Maverick Maniac's Musings

January 11, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game 19 Recap – IUPUI

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Recaps — Jon Green @ 12:34 am

Video Highlights – Just click the picture!

This was as entertaining a game as we’ve seen all year and by far the best Maverick offensive performance against a Division 1 team. This was vintage Omaha under Derrin Hansen with the Mavericks moving quickly and finding baskets from weapons all over the court. Omaha wasn’t great defensively, although compared to the rest of the season they were. Omaha was led by 20 from John Karhoff, 19 from CJ Carter, 16 from Justin Simmons, and 15 from Alex Phillips as they shot 62% from the field in a 90-79 win.

IUPUI has had their problems with injuries this year, didn’t have leading scorer John Hart, and they only got 13 minutes out of PJ Huber and seven minutes out of Mitchell Patton. Still they were competitive tonight and did enough offensively to win, they just couldn’t overcome that Maverick scoring barrage. Omaha fell behind early before taking a 12-9 lead after 6 minutes and leading by 12 at one point in the first half. IUPUI fought back hard and for a while in the 2nd half it seemed like Omaha was going to suffer a crushing home loss that they looked likely to win at one point. Instead after a brief slump Omaha picked their offense right back up and rolled down the stretch to pull away. Omaha shot 73% from the field in the second half and went 3-5 from 3. They also got to the FT line 16 times in the half, hitting 13 of them.

Omaha is really turning into a beautiful shooting team as of late. Their last four games are their 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 7th best shooting performances of the year and Omaha has shot over 50% in three straight games for the first time since a four game stretch from 1/8/11 to 1/19/11 in the MIAA. That was also the last year Omaha shot better than they did tonight (62.3%) in a game. Back then Omaha shot 62.7% against an outmanned Lincoln University team. This was much more impressive than that as the competition has grown considerably.

Omaha has had a 20+ point scorer in four straight games as well, though Justin Simmons ended his three game streak with “only” 16 tonight. They really are developing a nice set of scorers who can put up points when they heat up. I’m excited to see where they go from here as Omaha can stay in some games they might not otherwise if they knock down shots. Defense is going to be iffy in most games, but hot shooting can erase a multitude of mistakes.

Omaha grabbed 21 assists tonight, a season high, and had 10 steals (their fourth time with 10+ in the last five games and their fifth straight with seven or more). If anything is to be criticized tonight it’s the turnovers (18) and the fact that IUPUI did shoot 48% from the field and 46% from 3 (hitting 10). Omaha also was inconsistent at times during the game and had a few chances to really pull away they couldn’t take advantage that left this one in question until the final minute.

IUPUI was led by 22 points and 10 rebounds from Donovan Gibbs. The junior forward was 10-13 as apparently a lot of defense didn’t occur down low tonight. Sean Esposito added 20 for the Jaguars but needed 16 shots and four FTs to get there, while Jordan Shanklin chipped in 15 on 5-9 shooting. The Jaguars seemed to be a good matchup for Omaha tonight. The two teams both have some good athleticism and not an overwhelming amount of size. It would be interesting to see this matchup again with IUPUI at full strength. Still you can’t change who you play and you have to take advantage of opportunities. Omaha did that tonight to get to 5-14 on the season.

We talked before the season about how great getting 10 wins would be for Omaha. To get five more the most likely path might be to beat Cal State Bakersfield and Chicago State in the non-conference, beat Kansas City in Kansas City (on the 26th) and beat IUPUI in Indianapolis on February 9th. Then they’d need just one more. Perhaps a nice matchup at home in the Bracket Buster game or a home upset of Fort Worth or Oakland. I wouldn’t rule out upsets at South Dakota or at home vs. Western Illinois, but those are uphill battles for sure.

It was Over When: Caleb Steffensmeier lost the ball in the lane up three with less than a minute left, dove on the ground to grab it and rolled it across the paint to Alex Welhouse in the low post. Welhouse laid the ball in to give the Mavericks a five point lead and IUPUI missed their next shot, rebounded by Steffensmeier, to seal it.

Player of the Game: John Karhoff grabs this for the 4th time this year. Karhoff was 7-9 from the field and 6-6 from the FT line to lead Omaha with 20 points. He also grabbed five rebounds (one behind Phillips and Simmons), had five assists (team high), two steals (team high) and three blocks (all that Omaha had). Nice all around game tonight out of Karhoff and well deserving of this award.

