Friday, January 08, 2016

Previewing the Chips

BG has a chance to go 2-0 on Saturday with a game against CMU.  This one has the potential to be very interesting.  CMU was picked to win the MAC this year and in response they are pretty underwhelming.  Yes, Chris Fowler was injured for a few games, but even with that the Chips are not making points with anyone.  They are 7-7 with 3 non-D1 wins.  Their best win was over Howard, a team with an RPI of 266--and that was a home game.

In their MAC opener, they played EMU, a team that was 8th in the MAC in offensive efficiency, and the Eagles hung 99 on them for an 19 point win in Mt. Pleasant.  That's not about injuries.  EMU had 1.4 points per possession, which is crazy.

And that's kind of how the Chips are rolling this year.  They are among the top 50 teams in offensive efficiency and among the top worst in defensive efficiency.  They do not play at an especially fast pace, so it is all efficiency.  Anyway, I think this is going to be a very interesting game, because it the game is in BG, CMU is not playing well and the matchup is interesting.  BG is a good defensive team and a poorer offensive team, while CMU is the opposite to the extreme.

So, how does CMU get to this highly potent offense.  With just about the best combination you can get, in fact.  They shoot good well (top 70 in country) and they take care of the ball really, really well.  When you take care of the ball you get more shooting possessions and then you have a tendency to make them, that's tough.  They also are pretty good on the offensive boards and their biggest weakness is they don't get to the line a lot.

This is one of the most 3-FG dependent teams in basketball.  More than half (51%) of their FGAs are 3FGs and they make 36%, which is good if not spectacular.  Even so, that equals out to them getting more than 40% of their points from the 3-ball, 4th in the country.

In one sense, that's good, because I think BG is at a greater disadvantage when playing post-oriented teams.  Still, it is the biggest challene the defense has faced this year, and the challenge will focus mostly on defending the shot.

Flipping it around, CMU is pretty much the opposite on defense.  They don't defend the shot well, don't force turnovers and give up a lot of offensive rebounds.  They were dreadful against the shot in the EMU game, so maybe BG can bottle some of that.  BG is not typically a high-powered offense, but if there was ever a time, this would be it.

Individually, they are led in scoring by 5'9" JR G Braylon Rayson.  He is scoring 16.2 PPG on 42%/42%/79% shooting, which is really good.  Chris Fowler is their second leader scorer with 15 PPG on 43%/18%/83% shooting and he leads the team with 5.1 assists.  Rayshawn Simmons scores 13.7 PPG on 44%/26%/58% shooting.  John Simons, a 6'8" SR is their leading frontcourt man, scoring 10.6 PPG and 6.9 RPG, which is a team high.

They play a predominantly 7 man rotation and have 4 seniors in that rotation, which is a lot.  They are among the 40 most experienced teams, according to

Which just raises the question:  why aren't they better?

We will get a look in person tomorrow.  I think it will be very interesting game and one that you'd like to think is winnable for BG on the home court.

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