Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Miami, Sans Evil Genius

Not gonna lie.  I'm going to miss Charlie Coles, the evil genius.  In today's blow-dried, cookie cutter world, he was a true eccentric...a mad scientist if ever there was one.  The way he went out last year...wearing his emotions right on his sleeve, raging like King Lear--Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!--he was just great until the end.

His last presser in BG--forever known as the Sandwiches Press Conference--will never be equaled, if they play at the Stroh for 100 more years.

So, the new man in Oxford is John Cooper, who is neither evil nor a genius.  He came from Tennessee State where he won 45% of his games.  They were 20-13 last year, and next thing you know, he's moving on.

They have an RPI of 198 and a kenpom.com of 240.  They are 6-8 so far this year.  They beat a decent UIC team at Millett, but beyond that their wins have been pretty soft.  They have lost to some pretty good teams, as always, but mark bad losses as being @IPFW and NIU in Oxford.  That last one will leave a mark.

They rebounded, though, with a win @Buffalo and they are 1-1 in the MAC.

First of all, you will remember that a central tenet of the evil genius approach was to play a slow pace.  These guys are different.  In fact, Miami is almost averaging 68 possessions a game, which is 3rd in the MAC.

Offensively, they are below average at .97 points per possession.  As we start to break that down, they are 3rd in the MAC with an Effective FG% of 50.2%.  Percentage wise, they are the 3rd best 3-point shooting team in the MAC, and get 33% of their points that way.  They are somewhere in the middle of the MAC in turnovers at 21.2%.  They are 6th in the MAC in getting to the line and 9th in making them when they get there, which partly drags them down, and, much like the Coles days, they are last in offensive rebounding.

Still, the whole (their overall efficiency) seems to be less than the whole of their parts.  A team that takes of the ball reasonably well and shoots well should be scoring more than this.  But, they aren't.

In another new twist, this team is pretty poor on defense.  They are 11th in efficiency, allowing 1.04 points per possession.  Teams make shots against Miami--their EFG% against is 52.7%, last in the MAC.  They do force turnovers--4th in the MAC--and they are 9th in allowing offensive rebounds.  They are 9th in allowing teams to get to the line.

Given that, it will be interesting to see if BG can exploit this weakness.  You'd hope to see the Falcons make some shots against this defense.

Individually, they lost Penn State transfer Bill Edwards for the year after 5 games.  Their leading scorer is Allen Roberts, a junior guard, who has 13 points on 39% shooting.  Will Felder, a transfer from St. Francis of PA, is scoring 10.2 points per game on 52% shooting and also leads the team with 4.4 rebounds.

Freshman Reggie Johnson is scoring just under 10 points a game and Quentin Rollins is 5th in the MAC in assists.  Finally, Jon Harris is shooting 42% from 3.

A couple notes.

BG has yet to win on the road this season.

Jordon Crawford has had some big, big games against Miami in the past.  It was always explained that Crawford had almost been recruited by Miami, so maybe he wanted to show the evil genius what he could do.  Also, he had 9 turnovers in the last game, which happened one other time this year and he came back in the next game and played well.

It would be nice to see the Falcons play well enough to win on the road.  For them, the story does not seem to change that much, but it could.  I think Anthony Henderson is continuing to develop, and if the team could just make some shots, you'd like to think this was one where you could get off the schneid on the road.

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