Sunday, December 03, 2017

MBB Wins #7

On this blog, I have made a lot of BG's lack of success since the ill-fated WVU days with Coach Dakich.  Not that there's a cause and effect, just that things have gone very poorly since then, with something like 3 winning seasons in that time.

So, when BG goes 7-2 for only the third time in the last 16 years, you pay attention.

Now, I do recommend some caution.  BG has not played the world's most demanding non-conference schedule, ranked #305 to date by kenpom.  (Note:  6 MAC teams have played worse schedules).

Anyway, we will take it.  BG beat Norfolk State 92-77.

BG started the game with incredible shooting, making everything in sight and leading 23-3 6 minutes into the game.  The lead got as close as 15 but with 3:30 left in the first half, BG had extended the lead to 23 points.

Then, something familiar happened.  BG's opponent proceeded to score at will.  For the remainder of the half and the first 5 minutes of the second half, the Spartans, they went on a 29-7 run to convert the blowout into a one-point game, something Coach talked about as recently as the win over San jose State.

The good news here is that it was close for a couple minutes, but BG had it up to 7 with 12:30 left and 9 with 11 minutes left and then pushed the lead into double digits with 7 minutes left and the game was never closer than 10 again.  Except for that 8 minutes period, BG dominated the game as they frankly should have.

The stats reflect the same thing.  BG had 1.22 points per possession, their best against a D1 opponent this year.  BG had a great shooting game.   In fact, the only game in the last two years where they have shot better was the UT win at the Stroh last year.  BG made 14 3FGs, their most in a D1 game since the Morehead State game in 2012.

BG has been excellent at taking care of the ball so far this year, and they fell off the wagon a little in that respect, but they had a big day on the offensive boards and getting to the line and making them.  BG was 18 of 21 at the line, as they continue to show improved FT shooting.

Defensively, there are minor concerns.  Yes, Norfolk State was held to 1.02 points per possession, which is below the national average, but they came in at .86, meaning that even they were able to get healthy on offense against our defense.  It was their best offensive game of the season.

That will be exploited in MAC play.  The Spartans had a good shooting night and were average taking care of the ball.  BG was effective on the defensive glass and NSU only got to the line 12 times, making 9, leaving BG +9 in that area.

Dylan Frye had a career high 28 points on 9 of 13 and 5 of 7 shooting, along with making all five of his FTs.  He also had 5 rebounds.

Wiggins also had a good night with 18 points on 8 of 10 shooting to go with 7 rebounds.  He did have 5 turnovers.

Matt Fox also had a career high 18 points on 5 of 7 and 4 of 6 shooting.  Turner had 16 on 4 of 11 and 4 of 7 shooting.  Rod Caldwell struggled with his shot but had 7 assists over 3 turnovers.

So BG goes to 7-2.  They have Evansville on Tuesday--an excellent test--before heading back to the same town they just left to play Old Dominion, an even tougher test.  Loving this team and watching them develop.


NWLB said...

Winning can cure beyond the ailment. The team "fights." People are noticing. Yes, they are imperfect, we knew this was a thin bench and certain to be a building year, they'll still lose a goodly number of games this year.

However one thing I always said remains true. Time was that even in bad years BGSU was a fierce team that made winning in Bowling Green very hard. That drew fans, provided a base from which to recruit, improve, etc.

Most specifically, it drew fans. Student and townie alike.

Not only have winning seasons been few and far between since the late Dakich era, BGSU has been soft as a home team. The "roar" staid in the house that Hap built.

No certainty yet, but there is an echo of past years in the air. It makes showing-up to see the team more fun, win or lose.

Orange said...

Agree. And there's great promise to the fact that the Stroh will be loud when people are engaged. I remember up until the mid-Dakich years, everyone I knew was at all the games. It was just something you did. That can happen again.