Friday, November 13, 2009

IPFW Pre-Game Analysis

Opening Thoughts: It’s here! The start of another Wisconsin Badger basketball season is upon us! Get ready for Bo clapping for blocking fouls, Andy North popping up on screen, stories of Leuer growing 8 inches, Erin Andrews, and probably references to Kid N Play and Will Smith in regards to Ryan Evans’ hair. Who’s ready for Bo’s Badgers to prove pundits wrong yet again? I know I am!

Also, if you guys want me to add any other kind of information to my pre-games let me know and I can try to integrate it for the next ones.

What the expert nerds say:

Sagarin doesn’t have any data to predict this game.

Ken Pomeroy doesn’t have any stats to work with either.

IPFW Probable Rotation:
*G – 6’0” Ben Botts (11.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, 42% 3PT, 92% FT)
*G – 6’2” Nick Daniels (8.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 47% 3FG)
*G – 6’3” Zach Plackemeier (7.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.2 APG, 45% 3PT)
*F – 6’5” John Peckinpaugh (1.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG)
*C – 6’10” Trey McCorkle (3.2 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.0 SPG)
G/F – 6’7” Aaron Ritchie (2.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG)
G – 6’1” Jeremy Mixon (3.8 PPG, 1.3 RPG)
F – 6’5” Antwone Snead (9.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG at Lamar CC)
F – 6’8” Oleg Kovalev (9.1 PPG, 5 RPG at Cloud CC)
G – 6’4” Eli Lee (25.5 PPG, 5 RPG at Progressive Christian Academy)

Leading shot blocker (single season record at school) and 2nd returning scorer Deilvez Yearby, a 6’6” senior forward, has been suspended from this game due to a violation of team rules. He was Summit League 6th Man of the Year last season and would have been a starter in this game.

Last season they played at a pace of 67 possessions per game, very close to last season’s Indiana and Purdue teams. However, it looks like they will try to become more run-n-gun this season according to some of Coach Dane Fife’s twitter posts in the past few weeks ( The Mastodons play man-to-man defense, and similar to the Badgers, don’t force many turnovers, steals, or blocks.

Key Players: Junior guard Ben Botts is the leading returning scorer, and did it with an efficient 106.9 offensive rating. He accomplished that rating with shooting 42% from 3, 91% from the line, and was the second least likely player to turn the ball over on the team. Nearly half of all his shot attempts were from behind the arc last season, similar to Trevon Hughes. Despite his great free throw shooting, he didn’t get to the line much, only attempting 71 last season. He is also only 1 of 2 returning players with an assist-to-turnover ratio above 1.0.

Another key player for the ‘Dons is Zach Plackemeier. The 6’3” junior guard was the most efficient offensive player last season with more than 50 possessions to his name. He scored almost 8 points per game with an offensive rating of 107.7. It was achieved with a stellar 44.9% from 3, 80% from the line, and 83 assists to 46 turnovers.

6’0” senior guard Nick Daniels is the lead sniper on a team full of 3-point shooters. He shot an amazing 47.4% from beyond the arc. Luckily, he doesn’t excel at anything else on offense, turning it over a quarter of the time he ends a possession and shoots a lower percentage inside the arc than outside.

Lastly, I’m kinda blind towards how the Jucos and prep school kid will mix in since I couldn’t much info on preseason expectations and such. Peckinpaugh was my best guess for the starting line-up sub due to his position and playing time last season. It could easily be Snead or Kovalev too. I also saw on the Fort Worth newspaper that Fife wanted to move the suspended Yearby to small forward to get in another big so they could improve rebounding. So 1 of the 3 guards might be dropped from starter status as well. We’ll see on Sunday at 5.

What IPFW is really good at:

1. Shooting treys. The Mastodons take after their head coach, former Indiana guard Dane Fife, at being good 3-ball shooters. Last season they were 3rd in the nation at 40.8%, and the returning players combine for 42.8%. Oddly enough, they were well below D-1 average at attempts (239th/344), with only 30.3% of their shots coming from behind the line.

What IPFW is really bad at:

1. Rebounding offensively. Last season they grabbed 26.1% of boards when they were on offense, good for bottom 20 of all D-1.

2. Defense. Their defense gave up a poor 1.05 PPP last season (245th). They also gave up an eFG% of 51.5% (280th), only forced a turnover on 18.8% of opponent’s possessions (264th), gave up 52.1% from 2-point land (315th), and forced a steal on only 8.8% of opponent’s possessions (333rd).

3. Offense. The ‘Dons scored 0.99 PPP last season, good for 210th in the country. The Badgers should be happy if Jeremy Mixon and John Peckinpaugh are taking a lot of shots on Sunday, as they had Alex Legion and Jordan Taylor-esque offensive efficiency ratings last season. They also won’t have much of an inside presence unless one of the Jucos makes an impact or Peckinpaugh and/or McCorkle made serious leaps in ability and confidence.

Relative efficiency: As noted above, IPFW has very bad defense and pretty bad offense.

When IPFW has the ball: They scored a bad 0.99 PPP last season, while UW gave up 0.68 PPP in the exhibition games and 0.95 last season.

When UW has the ball: They gave up a bad 1.05 last season, while UW scored 1.15 in the exhibition games and 1.14 last season.

Pace: IPFW played at 67 possessions per game last season compared to UW’s 74 in the exhibition games and 60 last season. As previously mentioned Coach Dane Fife has hinted at a quicker pace in twitter posts, and Wisconsin players and coaches have done the same.

Keys to the Game:

1. Defending the three. The one thing IPFW is good at is shooting treys. Last season, Wisconsin’s opponents shot 32.6% from 3, good for 72nd worst in the country. Hopefully with the additions of a healthy Tim Jarmusz, Rob Wilson, and Ryan Evans, UW can improve upon this with quicker close-outs.

2. Defensive Rebounding. With the likelihood of long rebounds off of missed 3 bombs, the Badgers need to secure the boards against a poor offensive rebounding team and try to convert transition opportunities against this poor defensive team.

3. Pounding the ball inside. With IPFW’s best post defender suspended, Leuer, Nankivil, and Berggren should be able to have a field day. No one on the ‘Dons roster can match-up with Leuer or Nankivil. If Fife has them pack the paint, Jon and Keaton can just kick out to an open Bohannon, Jarmusz, Hughes, or Wilson. This will also lead to making that magical “make more free throws than their opponents take” stat come back to life after a 308 day hiatus.

My expectations: I think UW accomplishes my keys to the game leading to the Badgers freezing the Mastodons 82-60 in a 71-possession game.

1 comment:

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