All eyes are on the Diamond Head Classic in the college basketball world on Sunday as the final four games played before Christmas are happening in Hawaii and the battle between the Old Dominion Monarchs and the Massachusetts Minutemen will be the second game on the docket for Sunday.
Old Dominion Monarchs vs. Massachusetts Minutemen (-6.5, 155)
This year’s international of Old Dominion is not like the one of season’s past as the team’s has struggled on the defensive end, ranking 323 out of 363 Division I teams in points allowed on a per possession basis and 293rd in total rebound rate.
The rebounding struggles are especially concerning with the duo of Josh Cohen and Matt Cross combining for 34.5 points, 15.4 rebounds, and three steals per game while combining to shoot 34.9% from 3-point range as the main cogs in a Massachusetts unit that is grabbing an offensive rebound on 36.5% of their missed shots, which ranks 14th in the country among Division I teams.
The over-aggression of Old Dominion is also a concern as the team’s ranks 305th in the nation’s top in fouls committed on a per possession basis, though if there is a weakness for the Minutemen it is at the free throw line.
Massachusetts is 342nd in the country in free throw shooting percentage at 63.8% overall, but have shot better away from home at 66.2% while Old Dominion is making just 63.4% of their free throws away from home.
Ball security is also a concern for Old Dominion because the Minutemen are 43rd in America in turnovers forced per offensive play and although Old Dominion is 57th in the country in turnovers committed per offensive play, they have to play a Minutemen team that has had success speeding teams up.
With Old Dominion playing a Massachusetts team that is 34th in total possessions per game and has an advantage on the glass, Massachusetts will take control of Sunday’s game.
The Play: Massachusetts -6.5