Friday, November 11, 2011

Howard Preview

So, the Howard Bison come to town to make the first trip to the Stroh Center.  Let's take a closer look at these Bison....

First, the two teams have only played once, and that was last year.  Howard won the game, and it probably goes down as BG's worst loss of the season.  It was certainly a sign of trouble, as the Falcons lost their first 7 D-1 games, scoring 54 points or fewer four times and never scoring more than 64.

Howard, meanwhile, went on to a 6-24 record and finished with an RPI of 332 (345 would be the last in the country).

So, you know, that's not a fond memory.

They lost two starters from that team.  And they are picked 9th in the MEAC (the 30th ranked out of 33 conferences).  Their pre-season ranking on Kenpom is 331 (BG is 166) and on the College Basketball Prospectus Handbook (using the "Crazy Uncle" system), they are 331 and BG is 167.

Finally, their record last year virtually mirrors their record the year before.

Now, there is another side to the story.  They do return their top 3 scorers.

But, the story here is what has been added.  First, they had a freshman big man (Boyomo) who was out for the year last season, and he's back.  They also ended up injury red-shirting their top returning scorer, Calvin Thompson, and he is back though he did play against BG.

They have a recruiting class that they are VERY high on.  They brought in 5 FR, recruiting the DC area very heavily.  They claim it to be the best class in the school's history and that some publication said it was among the top 50 classes in D1.  I checked some recruiting services, and they don't agree with the latter assertion, but that all remains to be seen.

One of those Fr. (G Prince Akoroh) is projected to start, and Fr. G Simuel Frazier is listed as a key reserve.

Of no consequence to us...they have two transfers who will be eligible in December as well.

One thing they do bring is size.  They will have 6'9" Leary and 6'10" Boyomo in their starting line up.  BG will not play many teams with this kind of size, and it could present some match up issues for our inside offensive game.  Now, on the other hand, being big doesn't make you good.  Boyomo was said to be recruited by some bigger programs when Howard got him, and Leary averaged 7/6 as a freshman last year.

Their coach is interesting.  As we noted last year, he actually coached the Libyan National Basketball team and I would say that he has this team trending in the right direction, long term.

But, this is a team that BG needs to beat today, to get this season off on the right track, and to establish our new home court advantage.

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