Monday, March 02, 2020

Kent Preview....

And there are two games left.  Everyone knows where we are.  All of BG's goals lie ahead of them, including the regular season title.  And yet, we are coming off our worst performance of the MAC season only to move on to play the team that provided our second-worst MAC result...the Kent State Golden Flashes.

Remembering back, we go to the first MAC game of the season.  It was a home game for BG and Kent torched us.  They won by 18, making 8 of 17 from 3FG while BG made 3 of 23.  BG missed half their FTs, didn't do much on the offensive was no contest.

BG reacted pretty well to the Kent defeat, winning 8 in a row.  In fact, BG has only lost twice in a row once this year and that was that awful weekend in Atlantic City.  And, that was BG's only home loss all season.

That's the question for tomorrow.  How will our Falcons respond?  It was ugly the first time, it was ugly against Miami.  But we need to respond with a win.  (Or we'd like to.  We lost 4-5 heading to Cleveland last year and still made the final.  Not a recommended approach.)

So, on paper the game is set up to be pretty evenly matched.  Kent is a little better on defense than BG is, but the offenses are similar.  Certainly never should have been an 18-point game the first time.

Kent shoots the ball well.  They are 3rd in the MAC in EFG, and 2nd in 2FGs and 5th in 3FGs.  They try a relatively heavy mix of 3FGs--#5 in the MAC--which to me shows they have a balanced game plan and take 3s that are available, play inside-out, all that.  They aren't better on offense because they turn the ball over a lot, don't get to the line very much and are #6 in making FTs.  They are good on the offensive boards.

The problem here is that BG hardly forces any turnovers.  We are last in the MAC in forcing turnovers.  We know BG can defend well and I would hope they are motivated to show what they can do.  They need a strong team defensive game with good rotations and tough rebounding.

So, here we see what we normally see.  Kent is just OK against the shot but BG doesn't shoot well.  Kent forces a lot of turnovers, and BG has been struggling in that regard.  The good news is that Kent is the worst team in the MAC on their defensive boards and 10th in allowing FTs.  This would be an excellent time for BG to clean up the offensive side of the ball, make shots and take care of the turnovers leading into the single-elimination process, where you are going to need to do that for 3 straight games.

Kent has four double figure scorers in MAC play.

They are led by Antonio Williams, scoring 15 PPG on 49% overall and 38% from 3FG.  He leads them in assists, but has about a 1:1 ratio.

Troy Simons is next at 13.4.  He mostly shoots 3FGs and makes 39%.

Danny Pippen scores an inefficient 13PPG, shooting 38% overall and 29% on 71 3FGAs.  We should pay him to shoot 3s.  He also leads them with 7.6 RPG.

Anthony Roberts scores 12 PPG on 45% and 40% shooting.

The Flashes are only 5-3 in MAC play at home, which is OK but not great.  This is the 12th most experienced team in the country and they use fewer bench minutes than the average team.

I'm sure the guys are glad to get back on the floor.  They have a chance to wipe away that Miami game with a road win.

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