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College basketball preview: IPFW in Ice Man Classic

When: 4:30 p.m. today; 7 p.m. Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Ypsilanti, Mich.

Team: IPFW 1-1, Texas-Pan American 1-2, Eastern Michigan 1-1, Eastern Illinois 0-2

Radio: 1380 AM

IPFW leaders: Frank Gaines (28 ppg), Pierre Bland (7.0 rpg), Bland, Isaiah McCray (2.5 apg)

Texas-Pan Am leaders: Brandon Provost (18.7 ppg), Provost (6.0 rpg), Jesus Delgado (5.3 apg)

Eastern Michigan leaders: Daylen Harrison (13 ppg), Matt Balkema (5.5 rpg), Jalen Ross (4.0 apg)

Eastern Illinois leaders: Alex Austin (12.0 ppg), Morris Woods (6.0 rpg), Woods (2.0 apg)

Key matchup: IPFW gets Texas-Pan Am first in the three-day event. The Broncos’ best player is 6-3 senior guard Brandon Provost, and the advantage at point guard could be that Delgado is 6-4. At 7 p.m. Saturday, the Mastodons will face Eastern Michigan, which has six players averaging 3.5 rebounds or more. Then at 4 p.m. Sunday, IPFW plays Eastern Illinois, a team that has allowed its first two opponents to shoot a combined .505 from the floor.

The skinny: Three games in three days will give IPFW a postseason-tournament feel when it may have to play opponents on consecutive days with limited preparation time. The Mastodons can’t sleep on Texas-Pan Am, a team that’s not afraid to play tough competition. This season the Broncos have lost to Iowa and Bradley. Last season they played DePaul, Northwestern, Ohio State, St. John’s, Tulane and TCU. The title “Ice Man Classic” is in honor of former Eastern Michigan player George “Ice Man” Gervin, the former NBA great and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

stwarden@jg.net

– Steve Warden, The Journal Gazette

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