Yeah, guys. So, here's the opener. We open with Akron.
It is hard to describe how dominant Akron has been over Bowling Green. When the game tips off, it will have been 2,865 days since BG beat Akron, which was on March 1, 2009. That's 16 straight wins. Thing is, the 2009 win broke an 8-game losing streak.
I haven't thoroughly researched this, but I doubt if any team has a similar streak against any of our teams in the history of the school. It is just ridiculous.
But there it is.
And Akron enters the game as, probably, the top team in the MAC. They are the favorites to win this year and had the best pre-season. They are 10-3, with a bad loss to Youngstown State in the opener, but the other losses are to Creighton and Gonzaga. There's a nice home win over Marshall and no home losses.
This year's team is making its bones on offense. With over 1.1 points per possession, they are the #43 best offense in D1. On defense, they are slightly below average, but defending a BG team that is well below average on offense. They play very slow...the #306 tempo is D1. They succeed with huge efficiency, not with pace.
They do it the old-fashioned way. When they project the ball in the direction of the basket, it has a strong tendency to go into the rim. They are the #14 shooting team in the country. They are two-dimensional. The Zips take over half their FG attempts from 3FG (#6) and they making 38%, which is 58%. However, they make 56% of their 2FGs, which is #17 in the country, which is a deadly combination. They are just OK on turnovers, above average (#74) on offensive boards (which helps that 2FG%) and pretty good at getting to the line.
Defensively, Akron is average, which is plenty given how strong on offense they are. They are average pretty much down the line, except for on the boards, where they are in the top 100. In this case, though, that's not a great matchup for BG, since as you can see the Falcons are even less average on offense than Akron is on defense.
Nobody ever generates huge numbers for Dambrot because no one plays big minutes. No Zip averages more than 28 minutes and 6 players average between 25 and 28 minutes.
Their leading scorer is 6'9" 290 giant Isaiah Johnson. He scores 14.7 PPG on 65.8% FG shooting. He also averages 6.8 RPG. He's an absolute force. (Also leads the team with 3.3 assists per game).
Antino Jacks is second in scoring at 12 PPG on 46%/42% shooting and 2.7 assists. Noah Robotham scores 11.2 PPG on 45%/43% shooting. Kwan Cheatham averages 6.4 RPG and Jimond Ivey scores 9.3 PPG on 53% shooting and 5.8 RPG.
So this is a tough opener. Here's the deal. You want to see how good you need to be? It's on the other side of the court Tuesday. That's how good we need to be.