Saturday, February 08, 2020

Hated Rockets Part II

UT becomes the first team BG has played twice this season.  I can do a slightly abbreviated preview, since we just played UT.  As we all remember, that was a thrilling win for BG inside Savage Hall.

Since then, UT has been reeling.  The BG loss was the first of what is now four-game losing streak.  Of the 3 games since BG, 2 of the losses were at Kent and NIU...and then they lost @EMU to give the Eagles their first conference win.

Here's the game report from that game.  As you can see, BG shot very well.  There were very few turnovers either way, and BG dominated the glass.  As I recall, UT rarely crashed the offensive glass.

Simply put, UT is a strong offensive team (2nd in the MAC) and a very poor defensive team (11th in the MAC).

Beyond that, this team has no depth.  Out of 353 teams in D1 basketball, they are 351st in bench minutes.  For two of the four games on this losing streak, they also played without Stuart Littleson, making the situation even worse.  They essentially play a six-man rotation with only one bench player getting even ten minutes.

I remember back to some of the DD teams that were very short-handed.  The conference schedule is a very rough grind.

One other note from the first game.  Luke Knapke had a season-high 23 against BG, who had no one able to handle him in the post.  Matiss eventually got it done, but in general BG had no answer.  I'd expect UT to try and force that hand and hopefully the Falcons have made an adjustment.

This is probably the first time that we have been favored over UT since Kowalcyk's first year.  Even so, you know, it's the Rockets.  You know they'd love to get us back and break their losing streak.

It's going to be an electric environment.  The place is sold out, there should be people standing in the aisles. Every game is a march to Cleveland, but it would be oh-so-sweet to finish this series with a sweep.

BG has not beaten UT twice in the same year since the 98-99 season.  It was a Stan Joplin 19-win UT team and Dan Dakich was coaching a BG team featuring Anthony Stacey and Keith McLeod.  (Note:  for many of those years they only played UT once every year).

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