Sunday, November 02, 2014

Men's Basketball, Game by Game

This is not easy to do.  As noted, BG has a lot of question marks and a lot of new guys who are not only new to BG but new to D1 basketball.  And last year's team was obviously not very good at 12-20 and 6-12.

The schedule actually complicates things.  There are a number of close calls.  For example, Drake is a winnable game, but it comes on the road and right out of the shoot.  BG's toughest non-conference opponents are probably Wright State and Cleveland State, and those games are at home.  South Florida is not very good, but BG's best chance against them would be at the Stroh.

Anyway, having said all that, I am forecasting a modest upgrade from 12-20 to 13-16....38% to 45%.  For BG to finish .500 overall, look to the @CMU game, Wright State and Cleveland State at home, and Western at home.

I see BG +3 games in the MAC with a .500 season.  That's 7-2 at home (losing Akron, Western) and 2-7 on the road (beating Miami, Ball State)

Nov. 15 at Drake LOSE

This game might well be winnable...Drake is picked to finish last in the MVC and they have a team with a lot of youth that is in a rebuilding phase and BG is a team that does not have a lot of youth and is in a rebuilding phase.  On the other hand, Drake has a big center from Denmark who could cause problems for BG and BG is picked to finish near the bottom of the MAC.  This might be different if the game was at the Stroh, but for now, I'm going to say Bulldogs.

Nov. 19 Wright State  LOSE

Wright State had a good team last year, but they lost all 5 starters from that squad. This year, they
are picked to be #3 in the Horizon conference. We have played them for a while--competitively--and they are the team that substitutes slightly more often than a hockey team. SO, maybe they are ready to deal with losing starters...there are transfers, a big dude from New Zealand...anyway, this one could go either way. Won't be a great home environment with BG scheduling a matinee to avoid conflict with the UT game...take BG.

Nov. 25 SE Missouri St WIN

They are picked to be #2 in their division of the OVC. They were 18-14 last year, but only managed an RPI of 252. This game will be a test for BG's new backcourt, but SE Mo State is not great in the front court, which might make it a decent matchup for the Falcons. Also, SE MO State is coached by a guy who is named Dicky Nutt, which is hard to believe but it is true. Beyond that, they lose their two best players. This is another tweener, but I'm going to go BG for home court and the MAC has won 11 of the last 15 against OVC teams.

Nov. 30 at Detroit LOSE

The Falcons edged Detroit last year at the Stroh.  The Titans were struggling in their first year without McCallum Jr,   They are looked to be improved, have a big man who transferred from Penn State, and are picked to finish #4.  Also file this name in your memory bank, R-FR Paris Bass.  He's might be the Horizon's top FR, is a 6'7" swingman and looks to be a difference maker.  This one could be winnable for BG but I think Detroit holds home court.

Dec. 3 at W Kentucky LOSE

The Toppers were 20-12 last year with a finishing RPI of 129 and four starters return from that team. Now, BG did beat them by 12 at the Stroh in one of the season's more remarkable results. They have moved into a tougher conference, leaving the Sun Belt and moving into the C-USA. This is a very good team and I would anticipate they win the game at Diddle Arena...though I would predict it to be closer than the football game. (Sorry, yeah, I went there).

Dec. 6 Alabama A&M WIN

The Bulldogs are picked to finish 8th in the SWAC, which is the second-last ranked conference.  They lost 4 starters from a team that finished last year with an RPI of 272.  This is one the Falcons should win.

Dec. 9 at Dayton LOSE

Toughest game on the non-conference schedule.  We all know last year's team made it to the Elite 8 and they are picked to finish 3rd in the very tough Atlantic 10.  They lost 3 starters, but this remains a very good team and very likely to beat BG at UD Arena.

Dec. 13 Cleveland State LOSE

Cleveland State will be a tough matchup for BG.  This will be an excellent benchmark to see how far the Falcons have come.  The Vikings are returning four starters from a team that finished with an RPI of 91.  Interestingly, the starter they lost was Horizon newcomer of the year who decided to take his talents to East Lansing.  With this game at the Stroh you'd think BG will have a shot, but I'm afraid CSU has to much for BG.

Dec. 21 Ferris St WIN

This is the only non-D1 game on BG's schedule.  They were 10-16 last year and BG should win this one.

Dec. 28 at South Florida LOSE

BG plays no games against Power 5 conferences this year.  South Florida is a member of the American Athletic and beat BG handily at the Stroh last year.  They were terrible last year and that caused the departure of Stan Heath.  The new Bull coach is from the Calipari coaching tree.  Despite all the turmoil, I'm afraid USF is ready to roll by the time the Falcons head down there.

Jan. 3 Chicago State WIN

You know the WAC still exists?  It does.  Chicago State lost 4 starters from a team with an RPI of 260.  The WAC plummeted to the #22 conference in DI, and I'd expect BG to win this one.

Jan. 7 at Kent State LOSE
Jan. 10 Ohio WIN
Jan. 14 at Akron LOSE
Jan. 17 Ball State WIN
Jan. 21 E Michigan WIN
Jan. 24 at Toledo LOSE
Jan. 27 N Illinois WIN
Jan. 31 Akron LOSE
Feb. 4 at Cent Michigan LOSE
Feb. 7 at N Illinois LOSE

Feb. 10 W Michigan LOSE
Feb. 14 at Ball State WIN
Feb. 18 Miami WIN
Feb. 21 Buffalo WIN
Feb. 24 at Ohio LOSE
Feb. 28 at Miami WIN
Mar. 3 Kent State WIN
Mar. 6 at Buffalo LOSE

No comments :