After dismantling Chicago State at home, Northwestern continues its non-conference schedule against Mississippi Valley State. The Wildcats (8-1) will take the court at Welsh-Ryan Arena against the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils (0-11) at 7 p.m. CT.
The Delta Devils have not won a game this season and have suffered seven double-digit losses. Mississippi Valley lost by 35 to Evansville in its previous game and currently has the worst record in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Other than a 75-68 loss to BYU on the road, the Delta Devils have yet to have a respectable performance against a good basketball team.
Mississippi Valley State's offense is among the worst in Division I college basketball. The Delta Devils are shooting 36.3 percent from the field as a team. Shooting guard Marcus Romain is the Delta Devils' leading scorer with 17.6 points per game. Romain is Mississippi Valley's best offensive player by far and should take the majority of the Delta Devils' shot attempts against Northwestern. Damion Young and Isaac Williams are also major parts of the offense, but they are shooting the ball poorly this season.
On defense, Mississippi Valley State will have trouble dealing with Northwestern's size. The Delta Devils' starting lineup features no players over 6-7, and Northwestern should have a significant height advantage even without Joey van Zegeren. They are one of the worst defensive teams in college basketball, and Alex Olah should have no trouble grabbing offensive rebounds against a much smaller side. Like Chicago State, the Delta Devils usually play zone defense.
Northwestern's soft non-conference schedule does not get any tougher against Mississippi Valley State. The Delta Devils are probably worse than Chicago State, and Northwestern won that game by 42 points. The players still need to remain focused and take the game seriously, but Northwestern should win comfortably. The team will also be looking ahead to a critical game against DePaul on Saturday, Dec. 19, and Coach Collins may decide to rest some players. Expect to see some more Charlie Hall minutes.
Here's how you can watch Tuesday evening's game vs. Mississippi Valley State: