Bradley college basketball head coach Brian Wardle knew his first year in Peoria would be a difficult one as the Braves entered the 2015-2016 campaign with the distinction of being one of only three teams in the country with ten or more freshmen on their roster.
The Braves won three conference games and finished with a school-record 27 losses in last season’s college basketball season.
Wardle enters year two of his rebuilding project in better shape with five returning starters who spent last season improving upon their size, strength and overall fitness.
Transfer Jojo McGlaston, who played two years at Utah State before sitting out last season at Diablo Valley College, has been impressive since arriving on campus.
The 6-5 swingman is averaging 11.4 points (51.5% FG%; 41.7% 3-PT%) and has joined sophomore Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye in the backcourt.
The most pleasant surprise for coach Wardle has been the rapid growth of freshman point guard Darrell Brown, who leads the Braves with 13.6 points per game on 47.9% shooting from the field and 46.4% from beyond the arc.
Bradley’s backcourt depth is significantly better this season with returnees Ronnie Suggs and Antoine Pittman, both of whom gained 10-12 pounds of muscle by dedicating themselves to the team’s weight training program. With greater talent and depth in the backcourt, Wardle has been able to play at a faster pace this season.
The Braves already have two upset wins this season – taking down Wofford as 3.5-point underdogs and Eastern Illinois as 5-point underdogs.
From a technical standpoint, Bradley is 11-4 ATS in its last fifteen games as an underdog, 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games as an underdog and 10-1 ATS in its last eleven games following a loss.
In contrast, Ball State is a money-burning 16-37-2 ATS as a favorite, 6-21 ATS as a home favorite and 1-4-1 ATS in its last six non-conference affairs. Take the Bradley Braves as Oskeim Sports’ Free College Basketball Pick for Tuesday, December 6!
Free College Basketball Pick: Bradley (+8)