On Thursday night, the Denver Pioneers (10-2) open up Sun Belt Conference play against the Troy Trojans (5-6) in the friendly confines of Magness Arena. The Pioneers are 7-1 at home this season, with their lone home loss coming by two points in overtime against the Iona Gaels, while the Trojans are 1-5 away from home this season. Tory has lost three of their last four games, and got blown out 106-68 by the Mississippi State Bulldogs, the best opponent they have played so far this season. In contrast, Denver has now won four games in a row since losing in overtime to Iona.
The Trojans are led by junior guard Will Weathers, who averages 13.4 points per game and 6.5 assists per game. Weathers is a particularly deadly three point shooter, hitting 41.2% of his long-distance shots so far this season. As pointed out by Denver Athletics, Troy ranks: "first in the Sun Belt in turnover margin (+3.55) and offensive rebounds (16.5 per game), second in scoring (76.0 points per game), but last in scoring defense (76.7 points per game) and field goal percentage defense(.469)."
The Pioneers rank 20th nationally in field goal percentage (48.8%) and hold a huge edge in that category over the 274th-ranked Trojans. Denver has been led by senior guard Brian Stafford and sophomore forward Chris Udofia. Stafford lead the team in scoring with 14.1 points per game, while Udofia is right behind him at 13.9 points per game.
Game date, time: 7:00 p.m. MT, Thursday, Dec. 29th, 2011
Location: Magness Arena, Denver, CO
Radio: AM 1510 and FM 93.7
TV: Pioneer Vision
Spread: Denver is currently favored by 14.5 points, and the over/under currently ranges from 133 to 134 points.
Stay tuned to SB Nation Denver for all the latest on the Pioneers. Head over to SB Nation NCAA Basketball for more on the 2011-2012 college hoops season.