The University of St. Thomas Tommies (1-2) travel to Youngstown Ohio today to take on the Penguins in their first of three games over the next three days at the Beeghly Physical Education Center.
How are the Toms doing in the D1 debut games?
This team is performing about where they should be. They have played in front of a total of 1220 fans across their three games, and it is fair to say that a significant percentage of them were wearing UST gear.
Chicago State 77 St. Thomas 72
It seemed like nothing could go right in a game that to any observer was these teams’ first games in a long time. Not even the clock operator was having a good night as there were a couple of stoppages to address that issue. St. Thomas did not get into any sort of rhythm against a Chicago State team that is going to rank better than their predicted last place finish in D1. The ESPN3 announcers pointed out that it seemed more like a home game atmosphere for the Toms. The 300 announced attendance I am willing to bet was exaggerated.
St Francis 73 St. Thomas 91
The first “W” of the D1 era comes off of an incredible night shooting for Anders Nelson (12-16). Riley Miller scored all of his points from beyond the arc going 7-11. Everything was going well for the Toms, who even had 38 points in the paint. UST beat up on the terriers by a greater margin than some school called Penn State who only beat this team by 15.
Fordham 84 St. Thomas 78
This looked like a game that St. Thomas should have won. Fordham RS Senior and Bronx-Native Chuba Ohams got into some foul trouble and St. Thomas unfortunately could not take full advantage. St. Thomas led for a brief period in the second half before the Rams’ Kyle Rose transformed from Charlie Rose (0pts in last game) into Derrick Rose scoring 22. A very impressive night for Parker Bjorklund who had a double-double (15pts 10reb).
WHO IS UP NEXT?
Youngstown State 11/19 @4PM CST–Look for Senior Michael Akuchie to lead his team in scoring. Youngstown’s only win has come over So. E. Missouri State. Youngstown has also seen good production from transfer Tevin Olson who is a major threat from 3 point land.
Niagara 11/20 @3:45–The toughest team that the Toms will play, they are still looking for their first win of the season after losing a close contest to Xavier (by 3) and kept it close with No. 17 Ohio State. Guard Marcus Hammond leads the team with 23.5 points per game.
SIU-Edwardsville 11/21 @Noon–This is the winnable game of the weekend and likely only die-hard fans will watch because it is going up against Vikings v Packers. SIU-E lost to Chicago State by 11. Team Leader Cam Williams will likely be back at full strength after coming back against Knox after an ACL tear. Freshman Ray’Sean Taylor was the OVC freshman of the week after scoring 24 against Chicago State. Fatigue may be a factor in this game after this long weekend of basketball for all these teams involved.
The D3 Big 3
Returners Anders Nelson, Riley Miller, and Parker Bjorklund are the faces of this team. An off night for any of these three men is going to result in a loss against these larger D1 opponents.
The time to shine is Nau
Brookfield Wis. Native Ben Nau is the only newcomer to have gotten significant minutes. He is so far 1-8 shooting from 3 and 2-11 overall coming off the bench. His shots, if made, could potentially impact the game in favor of St. Thomas.
St. Thomas’ games have all been well over the Las Vegas decided over/under. My picks this weekend, even without seeing the o/u for the Niagara and SIU-E games will be to take the over.
Season Picks (1-2) -.2u
UST v Youngstown o151
UST v Niagara o?
UST v SIU-E o?