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Bearcats Welcome Mississippi Valley State Tonight

In a match up of 2012 NCAA tournament teams the Bearcats are heavily favored against a Delta Devils team that was recently run off the floor 93-57 against an Ole Miss squad that shot under 40 per cent from the field.

MVSU is a team that really likes to push the pace under first year head coach Chico Potts. Their game against Ole Miss saw both teams crack 80 possessions for the night. For comparisons sake the Bearcats only hit 76 in the route of Tennessee-Martin. One thing is for certain about tonight's game, it will include an awful lot of possessions, and an awful lot of UC scoring. Ole Miss is not a terribly good basketball team, predicted to finish middle of the pack in the SEC, but they flirted with 100 points against the Delta Devils.

That's an indication of what the Bearcats should be capible of doing tonight. MVSU made the tournament last year with a run through the SWAC tournament before dropping a heart breaking first four match up with Western Kentucky 59-58. But nearly everyone from that team is gone.

In fact the turnover from last season to this season is basically complete in scale. Just two Devils, Julius Francis and Blake Rallings have any college experience, and only Rallings has lettered* with the Delta Devils last season. The other 10 players on the roster are new, 7 of them from the Junior College ranks.

*Francis transferred from Winthrop, by way of Northern Oklahoma College, after he was dismissed in the wake of sexual assault allegations

MVSU does have some size, Francis is 6'11" and Montreal Holley is 7'0", which makes MVSU the rare early non conference opponent who can throw some size and Cheikh Mbodj and David Nyarsuk. But the gap in athleticism is predictably immense. Their offense will revolve around the play making ability to Davon Usher, a 6'5" wing forward transferring in from Polk State College in Florida. Usher is the only MVSU player who scored in double digits against Ole Miss, leading with 19 points and kicking in 6 rebounds.

In the final analysis none of that will really matter. The bearcats will almost certainly dominate this game as completely as they dominated the Tennessee Martin game, and roll to another 20 plus point route.

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