Wednesday, February 12, 2020

JAR of Horrors

So, the JAR remained what it has been for BG over the past 11 years...a place of horror and disappointment.  Just to wallow in it for a minute, among those 11 defeats, 8 have been by double digits, three by 20 or more and one by 30 or more.  It just has been a place where nothing good happens to BG.

For the record, BG did not come in and lay a complete egg or get blown off the floor by any stretch of the imagination.  BG didn't have enough to win, but they were in the game much of the way.

In the first half, for example, it was very evenly played.  BG was only down 2 with 4 minutes left when AK went on a 9-3 run to go up and 8 and they led by 6 at the half...certainly still a game at that point.

As they have sometimes done, BG came storming out of the locker room and scored the first six points to tie the game just 1 minute in.  Alas, that was the high point of the half.  AK pumped the lead to 6.  Still, BG had it at 1 at 12:27.  Akron got it back to 6 and then a 7-0 run to build the lead from 4 to 11 with 8 minutes left.  At that point, the game went almost 3 minutes without any points at all, during which time BG had 1 turnover and missed 4 layups and it never got closer than 9 again and ended up at 15.

BG did not lead in the second half.

My preview noted that Akron has been a good shooting team but slumping and BG needed to score against them to compete.  Akron did, in fact, have their fourth straight sub-par shooting game.  BG held them to 1.02 points per possession, which should be a for-sure winning number for us.  Sadly, BG had its worst offensive game of the season, at .82 points per possession.  They were that low in a MAC game only once last year. Only 3 times since 2002 has BG won a game scoring that low or less.

From my view, it was clear what Akron wanted to do.  They wanted to take Justin Turner out of the game and force other players to make shots for BG, and they did not.  Coach said in the post-game that BG got open looks but didn't make them and that other players are going to have to learn to step up.  He tripped over himself quite a bit in trying to avoid saying it, but losing Frye has required different guys to do different things and they have to make adjustments and it wasn't evident at the JAR that night.

BG shot 43% from 2FG and 24% from 3FG, their 4th worst shooting night this year.  They also turned the ball over....17%, not a terrible amount for more than usual...did OK on offensive rebounds and never really got to the line at all and shot under 50% when they did. Coach emphasized the BG needed to drive to contact to get fouls called.

Meanwhile, BG did a nice job on Akron's 3FG shooting, holding them to 29%.  The problem, as Coach noted, was that Akron adjusted and drove the ball and the Falcons gave up too many straight-line drives.  Akron shot 54% from 2FG.  They took reasonable care of the ball, didn't have much success on the boards and made a ton of FTs, partly as BG was fouling at the end.  Still, they shot 93% in the second half at the line.

Individually, Daeqwon Plowden played well for BG with 18 points and 10 rebounds.  He shot 8 of 15, so he had a good night.

Justin Turner really had to work.  He had 12 points of 4 of 12 and 1 of 3 shooting, 3 assists and 4 turnovers.  Any team in the MAC would consider that a success.  He was double-teamed much of the night and didn't make much of it and his teammates didn't take advantage of the open space.  Tayler Mattos had 7 points and 6 rebounds in 10 minutes.

Akron is really long on the edges and that seemed to be a problem for BG.  If I had a chance to ask Coach a question, I would wonder why Matiss, who would seem to be the antidote to that, didn't get more than 3 minutes in the game.  And, why does Mattos only play 10 minutes?

Here's where we are.  BG is 9-3 in MAC play and has a negative scoring differential.  You just don't see that happen.  This is why, by the way, BG is so poorly ranked in all the computer rankings and why they are considered "lucky."  Akron is +9 per game, by comparison.

The Falcons do not have any time to feel sorry about this game.  They have a very tough roadie at Ball State on Saturday.  BSU is unbeaten in the MAC at home and certainly has a shot to win the title this year.  BG remains in decent shape--and let's remember we would have identified this as the toughest week of the season all along--but they don't have the luxury of time in adjusting to playing without their 2nd leading scorer.  They have time...but not a lot.


Anonymous said...

do you know of any more recruits that the basketball team is looking at? Also, love your content!

Orange said...

Thank you! We have signed three guys, which replaces Frye, Sierra, and Laster. That's all we are expected to lose. We'd only get someone else if people leave who we are not expecting, which we certainly hope doesn't happen. We had one extra scholarship, but Dylan Swingle took that.