Friday, March 11, 2016

Zips: Why Not Us? Why Not Now?

OK, people.  You start out #12 in the conference.  That's last.  You go on the road and beat a team that beat you twice this year.  Then you go to the Q and beat a team that beat you twice this year.

Now you get a team that has won 24 out of the last 25 games you played...and both games this year by a spread of 50 points.

As Urban said in his first year...why not us?  Why not now?

For much of today, it didn't look like Akron would still be playing.  With inside of 9 minutes left, they were trailing EMU by 12 points.  They did not take the lead until there was inside of a minute left in the game.  But, look, Akron is a team that is used to winning and teams like that are hard to beat.  They find ways to win and they win games when you think they are beaten.

The first two games were not very much different.  You can see their results in order below.  In game one, Akron shot the lights out, while BG had an average shooting night while taking good care of the ball.

In game two, Akron shot the lights out while BG had a terrible night shooting and took lousy care of the ball.

Here's the thing about Akron.  They are the #1 offensive team in the MAC and the #4 defensive team.  They are 2nd in the MAC in EFG and in taking care of the ball, which as we have noted is a deadly combination.  They are incredibly reliant on the 3-ball.  They are 2nd in the country in the percentage of total field goal attempts that come from 3fG and 1st in % of points coming from 3FG.  That's one thing, but they also feature an inside game with Isaiah Johnson.  That's a little hampered with Forsythe injured, but they are good enough inside to stretch a defense, for sure.

On defense, they concentrate on defending the shot, where they are #4 in the MAC.  They don't let teams get to the line and lead the MAC in defending the 3FG.

So here's the thing.  If BG is going to win tonight, they are going to have to change these dynamics somehow.  You'd like to say, hey, Akron lives by the 3 maybe they get cold and die by the 3 except they only made 9 of 33 today and still won.  Still, some part of BG winning is going to need to be getting stops.

Akron scores 1.14 points per possession and BG reached that level only 4 times in MAC play.   EMU kept the Zips within reach by holding them to .98 points per possession.  So like that.

Look, I almost feel like this is a new year for BG.  We are seeing a level of play that we have not seen all year.  So, again...on paper...Akron has to be a heavy favorite.  But they almost lost to EMU and I hope BG can still feel the sting of that 35-point pasting at the JAR.

Why not us?  Why not now?

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