After four days of work, the Three Rivers men’s basketball team returns to the Bess Activity Center on Thursday for three straight games. The Raiders open up the Peoples Community Bank Thanksgiving Classic against Hocking (Ohio) at 7 p.m. Thursday. Three Rivers will face Tennessee Prep at 7 p.m. Friday and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M at 7 p.m. Saturday. Hocking (4-2), a Division III school, has most recently picked up a win against Lakeland and is a team that likes to shoot the 3. The Hawks are attempting 28 3-pointers a game and are making 42.9 percent of them, which adds up to a dozen 3s per game. Hocking has three players taking about fi ve 3s per game and each are scoring better than 10 points per game. D’Andre Clay and Kendle Hicks are both hitting better than 44 percent of their 3s. Clay has started all but one game for the Hawks while Hicks has come off the bench and is second on the team in scoring with 12 points per game. The team’s leading scorer, though, is freshman forward Demarious Green at 12.2 points. Green has only attempted a handful of 3-pointers this season and is averaging a double-double with 10.7 rebounds. Green is also grabbing just as many offensive rebounds as defensive rebounds. Hicks will also hit the boards and is grabbing 9.3 per game. Hocking has a balanced offense with five players scoring in double fi gures and 11 getting at least five points per game. The Hawks lack size, though. Their tallest player is 6-foot, 3-inches. In their losses, the Hawks gave up 123 points to Columbus State and 98 points to Potomac State. In both games, Columbus and Potomac shot about 50 percent as a team.
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (6-2) returns to the Bess Activity Center after not playing in the Thanksgiving classic last year. The Golden Norsemen beat the Raiders on a buzzer beater in 2014 and lost 94-67 the following year. Their two losses this season were to preseason No. 1 Hutchinson and No. 6 Indian Hills. Northeastern is led in scoring by freshman guard Ravel Moody at 11.6 points per game. Sophomore forward David Thornton is also in double figures at 11.1 and another eight players are scoring at least five points per game. Moody and Thornton are both 50 percent shooters and will take about eight shots per game. Moody has taken half of his shots this season behind the 3-point line, but is making just 23.5 percent. Thornton is grabbing 5.8 rebounds per game is second on the team in shooting at 56.5 percent. Freshman forward Valentin Van Putten is making 69.4 percent of his shots and scoring 8.3 points per game. The Norsemen aren’t as big of fans of outside shooting as Hocking. They average 19 3-point attempts per game, nine fewer than Hocking and ranked 132nd. Their 5.8 3-pointers made per game is 154th in the country and their 30.3 shooting percentage from beyond the arc is 163rd. The team is making 46.2 percent of its shots while holding opponents to 38.9 percent, which is ranked 38th in Division I. Northeastern is also ranked in the top 40 in blocks (5.1) and opponents 3-point percentage (29.1). Where they struggle is rebounds and assists. The Norse are ranked 93rd in total rebounds with 41.1 per game and 111th in rebounding margin at 9.3. Van Putten, Thornton and sophomore Dylan Van Eyck are all grabbing about six rebounds per game. They also are making just 14.8 assists per game, which is 123rd overall. Freshman guard Josh Humphries is making most of those passes with 6.1 assists per game. Nobody else is averaging more than two. No information was available on Tennessee Prep.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic