Friday, February 24, 2017

Can BG Keep it Up?

If they do for four hours, we will call a Dr.


So the beat goes on.  BG heads to Oxford to play the last place Miami RedHawks.  As noted earlier in the week, BG's has long a long shot at a home berth, but it is a shot.  Miami is in last place and it isn't close.  They are 2 full games behind EMU, the next worst team.  At 3-12 in MAC play, these are almost certain to be the final days of the Cooper era at Millet Hall.  Miami has simply never had a period like this...where they were not one of the dominant programs in the MAC.  Someone (if they choose right) is heading into a very good situation, actually.  But, for now, things are tough.

BG won the first game at the Stroh, 83-72.  Miami is not a good shooting team, but they shot it well against BG in that matchup.  However, they had a staggering number of turnovers.  Likely MAC FOY of the year Michael Weathers had 10 on his own.  Meanwhile, BG shot the ball pretty well, took OK care of it but added huge offensive rebounding numbers and a +11 advantage at the FT line to get the win.  Wes Alcegaire scored 25 with 6 3FGs.  Hluchoweckyj (who played 0 minutes in the Akron game) scored 10 and Denny contributed 10 on 7 FTs off the bench.  Jake Wright led MU with 16 points.

Looking at the whole season now, you see a big spread on the left hand side of this chart.  MU is the worst offensive team in the MAC and BG is the 11th best defensive team.  So, that's a crap shoot, pretty much.  On the other side, BG is 10th in offense while Miami is 8th in defense.  Here, we just wonder which Bowling Green team shows up.  You can obviously score on Miami, but BG needs to bring their shooting.

Miami comes by their last-place offensive rating honestly.  They are 9th in overall shooting, last in turnovers and 10th in offensive rebounding.  Their only really strong point is getting to the line.  In the first game, they shot well against BG (the worst FG defense in the MAC) but threw it away with 34% turnovers.  That will be the test in this one.  They are 6th in getting to the FT line and make 72%, which is in the middle of the MAC.  They are the worst 3FG shooting team in the MAC and 6th in making 2FGs.

Flipping it around, Miami is relatively easy to shoot against.  The number you see there is #10 in the MAC.  The only thing Miami does well is cause some turnovers, which they are #2 in the MAC.  They give up a lot of offensive rebounds and FTs.  They are 10 in defending the 3FG and 7th in the 2FG.  BG, of course, is weak on many of these items as well.  It will be an interesting element to the game.

Michael Weathers still leads MU is scoring with 14.3 PPG on a struggling 39% and 16% shooting (MAC Play).  That's a couple points below his season average.  He also had 4.7 APG and about 2 steals per game.  Logan McLane is their inside threat, with 13.9 PPG and 7.2 RPG on 53% shooting.  Marcus Weathers is scoring 11 PPG on 54% shooting and 6.3 RPG.

This is a game BG should win.  However, all 3 of MU's MAC wins have been at home.  Even so, after the big win Tuesday, BG has the chance to finish the season strong as it builds toward the future and with a loss here, that apple loses a little bit of the polish.

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