Saturday, November 12, 2016

Men's Basketball Update--Oakland and South Dakota

So, we're one game into the season and about to be two.

BG opened Friday with Oakland.  Frankly, going in if I had thought BG was only going to lose by 8, I would have taken it.  If you told me that it would happen with Ish Ali and Antwon Lillard suspended and Justin Turner injured, I would have been very surprised.

And yet, that was what happened, with a 78-70 Oakland victory.

Not surprisingly, that Falcon team struggled to score.  They had .86 points per possession, which is rarely a winning amount.  The biggest problems was shooting....FGs and FTs.  BG shot an unbelievably bad 32% on 2-point FGs, a number only salvaged a little by hitting 9 of 20 from 3FG.  Overall, BG had an EFG of 43%, which is well below the average of around 50.  BG did take good care of the ball--without its PG--with a turnover on only 14% of its possessions--but had a very poor offensive rebound game at 21% and shot 53% from the line, which is also really bad.

On defense, Oakland had only .96 points per possession, so if BG struggled on offense they had an effective night on defense.  They shot just over 50% on EFG, which is about average.  They had a lot of turnovers--22%--but also didn't do much on the offensive boards at 18%.  Perhaps the biggest deciding factor was FTs....the Golden Grizzlies were 21 of 26 from the line, 81%.  They were +12 at the line.

Individually, BG was led by Wes Alcegaire, who had 19 points on 7 of 13 and 4 of 7 shooting, which is really good.  Denny had 15 but on 6 of 19 shooting, so that's a little less efficient.  Matt Fox also had 10 points.  Jeffrey Uju had 7 rebounds while Worrell had 6 as did Rodrick Caldwell.

Oh, and you're going to see some comments about Rodrick Caldwell's shooting, which was 1-16.  It was his first game and he was starting on the road at PG...he also had those rebounds, 6 assists and 1 turnover.  I think he will be fine.

The best thing was that Coach reported the team fought all the way through and kept battling, something that was not true last year.  If that's the case...and you add those other guys back have a shot to compete.

And Ali and Lillard will play Sunday at South Dakota.  Not sure about Turner.

So, about South Dakota.  This actually has the potential to be a very interesting game.  South Dakota is at home, but not a great team.  Blue Ribbon picked them to be 7th in the Summit...their media also picked them #7.

They were 14-18 last year but lost all of their starters and all of their guards to graduation.  Ten of their 15 players are either new to the program or newly eligible.

They are 1-0 this year, with a win @Drake to start the year out.  (Drake also has low expectations.)

They were led in that game by 6'6" Trey Burch-Manning, a JUCO Transfer who scored 24 points on 9 of 11 shooting and added 11 rebounds.  Matt Mooney--a 6'3" G transfer from Air Force--had 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting.  Tyler Flack--a 6'7" SR--had 12 points and 10 rebounds.  Carlton Hurst is a transfer from Colorado State and Trey Dickerson from Iowa, though they played lesser roles in the game against Drake.

Overall, the Coyotes shot the ball well.  They had 1.11 points per possession, made 54% from 2 FG and overall 52% on 3FG.  They were huge on the offensive boards, getting 43% of the available boards and took reasonable care of the ball with 18% turnovers.  They only made 58% of their free throws.

They weren't great on defense, allowing 1.04 points per possession, which is right around average.  They gave up 54% effective FG shooting, but kept Drake off the offensive boards (27%).  They did not force a lot of turnovers, at 19.7% and gave up 19 FTs, which is the a below average rate.

Anyway, with BG's full unit on the floor for the first time--and maybe some more fire this year over last year--this is a shot for an early road win.  It seems to line up as a pretty evenly matched game.  A key test will be on the boards.  South Dakota was very good on the boards and BG really needs to keep do that, and defend the shot, if they have a shot at winning.

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