Saturday, December 05, 2015

Drake Preview

Well, with all the football excitement, we have men's basketball today, not to be forgotten.  This game has the potential to be interesting.  BG has been playing a soft schedule, to be sure.  Drake is a team BG beat in Iowa last year in our first signal that we might be better than we expected.  Still, they are in the Missouri Valley Conference...where they were picked to be 8th, but still.

They are 4-3 with an RPI of 244 right now.  They lost to pretty good Weber State and UMKC teams and beat Pepperdine and Western Kentucky (neutral floors) and those both look to be top-half D1 teams.  They also beat UIC (very bad team) and lost @Tulane.

Anyway, I think this has the potential to be a pretty good test for our boys.

This team is very efficient on offense.  They are the 25th best shooting team in D1...more on that later.  They don't play at a high pace, with 70 possessions per 40 minutes about a half possession below the national average.  However, they are earning 1.09 points per possession, which is significantly above the national average, which right now is about 1.02 points per possession.  This is going to present a challenge to the BG defense. On the other side of the game, they are a good defensive team and BG is slightly below average on offense.  Both teams have one non-D1 blowout that inflates stats....

As mentioned this is a very good shooting team.  The EFG you see here is about 7% better than the average, which is right around 49%.  Nothing else on their offense is special...their turnovers are slightly above average, offensive rebounding is really poor and they don't get to the line that much.  The most important of the four factors is shooting and it isn't close and they are shooting 49.9% overall and 44.8% from 3FG.  Also, their stats lines on the three less important measures are pretty close to what BG usually allows.

On the defensive end, you can see that BG is an average shooting team and Drake has typically allowed a little worse in terms of shooting %.  The profile here actually matches up really closely, with the exception of FTs.  Drake has done a good job not allowing FTs.

Based on that, I'd say we'd get a normal offensive effort from BG and the challenge will be seeing whether the Falcons can impact Drake on the offensive end.

Individually, they are led in scoring by 6'8" R-JR Kale Abrahamson.  He sat out last year after transferring from Northwestern, but this guy is putting up eye popping numbers.  He is scoring 19.1 PPG, which is in the top 60 in the country.  He is doing it with 47% shooting overall and 37% 3FG shooting on a team high 51 attempts.

He is joined by Reed Timmer, who scores almost as much, at 18.6 PPG.  He's a 6'1" SO.  He's shooting 54% overall and 55% from beyond the arc, though he has tried only 22 of those.  Those are both good numbers for a guard.  The overall shooting % would be good for a center.

Their PG is Graham Woodward, who is average 13 PPG with 3 assists per game at a 1:1 ratio with turnovers.  He's shooting 46% overall and 56% on his threes, which again are just really good shooting numbers.

They have a 7'0" guy from Denmark and Poland and they play about 17 minutes per game, almost like they split the game.  BG doesn't have anyone at that height, but I get the sense from the data that Drake plays small, which is a decent matchup for us.  Abrahamson will be a tough matchup with his size and ability.

Anyway, this is a good test for our guys.  Will be interesting to see how it turns out.

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