Monday, December 07, 2015

SEMO Preview

So, the beat goes on for the BG Men's Basketball team as it heads to Cape Girardeau, MO to play SE Missouri State.  They were 13-17 last year, lost 3 starters and were picked to finish 4th in their division in the OVC.

Following that, Head Coach Dicky Nutt (no really) was fired and a new Coach brought in...his name is Rick Ray.  It has been a rough start for the Redhawks.

They have yet to win.  They have played a tough schedule.  They have lost @UD, @Evansville and @Memphis, for example.  They have also played only one home game.  On the other hand, they have lost by 18 @Alabama A&M, by 24 @SIU, and to Loyola Marymount by 13 in that home game.  Their closest margin has been 9 points at Troy.

Which is good.  On the other hand, these guys are desperate to win.  They played Memphis tough in their last outing and they are hungry to win.

BG beat SEMO by 8 last year at the Stroh.

When you look at the Red Hawks, the first thing that jumps at you is that they are really, really bad at scoring.  They score .82 points per possession which is among the five lowest in D1 basketball to date.  (Remember, about 1.02 PPP is AVERAGE).  They combine that with very poor defense...1.06 points per possession is also below average.

Now, they haven't played a DII team and BG has, so that mitigates it a little bit.  Based on what is below, you'd expect to see the Falcons be able to pick this one up.

So, how exactly does SEMO arrive at that really bad offense.  It comes from being really poor shooters.  They are 341st in the country in effective FG%...that's 43% overall and 24% from 3FG.  Very tough to win at that rate.  The rest of it isn't too bad...turnovers are 21% against a national average of 18%, their offensive rebounding and free throw rate are about average.  They just struggle to put the ball into the basket.  Note that BG's defense is almost right on the national averages down the line, except for offensive rebounding, where BG is better than the national average.

Flipping it around, we know that BG scores about what SEMO allows....and we don't see any surprises here.  The only issue might be getting to the line..SEMO has given up more FTs than BG is used to getting.

Individually, their leading scorer is Antonius Cleveland, a JR G.  He scores 12.6 PPG on 40% shooting and 7% from 3FG.  FWIW they play a deep rotation..9 players at 13 minutes or more per game and no player more than 27 minutes, so numbers are tamped down.  Anyway, Cleveland is a 6'6" G and also has 5.4 rebounds per game and could present a matchup issue for BG.

Their second leading scorer and leading rebounder is 6'7" Trey Kellum, who scores 10.6 PPG and also gets 5.1 rebounds.  He shoots 51%.

Marcus Wallace leads the team with 24 assists, which isn't a lot for 7 games, but remember, they don't make that many baskets.

Just to get an idea where the poor shooting comes from, Isiah Jones is second on the team with 60 FGA, but has only made 27%.

Anyway, so that's how it looks.  Let's hope that they don't wake up and learn how to shoot on Tuesday.  This team will be desperate to win.  I am believing a little more in our guys....this one's on the road.  Will be interesting to see.

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