Maverick Maniac's Musings

November 14, 2011

2011 UNO Men’s Basketball – Game 1 Recap – IPFW

Filed under: College Sports,Omaha Mavericks — Jon Green @ 2:52 pm

UNO’s first game at the Division 1 level wasn’t kind to the Mavericks. Future Summit League opponent IPFW led by as many as 22 before a late Maverick run cut the final margin to just 11, a final score of 83-72.  UNO was competitive during the game, but IPFW was simply too much for the Mavericks to handle.

UNO got off to a rocky start and was down 9-0 when C.J. Carter scored his first career points with 15:28 to go in the 1st half to make it 9-2. IPFW rolled out to a 24-10 lead, their largest of the first half, before a quick 8-0 run by UNO made things interesting.  UNO got the lead back down to 3, 34-31 on a Mitch Albers jumper with 3:40 to go in the first half.  IPFW controlled the rest of the half and extended the lead back to 10 at the half, 41-31.

Mitch Albers got the 2nd half off to a good start with a layup, but after that IPFW went on a 35-21 run to take control of the game. UNO had a good run near the end as IPFW started to get their bench players some minutes, making IPFW sweat a bit when C.J. Carter hit a FT after a layup to make it 78-70 with 1:12 left. IPFW immediately answered with a Frank Gaines layup and a foul on John Karhoff to end any hopes of a miracle UNO comeback.

It was Over When: Well I think UNO still had a chance when they cut it to eight, so I’ll say it wasn’t over until Frank Gaines hit the layup to put it back to a 10 point game.  Had UNO gotten a stop there, they may have been able to continue their comeback.

Player of the Game: There’s a few guys you could make a case for… but I’m going to give it to Bill Freeman. Freeman is a junior transfer who played his first game for UNO yesterday. Freeman scored 14 points on just eight shots, had five rebounds, two assists, and a steal. All in only 22 minutes. It will be interesting to see how many minutes they can get to Freeman, C.J. Carter also impressed and Mitch Albers isn’t going to sit much. Caleb Steffensmeier didn’t score in 28 minutes, and yes  it’s true that he’s not on the court to score,  and only had two assists so I could see them giving C.J. Carter some more ball handling responsibility to get Freeman some more minutes.

Stat Leaders: C.J. Carter led UNO with 18 points. I would love to know the last time a true-freshman scored that many points in his debut.  Has to have been a while. Alex Welhouse led UNO with eight rebounds. That’s not a bad sign as he is going to need to crash the boards a lot as the 4 in this lineup. Mitch Albers led UNO with six assists. It’s good to see Mitch passing the ball since he’s going to have games where the opponent takes him away and he needs to set up others.

Player Ratings (Win Score): Win Score is a way to analyze a basketball stat line and determine how much the player contributed to/from a win. It is calculated as (Points + Rebounds + Steals + .5*Assists + .5*Blocks – Field Goal Attempts – Turnovers – .5*Free Throw Attempts -.5*Free Throws)/Minutes. Then you use a modifier for each position (because a center tends to rack up better numbers than a guard in this formula). I will try and post the table in the future instead of just the results, but here are the scores for this game.

Jacques Coleman – 3.788
Bill Freeman – 2.841
Mitchell Farr – 1.953
CJ Carter – 1.264
Matt Hagerbaumer – 0.727
John Karhoff – 0.505
Alex Welhouse – 0.493
John Ring – 0.000
Mitch Albers – (-0.514)
Caleb Steffensmeier – (-1.082)
Tyler Egli – (-3.906)

A couple of thoughts. This metric shows really well how Bill Freeman managed to put up a very full line in only 22 minutes. It also shows how Mitch Albers struggled (18 shots to score 15 points) and Caleb Steffensmeier did as well.

