Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hello Alabama A&M

Last game before the holiday. Alabama A&M are coming to town.  This is a pretty interesting story.  These guys were 11-18 last year, somewhere in the middle of the SWAC.  Lost their two stars to graduation.  Still, they were picked to be 6th in the SWAC.

There's no other way to put this...on kenpom they are the lowest ranked team in Division I coming into this game.  They are 0-9.  Get this...they have played only ONE home game.  Since the season started, they have been to Missouri State, Missouri, Tennessee Tech, Southern Miss, Murray State, UAB, Troy and Georgia State..and now BG and then Kalamazoo a full 7 days later before starting their SWAC schedule.  That's amazing.  Their average margin of defeat is 27 points.  They've played a decent schedule...there are no DII teams on there, and as noted, those are all on the road.  Still, they also haven't been playing ranked teams.  Their best opponent was Missouri State, #130 in kenpom.

For a common opponent, they lost @Murray State by 37.  BG beat Murray State, albeit at home.

I give these guys credit.  That's a grueling schedule and an incredibly difficult way to go.  It cannot be easy.

So, looking at the numbers, all of this becomes clear.  They are the worst defensive team I can recall us playing.  I had to change the scale of this chart and the next one to accommodate them.  They allow 1.21 points per possession, which is dead last in the country.  The score .94 which is in the bottom 20.

Their defense is just a deadly mix.  They are the second-easiest team to shoot against in the country and they are second-to-last in creating turnovers.  That's tough.  If you give up a lot of shots and they tend to be made, you're in trouble.  They allow 62% of 2FGs to make (second to last) and 40% of 3FGs (Bottom 30).  They are also 347th out of 351 in allowing offensive rebounds.  So, they have been scorched on each of the top three factors.  They do keep teams off the line.

This is also not a team that plays rotten defense but singes the nets on the other end.  They are a 2FG based team that is #312 in making 2FGs. They are #336 in shooting overall.  They are about average on turnovers, poor on the offensive boards and average getting to the line.  They are overall better on offense than defense, but it isn't much to talk about.

Individually, their leading scorer is Quinterrian McConico, a 6'8" SR who is averaging 12 PPG on 50% shooting and 8 rebounds.  He had 30 in their last game.  De'ederick Petty scores 10 PPG on...get this...30% shooting.  Rakiya Battle is their PG, he has 5.6 assists over 2 TO per game, which is pretty good.

Anyway, this game----which is at noon on a Thursday----was designed to be a win for the Falcons and anything less than a win will be a significant disappointment.

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