Friday, February 05, 2016

Miami Part Two Preview

So BG makes the trip down to Oxford to play their second game of the year against Miami.  BG won the first game 73-62 at home...their only home win of the year.  The chart below shows the stats for the game...BG had an average shooting night while Miami was absolutely awful.  BG took good care of the ball--Miami likes to force turnovers.  The Falcons were very poor protecting the boards, and shot 18 FTs in the last 2 minutes as Miami tried to climb back in.

Zack Denny scored 20 for BG in that one.  Lillard had 16.

To date, Miami is the worst team in the MAC.  They are 1-8 in MAC play, their only win coming (oddly enough) at Millett against NIU.  In their last game, EMU beat them by 25 in Ypsi.

They have the stats of a last place team.  They are last in the MAC in both offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency.  They also play at the MAC's slowest pace.

The beat continues on offense.  They are the worst shooting team in the MAC and 9th in turnovers...and they are last in getting to the line.  Their one strength is offensive rebounding, where they are 4th.  They are 10th in the frequency of trying 3FGs and they are 10th in making them.  They are 11th with 43% on 2FGs.

On defense, they are also worst in defending the shot.  They are 3rd in forcing turnovers--their sole strength--and 9th in allowing offensive boards and 9th in allowing teams to the free throw line. The key to beating them is to take care of the ball and then take advantage of a team that is easy to shoot on.  They are last in the MAC in defending the 3FG as well.

Their unquestioned leader is G Eric Washington, who is scoring 17 per game in MAC games.  He's shooting 44% overall and 46% from 3FG.  He adds 2.8 assists to that.  His fellow G is Geovannie McKnight, who has 13.6 ppg on 46% FG shooting and 86% FT shooting...along with 2.7 assists.  Their top rebounder is Chris Bryant at 4.7 RPG....which isn't a lot but he has played only 20 minutes per game.

FWIW, says Miami has a 50% chance of winning this game...and then projects them to lose out for the remainder of the season.  This is certain to be John Cooper's last year in Oxford. As bad as they are, they will graduate their top three scorers.  Much like the football program, this is a proud historic program in our conference that is circling the drain.  There's no reason a new coach can't turn things around.

On the other hand, Kenpom only projects a couple more wins for BG. As noted, if the MAC tourney started today BG would be on the road.  If that's going to turn around, you just have to have this one.

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