With the Diamond Head Classic tipping off a little later today, we're finishing up our roundup of quick previews for the rest of the field.
Coming off a loss to top ten opponent Xavier, the Tigers look to bounce back with a win against New Mexico in the Diamond Head Classic. With large contingent of fans making the journey, Auburn can score with the best putting up 83 points per game. The number ranks 29th in the nation. Coach Bruce Pearl likes to keep Kareem Canty on the court as the guard averages a team high 32 minutes per game. However, Canty produces at a high level pouring in 20 points per game to go along side 5.8 assists. Defensively, this group gives up 78.8 points per game which has led to a 5-3 record on the young season.
The Lobos are no strangers to ESPN Tournaments and have produced NBA talent like Chicago's Tony Snell. In recent years, New Mexico has been known for a smothering defense and it appears as though nothing has changed. One trait obvious to fans is that Craig Neal favors playing his starters in extended minutes. Three starters average over 31 minutes a game including leading scorer Elijah Brown while the other two average just over 22 minutes.
One of the best rebounding teams in the country, BYU can create mismatches on the perimeter. Kyle Collinsworth stands 6-6 as a guard and averages 14.5 points per game, a number good enough to rank third on the team. Yet, the senior is a threat to reach triple-double figures on any given night. On another note, the Cougars have plenty of scoring options with three others averaging over double-digits. Experience favors this group as they'll face a polar opposite in the first round of the Classic.
After dominating the Ivy League for years, the Crimson received some bad news when captain Siyani Chambers tore an ACL. The injury will force Chambers to miss the entire season leaving the door open for a couple of challengers in the conference. There's no secret that Harvard plays a slow style of basketball that involves moving the ball consistently. However, they're off to a slow start as well at 3-6 overall. Coach Tommy Amaker may opt to play up to nine players throughout the tournament but only two average over 10 points per game.