Saturday, February 15, 2014

Rock Bottom in Muncie

BG heads into Worthern Arena today to play Ball State.  When they will do, they will be playing a team that is simply have a nightmare season.   Say what you want about our current regime...we have not been subjected to a year like this.

Ball State is 4-18.  They are 2-18 in D1 games.  They are 1-10 in the MAC and 1-5 on their home floor in conference.  Their RPI is 285.  Their BPI is 291.  There are 351 teams.

Just a very long season for a school with a great basketball tradition.  They made at least a couple bad coaching decisions and they are paying the price.  I think they have a coach who will turn it around, but they are paying the price this year.

Before we get too crazy, BG has lost 5 of its last 6 games.  As I mentioned after the Kent game, the unnerving thought it that while BG looks at Ball State as a team they should beat, Ball State looks at BG coming to town as a chance for a much needed win.

Here in a nutshell is what we have going on.  These are conference only stats.  Ball State is last in the MAC in offensive efficiency and 347th in the country.  This is a team that struggles mightily to score.  Sometimes we see that in a team that plays lock down defense.  This is not the case.  Ball State is 11th in the MAC in defensive efficiency.  Look, this is what you expect...a 1-10 team is going to score less than its opponents, by definition.

Here is how that happens.  First, they struggle to make shots--worse than BG.  They are 10th in the MAC.  Combine that with the truly shocking number, which is turnover%.  That rate is worst in the MAC and the 2nd worst in the entire country.  Those are the two most factors--so when you cough up that many possessions right out of the gate and then struggle to make the shot when you get the chance.  Offensive rebounding and getting to the line are average.

They are a decent free throw shooting team.  One last note.  They are 5th in the MAC in attempting 3FGs but 11th in percentage.

On defense they are 8th in the MAC in terms of EFG% defense.  They don't force many turnovers (last in the MAC).  They do a good job on the offensive boards and give up a bunch of FTs.  They are 10th in fouls and 12th in FT Rate.

Their leading scorer is 6'4" Sr. Chris Bond.  He is scoring 13 a game on 45% shooting and 6 rebounds a game.  Their second-leading scorer is 5'9" FR Zavier Turner, who is scoring an inefficient 11.6 ppg (36% shooting) with 2.6 assists over 4.3 turnovers.  He is also their best 3-FG shooter.

Their best player is Majok Majok.  He is scoring 10.8 PPG on 53% shooting and getting 9 rebounds a game.  That's 3rd in the MAC.

This is the 3rd youngest team in the MAC, based on minutes played by class.

Anyway, this is a program that is in the very depths.  BG has been losing, but ever so close to winning.  You'd like to see them pick up this win, but it is far from certain.

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