Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Faded Flashes

Time was when Kent was the MAC's most consistent and effective program.  Year after year, coach after didn't seem to matter.  20-win seasons just piled up.

When Geno Ford left for Bradley, they elevated Rob Senderoff to the main job.  He was a Kelvin Sampson at IU refugee and you kind of wondered if they might have warn the magic out and this year, they might really have done it.

They are 12-11 and 3-7 in the MAC and that is against a pretty soft schedule.  Their best win was @Temple (RPI 177) but they are down this year.  They have lost 6 of their last 7 in the MAC.  The win in that streak was against Akron (which BG did not do).  They lost at home to NIU (as BG did) as well as to WMU.

Normally, the MACC has been an impenetrable fortress.  This year, not so much.  They are 9-5 overall and 2-3 in the MAC at home.

Here is the basic layout.  As you can see, in MAC play Kent has struggled as much as BG has, and they are worse defensively.  In their last 6 losses, they have allowed more than 70 points in 5 of them.  This is a good opportunity for BG to get back into the defensive swing of things and continue to have some success on offense.

Here is the Kent offense.  As you can see, they are below average from the shot, average on turnovers, and poor on offensive rebounds (10th in MAC) and free throw rate (also 10th).  Not only do they not get to the line but they are shooting 65% which is not good.  All that adds up to a struggling attack.  You look for the Kent has been poor at offensive rebounds BG has been poor on preventing them and then the same on free throws, so those are the areas where it will be interesting to see what happens.

Their biggest issue with shooting is that they are 2nd in the MAC in 3FGs attempted and they are 10th in 3FG made.  This is taken into account for their effective FG%, but they are jacking the shots up and missing more than normal.  Obviously, if that changes they are capable of getting a big number.

On the other side, Kent is average defending the shot and at getting turnovers.  They do allow a lot of offensive rebounds and they are last in the MAC in allowing FTs (by rate).  Kent is committing 22 fouls a game in MAC play.  In most cases, BG's offensive numbers are pretty similar to their defense, except for the free throws.  BG will need to exploit this and get to the line.  The game could very well come down to a FT shooting contest.

Individually, they are led by 3 players who are pretty even in scoring.  Kris Brewer is scoring an inefficient 11.7 PPG (34% shooting and 20% on 3s and shoots 4 a game).  Darren Good is the second guy, scoring 10.8 on 48% shooting.  He also leads the team with 4.4 rebounds, which is not very many.  The third guy is CMU transfer Derek Jackson at 9.8 on 37% shooting and 33% from beyond the arc--almost 5 attempts per game.

Two other guys of note.  Mark Hemminger is their big guy, with 5 points and 5 rebounds.  And Devareaux Manley is their highest volume 3FG shooter with 58 attempts, but he is only making 31%.

Obviously, Kent has to be the favorite at home, but if BG plays as they are capable of, this is an entirely winnable game.  After a couple tough losses to good teams, it would be great to see the Falcons steal a road win and get back on the right track.  This is a winnable matchup for the Falcons.

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