Big East Odds
October 23rd College Football news ... Big East Odds at bigeast-odds.com
PHOENIX SUNS (29-25) at MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (11-42)
The Suns really struggled as they entered the All-Star break, losing five of their past six games. They most recently faced the Rockets in Phoenix and lost 127-118 as 2-point favorites. They are just 3-7 ATS in their past 10 games as well, but they have an excellent chance to turn things around with a win over the Timberwolves. Minnesota lost two straight heading into the break, losing 94-91 as a 9-point home underdog versus the Warriors in its most recent game. The Timberwolves had, however, won three straight before those two losses and they are 4-2 ATS in their past six games. Phoenix and Minnesota most recently met at US Airways Center, when the Suns won 110-99 as 14-point home favorites. The Suns also won 113-11 as 8-point underdogs in Minnesota earlier in the season. Theyve won three straight games against the Timberwolves in Minnesota. The Timberwolves are, however, 6-2 ATS in the past eight games played in this head-to-head series. The Suns have played well as a road favorite this season, going 11-3 SU and 8-5-1 ATS. Minnesota, meanwhile, is just 6-16 SU after an ATS win but it is 11-10-1 ATS in those games. The team is also 3-2 ATS when playing on three or more days rest on the season. SG Gary Neal (Acquired in trade) is questionable for the Timberwolves and PF Robbie Hummel (hand) is out for the team. C Alex Len (Ankle) is doubtful for the Suns.
The Suns are in a tight race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference and they need to turn things around immediately or they will find themselves watching the postseason on their televisions once again. PG Eric Bledsoe (17.2 PPG, 5.9 APG, 5.2 RPG, 1.7 SPG) had one of his best games of the season in a loss to the Rockets last game. He played 40 minutes in the loss and finished with 32 points (9-for-19 FG, 2-for-4 3PT, 12-for-13 FT), four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Hell need to continue to use his speed and strength to get to the line for easy points. Bledsoe has, however, struggled against Minnesota this season with just 16.5 PPG (38percent FG) and 1.5 APG in 30.0 MPG in two meetings with the team. Hell need to be more effective this time around. PG Isaiah Thomas (15.2 PPG, 3.7 APG, 1.0 SPG) has seen a major increase in minutes lately, averaging 20.0 PPG, 5.5 APG and 1.5 SPG in 34.5 MPG in the two games before the break. Thomas is averaging just 11.5 PPG in two games against the Timberwolves this season and hell need to find a way to use his speed to get into the lanes in this game. Phoenix needs him to add some serious scoring punch in order to pick up a huge road victory. PF Markieff Morris (15.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.2 SPG) was excellent against the Rockets last game, finishing with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal in 33 minutes of action. Morris will need to knock down some outside shots to stretch out the Minnesota defense and allow his guards to attack the rim. With C Alex Len (6.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.5 BPG) likely out for Phoenix, C Miles Plumlee (4.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.0 BPG) should see some big minutes in this one. Plumlee has been an animal the past two games, averaging 4.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG and 4.0 BPG in 2.0 MPG. Hes playing very well defensively, but hell need to find a way to make some shots at the rim or Jeff Hornacek may opt to replace him with somebody who can.
The Timberwolves lost two straight games heading into the break, but the team has actually been performing a lot better recently. PG Ricky Rubio (10.8 PPG, 7.8 APG, 4.9 RPG, 1.4 SPG) played extremely well in a loss to the Warriors last game, finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals. He should thrive against a Suns team that loves to play an up-tempo brand of basketball. SG Andrew Wiggins (15.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.1 SPG) will also be amped and ready to play this game, as hes averaging 21.0 PPG (58percent FG), 4.5 RPG and 2.0 SPG in 37.5 MPG versus the Suns this season. Wiggins is an excellent player in transition and he should be able to use his size to bully the smaller Phoenix guards in the post as well. This is the perfect matchup for him and Minnesota will need its young superstar to perform at a high level in order to earn this victory. SG Shabazz Muhammad (13.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG) should be fully recovered from a strained oblique after having the All-Star break to get healthy. Muhammad was moving well in the Rising Stars game and its likely that his minute restriction will be lifted for this one. He had 12 points, five rebounds, five assists in 33 minutes the last time he faced Phoenix and he should be able to be more successful as a scorer this time around. C Gorgui Dieng (9.5 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.7 BPG) has played well against the Suns this season, averaging 10.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 4.0 APG and 1.5 BPG in 35.5 MPG but his minutes have decreased since C Nikola Pekovic (13.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG) returned. Pekovic is averaging 17.2 PPG and 6.2 RPG in 26.8 MPG over his past five contests. Regardless of who is getting the big minutes at center, the Timberwolves should have a major advantage at the position over the Suns. Both guys will need to attack Mile Plumlee when they are in, as he is very likely to commit fouls.
Chattanooga looks to VCU assistant Wade to help restore hoops success
Wade, who has family NFL Odds connections to the school as the cousin of former Chattanooga offensive lineman and current Middle Tennessee offensive line coach Geep Wade, who was formally introduced Tuesday as Chattanoogas 18th head coach.
Wade, a Tennessee native born and raised in Nashville, says he remembers when Chattanooga regularly competed for NCAA tournament berths. Chattanooga made four NCAA appearances in a five-year span from 1993-97 and reached a regional semifinal in 1997.
But the Mocs have earned only one NCAA bid in 2009 during the past eight seasons. Wade replaces John Shulman, who was fired last month.
Theyve been great in the past, Wade said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. Theyve had some great teams and a great program. They have all the makings to be great again.
Wade, 30, had been on Shaka Smarts VCU staff the past four seasons. Wade helped the Rams make four consecutive postseason appearances, including three consecutive NCAA tournament trips and the 2011 Final Four.
VCU went 27-9 this season and finished with a No. 23 ranking nationally. The Rams are one of only five programs to win 27 or more games each of the past four seasons, along with Duke, Kansas, Syracuse and Ohio State.
Will Wade distanced himself from a strong group of candidates as the clear choice to lead our mens basketball program, Chattanooga athletic director David Blackburn said in a statement Monday announcing the hiring. He has been a major piece of VCUs success over the last four years and we feel he will bring our program back to a championship level.
Blackburn hired the 30-year-old Wade just four days after announcing the 64-year-old Jim Foster as the new Chattanooga womens basketball coach. Wade, who will rank among the youngest Division I head coaches nationwide, believes his age could be a help rather than a hindrance.
I think its an advantage, Wade said. I think Ive got a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm. I think it helps in terms of being able to relate to the players and having the ability to relate to them and spend time with them and develop really good relationships with them.
At VCU, Wade worked with the Rams Havoc defense, a full-court, pressing style that resulted in a school-record 422 steals in 2012-13 and the 18th-highest single-season total in NCAA history. The Rams led the nation in steals each of the past two years.
Wade expects to bring the same approach to Chattanooga.
Were going to play a high-octane style very similar to what was done at VCU, Wade said.
Smart said in a statement that Chattanooga is hiring an absolute star in Wade.
Will is extremely bright, hard-working and diligent, Smart said. No one will spend more time building relationships with student-athletes than Will. There is no question in my mind that he will be a tremendous success.
Wade worked at Harvard for two seasons with Tommy Amaker before joining VCU. Wade graduated from Clemson in 2005 and spent six years working with that program between 2001 and 07 as a student manager for four seasons, a graduate assistant for one and director of operations.
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