Monday, January 11, 2016

OU MBB Preview

It is no secret to anyone that OU is one of the MAC's traditional men's basketball powerhouses, regularly shooting coaches up to higher levels, including John Groce (Illinois) and Jim Christian (BC).  They brought in Saul Phillips from North Dakota State to hold up the banner, and last year they had an uncharacteristic bad year, going 10-20.

This year, they appear to be back in the conversation, if not completely in competition for a league title.  They are 10-4 to date, with 9 wins against D1 competition.  Their RPI is 103, which is very good.  They had no huge wins--the best is over Marshall--but they have no bad losses either, with a 9-0 record against teams with an RPI over 170.

In the MAC they have held serve, losing to a pretty good NIU team in DeKalb and beating Ball State in Athens.  In common opponent land, they defeated Cleveland State and Florida Gulf Coast, just as BG did.  They are 8-0 at home this year.

Much like CMU, OU is a very potent offensive team.  They are scoring 1.13 points per possession, which should again provide a contrast to BG's most successful defensive style.  Hopefully, BG will be able to get more stops than they did against CMU.  When BG has the ball, the matchup appears to be more evenly matched and you have an idea what to expect.  BG will have to perform better on offense...and OU is much better on defense than CMU is.

OU doesn't get their points on crazy tempo...they play about average in that respect.  They shoot very well and combine that with ridiculous FT numbers...both in getting to the line, at which they are 9th in the country, and in making FTs, at which they are 10th.  They don't take great care of the ball and they are an average offensive rebounding team.

In terms of shot selection, they are just average in terms of the percentage of their points coming from 3FGs.  They are shooting almost 55% on their 2FGs, however, which is in the top 50.  So, while their results are similar to CMU's, the challenge in terms of match ups is different.

We noted they are better than CMU on defense, and that's certainly true.  OU is slightly above average defending the shot, but when they do, they are among the top 30 teams in the country in preventing offensive rebounds.  They don't force many turnovers and they are average in allowing teams to the line.  They are very good defending the 2FG and among the worst teams in the country defending the 3FG, which based on appearances makes them a tough matchup for BG.

As is often the case, OU is led by their PG, in this case Jaaron Simmons, who is a transfer from the University of Houston.  He scores 15.3 PPG on 48% shooting and a MAC-high 7 assists per game.  He does not shoot the 3, which means he is a dribble penetration guy and will present a challenge to the BG PG.   He is complimented by 6'10" Antonio Campbell, who also scoers 15.3 PPG and adds 9.1 RPG (2nd in MAC) and 58% shooting.  He does that in 25 minutes a game, which I assume is due to fouls--he has 42 in 14 games.

They have 3 other players in double.  Kenny Kaminski--6'8", transfer from MSU--who scores 12 points and gets 4 rebounds.  He only shoots 36%, but he is a very good FT shooter at 87%.  He leads the team in 3FG attempts.

Treg Setty is is a 6'9" Sr who transferred from Southern Illinois.  He scores 11 PPG on 47% shooting and adds about 4 rebounds.

Finally, FR G Jordan Dartis is scoring 10 PPG and hitting 44% of his 3FGs, and is a clear candidate for the all-FR team.

So, in general, I don't want to be a negative Nellie, but this sets up as a very tough matchup for BG.  The size of the OU team is impressive and they make shots.  They play decent defense and are very tough at home.  Hopefully BG has it together or this one could be ugly.

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