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UND (1-2) @ Milwaukee (3-1) 11/19 7 PM

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UND had some moments in their game against Valpo, but 20 turnovers and some questionable shot selection led to a 14 point loss to Valpo.  UND stays on the road but only has a short drive to a familiar place as they take on the Panthers of UW-Milwaukee, who UND beat twice last year.

About Milwaukee:

When UND played Milwaukee last year, the Panthers were going through a very tough year.  They finished last in the Horizon and only won 9 games overall.  This year... they already have 3 wins to their name and will more than likely exceed their win totals.  What has changed?  Well the addition of two talented guard, one from the JUCO ranks and one transfer from Illinois getting eligible after sitting out a year, has already made a difference.  They could have been 4-0 but lost a heartbreaker in triple OT verses Western Michigan.   Picked 7th in the 10 team Horizon, they are hoping that these talented trio of guards can vault them to the top half of the Horizon. 

Milwaukee is coached by Pat Baldwin (28-40, 12-24 in Horizon League), who is in his 3rd year.  The former Northwestern Player and Assistant is looking to put his stamp on the Milwaukee program and attempt to bring it back to the levels it hasn't seen since the days of Bruce Pearl.  Last year was pretty rough, but now he has some good guards from the JUCO and transfer world to build his team around, can they start to climb up the Horizon rankings?  Or will this be another year in the basement and questions start to swirl if they truly have the right person in charge.

Series History: UND leads the all-time series 4-1, including a 2-1 mark in Milwaukee.  Last year, they played twice in a home and home where UND won both.  They won 63-60 in Milwaukee, where the Panthers made it interesting down the stretch before UND pulled away.  Then the teams met a few weeks later in GF, with UND winning 83-72.  

Key Player: Darius Roy SR Guard (6'2, 15.7 ppg, 38.6 FG%, 33.3 3 %, 89% FTs)

Could have gone with either of the three guards, but went with the senior who has experience playing UND.  He averaged 19 points in the two contests.  This is a guy that wants to get to the hoop and can score in a flurry.  Has proven that he can hit from 3 (40% from last year) and can score from the free throw line.  UND will have their hands full once again.  This time, he is the shooting guard and not the point guard, which I guess is to his benefit. 

Keys to the Game:

1) Take Care of the Ball:  The Turnover Margin by UND is currently the worst in the Summit League, this cannot continue if UND is going to have any success.  They need to get back to taking care of the ball and making smarter decision with the ball.

2) Get Moody Going: The Sophomore sniper is currently in a slump.  4/14 from 3 and hasn't looked that great shooting it.  His game against Valpo wasn't great in throwing up a bagel.  He has to get it going to give UND a much needed punch off the bench.

3) Perimeter Defense:  Milwaukee has a talented trio of guards that will give teams fits this year.  We have seen what Darius Roy can do from his performances last year (19 ppg) and the Illinois Transfer (Te'Jon Harris) and JUCO transfer (Josh Thomas) will give a great test to UNDs perimeter defense.  Marlon, Billy, and Desean are going to need to play great defense to try and slow these talented guards down.

The Call:

At some point, UND will put together a solid 40 and take some big steps as a team.  This is a better Milwaukee team than they faced last year, lets get that one out of the way.  I'd like it to be this game so UND can get their 1st D1 win.  However, I think the talent at the guard position will be a bit too much for UND to overcome.  I would love to be wrong in this game

Milwaukee 74-70

Game is on ESPN+





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Awesome preview as always.

Looking to see something positive from this team tonight.  Obviously it is early in the year, and there are lots of moving parts trying to mesh together with new players and coaches, but I expected a better showing against Valparaiso.  Would really like to come away with a road victory tonight in what I view as a very winnable game.

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