Season Total:
Justin Simmons (5)
Matt Hagerbaumer (4)
John Karhoff (4)
Alex Welhouse (3)
Alex Phillips (1)
Caleb Steffensmeier (1)
CJ Carter (1)

Player Ratings (Positionally Adjusted Win Score):
Alex Phillips – 3.906
C.J. Carter – 2.640
John Karhoff – 2.151
Caleb Steffensmeier – 2.066
Justin Simmons – 1.736
Alex Welhouse – 0.122
Matt Hagerbaumer – 0.000
Marcus Tyus – (-0.781)

Wow those numbers look good!  Phillips, Carter, Karhoff, Steffensmeier and Simmons were all outstanding and made major contributions. The other three didn’t provide much for Omaha and somehow Marcus Tyus went 1-7 while his teammates went 32-46. Yes he missed six shots while they missed 14. Interesting stat. Throw Welhouse in there too and they missed ten shots to ten by their teammates. Stuff happens.

Season Total:
Matt Hagerbaumer – 1.363
Justin Simmons – 1.154
Alex Welhouse – 0.858
Marcus Tyus – 0.802
Caleb Steffensmeier – 0.747
C.J. Carter – 0.646
Alex Phillips – 0.612
Koang Doluony – 0.380
John Karhoff – 0.426
Jacques Coleman – 0.000
Simon Krych – (-0.092)
Tyler Egli – (-0.433)

Things haven’t changed much though Welhouse is back to #3 and Phillips and Karhoff’s numbers moved up big time.

Team Ratings: I mentioned on twitter that this reminded me of Maverick teams of old. Great shooting, quick pace, decent to good rebounding, and a lot of excitement. Think you can see that in some of these numbers. Easily the best offensive game of the year (previous high was 1.09) and the defensive number is actually the worst of their wins (Chicago State 2nd best at 0.99). While the women have lost all four of their four worst offensive games the men have won all five of their five best defensive games. Interesting. Shows you what the more constant thing is for each team.

Possessions: 76
Offensive Points per Possession : 1.19
Defensive Points per Possession : 1.07
eFG%: 67.9%
Turnover Rate: 23.7%
Offensive Rebounding: 23.8%
Defensive Rebounding: 74.2%
A/B%: 63.6%
Floor%: 53.5%
FT Prod: 34.0

Response to 3 things to watch:

1) Inside Opportunity – IUPUI had been beaten in the paint by an average of 34.0-23.1 and tonight was a beat down… Omaha 54 IUPUI 34. That huge margin really helped propel Omaha to the win. Karhoff was a big reason for that with 14 points in the paint, but an even bigger reason was Omaha’s ability to drive to the basket this evening. Look at the point totals for the Mavericks in the paint tonight. 34 of the 54 came from guards.
Carter – 14
Karhoff – 14
Simmons – 12
Phillips – 8
Welhouse – 6

2.) Omaha’s Shooting – How’s 62% from the field (73% in the 2nd half) do for you? With that kind of shooting Omaha will make a lot of teams sweat late in games.

3.) Marcus Tyus – Marcus was down tonight, only 1-7 from the field, but he did contribute 5-6 FT shooting. Thankfully the starters picked him up tonight as the Mavericks got 77 of the 90 points from the starting five. It was interesting to notice that Alex Phillips played more than Marcus Tyus tonight. Was that because Simmons had some foul trouble and played only 27 minutes (giving those extra minutes to Phillips) or was that the reason Tyus got as many minutes as he did (taking Simmons extra minutes)? Inconsistency is not surprising for the freshman and hopefully he’ll shoot better on Saturday. It is good to see too that CJ Carter was over 30 minutes and really shot the ball well (8-9). He’s coming back strong from his back injury.

Prediction Response: I will proudly take credit for having the most points for Omaha tonight though I undershot them by 4. Impressive win though most predictions did not figure Hart would be missing.

Upcoming Opponent: Next up for Omaha is Western Illinois 13-3 (5-0) on Saturday. That game will be interesting as Western Illinois plays a very slow style and has been playing very well this year. If Omaha can stay with them on Saturday it’s a great sign for the progress this team has made in the last week and a half.

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