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USF vs. Cleveland State Preview: Or GUARD NORRIS COLE!

USF finishes up their non-conference schedule as they head up to Cleveland State to play the Vikings tonight at 7. This will be the last game not televised this season, so you will have to result to the dulcet tones of Jim Lighthall tonight if you want to hear the game live. Cleveland State is 12-1 so far this season, but their best win is a 3 point win over Kent State. The only other team they've played with a pulse was West Virginia, which beat CSU 74-63.

This team reminds me a lot of our team last season, as they are a guard heavy team. The Vikings are led by Senior Guard Norris Cole. Cole is averaging 21.1 points, 4.8 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.2 steals a game. Just read that over again. That's Dominique Jones territory right there. And this is all coming from a guy who is 6'2. Cole attacks the rim with abandon, and is rewarded for his actions by going to the line almost 8 times a game. From the line he is money, shooting 83% from the charity stripe. Cole can also shoot from three, where he is shooting 39% so far this season. The only other guy who can score like Cole this season is BYU's Jimmer Fredette. Anthony Crater is going to have his hands full tonight.

Trevon Harmon is CSU's leading scorer, and the team's three point threat. The 6'1 Harmon is averaging 13.8 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. Harmon himself averages 6 attempted three pointers a game, and he shoots 39% when he does. Harmon isn't as good of a ball handler as Cole, as he has as many turnovers as he does assists this year.

Cleveland State's only real post option is 6'9 275 lb Junior Aaron Pogue. Pogue is averaging 7.7 points and 6.2 rebounds a game. Pogue gets most of his points on put backs, and his main function is to take up space in the post. Pogue and 6'6 Tim Kamczyc will have have a big challenge guarding Ron Anderson Jr., Augustus Gilchrist, and Jarrid Famous tonight.

Tempo is going to dictate tonight's game, and if we can slow things down, and break their press we can win tonight. If CSU forces 15+ turnovers we have no chance. It'll be another close one, but I think USF falls to 6-7.

CSU 68 - USF 64