Maverick Maniac's Musings

November 11, 2012

2012-13 UNO Men’s Basketball – Game 1 Recap – Northern Illinois

Filed under: College Sports,Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks — Jon Green @ 3:53 pm

UNO got their season off to as good as start as could be asked for with a 77-64 win over Northern Illinois. To get their first ever home D1 win and do so by double digits is a great confidence builder to start the year. CJ Carter put together a strong game and led the Mavericks with 16 points, 10 of them earned at the FT stripe. Alex Welhouse only played 21 minutes but added 13 points and John Karhoff grabbed six rebounds to lead UNO.

After trailing quickly 2-0 UNO needed nearly three minutes to open their score sheet at the Ralston Arena when Alex Welhouse scored the first two points for the Mavericks.  After tieing it up the Mavericks caught fire from behind the arc, hitting – shots on their next four possessions to claim  a 14-5 lead.  After the hot start the Mavericks really cooled off and Northern Ilinois cut into the lead, tieing it at 18-18.  The Mavericks struggled to regain the good form and never gave up the lead in the first half, but only led 33-32 at the break.

Early in the second half Northern Illinois took  a 36-33 lead and things started to look a bit shaky. Fortunately the Mavericks really seemed to put it all together at this point and their veteran leaders started to make plays. Karhoff, Carter, and Welhouse scored the next 15 points for the Mavericks as they rallied for a 48-38 lead just over five minutes into the 2nd half.

Northern Illinois had one last run in them and cut the lead back to 48-47 over the next two minutes. A Jacques Coleman three put the Mavs back up four and started the Mavericks on a 13-3 run to put the lead over double digits.  The teams would trade baskets down the stretch, the lead never dipping below seven as the Mavericks eventually pulled away to a 16 point lead before a three in the closing seconds gave us the final 77-64 margin.

It was Over When: Northern Illinois had a possession with 1:40 left and trailing by 11. While that lead was a lot to overcome they weren’t truly out of it until they missed that shot and Alex Welhouse hit two FTs on the other end to give the Mavericks a 73-60 lead with 1:17 left.

Player of the Game: I’m going to give this one to CJ Carter. There were several Mavericks who made cases for this today but CJ Carter was probably the most important. He played the most minutes on the team (34), shot a respectable 3-7 from the field, earned a ton of FTs (going 10-14), had five assists and had three steals. He did turn the ball over give times, but some of those were drives into the paint where he just didn’t seem to have any options when he went to pass the ball. He was a force on defense and offensively was able to create opportunities for himself and teammates. He’s going to be a major focal point, if not the major focal point, of this team for the next three years.

Season Total:
CJ Carter (1)

Stat Leaders: CJ Carter led the Mavericks in points with 16 followed by Alex Welhouse with 13 and John Karhoff and Justin Simmons with 12 points. John Karhoff led Omaha with six rebounds followed by Matt Hagerbaumer with five. CJ Carter had five assists and was the only Maverick with more than two. He was also the only one with more than one steal, taking it away three times.

Leading the Team Season Total

Points:
CJ Carter (1)

Rebounds:
John Karhoff (1)

Assists:
CJ Carter (1)

Steals:
CJ Carter (1)

Player Ratings (Positionally Adjusted Win Score): 
Marcus Tyus – 1.674
Matt Hagerbaumer – 1.495
Alex Welhouse – 1.329
Jacques Coleman – 0.947
Simon Krych – 0.822
C.J. Carter – 0.780
Alex Phillips – 0.651
John Karhoff – 0.645
Caleb Steffensmeier – 0.271
Koang Doluony – 0.116
Tyler Egli – 0.000
Justin Simmons – (-0.260)

Marucs Tyus did some good things in his few minutes. He put up seven points on five shots and grabbed a rebound and a steal; all in just seven minutes. Matt Hagerbaumer as well did a great job in the few minutes he had. His five rebounds were just one less than John Karhoff’s despite getting 17 less minutes. Will be interesting to see how Hagerbuamer is used as the season goes along, he’s always been a great rebounder off the bench.

Koang Doluony put up a rather empty stat sheet over 20 minutes. This isn’t always a sign of bad play, some guys just don’t do things that are so easily quantifiable. Doluony had three points on two shots, two rebounds, two turnovers, a steal and three fouls in his 20 minutes. At the very least he isn’t taking a lot of shots… as was the problem on Friday night for Justin Simmons.  He scored in double figures and had a good night in his first start, but scoring 12 points on 13 shots isn’t all that impressive.

Season Total:
Marcus Tyus – 1.674
Matt Hagerbaumer – 1.495
Alex Welhouse – 1.329
Jacques Coleman – 0.947
Simon Krych – 0.822
C.J. Carter – 0.780
Alex Phillips – 0.651
John Karhoff – 0.645
Caleb Steffensmeier – 0.271
Koang Doluony – 0.116
Tyler Egli – 0.000
Justin Simmons – (-0.260)

Team Ratings: This game had 77 possessions, above average for UNO last year and much faster than the last meeting before the two teams. The Mavericks have to be thrilled with their defensive performance as they only gave up 0.84 points per possession, by far the best defensive performance of any D1 game so far. Offensively they scored 1.00 point per possession and that is a bit below where they played at times last year. Hopefully his indicates room to grow this year.

