NYC National Tournament schedule reveal: X Over should have no problem starting 1-0

Lavione West (16), DaShawn Hill (4) and possibly Tevin Kelly (8) will not make the trip to New York

Lavione West (16), DaShawn Hill (4) and possibly Tevin Kelly (8) will not make the trip to New York

Up until August 21, we’ll be releasing the pool play schedule for the 2019 New York City National Tournament. Here is the fifth game of the tournament, set to take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 24.

 

X Over (AZ) vs. LTC Tree (GA)

In the prediction portion of these articles, I’ve been predicting the winner and by how much they’ll win. Early spoiler alert here for later in the article: This will be the biggest predicted winner I’ve had so far.

The one positive for LTC Tree is X Over will not have their full roster from the Vegas tournament, as Lavione West will not be in attendance, and there’s a possibility that Tevin Kelly might not make the trip either. Losing West significantly thins out X Over’s frontcourt depth, and losing Kelly would have many obvious detriments.

We did see X Over struggle at times during pool play in Vegas, but they still ended up going 3-0 heading into Sunday. Even with a slightly depleted roster, X Over shouldn’t have much of an issue starting 1-0.

 

Key Matchup

Delonn Stevenson (X Over) vs. Sari Papazian (LTC Tree)

Both of these players are capable of scoring, but the highlight of this matchup will be when Stevenson is guarding Papazian. Stevenson is an absolute shutdown defender and will give Papazian nightmares.

Papazian

Papazian

X Over might switch between Dewayne Pettus, Anthony Snow and Stevenson to guard either Papazian or Frankine Ghouchani, but if I was coaching, I would stick Stevenson on Papazian and let that ride. Papazian will be LTC Tree’s main scoring option, so I would put my best defender on him and not get cute.

Another reason this matchup will be entertaining is that both of these guys are not shy when it comes to talking on the floor. Stevenson got in a couple scuffles in the Vegas tournament, and Papazian will yell at anyone while he’s playing. His opponents, his teammates, the refs or even himself; no one is safe. You can expect these guys to try to get under each other’s skin, whether that’s through their play or their talk.

 

Prediction

While this is going to be a tough game for LTC Tree, they do have a couple things going for them.

·      Tevin Kelly, the best player in the tournament, might not play.

·      X Over has a tendency to play down to their opponents

·      This is the first game X Over will have to play after a five-hour flight and adjusting to a change of three time zones

With all of that being said, I’ll take X Over to win by 27 points.