Friday, December 13, 2013

Morehead State Preview

So tomorrow the BG Falcons men's basketball team will take the floor against the Morehead State Eagles down in Morehead, KY.

We got all the laughing about the name of the school out of our system last year.  If you didn't, here is the post.

This is the end of the second bracket buster pairing between BG and Morehead.  There was one around 2007 and then last February the teams played in BG, a game the Falcons won by 13.

BG has won the last 3 meetings between the teams, including a 90-72 win @Morehead in 2007.

The Eagles are coached by Sean Woods.  He played for Big Blue and scored the basket right before the Laettner basket.  He was coaching at Mississippi Valley State, where he had a couple of good seasons, one trip to the Big Dance and then moved to Morehead to take over for Donnie Tyndall, the unctuous looking former coach who had traveled on to Southern Mississippi.  Wood was 15-18/8-8 last year and was suspended one game for making contact with a player...not a recruiting contact...CONTACT.

He has brought an upbeat style to Morehead, modeled after the one taught to him by his college coach, Rick Pitino.  They lost four guys to transfer last year, I would assume because they were recruited to play a different style.

Anyway.  The Eagles were picked to finish 3rd in the East Division of the OVC.  They are off to a 7-4 start, with a 6-4 record in D1.  They have a nice win @Nevada and their four losses include UCLA, Southern Mississippi and Xavier (no shame there) and a neutral floor loss to Gardner-Webb, which they can't be happy about.

They are 3-0 at home this year and 10-5 last year.

In common opponent land, they played @Xavier and lost by 23.

They are scoring 77 points a game, which is a lot, but they play more uptempo at 73 possessions (when BG last played Morehead they averaged 58 per game), so that is about 1.05 points per possession, average in today's game.  BG is at about 1 point per possession.  At .98 points per possession, they are pretty even with BG.

Statistically, two things stand out.  They are very similar to BG and slightly worse than BG in terms of turnovers.  They are, however, very strong on the offensive boards, getting 42% of the available offensive rebounds...and they get to the line a lot.

Yeah, fouls.  Fouls stand out.  They average 23.5 fouls per game...and their opponents average 25.  EESh.  They are just slightly better than BG at shooting FTs, which all nets out to about 2 points a game on the plus side for them at the line.
Morehead does force 23% turnovers on the defensive end, so BG is going to have to improve that element of the game after a turnover-plagued effort against North Dakota.  We can't count on shooting that well against this team to cover up the lost possessions.

They have four players in double figures.  Angelo Warner (6'2" JR G) leads the team with 17 points on 48% shooting.  Chad Posthumous, (6'11" Sr C) is a beast, getting 11.5 PPG on 55% shooting and 12.7 RPG, over 5 of them on the offensive glass.  Brent Arrington (6'3" SO G) is getting 11.5 PPG and is their best 3FG shooting threat.  Bakari Turner is also scoring about 10 points and has had some big games, but missed their last game on crutches.  I have no idea if he will play Sunday.

JUCO Transfer Kareem Storey averages 5.7 assists at the point.

They have a significant amount of size on the bench, including Billy Reader and DeAndre Leatherwood, both of whom are 6'10" and JUCO transfers.

I am finding this an interesting season, as we pick through the results to see exactly what we have.  As I have said, the team is better than I anticipated.  They have yet to win on the road, and this would be a nice one to get.  BG won only once on the road last season, and it would be nice to get one under the belt to get some confidence.  Once you hit conference play, if you can't win on the road, .500 is your ceiling.

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