Tonight, the Islanders from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi roll into the Tucker Center for the Noles's last game before starting ACC play. Let's take a look at the match up and a couple of other musings on college basketball. The preview and game thread are inside.
N.B After turning the ball over 10 times in the first half and going 4 minutes without a basket to start the second half, the Noles pulled away at the end in their final OOC game. We needed a big win and we got it. Unfortunately, it took way too long for us to get started, but we only turned the ball over 6 times in the second half. ACC countdown begins...Duke visits the Tucker Center in 1 week.
The Islanders, currently 6-6 and ranked 229th in the Pomeroy Index, have played quite the interesting OOC schedule this year. Aside from taking on the unranked likes of St. Edwards, Texas A&M-International and Texas A&M-Kingsville, they have played Illinois, Northwestern, Tulsa and Oklahoma St. When they have played similarly ranked teams, the Islanders have done well, typically scoring in the 70's to 80's, topping out at 97 against NC Wilmington.
As I was doing some reading, I came across the following article on ESPN.com, discussing the financial incentives mid-major teams receive for playing the elite teams. I didn't realise that basketball had the same finiancial payoffs, obviously to a lesser sum, that football has. Here is a nice article from Ron Morris on thestate.com about the payouts we're starting to see in college football. Keep in mind, those figures are for regular season games...not bowl games. The fact that Ohio State will pay Navy over 1 million dollars is obscene. I know that Div 1 athletics, particularly football, bring in absurd ammounts of money, but it makes you pause for a minute in these economic times to wonder if all of this is "right." I'll get off my soap box now, but I just found this to be interesting. The first line of the UNC-Nevada preview on ESPN.com states the following: "Barely tested and hardly challenged." All major conferences are guilty of this and the OOC schedule should be a light schedule in preparation for what is a grueling two months for teams in conference play. Just thought we should take a minute and think about the little guy and what impact this may or may not have on their programs. Any thoughts on the pluses and minuses of financial incentives for scheduled beat downs? (I'm not looking to get into the athletes should be paid argument, just thoughts on the finiances of athletics or something like that)
On to the match up. This is going to be a tougher game for us than I think most imagined. This is a big, relatively experienced team that likes to play defense. Offense is not their specialty...at all...they have no one in Ken Pomeroy's top 500 offensive ratings. And keep in mind, only 3 of their 6 wins are against Div 1 teams.
Raw Efficiency : 86.2 (317) 96.7 (123)
Adj Efficiency : 89.8 (295) 96.2 (103)
Effective FG% : 44.5 (291) 48.6 (156)
Turnover Pct. : 26.4 (331) 26.2 ( 17)
Off. Rebound% : 34.6 (129) 36.7 (277)
Free Throw Rate: 21.6 (246) 38.9 (225)
3-Point FG% : 28.0 (311) 34.5 (196)
2-Point FG% : 45.8 (232) 47.2 (147)
Free Throw Pct.: 64.1 (277) 68.9 (196)
Block Pct. : 11.7 (291) 7.9 (191)
Steal Pct. : 12.6 (313) 14.3 ( 13)
3PA/FGA : 32.5 (187) 29.7 ( 61)
A/FGM : 54.0 (169) 57.5 (240)
They play a down tempo game and that's about all I can say about their offense. They have put up a lot of points against lesser opponents, but against the likes of Illinois, Northwestern and such...they sit in the 40's.
|Fri Nov 14||Tex A&M Kingsville (s) (sr)||W, 83-64||H||71||116.4||48.4||21.0||50.0||49.2||89.7||46.4||21.0||28.1||41.1|
|Sun Nov 16||Illinois (s) (sr)||L, 72-53||A||68||77.5||41.7||26.3||28.2||27.8||105.3||47.6||17.6||38.2||25.8|
|Wed Nov 19||Northwestern (s) (sr)||L, 66-48||A||60||79.4||40.7||26.5||32.7||41.9||109.1||47.1||14.9||31.8||46.1|
|Sun Nov 23||Tulsa (s) (sr)||L, 66-43||A||67||63.9||32.1||31.2||34.1||32.1||98.0||47.4||22.3||42.9||31.0|
|Fri Nov 28||Jackson St. (s) (sr)||W, 73-63||H||75||97.9||54.8||25.5||36.9||53.9||84.5||44.2||38.9||45.2||50.0|
|Sat Nov 29||NC Wilmington (s) (sr)||W, 97-64||H||78||124.6||59.9||20.6||45.5||33.3||82.2||47.4||32.1||28.6||19.0|
|Wed Dec 3||St. Edwards (s) (sr)||W, 84-70||H||72||116.0||44.7||20.7||48.8||80.7||96.7||50.9||24.9||42.1||35.6|
|Sat Dec 6||Texas Christian (s) (sr)||L, 66-53||A||63||83.8||34.9||19.0||44.5||24.2||104.3||58.3||30.0||31.4||52.4|
|Mon Dec 8||Texas A&M Intl (s) (sr)||W, 87-60||H||79||109.9||52.5||26.5||45.3||47.5||75.8||38.1||26.5||25.0||35.6|
|Sun Dec 14||Oklahoma St. (s) (sr)||L, 82-59||H||66||89.9||43.1||18.3||27.5||22.4||124.9||67.6||18.3||29.2||27.8|
|Thu Dec 18||Savannah St. (s) (sr)||L, 47-42||A||67||62.8||35.9||41.8||32.8||48.7||70.2||30.0||28.4||37.5||54.0|
|Mon Dec 22||Georgia (s) (sr)||W, 80-79||A||75||94.5||52.3||28.4||27.4||29.7||93.3||48.3||29.5||40.2||51.7|
As an interesting exercise, just take a look up and down all of the colums for this team and see how much variation there is from game to game. They had a 19% TO against Texas Christian, in a loss, and they turner it over 42% of the time in a loss against Savannah St. As I have mentioned previously, teams like this worry me; you never know who is going to show up. However, the Islanders don't have the firepower to keep up with good defensive teams. They do play relatively good defense and force a number of turnovers, particuarly by stealing the ball. This is good and bad for us. We don't typically lose the ball as a result of steals; we make bad decisions and throw the ball away, travel or cause an offensive foul.
