Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Sun Belt Tournament (Round 1) : No.5 UALR vs. No.8 Troy


Here we go! Post season action in the sunniest basketball conference begins this evening…and right out of the gate we will have great action! The first game featured this evening is the battle of the Trojans…Arkansas-Little Rock vs Troy. History says the Trojans weren’t able to attain victory in the great battle…however in tonight’s arena one of the squads will walk away victorious. These two squads split the regular season 1-1…winning each of their games on the road. So let’s see what each team brings to the table for tonights contest.

The Trojans of Troy bring a questionability factor to the court. You ask what that means? I mean they are a team that can beat anyone on any given night. They gave the team that looked unstoppable for quite some time (Georgia State) their first and only loss. If Troy wants pull another upset this evening, they will have to perform like a team, which is normally what they do when they perform well.

The Troy main impact players look to include Hunter Williams ( 13.6 PPG; 2.6 RPG; 3.2 APG), Antoine Myers (11.8 PPG; 5.4 RPG; 2.6 APG), and Kevin Thomas providing the post presence (9.5 PPG; 7 RPG). Troy statistically is behind UALR…but I don’t look for them to stay behind entirely for this ball game. Troy will give the Little Rock squad all they can handle.

Now for UALR! I have said all season that this Trojan squad just seems…average. They have posted wins against good teams this season, including WKU, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Arkansas State. They have good players…no doubt…but as a team this squad just seems average. Throughout conference play this squad was unable to put together a good string of wins…only wins here and there.

If UALR wants to hold off Troy, their impact players on the night will have to be Will Neighbour (16.3 PPG; 7 RPG), Josh Hagins (12.2 PPG; 4.1 RPG; 3.6 APG), and James White (11.2 PPG; 7 RPG).  We have seen the true impact Neighbour can bring to the court when he is on, and now that we have reached post season, and the season is on the line, I look for him to continue to shine.

These two squads will provide a great start to the Sun Belt Tourney no doubt! We have seen many upsets occur, especially TODAY, so I’m going to stay with the trend and predict Troy to pull off the upset this evening. It will be a fun one to watch, I will have the post game recap so make sure to stop by after the game to get my final thoughts. Also keep an eye for Fletcher Keel and game 2 action for the evening. Enjoy the games folks!

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Tags: Basketball Gameday Sun Belt Conference

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