November is almost over and college basketball is in full swing. The Saint Louis Billikens look good so far as they continue to turns heads.
The Billikens Are Legit
Most people in the world have never heard of a Billiken, but the Saint Louis men’s basketball team is about to teach the world. It is early into the season, but the Billikens are legit.
Being overlooked is nothing the team is not already used to. Playing in the Atlantic 10 Conference may not have the wow-factor that the Blue Bloods are used to, but the Billikens are ready to turn some heads. After a 5-1 start, Saint Louis is ready to keep rolling.
Big Test Ahead
The Saint Louis Billikens have played six games and looked phenomenal in five of them. Their only blemish was a 95-67 blowout loss against the Maryland Terrapins. Maryland is undefeated and their closest game of the season was an 18-point win against the Miami Hurricanes. I think we can forgive the Billikens for the loss to the ranked Terrapins.
After we all stuffed our faces in some turkey, the Billikens have to get ready to play their biggest game of the season on Sunday. They are traveling to Neville Arena to take on the red-hot Auburn Tigers. Auburn is currently ranked No. 13 and has looked dominant through November.
There are many games to be played until the all-important NCAA Tournament, but this game looks to show the cards of Saint Louis. If you can steal a win on the road against a soon-to-be top-10 team in the country, look out.
Auburn is one of the most physical teams in college basketball. They out rebound everyone they go up against and are one of the best shot blocking schools in the country. It is going to be a huge test for the big men of Saint Louis as they would be a lock to be ranked in the next AP Poll with a win Sunday.
Stars of Saint Louis
The battle of the A-10 is an enticing one, but the Saint Louis Billikens have their eyes on much larger. They entered the season with very high expectations and look to rise above them.
With impressive wins against teams like Murray St, Memphis and Providence (who all made the tournament last year) the Billikens have shown they can compete. They were slated to be near the top of the conference and they are doing just that. Let’s look at some of the guys who have got them to that point.
Four players for the Billikens average double digits, with Gibson Jimerson–who has an awesome name–leading the way with 14.7 points per game. Jimerson is shooting 46.7% from behind the arc.
Javonte Perkins, Yuri Collins and Javon Pickett are the other three guys putting points on the board. Perkins averages 13.7, Collins averages 2.8 and Pickett sits at an even 10. All eyes, however, have been on Collins.
Collins is averaging a double-double and doing a little bit of everything. The 21-year-old is averaging 10.7 assists along with 1.3 steals. Look for the guard to continue being essential for this hungry team moving forward.
Finally, holding it down in the middle is the big man, Francis Okoro. He is averaging 8.8 points, 9.5 boards and shooting 58.3%. The guard play has been outstanding, but a lot of the success comes from the man in the paint.
As a team, the Billikens score 83.8 points per game on 47.8% shooting. The Billikens are in a good spot now but there is a long way to go. The road to March begins now, and Saint Louis looks to be remembered.