The eFG% was not great at 52.9%, a decrease from the 59.8% it was against Northern Illinois last year. The turnover rate was also concerning as the Mavericks turned it over on 23.% of possessions. They only had four games with a worse rate than that last year.

Rebounding wise the Mavericks were decent on the offensive glass grabbing 23.3% of the available boards but struggled defensively as they only grabbed 65.6% of the available rebounds.

Omaha got assists on 41.7% of their made baskets, not a great number and something that will probably need to improve. They scored on 44.9% of their possessions which is a really good number, it shows they weren’t overly reliant on the 3-pt shot (only went 6-17). Finally the Mavericks had a FT Production rating of 45.1 which is really really good. Mavericks did a great job getting to the line and nearly took more shots from the FT line than inside the arc.  If UNO had shot their FTs a little better in the 1st half the game might never have been in question.

Possessions: 77
Offensive Points per Possession : 100
Defensive Points per Possession : 84
eFG%: 52.9%
Turnover Rate: 23.5%
Offensive Rebounding: 23.3%
Defensive Rebounding: 65.6%
A/B%: 41.7%
Floor%: 44.9%
FT Prod: 45.1

3 stats that tell the tale of the game: 

1) Defensive Rebounding% – Want to know why Northern Illinois was still hanging in the game despite 23 turnovers? One big reason would be that they grabbed 11 of the 32 available offensive rebounds. UNO will need to do a better job of grabbing missed shots as they gave up a lot of second chance opportunities.

2) FTs – Both teams shot a lot of FTs (30 for Northern Illinois, 31 for Omaha), but Omaha shot much better hitting 74% of their FTs to just 57% for Northern Illinois. Had the Huskies matched the Mavericks shooting percentage they would have been within 8 points.

3) Pace – I really do think on this occasion the pace played a role. Northern Illinois did not play a game last year with as many possessions as the game on Friday night had. In basketball the more possessions there are, the faster the pace. Some of the high number of possessions was due to both teams turning the ball over, but the game was back and forth up and down the court all night.  This style of play favored the Mavericks and showed Omaha was in control of the tempo.

Response to 3 things to watch:

1) CJ’s play at the point – For a first game I think CJ did a great job. He was aggressive and I don’t think we saw any signs that he won’t be scoring in the 15 point rage on average this year. He did commit five turnovers but we are going to see that out of a guard who is driving the lane a lot. Caleb Steffensmeier and Jacques Coleman each took turns playing PG during stretches of the game as CJ showed his versatility in shifting to the off-guard position. There was one stretch in the first half in particular where the offense really seemed to be out of sorts and Caleb Steffensmeier was in. It seemed almost like he was brought in to calm the offense down and make sure possessions were handled well. In the second half that problem never cropped up and we saw less of Steffensmeier. Oh and CJ’s dunk in the second half? WOW. Guy has serious hops for being 6 feet tall.

2.) Defense – I already said some good things about them earlier and I’ll repeat again, 0.84 points per possession given up! If the Mavericks had been more efficient on the defensive glass that number would have been even lower. It was a good sign of defensive development.

3.) Newcomers/Rotation – Koang Doluony had a good start but was very quiet the rest of the way. Justin Simmons was much more noticeable but also took a few too many shots and will need to mold his game into the team’s system and avoid bad shots. Marcus Tyus came off the bench in the 2nd half to shed his redshirt and had a good debut. He seems like he the potential to be a big scorer for the Mavericks, will be interesting to see his role as the season goes on. Alex Phillips came on and immediately made himself known hitting two quick 3’s and a jumper. After that he was most noticeable for fouling out. Simon Krych played just four minutes and didn’t do much of note.

It’s hard to know much about the rotation from one game but I think we learned a few things. For starters it was interesting to see Jacques Coleman come in at PG before Caleb Steffensmeier.  Steffensmeier played a large role in the 1st half though and ended up with more total minutes (14-12). We’ll have to see where this goes throughout the year. It’s also important to note that Carter stayed in a lot while one of these two was running the point.  Both Alex Phillips and Marcus Tyus seem to fit the picture of athletic guards who can score off the bench. I think the Mavericks have a lot of weapons at the guard spots and hopefully enough depth that if someone struggles there are others who can pick up the slack.  Among the forwards I think things were a little less promising. Krych didn’t play much and the Mavericks went small a lot. There really are some nice lineups the Mavericks can use featuring Carter, Welhouse, Karhoff and two other guards. I think Matt Hagerbaumer looked impressive and hope to see him get more minutes in the next few games. His rebounding ability compliments Karhoff’s offensive ability well and I’d like to see some of the duo playing together if UNO is going to be playing bigger teams. It does provide some problems to UNO’s style though on the offensive side of the court.

Prediction Response: I was off by justtt a few points predicting a nine point win and seeing a 14 pointer. I was surprised with how well Omaha’s defense played.

Upcoming Opponent: Saint Mary (Kan.) on Sunday night. This one could be ugly… the Spires are coming off back-to-back losses on Friday and Saturday.

Linkage:

Omavs.com recap

NIUHuskies.com recap

Omaha.com recap

Omavs.com video highlights (embedded on this page)

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