Maverick Maniac's Musings

November 15, 2011

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

Filed under: College Sports,Omaha Mavericks — Jon Green @ 1:04 am

It felt good to come back to the Sapp Fieldhouse tonight. While many will be excited to move into the new Ralston arena next year, there will also be sadness at leaving behind a building which does have a lot of memories. UNO’s recent graduates have been doing a great job supporting the team and it was great to see so many familiar faces of recent players in the stands rooting on the new crop of players. UNO Basketball has a strong family feel, part of the reality when you struggle to draw 1,000 fans. It is something that makes it feel like home though.

UNO got their home schedule off to red-hot start and never looked back, cruising to a 100-68 win over Concorida (Neb.) on Monday night. UNO made their first 7 field goal attempts and 10 of their first 12, racing out to a 31-11 lead eight and a half minutes in. UNO did cool down as the half continued, only scoring 13 points in the next 11 and a half minutes, leading 44-30 at the break.

Concordia quickly cut things to 12 early in the second half, and were still within 14 with 17:13 to go before UNO finally seemed to realize it was time to put them away once and for all. Over the next seven and a half minutes UNO went on a 32-16 run to go up 76-46 with 10:45 to go.  The lead dropped as low as 22 but UNO pushed it back up to 32 before things ended.  The story of this game was pretty simple and boring, but the analysis has a bit more to it :).

Mitch Albers was simply fantastic. It will be a treat to watch several games like this during his senior year, tonight he was only 12-13 from the field (1-2 from 3) along with 5-5 from the FT stripe… for a career-high 30 points. He also grabbed 4 boards and dished out a team and career high 7 assists. This was a night where Mitch shined.  He scored 21 of his 30 points after halftime and seemed to get to the rim any time he wanted leading to numerous layups.  Oh, did I mention he only played 21 minutes!!

Alex Welhouse continued his good start to the year adding 11 points and 8 rebounds, though he did take a few 3’s from well outside the arc, probably something to stay away from still. C.J. Carter followed up a fantastic start with a bit more of a dose of reality. He was 3-9 for only 6 points, but did manage to contribute 3 assists.

Then there is Caleb Steffensmeier. I was critical of him after the IPFW game but he responded in a major way tonight. If it wasn’t for Mitch, Caleb would have been the star of the game. He was 4-4 from 3, a career high, and scored 12 points (also a career high). He had 4 steals, 4 assists, and no turnovers. He even added 3 rebounds. It was a super night for Steffensmeier who proved what he can bring to this UNO offense.

Bill Freeman, like Carter, struggled to match his outstanding first game. He started off looking good, by hitting a 3, but never did find his shot after that finishing 2-8 for just 5 points. He did add 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals so his game wasn’t a total loss, but he did seem to be looking for his shot a bit much at times. He definitely looks the part though. He’s very quick, has good size for a guard at 6-4, and I think he could be a menace on the fast break with Carter and Albers.

The Mavericks as a team shot an outstanding 61% from the field, 50% from 3 and 81% from the charity stripe. Concordia on the other hand never found a rhythm shooting 35% from the field and 24% from 3.  UNO was able to get lots of guys minutes, Alex Welhouse led UNO with 29 minutes, with all 5 starters between 21 and 29 minutes. That rest will be helpful as UNO plays their 3rd game in 5 days at UMKC on Wednesday. 6 non-starters played at least 4 minutes including 9 for Jacques Coleman and 14 for Mitchell Farr.

It was Over When: I’ll say it was over with 12:26 to go in the first half when Mitch Albers threw down a fast break dunk to make it 28-11 UNO (part of a 29-6 UNO run to take control). The game never really seemed competitive after UNO started that run but Mitch’s dunk stands out as one of the highlights of the game.

Player of the Game: Mitch Albers of course and it isn’t even close. 30 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists in 21 minutes. He only missed 1 of 18 shots (FT+FG) on the night. Outstanding effort by a player I am heavily rooting for to break the UNO all-time scoring mark.

