CJBL Tournament - Bracket Preview (Part 2)
- By Tim Wallis, Day 127, 2020
#1 Texas vs #16 Nicholls StateThe Longhorns dominated the Big 12 on their way to a 30-2 record, led by the top point guard in the nation and Big 12 MVP, freshman Josh Gamble. Gamble led the conference in scoring and was 4th in assists. Nicholls State (16-12) reached the big dance after claiming the Southland Conference crown and rely heavily on freshman centre Nikola Mitrovic who was 4th in the conference in scoring.
#2 Memphis vs #15 Southern UtahThe Tigers took out the American Athletic Conference with a 26-5 record, with AAC MVP Dedrick Mathias at power forward and All-AAC small forward Garrett Cue finishing 4th in scoring for the conference. Senior point guard Deonte Christian led the AAC in assists. The Thunderbirds (20-11) get most of their scoring from the wing positions, with Big Sky MVP Myles Scales at shooting guard and sophomore Matt Thompson at small forward both top ten for points in the conference.
#3 Ohio State vs #14 ToledoThe Buckeyes (27-5) are powered by their freshman power forward, Big Ten MVP Jarvis McSwine who was 3rd in the conference in scoring, 10th in rebounding and 4th in blocked shots. Senior forward Reggie Burke will be hoping for the chance to boost his stock with a strong tournament. Toledo captured the Mid-American Conference with a 20-12 record behind the play of All-MAC power forward Kealen Barnaba. Barnaba was 4th in scoring and 7th in rebounding in the MAC.
#4 Marquette vs #13 South Carolina UpstateBig East champions Marquette (23-8) claimed both back court spots on the All-Conference team, with undersized freshman combo guard Kendrick Hill and sophomore point guard Alexis Morgan. Hill was also named Big East MVP after winning the conference scoring title and, incredibly, finishing 3rd in rebounds. Morgan claimed the other All-Big East guard spot after coming 2nd in assists. SCU (15-10) boast an MVP of their own in Atlantic Sun MVP Tommy Dye. The freshman big man was 4th in the conference for rebounding and blocked shots while leading the Spartans in scoring.
#5 South Carolina vs #12 Southern Illinois (Edwardsville)The Gamecocks have quietly had a very good season, finishing as the SEC runner up with a 22-9 record. Leading scorers Jacob Layssard (junior SG) and Ami Sumbry (sophomore SF) will be looking to prolong South Carolina’s tournament and get their names onto JBL radars. The Cougars took out the Ohio Valley Conference with a 19-7 record and featured two players on the All-OVC team, sophomore shooting guard Josue Hewitt and freshman centre Jacolby Weethee.
#6 Notre Dame vs #11 Florida InternationalMatching last season’s 19-14 record, the Fighting Irish are led by the ACC’s 5th leading scorer small forward Armani Hancock, sophomore combo guard Cameron Beasley who was 5th in assists and sophomore power forward Jaycee Satkus who was the ACC’s 5th leading rebounder and 7th leading shot blocker. Freshman wing Rodney DeWitt was named to the All-CUSA team after finishing 7th in Conference USA for points per game as the Panthers took the conference title.
#7 Depaul vs #10 St Mary’s (CA)The Blue Demons went 21-11 with All-Big East centre Benedikt Poole among the conference’s top ten rebounders while providing interior scoring and shot blocking. Freshman combo guard Tyler Schlundt was top ten in the Big East for scoring and top five for assists. The Gaels (23-9) star player through their West Coast Conference title run was All-WCC point guard Bitumba Johnson who led the conference in assists as a freshman while also finishing top ten in scoring and steals.
#8 Cincinnati vs #9 Miami (FL)The Bearcats 25-9 season was good enough for second in the AAC, powered by sophomore centre Derrick Aririguzoh who led the team in scoring and was top ten in the AAC for blocks. Freshman point guard Brandon Block was 5th in the conference for assists and 9th for steals, while senior small forward Andrew Brimhall was a top ten rebounder and will be looking to catch a JBL eye. The Hurricanes (17-15) leading scorer is sophomore Stuart Furstinger who was also top ten in the ACC for steals. Senior forward Jonathan Gehring needs a big tournament to improve his JBL draft chances.
Click to read Part 1 (North Region).