Maverick Maniac's Musings

November 14, 2011

2011-12 UNO Men’s Basketball – Game 2 Preview – Concordia (Neb.)

Filed under: College Sports,Omaha Mavericks — Jon Green @ 7:26 pm

After hanging tough but ultimately falling short at IPFW on Saturday, UNO returns home on Monday night to make their home debut for the 2011-12 season. Their opponent will be the Concordia Bulldogs.

Concordia

Concordia is located in Seward, Nebraska, a town of  around 6700 a half-hour west of Lincoln on I-80. Concordia competes in the GPAC conference in the NAIA. Concordia, who went 16-13 last year, was picked to finish 7th in the GPAC.

The last time Concordia played was on Saturday against Grace College. Grace led by 16 in the first half but Concrodia outscored them by 18 in the 2nd half for a 7 point win, 95-88. Concordia was led by Beau Smith’s 23 and Porter Birtell’s 22.

Starters:
Guard – Adam Vogt – 5-9 Sophomore from Syracuse, Neb. – Averages 9.8 points and 3 assists.
Guard – Joel Haywood – 6-3 Freshman from Lakewood, Col. – Averages 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.25 assists.
Guard – Barrett Braun – 6-4 Senior from Lakeside, Calif. – Averages 8.5 points and 5 rebounds.
Forward – Beau Smith – 6-4 Junior from McKinney, Texas – Averages 17.5 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
Forward – Porter Birtell – 6-6 Junior from Madison, Neb. – Averages 14.5 points and 7 rebounds.

Concordia seems to have quite a few contributors. 7 players average at least 7 points, 5 players average at least 3 rebounds, and 4 players average at least 2 assists. So far this year they have shot well, 49% overall and 43% from 3.

Defensively they have allowed opponents to shoot 53% from inside the arc, but just 36% from outside of it. They’ve slightly out-rebounded their opponents, but are allowing opponents to get 30% of available offensive rebounds. It should be noted they get 31.5% of their own available offensive rebounds.

The two schools last met in 1985 when UNO won 78-75.

UNO

Last time out UNO were competitive against Division 1 and future Summit League rival IPFW, falling 83-72. UNO had the lead as low as 3 in the first half before a late run by IPFW gave them a 10 point halftime lead. In the second half IPFW stretched their lead to as many as 22 before a late UNO run brought them as close as 8 before IPFW slammed the door shut.

Against IPFW UNO was led by C.J. Carter’s 18, Mitch Albers’15, Bill Freeman’s 14, and Alex Welhouse’s 13. Alex Welhouse had a team-high 8 rebounds, while Mitch Albers had a team-high 6 assists. Mitch Albers and Caleb Steffensmeier were a combined 0-10 from 3, part of a 7-24 performance for UNO.

Starters:
Guard – Caleb Steffensmeier – 6-1 Sophomore from  Omaha, Neb. – Averages 1 rebound and 2 assists.
Guard – C.J. Carter – 6-0 Freshman from Omaha, Neb. – Averages 18 points and 2 rebounds.
Guard – Mitch Albers – 6-4 Senior from Papillion, Neb. – Averages 15 points and 6 assists.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 Junior from Kaukauna, Wis. – Averages 13 points and 8 rebounds.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 Sophomore from Omaha, Neb. – Averages 8 points and 4rebounds.

3 Things to watch:

1) Shot Selection – UNO shot 29% from outside the arc, 49% from inside it against IPFW. UNO needed to take it inside more often Saturday and they’re going to have to do the same thing tonight. Concordia is allowing opponents to shoot 53% inside the arc. UNO probably shouldn’t shoot more than around 15 3’s tonight. The inside should be ripe for the taking and UNO should do all they can to focus there. Concordia may play some zone to try and overcome their size advantage, so if that’s the case UNO needs to have great movement and passing to try and break down the zone and find spaces inside.

2.) Caleb Steffensmeier/Bill Freeman – Two guys I am really interested to see the play of tonight. Caleb struggled in the first game, a sophomore slump perhaps, while Bill was fantastic off the bench. Caleb is taking on a bigger role this year as he goes from a backup to the starting PG and distributor for this team. He doesn’t need to become at 10 point per game scorer, but hopefully they can get a little more out of him than the 2 assists and 1 rebound he had in Fort Wayne. With Freeman I’m hoping to see how Hansen utilizes him, where he can find minutes, and how his play might fit into this team. He seems pretty talented and his 6-4 size gives me some home he might be able to matchup with the larger guards UNO plays.

3.) UNO’s attitude – UNO should be a heavy favorite in this one, and thus it’ll be interesting to see how they play against a supposedly overmatched opponent. UNO will be playing quite a few teams this year where they should win easily, and it’s going to be important that they take care of business instead of showing up half-hearted and just squeaking bye. A loss to a team like Concordia during this transition season could be damaging. UNO should get off to a good start tonight and when they do it’s important that they keep the pedal down and don’t let Concordia get back into the game.

Prediction: I think UNO will perform well tonight and get a nice chance to see several of their players get some time off the bench. I’ll take UNO 85-67.

Linkage:
Omavs Pre-Game Story
Concordia Pre-Game Story
Omaha.com Pre-Game Story

Video is available via America One for $8 (I believe), Live Game Stats are available via Omavs.com. There is no audio available tonight that I know of.

I’d recommend following myself (@maverickmaniacs), UNO’s Basketball twitter account (@UNO_Basketball), and maybe Robert Ford – UNO’s play-by-play man (@raford3) for updates. Not sure if Robert will be tweeting during the game at all, some guys do some guys don’t. Still a good follow regardless!

Go Mavs!

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