Week 2 Game of the Week: #3 College of Idaho @ #1 Arizona Christian
Where: ACU Events Center – Glendale, AZ
When: Friday November 4th @ 6pm CT
Our NAIA Hoops Report Game of the Week features a Top 5 matchup between #1 Arizona Christian hosting #3 College of Idaho. Both of these teams made it to Kansas City last season with both teams losing to eventual National Champions, Loyola. COI lost in the NAIA Quarterfinals, while ACU lost in the NAIA Fab Four. Both teams came into this season missing some valuable pieces from last season, but both also return some big-time players as well. For ACU, as we saw in their opening win against RV Lewis-Clark State, Bryce Davis and Angelo Johnson are the engines that make this team go. College of Idaho will counter with Jake O’Neil and Drew Wyman. There is no shortage of star power in this one. College of Idaho remains a very young team, but Coach Colby Blaine is one of the best young head coaches in the NAIA. They will have a great gameplan in place as they hit the road for this Top 5 matchup. Arizona Christian’s Head Coach, Jeff Rutter, is also a very good coach, so you can expect this game to be a battle!
Keys To Victory
- Don’t settle against the Yote zone defense.
- Match the physical/toughness levels of the Yotes.
- Outrebound the Yotes.
- Force the tempo into their favor.
College of Idaho
- Bench must step up and play well to provide depth.
- 1st game, new guys must be ready for the moment.
- Get their zone defense locked in early.
- Handle the environment of the ACU PE Center.
The ACU Fultz Classic this weekend is going to be a loaded field! These two are the featured game, but Oklahoma City and Ottawa (AZ) make up the other two teams in the classic and all four teams will have good shots at making the NAIA National Tournament in March. As we mentioned above, both ACU and COI have the star power! We will see if ACU is at full strength in this one or not as they were without the services of Dennis Flowers III. Flowers has a nose for scoring, so against a tough, defensive minded team, having that extra scoring punch could help to put pressure on the defense. No matter if he plays or not though, expect to see Bryce Davis used a ton early on. Against the zone, you can’t settle for jumpers and Davis is someone who has great feet and skill and can finish strong around the rim. You can also expect the Firebirds to push the tempo to try and not let COI get their defense set up. College of Idaho is so good at controlling the pace of play though. They don’t get sped up a ton and even early, with some new faces in the mix, you can expect them to play some hardnosed, physical basketball. Both teams are so well coached so it will be a fun matchup to watch what in-game adjustments are made. No matter what happens in this game, don’t be surprised if this is a matchup we see again in Kansas City!