▪ Bradley out-rebounded WSU 31-28 in the first meeting, grabbing 12 offensive rebounds for 16 second-chance points. Its assault on the offensive glass in the second half took the Shockers off guard and spoiled playing time for some of the reserves.
So that will be interesting to watch.
Bradley isn’t ready to compete with WSU in most ways. It did on the backboards in an 85-58 loss in Peoria and the Shockers will want to reverse that.
▪ The Shockers appear to have a good chance to return to the top 25 on Monday, thanks to its eight-game winning streak and uproar in the top 25. Losses by No. 18 Butler, No. 20 Duke and No. 21 Southern California, plus Pitt and Clemson, could clear a path for WSU.
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▪ The field at the AdvoCare Invitational, in which WSU went 0-3, is turning out to be one of the nation’s strongest. Seven of the eight schools are in ESPN’s NCAA bracket projection — Xavier and Iowa (No. 2 seeds), Southern Cal (No. 5), Dayton (No. 6), Notre Dame (No. 8), WSU and Monmouth (No. 1).
Alabama is 10-7 entering today’s game against LSU.
▪ Bradley coach Brian Wardle is in the midst of a bold experiment with 10 freshmen on the roster. It is the topic of much discussion around the MVC.
How will the freshmen adapt without upper-classmen leadership? How can they be evaluated without that help? How many of the freshmen will tire of the losing and transfer?
Bradley has junior Alex Foster, a transfer from Texas Tech, sitting out. Two high school seniors are signed for next season.
Bradley is a key MVC program, with the resources and support to do much better. Everybody is watching this team’s development.