Rogue Rundown: Ospreys in Thanksgiving Tourney

North Florida has won six in-season tournaments under head coach Matthew Driscoll.  One of the main reasons his Ospreys are able to succeed in February and March is because of these Thanksgiving tourneys.  UNF (2-3) will play North Dakota in the Men Against Breast Cancer Classic’s opening game at 4:30 p.m.

UNF and UND (3-0) are joined by Cal State-Bakersfield and host Wright State in the bracket.  For the Ospreys, it will be like three ASUN games in three straight days.  North Florida matches up well with all of them.  We expect UNF to return from Dayton, Ohio, with at least two wins.

Coverage of Friday’s game will be on ESPN3 and locally on 92.5 FM at 4 p.m.

Meeting: 

It’s the first time the Ospreys and Fighting Hawks go head to head.  It has the makings of an exciting season-setting game.

Impact Players:

Dallas Moore and Quinton Hooker are two of the best points (yes, scoring-wise) guards in mid-major basketball.  Don’t be shocked if they each go over 25 or 30 in the tournament’s opening game.  They also facilitate so much.  Their teams go as they go.

Starting Five: 

Ospreys won’t change anything in the lineup – Dallas Moore (#14), Aaron Bodager (12), Nick Malonga (23), Chris Davenport (35) and Romelo Banks (33).

The Fighting Hawks start three guards Geno Crandall (#0), Corey Baldwin (1), Quinton Hooker (21), Drick Bernstine (43) and Carson Shanks (5).

About North Dakota: 

UND has been coached by Brian Jones for the past decade and some change.  Jones took the Fighting Hawks through the transition into Division One.  He has had special players the last five to seven years – all good guards that stood out in the Big Sky.

Junior captain Drick Bernstine does a lot for them.  They have downhill drivers – he’s one of them – that can pass or go for a high-percentage floater.

X-Factors: 

North Florida has to do better at the free throw line.  This weekend is the perfect test for ASUN play, which starts in almost one month.  But if you’re leaving points on the board, it could be another LSU result (close but not walking away with the result).

North Dakota is like UNF’s talented squad from last season.  UND needs to use their bigs in the high post and find the shooters that thrive in the corners.  Multiple Hawks can fill spots and do nearly identical things.

How UNF Can Win: 

The Ospreys should win the rebounding battle like they’ve done in four of the five games already.  However, they need to push it and get out in fast breaks.  This is the big litmus test for what North Florida is this year.

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