Sunday, February 12, 2017

Playing the Broncos in their Corral

So next up is the last team in the MAC that BG has yet to see...the WMU Broncos.  This is a team that has been strong for a long time but has kind of bumped up against some struggles.  I guess there's some talk that Steve Hawkins, the dean of MAC Coaches, will be in his last year there.  Anyway, they started out 2-6 in MAC play but now they have won 3 of the last 4, which is winning against Ohio, @Miami and NIU and a loss @CMU.  Their only home loss in MAC play has been to Akron.

They are 5-7 in MAC play, which is the same record BG has.  This is also one of BG's more winnable games on the road home, and this is one you're going to need to try and get home court, which will be tough enough with a win.

Looking at the basic matchup, WMU is the 4th best offensive team in the MAC and BG is 10th on defense.  On the other side, BG is 10th on offense and WMU is 11th on defense.

So, this is interesting in a little geeky way.  So BG and WMU are  5-7.  You'd expect that with record that a team would have scored roughly what they have given up.  And WMU has...but BG has allowed a lot more than they have scored.  It's because of BG's high number of blowout losses and close wins, which skew the results. (There have been 9 games in MAC play that ended up +20 and BG is on the losing side of 2).

So, as we have seen often, WMU is relatively easy to shoot against.  BG is 10th in the MAC in shooting, however.  The turnovers and reboundings are pretty typical and even.  WMU has always played physical ball under Hawkins and they do let teams to the line a lot.  BG will need to do better getting to the line and making them....BG is last in the MAC in FT%. 

So, on the other side, WMU is a decent shooting team...that figure below is #6 in the MAC, while BG's FG defense is last in the MAC.  They need to get some missed shots to have a chance to compete in this game.  They also take really good care of the ball are good at offensive rebounding and average at getting to the FT line.  They make 71% of their FTs.

Much like BG's other opponents, they don't shoot a lot of 3FGs.  They are 10th in trying 3FGs and 3rd in making them and 7th at making 2FGs.  They have a lot of players who are in the 6'8" range that BG is going to have to handle in the paint better than they did Saturday against Buffalo.

WMU is led by Thomas Wilder, a 6'3" JR G who is scoring 18 PPG on 45% shooting overall and 44% on 3FGs.  That's very efficient and #4 in the MAC.  He also has 3.7 per assists per game.

Their second leading scorer is Tuckey Haymond.  He's a 6'6" SR scoring 14 PPG on 45% and 40% shooting.  Their leading rebounder is 7'0" Seth Dugan at 5.4 rebounds per game in 19 minutes.  They also have FR Brandon Johnson at 6'8" getting 5.2 RPG in 23 minutes

Anyway, BG has been playing better until last Saturday.  They need to resurrect their 40-minute focus...and it wouldn't be terrible to fix the interior defense we saw on Saturday.  WMU plays a tough, physical game, something BG had trouble with against Buffalo.

One last piece of news, Coach announced Saturday that Turner and Uju will both redshirt this year and will not return. They will join a four-person FR class bringing new blood into the Falcon program next season.

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