Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Flashing Preview

So, there are now two games left in the regular season. BG's ability to play at home hangs in the balance, an act made all the more precarious by the identity of the opponent tomorrow night--the Kent State Golden Flashes, the most consistently strong program in the conference, last year's regular season champion and a team coming off a loss at home to OU that horrified Geno Ford, their coach.

And they have a shot to win again this year.

These teams played earlier this year...and it was not pretty.  KSU blew out to a big first half lead and never saw their advantage fall under 10 the entire way as they scorched BG by 17 at the MACC.  Kent scored 1.27 points per possession, which is second only to Akron II in BG's poor defensive games and very close to the Duquesne game.  So it was bad.

Kent shot 52% and committed only 8 fouls.  BG committed 20 fouls, and KSU shot 26 free throws, making 19.  They took away a +14 advantage on the free throw line.

Meanwhile BG shot 41% and averaged 1 point per possession.

So, that's going to need to get turned around.

The first time around, the entire Kent starting lineup hit double figures, with Porrini leading the way with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.  A'uston Calhoun had 17/7 for BG and Scott Thomas went 13 and 8.

When you look at Kent's stats, you have to keep in mind that, in conference games, they have had the most possessions in the league, so some stats should be higher.  Notwithstanding their performance against BG the first, time, they are only the 6th most efficient offense in the MAC.  They are 5th in FG% and 6th in Effective FG%, 5th in offensive rebound% and 9th in 3%.  They take care of the ball--9th in turnover%.

On defense things are different.  They have the 3rd most efficient defense in the MAC.  They are 2nd in FG%, 3FG% and EFG%.  They turn the ball over (7th), but they don't need to with that kind of shot defense.  The one weakness is that they do not protect the defensive glass especially well.  They are 11th in that category.

Chart is for all games.

Individually, they are led by Justin Greene at 15.6 points and 8 rebounds a game.  Rodriguez Sherman has 12.8 points per game, and Michael Porrini 9.5 points and 4 assists.  Carlton Guyton struggled a little when he came back from his suspension, but he has been in double figures the last 7 games.

They are 10-4 in the MAC with 2 overtime losses.  Yes, there are some tight wins in there, but this is a high quality team.  Kent swept BG last year and has to be hungry for a win to help keep themselves near the top of the standings.  On the other hand, a red-hot arch-rival awaits them on the weekend.  Kent teams are typically pretty ruthless and focused, but time will tell.

In a lot of ways, Kent matches up on BG much like Miami did.  The Falcons are simply going to have to bring one of their top performances of the season to compete.

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