Friday, November 13, 2015

Privateer Preview

So, here we go.  The season is ready to start.  BG opens with New Orleans, a team they beat by 30 a couple years ago and who was (I assume) supposed to represent a win on the schedule.  Following the Notre Dame College game, I'm not sure anything can be counted on as a sure win.

First, it is important to know what is going on with this New Orleans team.  They were scattered to the winds during Katrina, decided to become DIII and then changed up and decided to be D1 again.  It was in that transition that BG played them the first time.  For more on what they have been going through as they rebuild in a rebuilding city, check this ESPN.COM story out.

They are now in the Southland Conference, where Blue Ribbon has them finishing 7th in the conference.  This conference is a borderline play-in league, ranked 29 of 33 overall in NCAA by RPI.

Last year, the Privateers with 11-18 and 6-10 in the Southland, with an RPI of 327, which is among the worst in D1.  Their biggest win was over Lamar, with an RPI of 249.  According to Blue Ribbon, they battled a lot of injuries last year.

They return 3 starters from that team and three of their top 4 scorers.  They include the leading scorer...Christavious Gill, who scored 12 PPG shooting only 40% from the field.  Gill is a Jordon Crawford-sized G who had less than 2 assists per game last year.  Also, 6'7" Kevin Hill (10.6 ppg and 6.7 rpg, shooting 47%, not great for a big man) and Nate Frye, the PG, (10.3 PPG and 2.4 rpg who shot around 40% as well).

There are a couple of JUCO players on board, as well, including one who could have an impact...Erik Thomas, (17.9 PPG) who was the Louisiana Junior College Association Player of the Year last year.  There are also 3 true freshmen who could contribute right away.

They struggled on both sides last year, scoring .97 points per possession, which was 9th in the conference and 1.06 which was 8th,  The biggest issue was shooting, they were 2nd to last in the Southland.  They were 6th in rebounding and turnovers and 4th in free throw rate.

On defense, they allowed 48% overall shooting, which is tough to win with.  Their rebounding and turnovers were above average.

They did play at a quick pace, 72 possessions per game.

For whatever it is worth, it sounds like their shooting might get a little bit better this year but their main shooters are still expected to be pretty poor.  They also have a ton of new players opening their career on the road.  I'd say this...if the Falcons lose this, we are looking at a historically long season.

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