College Basketball Player Props: 3 Picks for Jan. 29, Including Alabama’s Keon Ellis
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Keon Ellis (Alabama)
Last Saturday was good, as I bounced back, going 2-1 on my selections.
Now, we’re going to carry that momentum into this weekend’s monstrous slate of games.
We’ve seen a very different Illinois offense the past two games, and that’s primarily because of Kofi Cockburn being out of the lineup.
His absence has changed how the Illini attack teams. We have seen their guards step up and carry the load offensively, so that is precisely why I’m honed in on Alfonso Plummer.
Plummer has proven to be deadly when given any amount of space this season, and he’s certainly not afraid to pull up from anywhere on the court. He averages over 11 shot attempts per game, with more than seven of those coming from behind the arc.
That volume has been filled with great success, as he shoots 45% from the field and over 41% from 3.
I believe his 3-point prowess will be a significant factor in this matchup. Northwestern is one of the worst teams in the country at defending the 3, as it ranks 312th in 3-point percentage allowed.
If we can get Plummer to sink three or four of his attempts from deep, we’ll be in great shape, as his usage will already be up given the team’s circumstances.
The UConn big man has been a vacuum on the boards this season. He averages 8.4 rebounds per game, and has made the Huskies the country’s No. 3 offensive rebounding team.
Sanogo will be in an advantageous spot, as DePaul does not have a rebounder near his level. However, there’s another factor to this matchup that points toward the over.
The pace of this game will be frenetic. DePaul loves to run and push, as it’s 64th in tempo. The Huskies are not that far behind at 147th.
However, we have already seen Sanogo thrive in high-pace matchups.
His most immense rebounding effort of the season came against the high-flying Red Storm of St. John’s. He snagged 18 boards in that affair, but what’s also notable is that performance was sandwiched between 16- and 15-rebound efforts against teams that do not play as fast.
His 13.6 offensive rebounding rate is 55th in the country, and I expect him to create plenty of second chances.
I’m taking a shot on fading the Tide’s leading rebounder here, as Baylor presents matchup issues that Ellis has not faced this season. Baylor is the No. 6 team in offensive rebounding and 93rd in defensive rebounding.
Yes, the Tide are great on the offensive glass themselves, but the offensive rebounding opportunities will be few and far between in this matchup.
Ellis only stands at 6-foot-6, and he’ll be dealing with Baylor’s three best rebounders, who all have a size advantage against Ellis.
Also, most of Ellis’ work on the boards is done through defensive rebounds, and Baylor’s Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua is one of the best at cleaning up the opposition’s misses. The Baylor big has a 28.5 defensive rebound rate, which is 17th in the nation.
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