Tuesday, December 02, 2014

WKU Preview

We are still having PTSD from the results of the last time we wrote a preview for the WKU Hilltoppers, so we are looking for our Falcon Men to go down to Bowling Green (KY) and exorcise those demons.

BG has played the 'Toppers three times since 2010, with WKU winning twice...once at EA Diddle Arena and once at Anderson.  BG won by 12 last year at the Stroh in one of the year's higher moments.

WKU is a good program.  They have 20 wins each of the last 2 seasons, and two years ago put a fright into Kansas in the first round of the Big Dance.  They have been to the Sweet Sixteen twice since the 1990s.

Four starters return from last year's team, but they are in a new conference, where they are picked by Blue Ribbon to be 5th.  This year, they are 2-3, with a win over Austin Peay at Diddle (just like saying it) and over St. Joe's, a down A-10 at Madison Square Garden. They lost @Minnesota and @Stony Brook and then at home to Belmont, so while there are no quality wins there are no bad losses either.

WKU has struggled to score the basketball this year.  They have only .91 points per possession.  They are shooting only 40% and 32% and are turning the ball over on 24% of their possessions, both of which are mitigated by good offensive rebounding.  They do a decent job of getting to the line, but hit only 63% when they are there.

On defense, they are allowing .98 points per possession, which is not great and only slightly above average.  They are holding teams to 42/33 shooting and they create turnovers at 17% of possessions, which is about average.  They do a good job on the offensive boards...and the foul A LOT...21 per game.

Their leading scorer is TJ Price, who is scoring 13 PPG on 35% shooting.  He is actually shooting 44% from beyond the arc, which makes him their most effective 3FG shooter.  He also leads the team with 3.6 assists and a 1:1 A/TO ratio.  He is a player with upsides and

So G Chris Harrison-Docks is scoring about 12 a game on 42% shooting.  He is their highest volume 3FG shooter but hits only 31%.

Both Price and Harrison-Docks are deadly FT shooters...so WKU's struggles at the line are coming from other guys.

George Fant is only scoring 8 points a game but leads the team with 7.4 rebounds per game.  He had a Richaun Holmes-like night at MSG, going 17 and 15.  Well, he didn't have any blocked shots, so it wasn't a truly Holmes-like night.

This is a road game and those are always a challenge, but this is certainly a winnable game for the Falcons, who have won twice on the road already.  Last year's team was 4-11 on the road and didn't win #2 until January 19.

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