Enter from stage left, the Chippewas of Central Michigan, BG's next opponent in the Tour De West. In lots of ways, this is like the match up with EMU, except in BG. CMU is 9-9 and 4-2, but against the 295th ranked schedule in the country. (For reference, BG has played the 172nd schedule in the country and is 10-8.
CMU has a really nice win @ South Florida, but the rest of their wins are unremarkable. In common-opponent land, they lost to Detroit (as BG did), and they can't be happy losing to Farleigh Dickinson or South Dakota State. Their only loss in the West was @WMU and they lost @ Miami as well. Overall, they are 3-8 on the road this season.
Looking at stats, the one thing that jumps out is fouls. CMU is 322 out of 334 in the country in fouls with north of 22 per game. This comes with an equally poor rating in terms of giving up free throws, so one key for the Falcons will be to get to the line and make free throws, which they did very well until last week.
Other than that, you can see that they are used to giving up shooting about where BG shoots, so we have a pretty good idea where that will equal out. The other tension will come on turnovers, as it they are second in the MAC in forcing turnovers, and BG always seems to do OK protecting the ball. (Watching the game, I swear its higher than that, but it never works out that way. We struggle against pressure, and that might take its own toll, but the actual turnovers are not too bad.
CMU is not a very effective shooting team (last in the MAC), and their effective FG% only gets as high as it does by being among the higher percentage 3-point teams. It always seems that when we play a poor shooting team, it is right in our wheelhouse, and if we can get out and defend the 3 (a struggle sometimes this year), I think we have the ability to shut them down. As you can see below, they are very good on the offensive boards (perhaps due to a lack of suspense over whether a shot will be missed), so BG's big men will have to box out and keep them from getting second shots. And, it would appear they make turnovers as often as they cause them, so it would be nice to see that continue too.
Individually,CMU has two very good guards, Robbie Harman and Jordan Bitzer who are their leading scorers. They are both seniors, and anytime you face a team with two senior guards, that is a challenging assignment.
They play pretty small, they have a couple big guys who don't play very much and their leading rebounder is 6'4". That being said, they are decent on the boards, just not a team with a lot of height.
I guess I have to say I like this matchup for us. I think BG's team stacks up well against CMU, and being on the Anderson Arena floor, I'd like to think we can grind out a victory against these guys.