcourt duo of Rodney Green (18.5 ppg) and Kimmani Barrett (13.7 ppg) and these guys have to play well to pull off the upset tonight. The Cowboys feature a solid inside out game led by G James Anderson (21.2 ppg 6.3 rpg) and F Marshall Moses (11.2 ppg 9.8 rpg). The backcourt of the Cowboys is legit having 3 players that are averaging in double figures. OSU has a good defensive team only allowing opponents to average 64 ppg this season.

In their last game the Explorers beat Bucknell 83-70. Bucknell had a 2-point lead at half time, but La Salle turned it up a notch in the 2nd half outscoring Bucknell 44-29. The Explorers had 4 players score in double figures and they shot lights out in the game going 27/46 from the floor for a scorching FG% of 58.7% and hit on 46.2% of their 3-point bombs. La Salle had 15 turnovers in the game and they can’t play sloppy like that tonight.

The Cowboys beat Stanford 71-70 on Wednesday night. G James Anderson blew up for 28 points on 10/19 shooting and grabbed 6 boards. The Cowboys got a bit lucky, as Stanford only hit 50% of their free throws and OSU committed 17 turnovers in the game. The Cowboys won the battle of the boards in the game and they had 3 blocks while Stanford had none.

The Cowboys should be able to dominate the glass tonight, as Moses (9.8 rpg) and Anderson (6.3 rpg) can both rebound well and La Salle only really has Aaric Murray (7 rpg) as a legit rebounder. Even though the Cowboys do not have a lot of size inside they rebound well as a team.

Anderson is 6’6″ and is used to getting open looks, but tonight faces Rodney Green and Kimmani Barrett, who are 6’5″ and 6’6″ respectively. However, Anderson will still find a way to score tonight and will have a good game.

The Cowboys and their trio of guards will be able to score tonight, as they are good at moving the ball around and finding the open guy. If La Salle comes up to close the shooting lanes they will dump it to Moses, who will also have a good scoring game tonight.

Barrett and Green are solid guards for the Explorers, but they will have trouble shooting tonight, as they will be facing a Cowboys’ backcourt that is very quick and has height.

La Salle does not have the best defensive team allowing opponents to average 71.7 ppg. In their losses to Villanova and Kansas they gave up 81 and 90 points respectively and both of those teams have great backcourts. The Cowboys strength is their backcourt, so look for them to light up the scoreboard tonight.

Aaric Murray (10.8 ppg 7 rpg) does have the size inside (6’10”), but he is a freshman and will have trouble scoring tonight against a solid Cowboys’ D.

Jason’s Pick: I think the Over is a solid pick, as the Explorers have given up a lot of points to legit teams and the Cowboys are in that category. La Salle should get their fair share of hoops as well.