Saturday, November 21, 2015

North Dakota Preview

The BG Falcons are down in Fort Myers to play in the Florida Gulf Coast event.  You remember those guys, the big dunkers that beat Georgetown in the Big Dance and then sent their Coach and his supermodel wife to USC, where he has lost almost all the time.

Anyway, we don't play those guys until Monday.  For now, BG plays the North Dakota team.  I am endlessly fascinated by their nickname journey North Dakota has been on, most of which you can find here.  Just recently they officially became the Fighting Hawks, which is dopey.  Anyway, not sure if that will be in use for Saturday's game or not.

North Dakota had a tough year last year, finishing 8-22.  The two years before that they were 33-34, which is not too bad.  They play in the Big Sky Conference, which is the 26th ranked conference out of 33.

They were picked to be 10th in the Big Sky this year.  You probably recall, BG played them a couple times in the Orr years, with both teams winning at home.

This year, ND is 1-1.  They beat a non-D1 Minnesota Morris and lost @Wisconsin so we don't really know what we have.

They return 2 starters off that team, which might be addition by subtraction, as two of them were JUCO transfers that might have caused chemsitry issues for the team.  Blue Ribbon says that North Dakota had been focusing on playing a European four-guard style of play, but now is making the transition to a more midwestern inside out approach.

This is a very young team.  Of the 7 players who played 15 minutes or more against UW, 6 were freshman or sophomores.  They played only 1 senior and he played 2 minutes.

I'm not sure how projectable last year is to this year, but last season they struggled on both sides of the ball.  The scored .98 points per possesision, which isn't too bad, but they allowed 1.08 points per possession, which is bad. Wisconsin had 1.14 points per possession, which is a lot, but it is Wisconsin.

Their leading player is G  Quinton Hooker.  He had 12 points against UW, but on 4 of 12 shooting and he had 4 assists against 2 turnovers.

Their leading scorer was r-FR Geno Crandall.  Crandall had 19 points on 6 of 6 shooting from beyond the arc, which is obviously craziness.  His points seemed mostly to show up during garbage time.

They have Drick Bernstine, who is a 6'8" transfer from Denver.  He played 33 minutes and had 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting and 9 rebounds.

They also have 7'0" C Carson Shanks who played 20 minutes with 9 points and only 2 rebounds.

Since we have split our games on home court to date, you could look at this game like a neutral court tiebreaker.  Hey, I said you could.  Overall, I feel like this is a game BG should win.

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