Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday in the Convo

So, BG now enters the Convo on Saturday.  Things are rough, as BG plays Ohio and then Akron in the next two games.  BG is 5-8 in the MAC.  Last year they were 5-13 and there's only one really good chance to win on the schedule and that's @Miami.

We won't spend too much time talking about the first OU game at the Stroh because that was the game when BG had the four players suspended and used two football players and OU won 96-72.  Not much to draw from that.

OU is one of the stronger teams in the MAC at 8-5.  They were 3-0 when MAC POTY Antonio Campbell went down.  To their credit, however, they beat Akron since that and have won on the road four times.  Weirdly, they have lost 3 of their last 4 at the Convo.

Anyway, they are clearly in the conversation for a bye and remain one of the most consistent programs in the MAC.

OU's is strong on both ends of the court...and BG is as weak as they are strong.  OU is 5th in the MAC in offense and third in defense.  BG is 10th in both.

OU is very strong on 3 of the 4 areas.  They are 3rd in shooting, 3rd in taking care of the ball and 1st in getting to the FT line, something that looks worrisome following the game in K-zoo on Tuesday.  Their only weakness is that they don't offensive rebound.  They are last in that.  As noted here numerous times, BG is the easiest team to shoot against in the MAC, so that's not a great matchup.

In terms of shooting profile, they are 3FG focused team.  They are 3rd in the MAC in terms of how many 3FGs they take and they are 2nd in making 40%.  They are 5th in 2FGs.  BG is going to need to guard the perimeter effectively if they are going to have a chance to compete.  They are 8th in the MAC in FT shooting.

As noted, they are a very strong defensive team.  This comes from excelling in one thing, really.  They are the hardest team to shoot against in the MAC.  They have the best 3FG defense and are 5th in 2FG defense.  BG is the 10th ranked shooting team in the MAC, and this is the key dynamic on this end.  BG is going to have to make some stops to be competitive.  The remainder of OU's defense is nothing special, though they are also pretty good at keeping teams off the FT line.

The biggest factor in their continuing success without Campbell is Jaaron Simmons.  In MAC play, he is averaging 17 PPG and over 6 assists per game.  He shoots 45% and 40%.  He's a really good player.  The only thing to put a little perspective on those numbers is that he never comes off the floor.  He plays almost 37 minutes a game.  He's 24th in the country in % of minutes played.

Jordan Dartis never comes off the floor either.  He plays 35 minutes  game at the other guard spot.  He scores 14.5 PPG on 50% overall shooting and 49% from 3FG, which is 3rd in the MAC.  He also makes 87% of his FTs.  This is a very efficient offensive player and he's a SO.

Kenny Kaminski is a SR Forward.  At 6'8" he's more of a stretch guy.  He is scoring 11.6 PPG on 39% shooting and 43% 3FG shooting.  He's also an excellent FT shooter.  Jason Carter, a 6'8" FR is scoring 10.9 PPG and grabbing 7 RPG.  He's likely to be all-FR.  He's shooting 47%, which is just OK for a big man.

This looks to be a tough matchup for BG.  OU's kenpom is 104 and BG's best current win is over Kent at 165.  This would be BG's biggest win of the season and a pretty big upset.  Sometimes those things happen.

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