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Brief Jackson State preview

I've already stopped thinking about it. I suggest you do the same. Everything's brighter.

JACKSON STATE TIGERS (0-3)

Coneference: Southwestern Athletic

2006-2007 record: 21-14, 12-6

Probable Starting Lineup

G Darrion Griffin 7.7 ppg
G Catraivia Givens 9.0 ppg
F Jeremy Caldwell 12.3 ppg
F Garrison Johnson 2.7 ppg
F Grant Maxey 11.7 ppg

What to Expect

Jackson State won the SWAC Tournament a season ago and gave eventual national champion Florida all they wanted for a half in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. But the loss of guard Trey Johnson, who averaged 27.1 ppg last season, has taken its toll early, as the Tigers have lost three games by an average of just over 22 points. Grant Maxey, Jeremy Caldwell, and Catraivia Givens are all returning starters, and they have carried the JSU thus far.

Today's game will be a stark contrast to yesterday's in that Jackson State will play straight man and will look to push for 40 minutes. Tevester Anderson's team will try and run with whomever is on the floor opposite them, even if it makes an ugly final score a stronger possibility.

Louisville's fresh school record for made three-pointers is likely safe for another day because open shots from the outside should be much harder to come by. Today's pace will present a good test for the guards as they try to get back into the flow of the regular season.

Final Assessment

Johnson was so good a season ago that often times the other guys on the floor would find themselves just trying to stay out of his way. Now he's gone and Jackson State is trying desperately to figure out how to survive without him before conference play starts. There's definite talent here, but it's hard to look past the 100-76 and 100-61 losses to Baylor and BYU, respectively.

I like that the Cards are going to get an up-tempo game under their belts before Vegas, but they shouldn't be pushed today.

CC Prediction: Louisville 89, Jackson State 66