Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Global Sports Hoops Showcase

This week Utah will host the Global Sports Hoops Showcase tournament (not to be confused with the Global Sports Shootout, the Global Sports Challenge, the Global Sports Invitational, the Global Sports Main Event or the Global Sports Hardwood Challenge).

It's a four-team field, and each will play three games in three days. This is a big change from the rest of Utah's November schedule, which generally calls for one game per week. None of our opponents appear to pose any threat, although each comes along with some interesting aspects. Here's what I know:

Grand Canyon [NASDAQ: LOPE] is a publicly-traded Christian university, and the only for-profit school to play NCAA Division I basketball. They are coached by former NBAer and noted Jazz-killer, Dan Majerle. They are brand new to the WAC, where the coaches expect them to finish in 8th place (out of 9 teams). Senior guard Demetrius Walker was picked second team all-WAC in the preseason poll. Also be sure to watch Killian Larson, who went 18p/9r against Loyola-Marymount and 14p/15r against San Diego. GCU stocks have performed very well over the last six months with a current P/E of 26 and institutional ownership steady at 111%. But we should expect shares to open on Friday morning at least .5% lower than Thursday's close, due to the thrashing the Lopes will receive from the Utes Thursday night.

Lamar: The Cardinals are coached by Pat Knight, whose past achievements include coaching Texas Tech to the NIT Quarterfinals, leading Lamar to the NCAA tournament two years ago, and being Bobby's son. On the court, Lamar is led by Nimrod Hilliard (16.0p/4.7r), Donovan Ross (15.7p/4.3r) and Amos Wilson (preseason all-Southland third team). The Cardinals are winless on the year but have faced some pretty stiff competition including Washington State, who beat them by twenty last week. The Southland conference coaches picked Lamar to finish 10th in the league (out of 12 teams).

Savannah State: The Tigers were picked to finish 6th (out of 13 teams) in the Mid-Eastern Conference. They lost their top three scorers from last year and will look to Deven Williams (9.7p) to pick up the slack. Jyles Smith (8.7p/7.0r season) has been a pleasant surprise for the Tigers over the last two games (15p.0/11.5r last two).

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