Maverick Maniac's Musings

January 28, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game #23 Recap – Kansas City

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Recaps — Jon Green @ 10:00 am

If Thursday was a big win for the men’s basketball team, what was Saturday? Enormous seems like a big enough word for me and I think it fits the bill well. Omaha won back-to-back games for the first time this season. Omaha won back-to-back D1 games for the first time in school history. Omaha won back-to-back games on the road for the first time since 2011, when they won at Lincoln University and NW Missouri State in consecutive games (1/29 and 2/3). It’s been a long time coming…

Additionally Omaha did not win this game through great offense. Omaha only shot 48%, only scored 0.92 points per possessions, and won with 67 points! The 59 points Omaha allowed were their least against a D1 team so far and the least against a non-NAIA team since… that NW Missouri State game on 2/3/11 (56). That game was basically the last time Omaha won a game based on defense only, not on outscoring their opposition.

This win ended a stretch of ten straight games where Omaha scored 70+ in each game. Of course they gave up 70+ in every one of those games except one (Kansas City in the first matchup scoring 65). That 64-56 win over NW Missouri State ended a streak of 12 straight. I mention these similarities because that game was noteworthy to me back in 2011. It showed that Omaha knew how to win games more than one way, and that’s what I’m starting to see with this team.

Omaha won this game because Kansas City couldn’t keep up in the shooting battle (41%). Omaha’s defense held them in check in the second half (7-24) and that made the comeback from down 41-30 at the break to happen. Additionally Omaha got a lot of FT attempts (14-19) and took full advantage in the 2nd half when they went 9-10. A true grind it out win for the Mavericks who lost the battle on the offensive glass and turned it over 19 times. It’s nice to know Omaha can win when they play well, but it’s even better knowing they can fight through some struggles and come out on top.

Justin Simmons continues to be Omaha’s go to player. In this game he was pretty efficient going 9-17 for 21 points. He’s exactly what Omaha needs on this team, a guy who is willing to take shots, lots of them, and seems to be getting very reliable at scoring in high figures. He’s averaged 20.5 points over the last 11 games, phenomenal stuff. He’s even turning into a very dangerous three pointer shooter at 38%. His development gives me a lot of hope for next year.

John Karhoff had a good offensive game inside scoring 16 while CJ Carter added 11 and led the team with six rebounds. Kansas City did get a big 13 rebound 12 point game out of Brad Reid but held Estan Tyler and Thomas Staton to just 20 points combined.

Now it’s all too late to salvage any kind of postseason (as slim a chance as that was before the year), but several things are still achievable. First of all Omaha can have a 10-win season. The last time Omaha didn’t have 10 wins was 2000-01. 10 wins isn’t a ton but nine of them would be over D1 schools, a good achievement in Omaha’s second year. Omaha’s also sitting in 6th place in the Summit League right now. South Dakota is a half game ahead at 4-5 and Fort Wayne is a half game back at 3-6. If Omaha could beat Fort Wayne this week and win at IUPUI and finish 6-10 they would have a real chance at being 6th. That’d be quite a good season for a team picked to finish last and is somewhere to grow from.

Another thing Omaha can gain is confidence heading into next year. They lose Alex Welhouse, Tyler Egli, and Jacques Coleman. Welhouse will be a big loss but Egli and Coleman only play a few minutes a game. Omaha will have a senior laden team next year (five players) but will be building towards 2015-2016 (Marcus Tyus’ senior year) when they will be eligible for the NCAA Tournament. Every year that Omaha competes well in the Summit League and shows they can play at this level will do huge things for recruiting. With a great arena, a fun style, and a competitive team, Derrin Hansen can really build a winner in Omaha. I truly believe that.

The thing is… Omaha needs to start playing this way consistently. Any team can play outstanding for a game or two, the real good ones do that every night. Omaha has a golden opportunity for a three game winning streak with Fort Wayne team coming to town. The Mastodons had a good weekend losing to Western Illinois by three and winning by one over IUPUI, but they’ve lost all four of their Summit League road games and have only a road win over Dartmouth this year. They beat Omaha by 18 in Fort Wayne but remember last year Omaha challenged them in the Fieldhouse.

I’m sure excited for Thursday’s game. This team could be turning the corner and they have six of their remaining eight games at home. Time to start showing an improved product for the home crowd.

It was Over When: Alex Welhouse hit two FTs to push the lead to six with 21 seconds left. Once Kansas City struck out on the other end it was over.

Player of the Game: Justin Simmons gets it tonight. Efficient (9-17 from the field for 21 points). Strong on the glass (five rebounds). Good in the other categories (two assists, three steals, and a block).

Season Total:
Justin Simmons (6)
John Karhoff (5)
Matt Hagerbaumer (4)
Alex Welhouse (4)
Alex Phillips (1)
Caleb Steffensmeier (1)
CJ Carter (1)

Player Ratings (Positionally Adjusted Win Score):
Marcus Tyus – 2.604
Justin Simmons – 1.894
C.J. Carter – 1.789
Matt Hagerbaumer – 1.744
Alex Phillips – 0.888
John Karhoff – 0.864
Jacques Coleman – 0.631
Alex Welhouse – 0.548
Tyler Egli – 0.000
Caleb Steffensmeier – (-1.061)

Caleb’s stat line… 5-7 from the field including 3-4 from three. 1-2 from the FT line. five rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and yes four fouls… all in 18 minutes. Quite the busy night for him.

Season Total:
Matt Hagerbaumer – 1.363
Justin Simmons – 1.127
Alex Welhouse – 0.999
Marcus Tyus – 0.880
Caleb Steffensmeier – 0.754
Alex Phillips – 0.693
C.J. Carter – 0.675
John Karhoff – 0.551
Koang Doluony – 0.380
Jacques Coleman – 0.180
Simon Krych – (-0.092)
Tyler Egli – (-0.206)

Team Ratings: I still can’t believe these numbers… Omaha won despite only scoring 0.92 ppp? It was their 17th best performance offensively of the year…. Omaha’s won their six best defensive performances of the year (this being the best). The other win was the South Dakota game, Omaha’s best offensive night.

Omaha shot well, turned it over a lot, didn’t rebound great and yet still won. Awesome. They did get to the FT line a lot, important in close low scoring games.

Possessions: 73
Offensive Points per Possession : 0.92
Defensive Points per Possession : 0.80
eFG%: 51.0%
Turnover Rate: 26.0%
Offensive Rebounding: 25.0%
Defensive Rebounding: 62.9%
A/B%: 44.0%
Floor%: 45.1%
FT Prod: 26.9

Response to 3 things to watch:
1) Can we get some defense? – Apparently we can! What a performance.

2.) Battle inside – Chatmon only played eight minutes but in his place Brad Reid beasted to the tune of 12 points and 13 rebounds. He got the better of Karhoff but John did a lot of good as well with 16 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals.

3.) Let down game – Omaha kind of did come out bad. You can blame it on what you want but Omaha trailed 6-0, and eventually 37-24. Did they come out a little unprepared for a tough game, I’d think not, but you could see that here if you want. Glad they responded in the second half.

Prediction Response: Didn’t think there was any way this game was played with such a low total. Thought Omaha could win it, but not like this. Very proud of the performance.

Upcoming Opponent: Omaha hosts Fort Wayne on Thursday. It’s going to be a tough game with the Mastodons 3-0 against Omaha in the last two years, but I think after this weekend there’s no doubting Omaha’s ability to win it!

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