Saint Louis Billikens (6-2)
- Head Coach: Travis Ford (3rd Season)
- Top Performer: Javon Bess (13.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG)
- Points For: 67.3 PPG (309th)
- Points Against: 61.8 PPG (28th)
- Last Game/Streak: 61-56 Loss vs Southern Illinois (1L)
The Billikens have struggled to put their team back together after a sexual assault investigation tore the program apart early in 2018. That necessitated a big reset for the program, and this year’s team looks a lot different from last year’s.
This group of Billikens plays a tough, physical defense. Oregon State is not going to top 100 points this game, they’ll probably be lucky to break 75. Saint Louis is going to do everything they can to slow the game down, and both teams will probably spend a lot of time at the free throw line.
The Saint Louis offense and defense has been led this season by Guard/Forward Javon Bess, who is going to try to bully Tres Tinkle out of his lanes. The Billikens back him up with another pair of defensively minded guards, Tremaine Isabell Jr. and Jordan Goodwin, who will likely be matched up with the Thompson brothers. I like Oregon State in all three of these matchups, but the Billikins are going to do everything they can to wear down OSU’s starters, and that means the bench is going to have to step up.
In the frontcourt, the Billikens are going to rely on Hasahn French, one of the few returning players from last year (Goodwin is another). French can be very dominant in the post, shutting down most lines of attack, and defensively dominating on the glass. He’s often paired with Freshman Carte’Are Gordon, and the two have 14 and 15 blocks this season.
Player to Watch
Hasahn French (Sophomore): With the Beavers still missing Big G Gilgorije Rakocevic, Freshman Kylor Kelley has been tasked with stepping up, and he’ll have his biggest test on Sunday against French. This is going to be an ugly, physical matchup, and how much Kelley is able to handle French may determine the outcome of the game. French is a monster under the basket, but if Kelley can bait out his blocks and grab some offensive rebounds, he’ll keep the Beavers in the game.
- Date: Sunday, December 8th
- Time: 12:30 PM PT
- Location: Chaifezt Arena (St. Louis, Missouri)
- Coverage: ESPNU
What is a Billiken?
A Billiken is a small doll, created by Florence Pretz of Kansas City. The doll is said to give luck to anyone who buys one or is given one, and became a minor fad, making them essentially the Beanie Babies of the 1890s. Pretz said the design for the Billiken came to her in a dream, so yes, the Billiken is technically the stuff of nightmares.