Here are their likely starters for the game:
LaMarr Drake 6'1 185 Jr G 7.8ppg 3.4apg 2.4 rpg
Horace Bond 6'8 190 So F 3.4 ppg 1.3 apg 3.7 rpg
Kevin Palmer 6'6 205 Jr G/F 15.3 ppg 3.1apg 4.3 rpg
Demond Watt 6'7 205 So F 9 ppg 0.7 apg 6 rpg
Justin Reynolds 6'9 230 So F 10.3 ppg 1.3 apg 4.9 rpg
Kevin Palmer is their offense. He leads them in terms of possessions, 31% and is 31st in the country, and shots 34% which is 22nd in the country. He also leads them in assists and steals. However, his Offensive rating is a terrible 96.7. Anything over 110 is good. He is shooting 42% from the floor and 31% from the 3 point line. But he turns the ball over 22% of the time.
This is also a relatively tall team...ranking 19th in the country for average minutes weighted height...we're number 1. Their effective height is 7th; we're number 4. They also have a 7 footer who comes off the bench and typically plays about 20 minutes a game and does a nice job on the boards at the defensive end of the court.
I have recently written a lot about our offense and defense, so I won't belabor the details here as some of my recent posts have been a tad on the long side. But to be complete, here are the stats:
Raw Efficiency : 99.6 (195) 90.8 ( 46)
Adj Efficiency : 100.4 (163) 88.2 ( 33)
Effective FG% : 48.8 (167) 43.4 ( 30)
Turnover Pct. : 24.3 (295) 22.5 (104)
Off. Rebound% : 35.6 (100) 34.3 (203)
Free Throw Rate: 35.3 ( 9) 31.8 ( 86)
3-Point FG% : 35.2 (126) 33.6 (163)
2-Point FG% : 46.8 (207) 39.2 ( 11)
Free Throw Pct.: 71.6 ( 90) 64.7 ( 56)
Block Pct. : 6.8 ( 62) 18.3 ( 7)
Steal Pct. : 10.3 (196) 12.3 ( 44)
3PA/FGA : 33.4 (153) 37.9 (299)
A/FGM : 55.1 (145) 46.5 ( 28)
Our defense continues to get better and our offense has room for improvement.
Here's our game log:
|Sat Nov 15||Jacksonville (s) (sr)||W, 59-57||A||69||85.6||52.4||26.1||18.8||73.2||82.7||36.0||16.0||33.3||26.5|
|Tue Nov 18||La Salle (s) (sr)||W, 65-61||A||71||92.0||45.8||25.5||26.9||58.3||86.3||40.0||19.8||31.5||30.0|
|Thu Nov 20||Stetson (s) (sr)||W, 79-77||H||73||108.3||45.5||23.3||46.1||60.7||105.6||53.1||19.2||33.3||20.0|
|Sat Nov 22||Coastal Carolina (s) (sr)||W, 82-70||H||71||116.0||56.7||21.2||32.8||50.0||99.0||51.8||31.1||37.5||30.9|
|Mon Nov 24||Western Illinois (s) (sr)||W, 67-55||H||62||108.6||48.0||19.4||36.5||44.0||89.1||40.9||21.1||21.0||47.7|
|Fri Nov 28||Cincinnati (s) (sr)||W, 58-47||N||64||90.7||42.0||28.1||43.2||50.0||73.5||36.1||29.7||40.5||31.5|
|Sat Nov 29||California (s) (sr)||W, 80-77||N||78||102.7||55.2||23.1||25.6||70.8||98.8||44.1||16.7||20.8||54.2|
|Wed Dec 3||Northwestern (s) (sr)||L, 73-59||A||69||86.0||47.1||30.6||33.9||37.3||106.4||49.1||18.9||42.9||55.4|
|Sun Dec 7||Florida (s) (sr)||W, 57-55||H||64||88.8||37.3||21.8||38.9||51.0||85.7||43.1||24.9||31.3||33.3|
|Sat Dec 13||Georgia St. (s) (sr)||W, 62-57||A||54||114.1||64.5||27.6||44.2||50.0||104.9||44.3||12.9||32.8||28.3|
|Tue Dec 16||Tennessee Tech (s) (sr)||W, 69-59||H||75||92.3||53.9||32.1||34.5||39.2||78.9||41.7||29.4||33.3||28.3|
|Thu Dec 18||Charleston Southern (s) (sr)||W, 71-48||H||66||107.0||49.2||19.6||45.2||35.5||72.4||39.3||28.6||35.9||19.6|
|Sun Dec 21||Pittsburgh (s) (sr)||L, 56-48||H||67||71.8||34.0||26.9||27.8||46.8||83.8||38.1||22.4||38.1||20.6|
|Sun Dec 28||Western Kentucky (s) (sr)||W, 82-69||h||65||127.0||54.1||13.9||40.0||34.4||106.9||50.0||23.2||44.7||25.9|
Pomeroy gives us a 95% chance to win this game and I agree. We should shut them down on defense and hopefully continues to improve on the offensive end of the court. This is a big team and I think will be a good tune up before getting into conference play, which is a week away.
Thoughts on the game?