Thursday, February 25, 2021

Zip Preview 2

The season is reaching the last week and we're getting to the point where you can't say there's a lot of time left.  Apparently some result today meant that BG has qualified for Cleveland, which means that we're going to get a shot to win 3 and go to Indy.

Tomorrow's game is going to be an interesting test.  Akron is one of the top two teams this year in the MAC--the type of team you have to beat to win the MAC.  They are 12-5 in D1 games and 12-4 in the MAC.  They have yet to lose at home this year.  

Akron at one point beat BG in 17 straight games.  Recently, BG has greatly improved that trend,  winning 3 out of the last 8.  Akron beat the Falcons by 12 at the Stroh earlier.

That was the first game in BG's six-game losing streak.  

BG was victimized by putrid shooting.  It was the second-worst game of the season and there hasn't been a worse one since then.  BG scored .81 points per possession, the worst of the year.  As you can see, turnovers weren't great, offensive rebounding was only average and BG shot only 5 FTs.  On defense, Akron didn't shoot great either and they also turned the ball over, but they were very good on the offensive boards and made 17 of 19 FTs.


I'd suspect that BG's ability to score will be key in this one as well.  Akron is the #2 defensive team in the MAC.  They defend the 2FG especially well.  They don't force turnovers, but they are very good on their own defensive boards and they don't put their opponent on the line.  BG will need to keep hitting 3FGs, I suspect, to open this up.

3FGs will be vital to Akron too.  No team in the MAC tries a higher percentage of its FGAs from 3FG.  In fact, they are 12th in the country.  They are 4th in making 3FGs and first in percentage of points from 3FG.  They take good care of the ball, are just average on the offensive rebounding and 4th at getting to the line.

They are a good team.  And this is the kind of team you need to beat to win.  Not tomorrow, of course.  But eventually.

They are led by last year's MAC POY, Loren Cristian Jackson, who is tied for the league lead with 20.2 PPG.  He's 2nd in the MAC in assists as well.  He uses a lot of possessions, shooting 41% and 33%.  He shot 46% from 3FG last year.  He had a tough 16 against BG in the first game.

The dagger in the first game was St. John's transfer Bryan Trimble had 18 points shooting 7 of 13 overall.  He's averaging 14.7 per game for the year, shooting 45% on virtually all 3FGs.  He's 6th in the MAC. 

Sophomore Enrique Freeman is leading them with 8+ RPG, which is 3rd in the MAC.

So here we go.  BG certainly struggled and seems to be playing better, including a win over UT--the #1 team in the MAC.  This will be a good test of whether BG is ready to go to Cleveland and come home with the title.

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