Thursday, December 06, 2018

Zone Makes Falcon Men Into Zombies

So, while there's a lot of excitement about the Falcon football team, hidden in there is a continuing malaise in the men's basketball program.  The Falcons lost their last 6 last year and are 3-5 in D1 games this year, making it 3 wins in the last 14 games.  Last night's loss was an 18-point loss to a 2-7 Cleveland State team and just has to rank as very disappointing.  There was no energy on BG's side.  Coach Huger said they were walking around like "zombies" after the which I mean he said it after the game but the zombie walking was during the game.

BG started out hot and had an 11-point lead in the first half.  Then, CSU switched to a match-up zone and that seems to send the Falcons into zombie mode.  Coach said we were getting the looks we needed and just missing shots, but then there's that zombie comment and you don't really know where that falls out.  It's the second time that BG has completely fried when facing a zone this year.  The offense went south and then the defense joined it.  Coach wants to say we attack the zone well, but this team's continuing inability to attack a zone defense has to reflect on the coaching most of all.  He simply should be able to prepare to beat a team playing a zone, especially a team like CSU that doesn't play one ordinarily.  Huger himself said it wasn't a good zone.

Coach did try to shake up the starting lineup.  He started FR Caleb Fields in place of Lillard and Plowden in place of Uju.  Also, Michael Laster was a DNP.  No idea, he might be injured, but when they needed a PG to spell Frye, they went with DeAndre' Austin.

BG had a putrid offensive night.  Remember that CSU was allowing 1.08 points per possession coming into the game...BG scored .92.  BG shot 36% EFG, its lowest of the season, making 38% of its 2FG and 22% of its 3FG.  Those are just unbelievably bad.  Over the last four games, BG is 20-93 on 3FGs.  BG did take good care of the ball, did well on the offensive boards, but didn't get to the line very much and shot FTs poorly again.

That was complemented by an equally bad night on defense.  CSU, a struggling team, scored 1.18 per possession.  They allowed 63% EFG.  Both numbers were BG's worst game of the season.  CSU made 50% of the 2FGs and 50% of their 3 FGS.  As of this morning, BG is #333 (out of 351) in defending the 3.

Coach was rough on his defense and there was a little back and forth about whether missing shots or not getting stops is worse with Todd Walker.  I will say this.  Our team is horrible in half-court offense.  They need stops and transition to score points.

Individually, really only one Falcon had a strong statistical game and that was Wiggins.  He scored 21 points in 26 minutes, shooting 7 of 14 from the field, 7-9 from the line, adding 16 rebounds and no turnovers.  They offered him space to operate in the zone and he took advantage of it before foul trouble limited his minutes.

Justin Turner scored 16, but it was a rough night.  He shot 6 of 18 and 2 of 7 to get there.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but BG's other starters were 5 of 21 shooting.  Matiss came off the bench to score 9 on 4 of 7 and 1 of 1 shooting, and 6 rebounds in 13 minutes.  If he's up to it physically, you'd like to see him in there more, too.

Anyway, the team is not better than we expected right now.  In fact, they are probably worse.  Next up is a pretty decent Green Bay team that is 5-3 and beat NIU and Belmont in its last two games.  Let's hope they play man-man.

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