Saturday, December 23, 2006

Falcons Win Again

The Falcons went down to Huntington, WV last night and picked up a nice win (79-78) on the road. We burst out to a 16-0 run in the second half, and then had to cling on to win when Marshall missed a shot in the last few seconds.

Marshall is 3-8--not a good team, and I think that now that we are 7-3, we need to maybe temper our enthusiasm a little. Don't get me wrong...I'm thrilled to see us winning. But we are playing a pretty weak schedule.

In fact, according to Sagarin only three teams in D1 hoops have played a weaker schedule than we have. Note this:

Furman, who we lost to is 3-6. Central Arkansas, who we lost to is 1-7.

Arkansas State, who we split with, is 5-7, and ranked #252 in the nation (out of 336).

Troy is 4-7 ranked #214.

South Alabama is 4-5 (ranked #171).

Wright State is 5-5 (#220).

Northern Colorado is 1-9 (#324).

In fact, we have yet to play even one team that is a stretch for our team. And, its going to get even a little worse, because we play Michigan Tech (not D1), Jacksonville State (2-7, #307), and UW-Green Bay (#152, probably our toughest pre-MAC game).

I'm not trying to be negative and I'm not being a pessimist. I am merely pointing out that things could get tough in MAC play, that this is a young team, and we could have some struggles ahead.

There is one reason, however, to be optimistic. He emerged last night...his name is Nate Miller, a transfer to BG from UNC-Wilmington. Last night, he played 27 minutes with 19 points and 10 boards, our first double-double in god-knows how long. He was 7-13 from the field, and helped us battle to even in the rebounding battle, where we have been destroyed in recent weeks.

His reputation is as a tough 6'3" inside guy, like Anthony Stacey. If he can continue to contribute like he did last night, I believe this team becomes a serious contender on the floor against any MAC team--not better (yet), but in the discussion.

We'd start like this:

F Marschall
F Miller
F Dusan
G Samarco
G Hamblet

From the bench, we'd bring Lefeld, Clements, and Sims (primarily), with Polk, Larson, Moten (who also may be coming around), Bland and Guerin.

That's kind of a bipolar post, I realize. I believe the program might have turned the corner, but there could still be a rough road ahead until we're a little closer to the finish line.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

At this point in the program, I'll take the success where we can find it. The elite and maybe middle of the MAC will be challenges for us, but we should have a few teams that we match up better with than expected two months ago. And with some streaky shooting (and someone that can rebound!?!?!) we can stay in some games with OU, Kent, etc... should be an interesting MAC season. Good post!

Oh, and according to the game notes, the last double-double was Mawel Soler, so it's been at least 2-3 years.