Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Analysis: Belmont Team Preview

While checking out other basketball sites, I found a nice preview on Section Six for the NC St. / Drexel NIT game - I'm going to steal his format for a Belmont preview.

Scouting Report / Game Plan
Season Stats
HoyaSaxa Pregame Report

Belmont Offense '06 -'07



Adj. Off. Eff.










Looking at the Bruins' tempo-free offensive stats is a bit like looking in the mirror for the Hoyas. Belmont does a good job getting value for the shots they take, but doesn't protect the ball as well as they should. The teams shoot very well on 2-pt. (BU = 54.8; GU = 58.4) and slightly above average on 3-pt. (36.7; 36.6). The Bruins have taken 785 3-pt. on the season (~24/game); G'town, not shy about shooting from outside, averages ~17/game. But Belmont has a mediocre offensive efficiency as a whole, because the team isn't able to control their offensive board and struggles to get to the line (likely due to the 3-pt. shot being so integral to their offense).

Probable Starters

Andy Wicke (6'2", 195, #20) - Very good outside shooter (75-164, (0.457) 3-pt.), best assist man on the team. Has started the last 9 games, and has made 38 3-pt. over that stretch. Almost exclusively an outside shooter.

Josh Goodwin(6,3", 205, #4) - The third of the 4 big outside shooters by number taken, but the least accurate (41-128, (0.320) 3-pt.) of the core shooters on the team; he's the one you want to force to beat you from behind the arc. Having said that, he recently went 4-6 and 3-5 from outside in back-to-back games.

Matthew Dotson (6'8", 220, #30) - The last of the main outside threats, despite often being one of the tallest Bruins on the court (Pittsnogle lite?). A decent shooter on the year (43-121, (0.355) 3-pt) who's been on a tear his last five games (15-32 3-pt). Can hit the defensive glass, but not strong on ORs.

Henry Harris (6'1", 170, #40) - I have no idea why he's starting ahead of Hare (see below). A poor shooter (0.339 3-pt), a walking turnover (TO Rate = 31.9), and undersized. He has a nice steal rate (2.3), so I suspect he's in there for his hustle and defense; the team has improved significantly there from last season. May be their version of J. Rivers.

Andrew Preston (6'10", 210, #45) - The starting center, he's very efficient by taking close-in shots and making them (104-166 (0.627) 2-pt.). A capable rebounder, especially on offense (OR% = 13.9 [36th nationally]), he'll have to use his length to make up for a decided lack of beef against the bigger Hoyas.

Two guys who should be starting

Justin Hare (6'2", 195, #24) - MVP of the A-Sun Tournament, 1st team All-Conference, 2nd team Academic All-American. A capable shooter from outside (eFG% = 54.0; 59-155 (0.381) 3-pt.), but willing to go inside to score or get to the line. If Georgetown tries to force Belmont to shoot off the dribble, he will likely be least effected.

Boomer Herndon (6'10", 255, #32) - The Belmont fan who posted on HoyaTalk indicated that his weight might be a touch higher than listed, and that his minutes can be limited due to conditioning. His statistics indicate an exceptional scorer (148-238 (0.622) 2-pt.) and rebounder (DR% = 21.6 [76]; OR% = 14.2 [28]), but also a black-hole on offense (32.4% shots; ARate = 7.8).

Other Guys who will play

Shane Dansby
, Keaton Belcher, Will Peeples

Belmont Defense '06 -'07



Adj. Def. Eff.










The Bruins defense improved this year from lousy (250th by KenPom) to serviceable. Actually, what Belmont has done is improve their 3-pt. defense to 1st overall (28.3% allowed), which had lead to a very low eFG% against. If you could only be good at one thing on defense, forcing your opponent into a poor shooting percentage is it. Credit Coach Byrd for recognizing a team strength.

Unfortunately for Belmont, Georgetown is not a team that depends upon hitting from outside to establish their offense (a la Notre Dame). The Bruins like a game pace in the mid-60s, but expect Georgetown to slow down the game and force their opponent to work hard on defense (especially Mr. Herndon).

And if you're still reading, the NYTimes reports that Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas will call the Winston-Salem games.

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