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Preview: Seattle U at UC Irvine

By Gary Hill

Seattle U (5-12) at UC Irvine (6-13, 3-4 Big West)
Where: Bren Events Center (Irvine, Calif.)
When: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle
Series: Seattle U leads 2-1
Last meeting: Irvine won 85-77 on 11/20/2010

Scouting UC Irvine

Head coach Russell Turner is in Year 2 of a major rebuild. The Anteaters are one of the youngest teams in the country with no seniors and seven freshmen. They start four juniors and one senior, but every single player coming off the bench is a freshman. They lost their first six games of the season, but built some momentum by winning three of their first four Big West games. They have since dropped three in a row. Irvine likes to push the pace. They will play small, often featuring a four-guard lineup and they will not hesitate to launch the three. This is game two of a five-game homestand as they look to build momentum when conference play resumes on Saturday.

The Ones to Watch

Michael Wilder: 6-2, 215 pounds, junior guard, 11.5 points per game, 5.5 rebounds, 2 assists

He is the leading returning scorer for the Anteaters, supplying 9.5 points per game a year ago. He is one of three starters shooting over 39 percent from 3. He is second in the Big West hitting over 2.5 threes a game. He is also one of four starters averaging over 2 assists per contest.

Daman Starring: 6-3, 190 pounds, junior guard, 12 points per game, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists

The leading scorer for Irvine is also deadly from downtown. He is casting in threes at a 43 percent clip. He is coming off a career-high 23 points in the Saturday loss to Fullerton. He was 6 of 9 from 3.

Keys to the Game

1. Pound them inside. SU has the size advantage up front with Broussard, Wallace, Trent and Diop and they have an opportunity to put together a big night on the glass.
2. Perimeter defense. A team that hits the three is always dangerous, no matter the record. They will often have four good three-point shooters on the floor at once and SU must be aware.
3. Good start. Seattle U has started fast the last two games and carried it all the way through. To illustrate the point, they’re 5-2 when up at half and 0-10 when trailing at half.

Numbers to Know

17 — The place for Aaron Broussard on the All-Time Seattle U scoring list with 1,278.
16 — The man in front of him — the great Carl Ervin — 1,304 points between 1976-1980.
53 — The percentage SU is shooting from 3 the last two games.
23 — The number of points Broussard is averaging in his last eight games.
5 — The number of assists Cervante Burrell is averaging in his last six games, along with 8.5 points.
3.8 — The number of points per game for Sterling Carter in his first six games.
16 — The points per game for Carter in his last four games.

Seattle U looks to continue the streak tonight. Tune in at 7 on 710 ESPN Seattle.

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