Saturday, December 19, 2015

BG Men's Hoops Returns to Action

The men's hoopsters return to action tomorrow after a week-long break for finals.  BG will be coming off a loss at Detroit to a really good team and have a good shot at returning to winning ways against the Wright State Raiders.

Wright State is 4-7 on the year, with 2 of those 4 wins being non-D1.  They wins are over South Dakota on a neutral floor--a quality win--and a 6-point home win over a pretty poor Charleston Southern team.  Their 7 losses include Xavier and Kentucky, two of the best teams in the country, as well as Georgia State in Dayton, also in the top half of the teams in the country.  They have also lost to NIU, Miami, George Mason and Cal-State Northridge, none of which are quality losses at this point.

This is only their third home game (hear that Rob Murphy?), and they are 1-1 at home.

This is the 4th straight year BG has played Wright State.  Each of the previous games was won by the home team.  The last game in Dayton was a 46-43 barnburner that set the cause of college basketball back decades.

Wright State is offensively challenged.  They play at 69 possessions per 40 minutes, which is average, but score in the low 60s.  On a per posession basis, that's .92 points per possession...and that includes 2 non D1 games--which is way below average and represents a number that is very difficult to win with.  Defensively, they are only average at 1 point per possession.  As you can see, BG is scoring better than that and allowing more than the Raiders score as well.

Wright State's biggest issue is that they are a poor shooting team.  That 47% EFG balances out to be pretty average.  Their 3FG% is slightly above the national average--and they get 41% of their points on 3FGs--but their shooting on 2FGs is 38% which is just shockingly bad.  Incredibly bad.  Their turnovers are slightly worse than averge, and they are very poor on on the offensive boards and they don't get to the line very much (one of the 50 worst in the country).

Flipping things around, the most remarkable thing here is fouls.  BG gets to the line a lot, but Wright States gives up a ridiculous amount of free throws.  They are among the 30 worst teams in D1 in fouling and allowing free throws.  That stat below means that Wright State allows free throws at 50% of their total field goal attempts allowed, and you just don't see that very much.  They average 22.5 fouls per game and they give up 10 more FTs attempted per game.  Now, BG has to take advantage of this...the Falcons are a poor FT shooting team.  Beyond that, BG would seem to have an opportunity if it can make some shots.

On an individual basis, Wright State's guys never have big numbers because of the philosophy of virtually non-stop substitutions that the Raiders use.  Honestly, hockey teams make fewer substitutions.  They have 11 players averaging 10 minutes or more a game and a 12th at 9.  Their leading scorer is JT Yoho at 10.8 PPG.  He is shooting 49% on the 3-ball.  Joe Thomasson, also a SR G, is scoring 10.3 PPG on 41% shooting overall and 38% from 3FG is their other double figure scorer, adding 4 assists per game and a team-high 5.2 rebounds per game.  Guards Mark Alstork and Grant Benzinger and both contributing 9 PPG while shooting under 40%.

One note....BG native Parker Erntshausen is playing 12 minutes per game for Wright State.

This is certainly a winnable game for BG.  Wright State has to feel the same way--and they have to be glad to be playing at home.  Given the loss to Miami, you'd have to think the Falcons can get this one as we feel this team out in the pre-conference season to see how good they are.

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