Monday, November 21, 2011

'ello Guvunnah

The Falcons start the Progressive CBE Classic tonight against Austin Peay, who we have never played before.

First, a litte background on Peay.  They are in the Ohio Valley Conference and the school is located in Tennessee.   Austin Peay was a Governor of Tennessee, so their nickname is the Governors.  (He was the only Governor in Tennessee to die in office, and signed the law that caused the Scopes trial).  Anyway, wikipedia says that their fans chant "Let's go Peay" but I'm thinking that is a  little prank someone at Morehead State is playing.

Basketball-wise, this is a very solid program.  Since 2000, they have only been under .500 only twice.

They have 20 wins in 3 of the last 5 seasons and played in the '03 and '08 NCAA tourneys.

For a successful program, they have great stability at coach.  Dave Loos is the head Governor and he has been there for 22 years.  I always wonder how that happens...and why no team in the MAC ever seems to be able to pull of keeping a coach they want to keep.

Anyway, this is a very solid basketball program and they appear to be poised for a good year.

They were picked to win the OVC this year, coming off a 20-win season last year that put them into the CBI.  Both their own conference media and College Basketball Prospectus have them picked to win the OVC.

Now, what makes this interesting is that the OVC is the 27th ranked conference (out of 33) and the MAC is the 20th, so the task is to try and project how the Guvs would be if they played in the MAC. (BG is 12-8 all-time against the OVC, Peay 11-20 against the MAC).

They finished last year with an RPI of 138, which would have put them around 4th in the MAC.  This year, the Crazy Uncle College Basketball method predicts their RPI to be 117 which would be sixth in the MAC.

All this is just to say this.  They are a good program, very competitive, and would be a good MAC team.  We are playing them on our floor, and if BG is going to surprise people in the MAC, I think this is a good test.

Austin Peay was a strong offensive team last year. scoring 1.05 points per possession, which is in the top third of the country.  They play relatively upbeat at 70 possessions per game.  Much like BG, they were not effective from beyond the arc and got a lot of their points from 2-FG.   They were very good on the offensive boards.

On defense, they were very good, ranking 43rd in the country with .96 points per possession.  They defend the shot well and also forced turnovers on 24% of their opponent's possessions.  They get a lot of steals as well.

From that team they lost only one starter.  They start 3 Srs and 1 Jr.  Also, F Anthony Campbell missed most of last season with an injury and he is back and is listed as a pre-season all-OVC selection, though he is off to a slow start and is not projected to start in their game notes.

This year, they are 0-3 and have yet to play a home game.  They lost to Middle Tennessee State by 9, a ranked Cal by 17 and Oral Roberts by 12.

Their top player is TyShawn Edmondson, who was all-OVC last season and is a pre-season pick this year.  He was second in the OVC in scoring last year, and while he was only 20th in offensive efficiency, he did lead the conference in 3s made.

This year, their leading scorer is Josh Terry, who has scored 14 points per game and been in double figures in every game.

Their projected starters are small--no one over 6'6", but they have size on the bench, including 6'9" John Fraley who has averaged 10 RPG this year.

Bottom line is that this is a very solid basketball team and is well coached.  For BG to win, they are going to have to get the ball into the paint for points, which they have not done yet, and then play very strong defense.  We have been playing better defense, but BG simply has to find a way to score more easily or it won't beat teams like this.

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