After a wild week in DII men's basketball, here are three more games to watch this weekend:
Lee at No. 5 Valdosta State | 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 15
Our first game to watch is a Gulf South Conference matchup featuring two teams trending upward within the league. Valdosta State nearly lost on opening night before winning its next five games by 16.4 points during its rise to No. 5 in the NABC Coaches Poll. Lee, on the other hand, dropped its opener before responding with a sweep of West Georgia.
A week ago, all three men's games we highlighted were won by the lower ranked or unranked team. If the Flames hope to continue that trend, they'll need to embody their team name and get hot on the offensive end. Lee scored 81 points against West Georgia, but hasn't otherwise topped 66 in a game.
Valdosta State averages more than 88 points per game, led by a combined 37.3 between guards Imoras Agee and Cam Hamilton. This duo's also knocked down better than 50 percent of its 3-point attempts. Look for Lee guards Quay Kennedy and Beyuan Hendricks to try and slow the tempo defensively and turn the game in favor of the Flames.
No. 10 Augusta at Georgia Southwestern | 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 16
Augusta became the sixth top-10 team to lose in as many days. Now, the Jaguars are looking to bounce back against Georgia Southwestern in a Peach Belt Conference showdown while the Hurricanes have a chance to move closer to the top of the league standings.
GSW has one of the stronger backcourts in the league with Donte Tatum and Kahlon Whitley averaging a combined 33.6 points per game. But the Canes have been getting it done offensively with a committee approach. Tatum and Whitley are the leading scorers but are only two of GSW's five double-digit scorers.
If Augusta is to get back in the win column on Saturday, it'll need big performances from Darren Lucas-White and Tyshaun Crawford. The Jags have been without second-leading scorer Miguel Arnold the past two games, in which they've gone 1-1. Crawford is my player to watch. The junior big man averages 15 points, 7 rebounds and two blocks. When's Crawford is on, he's a difference-maker for Augusta.
Daemen at No. 14 Mercyhurst | 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 16
We haven't seen either of these teams yet in 2021. Mercyhurst hasn't played in a month since its brief non-conference schedule while Daemen makes its season debut.
The Lakers check in at No. 14 after a their hiatus, but don't let the time away distract you from their three dominant wins. Mercyhurst was winning by an average of 27 points per game over those games. Junior guard MiyKah McIntosh's 14 points per game paces the Lakers' attack as one of four double-digit scorers. But it's the defense you need to watch out for. Head coach Gary Manchel's squad only allows 52.3 points per contest.
Despite not playing a game yet, Daemen is receiving votes in the NABC poll. If you need a reason why, look no further than Andrew Sischo. The redshirt senior center was an All-American a year ago after averaging 24.9 points and 11.7 rebounds for the Wildcats. As the only starter returning for Daemen this season, Sischo's role could increase even more. To kick things off, he's got a chance to help Daemen pick up a top-25 win.