Monday, January 13, 2020

Falcon MBB Visit Kalamazoo

BG's weeknight game this week is in Kalamazoo against the WMU Broncos.  They Broncos are 8-8 with a Kenpom of 259, the lowest in the MAC.  That's with 2 non-D1 wins.  Their best win this year was at home against Kent   Ohio (we regret the error), before Youngstown State.  Their worst losses were Seattle and Oakland.  They have had a rougher MAC start than BG, losing at Akron and at UT.

BG is on a nice run against WMU, winning 8 of the last 10 and 4 of 5 in K-zoo.

The Broncos are not good on either side of the ball, though the defense is worse than the offense.

Looking first at how WMU does when they have the ball...the biggest here is shooting.  WMU is #300 in shooting in the country.  They are terrible from 3FG...29%, and despite that they take 3FGs on 40% of the FGA, which is above the D1 average.  They also make only 47% of their 2FG, which is below average.  Lastly, they are poor on the offensive boards.  They do take excellent care of the ball and they do get to the line, which helps their offense be as good as it is.  They are good FT shooters at 72%.

When BG has the ball, they will find a poorly performing WMU defense.  They are #206 in shot defense, which is their best asset.  They are right at the national average defending the 3 and below average defending the 2.  Beyond that, they are among the 60 worst in the country in forcing turnovers, allowing offensive rebounds and allowing other teams to the line.  BG's offense, which is above average, is built on taking care of the ball and decent offensive rebounding.  They need to make 3FGs to score.

Their leading scorer is Jr.Michael Flowers.  He's scoring 17 PPG, but on 44% shooting.  He's an excellent 3FG shooter (42%) and makes 87% at the line.  He's the 2nd leading scorer in the MAC.  Their other double-figure scorer is 6'8" R-Jr F Brandon Johnson.  He had started almost every game in his first two seasons, and then missed last year with injury.  He's scoring 15.1 PPG, shooting 45% and 24%, which is unusually low for a big man.  He also averages 8.4 RPG and 1 block per game.

So based on what we have seen, this is another winnable road game.  WMU is the lowest ranked team in the MAC and don't have anything on the resume that suggests they are better than that.  Having said that, it's a game-by-game thing.  BG doesn't need to do anything special.  If they defend the way they have been and score the way they are capable of, they should win this one.  A 40-minute effort would certainly not be unwelcome.

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