As always, stats can’t show everything. There are important defensive plays made in every game that are never picked up on any scorecard, but stats also show a lot and are useful.  For example if Mitch had taken five less shots to score the same points, his Win Score would have been over two. Mitch’s problem was he used a lot of possessions and didn’t get much. Had those possessions been redistributed to more effective players, Freeman and Carter for example, UNO might have been 6 points closer to IPFW and almost won the game.

I believe a one on the Win Score is average. So UNO had four players above average (two of whom barely played) and the other two would be the two I think played the best.  I’ll try to use some advanced statistics like this when I can. I don’t know a lot of advanced basketball stats, but I’m learning!

3 stats that tell the tale of the game: 

1) UNO From 3 – UNO just flat out took too many 3’s.  They went 7 of 24 including a combined 0-10 from Albers and Steffensmeier.  Perhaps they were motivated by their success last time out (13-25 against Missouri Southern in the MIAA Tourney last year) but it didn’t work. They shot 49% from inside the arc, so you can see how they should have gone inside more.

2) IPFW From 3 – IPFW on the other hand was 8-18 from 3. UNO was 1-5 last year when their opponents shot at least 43% from 3. UNO is going to have to do a better job of getting out on 3 point shooters to make sure they don’t get beat like this again.

3) IPFW Sloppy – IPFW actually committed 18 turnovers in the game. This was a major reason that UNO was able to stay in the game as they averaged 1 pt off those turnovers. If IPFW had taken better care of the ball UNO would have had a hard time getting this one down near 10.

Response to 3 things to watch:

1) IPFW’s Size – Gaines/McCorkle/Edwards – the two 6-4 guards and the 6-10 center combined for 56 points on 37 shots (51%) and 17 FT(82%). They also added 24 rebounds, all of this in just 83 minutes combined of play.  Gaines in particular lit up UNO for 29 points (though it did take him 22 shots to get there!), but he really hurt UNO by getting to the line (9-10) and pulling down nine rebounds.  I think you’ll see this as a trend for UNO… big men inside and big guards should have good nights against UNO.

2) Steffensmeier/Carter – Steffensmeier was held scoreless in 28 minutes, he had previously never been held scoreless in any game where he played at least 16 minutes. Last year he could defer to players like Bullock, Harris and Martin and only played 16 minutes a game, this year he’s a starter and is going to have to pick up some of the weight those 3 guards left behind.

Carter on the other hand had as good a debut as we’ve seen from a freshman in some time. In comparison Andrew Bridger, who was injured much of his freshman year, had 4 in his first game and a high of 13 points. Mitch Albers had 13 points in his debut, although against a much weaker opponent in the University of Mary. Albers averaged 11.5 points that year, scored at least 18 on 5 occasions, and had a season high of 26 points against Montana State Billings. Michael Jenkins scored 8 in his debut and had a season high of 16 in his freshman season. Denny Johnston also scored 8 in his debut and had a season high of 17. Calvin Kapels scored only 1 point in his debut and had a season high of 12.

Carter even compares well to Tyler Bullock, who as a junior scored 6 points in his debut. Of course Tyler went off for 28 and 20 in his next 2 games (on combined 18-20 shooting!!). While I don’t think C.J. Carter is the next Tyler Bullock, let’s just say his debut was something special and I think UNO has found a great centerpiece for the next 4 years of their back court.

3) Nerves/Leadership – I think the Mavs looked a little shaky on FTs. They ended 11 of 16 but they started 5-10. I think I was impressed though that the Mavericks didn’t quit and cut into the lead quite a bit when IPFW started getting into their bench in the 4th quarter. There will be a lot of games not close in the final 10 minutes this year, so it’s good to see UNO playing with the right attitude during that time in this one.

Upcoming Opponent: UNO next takes on NAIA school Concordia (Neb.) on Monday night at 7 at the Sapp Fieldhouse!  It will be the last home opener for the men at the Fieldhouse as they move to Ralston next year. Concordia, who is 3-1 on the year, beat Grace College on Saturday after losing to  Dickinson State on Friday night.

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