Team Profile: Northeastern at Wright State Preview

by Matthew Stevens | February 18th, 2009

Saturday, 11 A.M. EST, ESPN2

Northeastern currently holds the tiebreaker over VCU for the top-seed in the Colonial Athletic Association Conference Tournament and the team doesn’t believe that VCU’s hometown advantage (the tournament is played in Richmond) diminishes that accomplishment.

“We tell the kids that imagine being told in August that with three games left to play you’d playing for the league title – how would you feel,” Northeastern head coach Bill Coen said in his weekly teleconference Monday.

The Huskies have lost three of their last four league contests and Coen is less than pleased with the way his squad is playing.

“Most importantly we’re not playing our best basketball right now and try to win a game here,” he said. “Right now we’re struggling a little bit right now and we don’t need to be watching anybody else’s results.”

Consider this stat about Wright State: The Raiders are 3-9 against teams with winning records. During their current 16-of-20 run, they’ve only beaten two teams inside the RPI Top 100 (Cleveland State and Arkansas-Little Rock).

This is another matchup where both schools get national television audience but must rely on winning their very difficult conference tournaments to play in the NCAA’s.

Key Matchup: NU sophomore guard Chaisson Allen vs.WSU junior Todd Brown
While the game is five hours away from Allen’s hometown of Murfreesboro, Tenn., it is the second closest contest the Huskies have played from Allen’s friends and family (a 55-42 win at Indiana where Allen scored 13 points.)

Allen will be asked to not only give a consistent offensive effort, but he will also check Wright State’s hottest scorer in Brown.

The Raiders’ leading scorer has had at least 15 points in five of the last seven games and is shooting 42 percent on three-pointers.

Prediction: Northeastern 58, Wright State 53
Points will be a premium in this early game but Northeastern leading scorer Matt Janning will be the x-factor for the Huskies because he’s a tricky matchup for Wright State. Janning can play both the 2 or 3 positions and will likely get to the paint against a guard-oriented Raiders team.

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