Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Maryland Pre-Game Analysis

Opening Thoughts: After the forgettable performance against Gonzaga, who’s next? Wisconsin can leave Lahaina with a 3rd place to their name if they can defeat the Terrapins of Maryland. Luckily for Wisconsin, the size that hurt them so much against Gonzaga does not exist in Maryland’s rotation. They have a 6’9” guy, 6’8” guy, and 6’7” guy in the paint. And although I’m not certain, I don’t believe the Turtles are anywhere close to as athletic as Arizona’s small frontcourt or possess mutant ninja skills they can use to their advantage. This should bode well for the Badgers.

Maryland Probable Rotation:
*G – 6’4” SO Sean Mosley (13.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.0 APG)
*G – 6’4” SR Eric Hayes (11.2 PPG, 3.2 APG, 50% 3FG)
*G – 6’6” SR Greivis Vasquez (9.8 PPG, 6.0 APG, 4.2 RPG, 30% FG)
*F – 6’7” SR Landon Milbourne (13.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 60% FG)
*F – 6’9” FR Jordan Williams (7.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.0 BPG)
F – 6’8” FR James Padgett (7.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG)
G/F – 6’6” JR Cliff Tucker (6.4 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.0 APG)
G – 6’2” JR Adrian Bowie (3.6 PPG, 3.0 APG, 1.6 SPG)

This season they have played at a pace of 71 possessions per game, similar to last season’s Syracuse team. Their defensive footprint on Ken Pom is inconclusive from their high amount of turnovers caused, high frequency of 3 point shooting by their opponent, and low frequency to send players to the line. I didn’t pay too close of attention to the Cincy game of theirs, so I can’t recall what they were running.

They are returning 84% of their minutes, 82% of their rebounding, and 86% of their scoring from last season and 4 starters. They start a true freshman, and have one come off the bench. This team is more experienced than Wisconsin with 3 seniors and 2 juniors in the rotation.

Key Players: Greivis Vasquez – Vasquez is the leading scorer from last season. Despite being a below average shooter (33% from 3, 45% from 2), he uses up the most possessions on the team at 28%. That’s similar to Brian Butch in 2007-2008. He’s a a similar clip of usage this season, but is shooting a horrible 30% from the field. Let’s hope that continues.

Sean Mosley – Mosley is only a sophomore, but he’s got a great offensive rating going this season, 131.5! For a comparison, that is about the same as Jon Leuer’s performance against Gonzaga. He also has a great assist to turnover rate of 3.3. He’s currently shooting 77% from the line and an astounding 62.2% from 2 (especially great because he’s a guard).

Landon Milbourne – Last season Milbourne had a good offensive rating of 108.7. He didn’t turn the ball over much, shot 50% inside the arc and 77% from the line. He also is a talented offensive rebounder, comparable to Nankivil last season. So far he has been shooting 60% inside the arc and 78% from the line.

What Maryland is really good at:

1. Shooting 2's. Maryland is 87th in the nation at shooting deuces, at 51.7%.

2. Not turning it over. They have turned it over only 16% of the time, good for 32nd. Wisconsin turns it over 17%.

3. Forcing turnovers. The Terps are 10th in the nation at forcing turnovers, at 29.3%. Wisconsin has forced 19%.

4. Defending the paint. Maryland is 12th in the nation at holding opponents to 36.1% inside the arc. This may be the product of competition though, as Cincy shot a sizzling 23/44 (52.3%) inside the arc against them.

What Maryland is really bad at:

1. Offensive Rebounding. They grab 32% of their misses, good for 196th.

2. Getting to the free throw line. They take 7 free throws for every 23 field goal attempts. That’s good for 275th in the nation.

3. Shooting 3's. The Terps are shooting 31.1% from 3, good for 218th. Not to be outdone, the Badgers clock in at 316th with their lovely 24.3%.

4. Free Throw Shooting. They are 220th in the nation at free throw percentage at 66.3%.

Relative efficiency:

When Maryland has the ball: Maryland has scored an above average 1.07 PPP in their first 5 games, while UW has given up 0.86 in their first 4.

When UW has the ball: Maryland gave up an awesome 0.76 in their first 5 games, while UW has scored an average 1.01 in their first 4.

Pace: Maryland has played at 71 possessions per game so far in their first 5 games compared to UW’s 65 in their first 4 games.

My expectations:

1. Badgers force the inside game, with Leuer and Nankivil combining for more than 25 points. With Maryland’s lack of size, I like Wisconsin’s bigs scoring opportunities.

2. Badgers protect the ball, turning it over less than 20% of the time. Maryland has forced many turnovers, but I think the Badgers are too disciplined for it to be a factor.

3. Jarmusz, Evans, Breusewitz, and maybe Hughes hold Vasquez to less than 13 points. General Greivis has been struggling shooting the ball this season and I think his woes continue against the Badgers.

4. Badgers hold the Terps to below 45% shooting inside the arc. Maryland has been hot shooting inside the arc this season but I like the Badgers to cool them off.

5. Bohannon and Jarmusz break the ice and connect on more than 35% of their 3’s. Am I the only one that finds it sad that this is a ballsy call on my part? They gotta start falling sometime.

My Prediction: Badgers regroup to make the Turtles unhappy together, 72-58 in a 64-possession game.

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