Scouting report: Saint Louis
Game info: 9 p.m. Wednesday at Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000 capacity)
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro and Detlef Schrempf)
Radio: KJR 950 AM and 102.9 FM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton)
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Game notes: Saint Louis and Washington.
Coach: Jim Crews is 3-2 in his first season as interim coach with the Billikens. His career record is 357-350 in 25 years including stints at Evansville (294-209, 1985-2002) and Army (59-140, 2002-09).
Prediction: Picked to finish second in the 16-team Atlantic 10 by conference coaches.
Series: Saint Louis 8-6.
Last meeting: The Billikens won 77-64 on Nov. 20, 2011. SLU led 50-25 at halftime and had a 29-point advantage early in the second half.
Previous game: Saint Louis beat Southern Illinois 61-51 at Chaifetz Arena on Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Junior forward Dwayne Evans (right) leads the Billikens in scoring (14.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.4 rpg). He’s fourth in the A-10 shooting 64.9 percent from the field. He’s led SLU in scoring in three games.
At 6-5, Evans was an undersized power forward last season when he started all 34 games. He played a minor role in last season’s game against Washington finishing with five points and five rebounds in 25 minutes.
Despite his lack of size, he’s effective in the low post with his back to the basket. He’s considered one of the most athletic players on the team. His athleticism is one of the reasons why he’s such a good rebounder. He pulled down 11 boards against Kansas.
— Senior forward Cody Ellis doesn’t start, but he plays starter minutes and produces like a starter. He averages 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds, which are both second on the team. He’s taken a team-high 30 three-pointers and leads SLU with nine treys. Ellis averaged 10.7 points as a freshman reserve and 10.1 last season while coming off the bench.
— Junior forward Mike McCall Jr. broke into the starting lineup midway through the A-10 slate last season and started the final 13 games. He’s SLU’s primary ball handler who averages 36.6 minutes. Due to injuries, he’s been forced to step up and is averaging 11.0 points, which is four points higher than last season. He’s also shooting 45.2 percent from the floor and 53.8 percent behind the arc.
— Saint Louis won a NCAA tournament game last season and had aspirations of making a run in the Big Dance this season. However, the Billkens have been hit with several injuries and ailments that’s dimmed preseason projections.
— Crews was named interim head coach in August after it was announced that Rick Majerus would not coach this year due to ongoing treatment and evaluation for a heart condition. SLU announced Nov. 16 Majerus would not return to the school.
— SLU is without senior guard Kwamain Mitchell (foot) and freshman guard Keith Carter (leg) due to injuries. Mitchell is the second-leading returning scorer from last season and has not played this season. He was a preseason all-conference pick. Carter played in the first two games.
— Saint Louis has alternated wins and losses this season and if the pattern holds true then the Billikens will lose tonight. Their best win is a 70-49 victory over Texas A&M. Their worst losses are a 73-59 blowout defeat to No. 12 Kansas and a 74-62 home loss to Santa Clara.
— Senior forward Cory Remekun missed the first two games due to injury, but has scored in double figures in two of the past three games. He’s averaging 10 points.
— Saint Louis is ranked 311th in rebounding.
— The Billikens have used three starting lineups. They 1-0 with the lineup (below).
F – Rob Loe, 6-11, 245, Jr., 7.2 ppg., 2.2 rpg., 7 of 20 three-pointers
F – Cory Remekun, 6-8, 220, Sr., 10.0, 3.0, 1.3 bpg.
F – Dwayne Evans, 6-5, 230, Jr, 14.6, 7.4, 64.9% FG
G – Jake Barnett, 6-5, 195, Jr., 5.2, 3.4, 42.9% 3-PT FG
G – Mike McCall Jr., 6-0, 180, Jr., 11.0, 2.8, 3.8 apg.
— Evans is extremely active on both ends of the court and if the Huskies can contain him, then they’ll severely hamper the Billikens. More than likely sophomore Desmond Simmons will draw the defensive assignment to stop Evans.
However, if the prior meeting is any indicator then Washington will need to focus on McCall. Last year Mitchell routinely blew past UW guards and forced the Huskies out of defensive position. He finished with three assists, but his playmaking led to many open shots. Evans is SLU’s leading scorer and rebounder, but McCall might be the most important player. He played 39 minutes against Kansas and tallied 38 in the last outing against Southern Illinois. He’s had one bad game this season, a 74-62 loss at home to Santa Clara. In the contest, McCall committed six turnovers and missed seven of 10 shots for eight points in 35 minutes.