Sunday, November 16, 2014

Jans Era Opens up in Fine Fashion

So, did you like that start to the Jans era?

I thought so.

Look, there's a long way to go and all, and there were some factors in our favor, but there's no way we aren't going to be pleased with a wire-wire 19 point victory on the road to kick the season off.

It was BG's biggest road win since a 24 point win over WMU back in 2012.

So, to dispense with the qualifiers...Drake was picked to be last in MVC, had a bunch of new guys and then had two returning seniors--including their leading returning scorer--suspended for the game (and 2 others) for receiving improper benefits.

Even with that, it was a great performance for the Falcons, who were never threatened.

The victory was built on the primary skill in the game of basketball and the thing that bedeviled BG most over the past few years, and that was the simple art of making the ball go through the goal.

BG shot 52% for the game and 60% in the first half, when the game was decided.  That kind of shooting is hard to beat on its own, but then you have to add in that BG made 41% of its 3FGs...11 total for the game.  With a 3-heavy shot mix, 52% is even better.

Overall, BG's EFG% was 62% and BG had 1.2 points per possession, but of which would be difficult numbers to lose with.

When you are shooting well, you want to also avoid turnovers, and BG did that as well, with 9 turnovers or about 14% of possessions.  The Falcons did not do much on the offensive boards and did not get to the line much, but they did make all 8 of their FTs.

On the defensive side, BG was also excellent.  Drake shot 37% for the game (though 50% from deep) and had only .91 points per possession, which is a difficult number to win with as well.  They also turned the ball over more than BG, and while they were better on the offensive boards and FTs, it wasn't enough to off-shoot BG's great shooting and Drake's poor shooting.

Individually, BG had 12 players score.  Todd Walker noted that this is more than the total number of BG players who scored all of last season. Jehvon Clarke came off the bench and (as we hoped) thrived in the 2.  He had 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting and 4 of 8 from deep.  Also, he played only 21 minutes.  Richaun Holmes had 12 on 4 of 6 shooting and 5 blocked shots.  Spencer Parker had 10 on 4 of 6 shooting to got with 4 steals (and a game high 25 minutes and Jovon Austin had 10 on 4 of 6 shooting and added 4 assists.

No Falcon had more than 2 turnovers and that was only 1 guy, the rest had only 1 turnover.

Anyway, a great start for the Falcons.  BG made outside shots--their biggest weakness in the past--while maintaining the ability to get stops on the defensive end.  I think we saw that we are going to see a deeper rotation for the Falcons and got a look at some of our new guys.  That includes Garrett Mayleben who played 16 minutes.

I'd encourage the Falcon Nation to pump the brakes just a little bit.  Let's enjoy seeing this evolve.  I'm looking forward to seeing how BG unfolds, but let's wait a while before we start to project ourselves into winning this way on a regular basis.  We probably did land in a good situation let's no burden these guys with a lot of expectations right away.

We will find out more Wednesday with Wright State, a very solid team on our floor in a matinee.

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