Monday, February 03, 2020

Chip Preview

BG, 4-0 in MAC road games, gets a chance for a 5th straight road win and a nine-win overall when they take on CMU Tuesday night in Mt. Pleasant.  BG is 8-2 and CMU is 5-2.  The Chips have played two fewer games because they already had their bye week and then they had the game canceled because of "coronavirus" in Oxford.  So, they have a couple to make up but can get even in the loss column with a win and they were missing their leading scorer for 3 games, going 1-2.

They are 12-8 with 3 non-D1 wins.  They have an uncanny ability to schedule the lowest ranked D1 teams, as well, and their best non-conf win was over Sam Houston State, #162.  Their worst loss was @ Robert Morris (#219).  Their kenpom is #193.

Often a team that plays like that has trouble in MAC play, but as mentioned CMU is off to a good start.  They are 3-1 at home, beating Miami, NIU and BSU and losing to UB, while they are 2-1 on the road, beating WMU and UT and losing @ Kent.

BG won both meetings last year, including at McGuirk.  Over the last 10, the teams are even 5-5.

Normally, CMU in the Keno Davis era has been an offensive juggernaut.  They are balanced...5th in offensive efficiency and 6th in defense.  BG is 4th and the place where there is the bigger difference is when BG has the ball and that should be the bigger challenge.

So, not only are the overall numbers pretty close, but each of these numbers are pretty close as well.  CMU is doing almost exactly the same thing offensive as BG is defensively.  They take a low percentage of 3s overall, but are #6 at making them and #9 at shooting the 2FG. BG is #4 defending the 3FG and #5 against the 3FG.  While CMU does get to the line and they are #3 at making FTs.

Looking at the more key matchup, a big part of the battle will be shooting and turnovers.   They are 11th defending the shot...11th against the 3FG and 9th against the 2FG.  They make up for it by getting turnovers.  BG leads the MAC in protecting the ball and CMU is #2 at forcing turnovers. They are #2 in steals, the more valuable turnover. So, if BG can make shots and take care of the ball, they have a good shot at this game.

Their leading player is Kevin McKay, a 6'5" G.  He's scoring 16.5 PPG and shooting 71%.  He'd be the MAC leader, but he missed 3 games and returned for Ball State, their most recent game, and played 29 minutes.  He also leads the team with 8.5 RPG.

Dallas Morgan is scoring 14 PPG.  He's shooting 45% overall and 34% from 3FG.  He's a JUCO player in his senior year.

David DiLeo, who we are well familiar with, is scoring 13.9 PPG.  He is efficient, shooting 49% overall and 45% on 3FG. 

Finally, Rob Montgomery, is scoring a rough 10 PPG on 36% and 21% shooting. Devontae Lane leads the team with 17 assists and 20 turnovers.

I'l tell you, CMU might be a bit of a sleeper.  On the other hand, BG is playing well and every win puts them closer to the next step, which is a berth in Cleveland.  Will be intersting.

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