Stat Leaders: Mitch Albers led the Mavericks in points (30) for the first time and assists (7) for the 2nd straight game. Alex Welhouse led the Mavericks with 8 rebounds for the second straight game. Also notable was Caleb Steffensmeier leading the team with 4 steals.

Player Ratings (Win Score): 
Tyler Egli – 9.766
Mitch Albers – 6.109
Caleb Steffensmeier – 4.349
Jacques Coleman – 1.684
John Karhoff – 1.449
Alex Welhouse – 1.123
Matt Hagerbaumer – 1.057
John Ring – 0.988
Bill Freeman – 0.822
C.J. Carter – 0.140
Mitchell Farr – (-0.279)

Tyler Egli probably should have gotten a mention earlier but his total contribution had snuck under my radar. In just 4 minutes he hit 2 threes and a 2 for 8 points. You’ll see amazing numbers like that sometimes when players play such small amounts of minutes.

Mitch and Caleb’s scores on the other hand are all legit. Mitch actually had a win score/min of 0.929. That basically means Mitch would have basically created a win alone if he had played a full 40 minutes. Caleb’s Win Score is a bit higher than his wins created since the PG position can have a hard time accumulating high stats. Mitch’s 6.109 is the highest I can remember seeing, though I haven’t done every game for the last few years. Definitely a historic night for Mitch though.

Farr did impress me some but he took 5 shots to score 5 points and had 2 turnovers to one assist. He’ll improve though as his career goes on. It was nice to see that 7 Mavs were above-average tonight and John Ring was just under that mark and Bill Freeman wasn’t even far off.

3 stats that tell the tale of the game: 

1) UNO shooting – 61% from the field, 50% from 3, you won’t lose if you shoot like that. Outstanding effort by UNO. BTW – Karhoff, Albers and Steffensmeier combined to go 22-25 from the field, 5-6 from 3, 8-8 from the line for 57 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists and 5 steals.

2) Points in Paint – UNO outscored Concorida 47-28 in the paint. This ability to get inside and get easy shots led to UNO’s outstanding shooting percentage.

3) Fast Break Points/Points off Turnover – UNO got 23 points off 14 turnovers and 16 fast break points. UNO seems to once again have the talent to run the court against other teams and looked to break fast every chance they got. This is an exciting brand of basketball and can really help UNO in games when they struggle in the half-court.

Response to 3 things to watch:

1) Shot Selection – Well UNO shot 22 threes, but when you hit 11 of them it’s hard to fault that. They shot an amazing 27-40 (67.5%) from inside the arc. UNO got to the paint repeatedly and it paid off.

2.) Caleb Steffensmeier/Bill Freeman – Well these two kind of switched positions tonight. Caleb Steffensmeier was outstanding playing his role in the UNO offense. He played good hard defense, showed his range with 4 threes, and dished the ball as well. Freeman still impresses me, his combination of size and quickness is something UNO just doesn’t have. I wish he was around 20 pounds thicker to deal with some of these bigger guards, but I think he’ll find a good role with this team. He is going to need to work on his shot selection some. I get the feeling he’s used to being a go-to scorer and tries to shoot like one. That might not be his role in this offense though so he’ll probably not be getting too many nights where he can shoot 2-8 and get away with it.

3.) UNO’s attitude – This is maybe what impressed me the most about UNO tonight. They came out ready to play and rolled to an early lead. They stumbled some as they got some bench players involved early but Derrin Hansen must have said the right thing because they came out for the 2nd half ready to put the game away and it was never in question. Hope to see that attitude a lot more this year.

Prediction Response: Well I nearly nailed Concordia’s total but I was 15 points short on UNO. Very impressed by the offensive explosion tonight… oh and it earned me free popcorn at tomorrow night’s game thanks to an early offer by Vernon J.

Upcoming Opponent: UNO will next take on UMKC in Kansas City on Wednesday. UMKC is 0-2 after losses at home to Northwest Missouri State and at Bradley. UNO can definitely win that one.

Linkage:
Omaha.com post game report
Omavs.com post game report
Concordia post game report

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