Friday, March 20, 2015

CIT Part 2 Preview: Canisius

The Golden Griffins of Canisius will be BG's second round opponent in the CIT and are making their first trip to the Stroh.  The GGs did play BG in a home and home in the 08-09 and 09-10 seasons, with each team winning on the road. The match-up was created by the now-dead bracket buster, which mostly busted BG.

For review, Canisius is over by Buffalo and named for the guy to your left, who is Canisius...Petrus Canisius. He was the first Dutchman to join the Jesuits. Really.

He led the efforts to restore the Catholic Church in Germany after the reformation.  And he looks like a total bad ass.

Also, you can see his shoes.

Enough Canisius. Or at least that Canisius.

The GGs are 17-14 on the year, with an RPI of 175 and a SOS RPI of 188.  They were 11-9 in conference and 7-7 for the year on the road, which is pretty good.  Their biggest win was at home over Iona (RPI 50).  Their biggest road win was @Lehigh (170).  They lost to Buffalo by 15 on a neutral floor.  Of their 17 wins, 13 came against teams with 200+ RPI.

They were knocked out of the MAAC tournament by Monmouth and then beat Dartmouth by 13 at home in their first CIT game.

They are a defensively oriented team.  They allow .97 points per possession, which is in the top 70 in D1.  They get there the way most teams do, which is to be hard to shoot against.  They allow teams to shoot 41% and 33% and force turnovers on 21% of possessions, which is also very good.  When you start with 21% blank possessions and then add in that kind of shot defense, you are going to be tought to score against.

The only thing that keep them from being impossible to score against is that they are a little below average on offensive rebounds (allow 32%) and allow a decent amount of free throws.

They appear to play very physically.  A lot of fouls for them and the opponent.

On offense, they are not so good, or they would have a better record.  Their efficiency is 1.01, which is below average, and they shoot worse than their opponents do, even with the great D.  The GGs shoot 41% and 32%.  They do try a lot of 3s, but have not been terribly successful making them.  However, given that teams have hit 3s against BG, the Falcons need to be prepared for that.  They do not commit a lot of turnover at 18.6%.

They are good on the offensive boards, getting 34% of available rebounds and don't get to the line particularly well.  When they do get to the line, they make 72%, which is pretty good.

Individually, they are led by Zach Lewis, a SO G who scores 12 PPG on 34% shooting.  Let's be clear though...that's on an incredible number of 3s...224 in fact, which is 45th in the country.  He shot 33% on 3FGs.

The also have a 6'9" Sr. Big named Josiah Heath.  He scores 9.5 PPG and 6.8 rebounds per game.  Jr Jamal Reynolds, who is 6'5", scores 6.8 and rebounds 6.5.  Phil Valenti gets 2.5 assists per game to lead the team and Lewis gets 2.3.  They are the 76th youngest team in D1 out of 350 or so.

BG is a 6.5 point favorite and that's about right.  This is a game BG should win.  They have a bonus game on their home floor and this is a team they should beat.  I have not heard anything about the status of Holmes or or Dickerson, so that would certainly play a role as well.


WatchThis said...

Any buzz on campus or in the community about the game? Or should we expect the standard crowd?

Orange said...

They've done some good things to bring a crowd out with cheap tickets, etc. Even given that, I would actually anticipate a smaller than standard crowd.

WatchThis said...

You were correct. So sad