Cal Poly vs Washington State Preview and Prediction
Cal Poly vs Washington State Preview
Get to know Cal Poly
The Cal Poly men’s basketball program continues a six-game road trip when visiting Washington State in a Pac-12 Networks-televised matchup on Monday, Nov. 19 at 9 p.m. ET. Heading into Monday’s matchup Cal Poly (1-1) will have been idle for eight days after the program’s scheduled Nov. 16 game at Sacramento State was postponed due to continued poor air quality related to the Camp Fire (a makeup date has not yet been announced).
The Mustangs are led by two senior guards–Marcellus Garrick who is averaging 16 points, while shooting 53 percent from three-point land and Donovan Fields who is averaging 18.5 points while being active defensively with nearly two steals per contest.
No Division I program has committed fewer turnovers per game since the beginning of the 2012-13 season than Cal Poly, which has averaged just 10.03 turnovers per 189 matchups (1,896 turnovers total). Cal Poly, which finished 76th among Division I programs last season with 11.8 turnovers per game, has led the Big West in fewest turnovers per game in five of the last six years.
Get to know Washington State
Monday marks just the second all-time meeting between Washington State and Cal Poly, as the Cougars hold a 1-0 advantage in the series. The only previous meeting occurred Feb. 10, 1976, an 87-61 WSU victory.
Washington State men’s basketball returns three starters, including three of its four top scorers from the 2017-18 squad, as head coach Ernie Kent enters his fifth season at the helm for the 2018-19 basketball season. Seniors Robert Franks and Viont’e Daniels look to lead the team, which features seven newcomers after putting up their best seasons in 2017-18, averaging 17.4 and 9.0 points, respectively. Franks’ big season was capped by being named the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player of the Year, which led to him to declare for the NBA Draft, only to withdraw his name prior to the deadline.
Washington State is lacking at the point guard position, but will look to fill the void with two junior college transfers in juniors Ahmed Ali and Jervae Robinson. Neither of those players have locked down the position as the Cougs don’t have that ‘true’ player locked into the PG role.
Ali joins WSU after putting up big numbers, most recently at Eastern Florida State College, where he averaged 16.9 points and 4.8 assists per game in two seasons, while shooting .426 (230-for-540) from 3-point range on route to earning NJCAA Division I All-America second team honors as a sophomore. He’s averaging 6 points and 2.5 assists per game with WSU.
The Cougars are coming off an embarrassing loss to Seattle U 78-69–but they were without their top player, Franks, for that contest. He had 31 points and 11 rebounds in the team’s season-opening victory against Nicholls but hurt his left foot, causing him to miss the Seattle contest.
He is expected to play against Cal Poly, which is huge for the Cougars chances of winning.
LINE: -11 WSU
If Robert Franks were to miss this game, Washington State would be in trouble not only ATS, but they could lose the game outright. With reports of Franks returning, it completely shifts this game to WSU advantage.
Cal Poly is experienced and won’t shy away from the big stage the Pac-12 provides. If I’m betting on this game, I’m tempted to take Cal Poly plus the points–but it all depends on Franks’ health. If he’s 100 percent, there is not one player on the Mustangs who can slow him down.
Washington State 77 Cal Poly 69
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