With the exception of the Bracket Buster, Saturday's game against St. Louis represents out last time we play out of conference this year. Before we get too far...
- We covered WTF a Billiken is last year.
- Last year's BG win over St. Louis was probably our top win of the season.
- Back in the fledgling days of the CCHA, St. Louis was BG's big rival in hockey.
- St. Louis is coached by all-time great Rick Majerus.
Majerus is certainly doing interesting work in St. Louis. They play in the A-10, which is one of the better hoops conferences in the country. He started last year with no juniors and no seniors, which was the second youngest team in D1, according to statsheet.com. This year, they are the 3rd youngest team by the same measure.
Although they lost to BG, they went on to be 11-5 in A-10 and finished in the second in the CBIT to VCU.
This year, they are 5-7, which I grant you does not sound good, but they have played the #6 schedule in the country. After a loss to Austin Peay at home that I am sure they wish they had back, they have not lost to another team with an RPI over 100...including Duke, Mississippi and Portland. You never know with a team like this....they have played a tough schedule but haven't won any big games. So, you could say that they have won games they should have and lost games they should have.
I'm sure this is one they feel like they should.
St. Louis has played a slightly slower place than BG, but has been very effective shooting the ball. They don't shoot the 3 an absolute ton, but they are very effective when they do. They mostly shoot 2s, and are obviously very effective. They are not especially good on the offensive boards--even tempo free--and have shown a moderate tendency to turn the ball over. Of course, that's against the schedule they have played. They are scoring and allowing about 64 points a game, so that gives you a pretty good idea where they like to play.
Amazing, St. Louis has no big star. Their top two scorers (Kyle Cassity and Jordair Jett) are averaging just 10 PPG. Their leading rebounders is only grabbing 4.5 per game (Dwayne Evans). No Billiken averages 30 minutes a game; 10 players average 14 minutes a game. 10 players have at least 1 start this year.
They are 4-2 at home, so I anticipate this being a tough assignment. Still, if we can continue to do the things well that we have done to date, who knows? It would be a very big win if we picked it up.