For the upcoming season, turumon and I will be sharing the duties of the pre-game analysis and box score observations of each game. I'll do my best to live up to the standard he set with all the stats. With that in mind, I need a few warm-ups just like the team, so here's a mostly unneeded pre-game for UW-Superior...
Opening Thoughts: I just love basketball season. I enjoy football and hockey, but something about basketball is just so much more satisfying to me. With each passing day, the eminent return of basketball to Kohl Center is, as the Padre says, in the air!
What the expert nerds say:
Sagarin doesn’t care about this game.
Ken Pomeroy doesn’t care about this game either.
Vegas odds makers don’t care either.
Style Profile, I Said:
UW-Superior Probable Starters
G – 5’9” Dwight Hill (12.4 PPG, 4.1 APG, 1.8 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 2.8 A-TO rate)
G – 6’0” Dan Culy (13.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.5 SPG, 2.0 APG)
G – 6’5” Ben Aalfs (4.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG)
F – 6’6” Jake Smith (17.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.0 SPG)
C – 6’8” Greg Roeder (2.7 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.5 BPG)
The Yellowjackets played at about the same pace as Marquette and UConn last season. Their leading scorer is 6’6” junior forward Ben Smith, who is a two-time WIAC All-Conference player and looks like he scores much like Jon Leuer, primarily inside with a shot from outside that keeps the D honest (51% from 2 and 29% from 3). Their scoring make-up (where the points come from… 1-, 2-, or 3-pt land) is very, very similar to last season’s Illini team… heavy amounts of 2-pointers (61%), with little scoring coming from either line.
What UW-Superior is really good at:
1. Protecting the ball. They only turned it over 16.4% of their possessions last season. Wisconsin turned it over at 16.0% rate.
What UW-Superior is average at:
1. Scoring. They scored 1.03 PPP last season despite protecting it so well.
2. Defensive Rebounding. The ‘Jackets secured a slightly below average 65.9% of all rebounds on their defensive end.
What UW-Superior is really bad at:
1. Rebounding offensively. If they were a Division 1 team last season, they would be in the bottom 15 in the category.
2. Defense. Their defense gave up a poor 1.05 PPP last season.
3. Getting to the free throw line. The ‘Jackets don’t get to the line much, as they only got 16.4% of their points from the stripe. That would qualify for the bottom 6% of Division I.
Relative efficiency: As noted above, Superior has very bad defense and acceptable offense.
When Superior has the ball: They scored a ho-hum 1.03 PPP last season, while UW gave 0.72 PPP to Bemidji State and 0.95 last season.
When UW has the ball: They gave up a bad 1.05 last season, while UW scored 1.20 on BSU and 1.14 last season.
Pace: Superior played at 68 possessions per game last season compared to UW’s 76 in their intra-squad scrimmage and game against BSU.
My expectations: Badgers roll. The Badgers significant athletic, talent, and height advantages combine for a similar outcome as the Bemidji State game.