Saturday, November 29, 2014

Men's Hoops: Initial Observations

So, having seen the Falcon men live for the first time....some observations.

First, when I listened to the post-game and they asked Coach Jans about the team shooting badly, he said "sounds to me like we need to get into the gym."  That was a real revelation.  Our former Coach--and, frankly, many coaches--talk about shooting like it is a random thing...
sometimes you just don't shoot well."  So, I like that our Coach understands that can be improved.

Second, I was very impressed with the play of Zack Denny.  We hardly saw him last year, but the impression everyone had was that he was a shooter mostly.  And, obviously he can shoot, but he is a much more complete ballplayer.  He is 2nd on the team with 5.7 rebounds per game, and he has shown an ability to get to the rim and finish.  He is a sophomore, and I think he can really get better and stronger.

Third, BG has really integrated new guys and guys who weren't available last year.  In the SEMO game, counting Orr, Denny, Mayleben, Dickerson, Joseph, and Austin, BG had 116 minutes from those guys. That's a pretty big shift from one year to the next--I'd be surprised if any other team has more.  In contrast, Jehvon Clarke led the MAC in minutes played last year, and he played 21 minutes--not to single him out, just an example.

Fourth, BG is playing better on both sides of the court.  The team is over 1 point per possession in each game so far, something they did only 9 times against D1 competition last year.  On the flip side, BG has held all 3 of its opponents to less than .91 points per possession, something they did only 11 times last season in D1 games.

Now, I don't think we have had a backbreaking schedule early.  They are all D1 teams...Drake is 1-3, Wright State 3-2, SEMO (probably the best of all of them when healthy) is 2-3.  The Detroit game will be an interesting test.

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