Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Conference USA Quarterfinals Preview

March 11, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

Conference USA Quarterfinals Preview

Preview by Zach Van Hart

No. 3 Cincinnati versus No. 6 Louisville
It’s always a battle when the Bearcats and Cardinals take the floor. Thursday shouldn’t be any different as these two square off in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Tournament. While the game is being played in Cincinnati, the Cards will bring a large contingency of fans, providing an atmosphere that will rival the Indiana-Kentucky game. Louisville advanced to the quarters with a hard-fought, 61-54 win against East Carolina. The two teams split their regular season meetings, with Louisville blowing out Cincinnati in Freedom Hall, 93-66, while the Bearcats got the better of them in Fifth Third Arena, 66-61. While this game will likely be closer than game one, it seems clear that the Bearcats are playing better basketball at the moment.

The Cards went 3-7 during their final ten games and struggled again versus East Carolina. They went nearly six minutes without a point during the first half Wednesday and had trouble finding offense in the half court. Besides Francisco Garcia’s 22 points, no one on offense played with consistency. Luke Whitehead and or Taquan Dean will need to step up. The team’s defense continues to play, it’s the offense that is off. Cincinnati has employed a bigger lineup during the late season, using 6-foot-8 Armein Kirkland and 6-foot-7 James White at point guard. Either Tony Bobbitt or Field Williams needs to be on for the Bearcats to win. Whichever team can control the boards and hit the big shots will advance to the semifinals.

No. 2 Memphis versus No. 7 Saint Louis
Thursday’s finale will be a battle of different philosophies: Working the shot clock down to nothing before taking a shot, and jacking up three-pointers like it was going out of style. This will be the case when the Tigers and Billikens meet at 9:30 in the quarterfinal action at the C-USA Tournament. Earlier this season, Memphis defeated Saint Louis in the Pyramid, 63-54. The Tigers actually struggled with their outside shot that game, going 6-of-21 from beyond the arc, but pulled it out. The Billikens will need another poor shooting night from their opponents if they are going to pull the upset.

For Memphis, they are led by senior point guard Antonio Burks and freshman forward Sean Banks. Both players were First Team all-conference and are prolific scorers. Banks is the team leader and is not only an outstanding offensive player, he is a stud on defense, too. It’s going to be tough for Saint Louis to keep up with all of Memphis’ weapons, as they showed last week when Louisville dismantled them, 75-48. For the Billikens to win, they will need to control tempo, limit Memphis to one shot and then get some second chance points. Unless this all happens, look for the Tigers to advance to the semifinals.

No. 1 DePaul versus No. 9 TCU
There will be no Diener vs. Diener matchup Thursday in quarterfinal No. 2 at the C-USA Tournament. Instead, it will be the upset-minded Horned Frogs, which will try to knock off top seed DePaul at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. Earlier this season, the Blue Demons defeated TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, 61-54. That game though was back in mid-January; neither team bares any resemblance to the ones that took the court then. Coming into that game the Demons were 9-6, they went 10-2 the rest of the way. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs have now defeated Marquette twice, both away from home, along with its 25-point drubbing of Louisville. The Frogs advanced to the quarters with a thrilling, 64-62 win against Marquette.

Backcourt play should be pretty even, as Sammy Meija and Drake Diener will go against Corey Santee and Marcus Shropshire. Meija and Santee both like to get it and go, while Shropshire and Diener can be aggressive with their shots, but like to pick their spots as well. Points in the paint will be important, as the Demons like to get their points from Delonte Holland and rebounds from Andre Brown. Chudi Chinweze and Femi Ibikunle will have their work cut out for them to contain DePaul’s inside play. If this game is helter-skelter, it will favor TCU. But if the Blue Demons can dictate tempo, they should move on to the semifinals.

No. 4 UAB versus No. 5 Charlotte
Perhaps the best No. 4-No. 5 game in the country, these two co-champions will kick off an incredible day of quarterfinal games at the C-USA Tournament. Earlier in the season, the Blazers handed Charlotte only its third home loss of the season, 69-62, Jan. 24. “UAB’s had our number,” said Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz. “They beat us in the conference tournament last year and at our place this year.” If the Niners repeat their 1-of-18 performance from downtown, than UAB should advance to the semifinals. Don’t expect that to happen though, as the 49ers are playing great basketball right now. Both teams are very quick and athletic, relying on several players to make contributions on both sides of the ball. Expect a close game throughout.

In the backcourt, Morris Finley and Carldell Johnson will match up with Brendan Plavich and Demon Brown. Besides Johnson, all three like to fire away from beyond the arc. Despite their size (Johnson is 5-foot-10, Finley is 5-foot-11), they are one of the best defensive backcourts in the country and will pressure the outside shot of Plavich and Brown. Inside, Charlotte has an advantage with First Team all-conference Curtis Withers and underrated Eddie Basden. Both teams have a solid bench, with the Blazers owning the advantage. This game could go either way, but look for the Niners to move on to the semifinals with a close win.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about several big pieces of news away from game play, one of which puts a lot in perspective. We also talk about the lack of dominant teams and how this has shown up in the results, especially this past weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with a big game in the Big East, then move on to the sudden lack of undefeated teams, a big injury in the ACC, and a powerhouse that looks vulnerable in a stacked conference they have long ruled.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.