Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Golden Flashes come to AA

Flash back (har! har!) to the early MAC season, when BG went to Kent State, and despite playing a team with a reputation for stifling defense, shot 50% from the field (making a season-high 8) and from the 3FG, and made 89% of its free throws to steal a road win in the MAC Center, 76-60.  For the season, it is safe to say that is the program's signature win for this year.

Since then, Kent has gone on a little bit of a tear, winning 10 of 11, several of them by 17 or more, and moved into first place in the MAC East.  They now have reached 20 wins again for the season and have an RPI of 53.  

In that time, no team has shot 50% again from the field or the 3-line.  They also have not allowed 76 points again and have only allowed 70 twice.

So, the Flashes have been on a tear since that loss.  Kent is one of the top 4 offensive teams in the conference, and could easily be second only to Miami on the defensive end.  As such, they do present a difficult matchup for us, since we often struggle to score under the best of circumstances.  (They lead the MAC in defending the 3FG).  Looking more closely at the stats, keep in mind that Kent's have been generated against the #103 schedule in the nation while BG has played the #192 ranked schedule.

Suffice it to say that Kent plays a defense focused on missed shots and not turnovers.  If this chart were available for conference games only, I suspect you would see some more disparity.  Anyway, BG will need to successfully get the ball inside to compete this game, and that is going to involve a lot of hard work.  If we settle for 3s against this team, it will be a long night, unless we get hot like we did the first time.

Flipping things around,  we remember that BG also has the ability to lock down on defense and make stops to keep the game close.  As you can see, Kent is used to getting to the line and getting offensive rebounds more than BG does, and this end of the floor is just as likely to be where the game is decided.

Individually, the watchword for Kent is balance. They feature four players who average between 10.7 and 13.5 points per game and two players with between 5 and 6 rebounds. Obviously, this makes them very difficult to defend.

Kent is one of the top 2 teams in the MAC, and they are playing really well. Having said that, BG has won 3 of its last 4, is starting to assert itself on the home floor. It would be a great time to bring another very solid game and pick up a win on their very tough schedule coming home.

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