Maverick Maniac's Musings

February 28, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Women’s Basketball – Game #27 Preview – South Dakota

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Previews,Women's Basketball — Jon Green @ 12:00 pm

Omaha Women's Basketball Preview - South Dakota - 2-28-13

Live Stats
Live Video ($8 – Me on the call!)
Live Audio (Free – South Dakota Feed – RJ Pattison)

After a disappointing finish at North Dakota State denied Omaha a comeback win the Mavericks head back to the Sapp Fieldhouse to try and rebound in their final two home games. First up is a home game against South Dakota who knocked the Mavericks off 62-57 in Vermillion in late December. Omaha’s last win against the Coyotes was March 1st, 2006, 57-56 in the quarterfinal round of the NCC tournament at the Sapp Fieldhouse. JJ Smith was fouled shooting a three down two points with one second left in the game and hit all three FTs to get the win.

South Dakota
South Dakota is sitting in 3rd in the Summit League at 9-6 in the league and has that 62-57 win over Omaha in December. In that loss Omaha shot poorly (35%) and struggled to limit South Dakota’s offensive rebounds (14 of the available 34 – 41%). The Mavericks couldn’t get Paige Frauendorfer going as she scored a season low four points on 1-13 shooting. Carolyn Blair-Mobley stepped up with 17 points and eight rebounds while Casse Vaughn chipped in 15 points off the bench.

But this is a different Maverick team than it was two months ago. Back then we felt Omaha was a real good shooting team and Omaha had put up some nice offensive performances. Since then Omaha’s only scored 65 points or more once in league play after scoring over 65 six times in their non-conference start and the Mavericks have shot under 40% in ten of their 14 league games. We thought Omaha was a pretty good three-point shooting team back then as they hit at least six 3FG in seven of their first 11 games. Starting with that South Dakota game Omaha hasn’t topped five again.

Casse Vaughn was a major part of Omaha’s offense early on as she had scored in double figures four times in the first 11 games and was averaging nine points per game. She scored 15 at South Dakota and another 17 over the next three games but since then has only added 12 points over the last 11 games being held scoreless in seven of those games. She played 217 minutes by the end of the IUPUI game on January 10th and only 50 minutes in the 11 games since then.

Instead it’s Taijhe Kelly that Omaha has relied on inside. Kelly had only played more than twenty minutes on three occasions in the first 11 games and would only do it twice more in the next seven. In the last month though it’s been a heavy reliance on Kelly as she’s played at least 22 minutes in each game and averaged 28.1 minutes in the previous eight games. She’s done her part on the offensive end scoring at least six points in five games and reaching double figures three times. She’s grabbed six or more boards on all but one occasion while averaging 8.9 per game. And of course perhaps most importantly she has blocked five or more shots in five straight games and averaged 4.25 over this eight game stretch.

I’ve put a lot of my analysis at the end of this post in the “Three things to watch” section and so I’ll put most of my thoughts there. One more on Omaha for this area; Jamie Nash has missed her last nine 3FGs and hasn’t shot better than 50% from the field since going 4-7 against North Dakota State on January 24th. She’s shot just 7-40 over the last four games (17.5%) and if she really breaks out of the shooting slump it could be such a boost to the Mavericks that it propels them to two wins to end the year.

South Dakota by the way could finish the year with the #2, #3, or #4 seed in the Summit League tournament. If IUPUI wins their 4 PM home game on Thursday vs. Oakland they will be the #2 seed. South Dakota needs to win at Omaha or have Fort Wayne lose at Western Illinois on Thursday or IUPUI on Saturday to get the #3 seed. Being in line to play IUPUI in the semifinals would be a big boost as the Coyotes are 2-0 with two dominant wins against the Jaguars this year.

Top Five Wins, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
127 – @ IUPUI (76-56)
127 – IUPUI (56-39)
211 – (Neutral) Seton Hall (71-55)
235 – Omaha (62-57)
246 – @ Western Illinois (63-60)

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
296 – @ Oakland (46-59)
285 – @ Kansas City (56-60)
277 – @ Boise State (50-52)
265 – @ Pepperdine (54-70)
263 – North Dakota State (50-57)

Their dominance of IUPUI is the high point of the season so far by far. Omaha is actually their 4th best win by RPI. South Dakota also has a slew of bad road losses, they’ve lost six road games at teams with RPIs lower than Omaha.

Omaha vs. South Dakota – Summit League Only Stats

Team FG% 3FG% FT% O-PPP D-PPP TO Rt A/TO A/B% Def FG% Def 3FG% Opp TO Rt Reb% Off Reb% Def Reb% BPG
Omaha 37.4% 30.8% 75.3% 0.843 0.858 22.5 0.711 50.8% 37.9% 31.7% 23.0 51.8% 33.2% 69.2% 3.9
USD 43.1% 30.3% 71.2% 0.941 0.848 20.1 1.158 63.2% 36.5% 27.7% 21.0 52.1% 32.6% 71.0% 3.3
Favors.. USD Omaha Omaha USD USD USD USD USD USD USD Omaha USD Omaha USD Omaha

Green = 1,2, or 3 in the Summit League. Red = 7,8, or 9 in the Summit League. Bold indicates the better team in each category.

South Dakota has been better in conference in most categories. The few that Omaha is better in are 3FG% (barely), FT%, Opposing turnover rate, offensive rebound % and blocks.

Expected Starters
South Dakota
Guard – Alexis Yackley – 5-7 – Senior – Averaging 3.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 steals.
Guard – Tempestt Wilson – 5-10 – Senior – Averaging 13.0 points, and 3.8 rebounds.
Guard – Nicole Seekamp – 5-10 – Sophomore – Averaging 13.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.5 steals.
Forward – Lisa Loeffler – 6-1 – Sophomore – Averaging 5.3 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Forward – Polly Harrington – 5-11 – Junior – Averaging 11.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks.

Omaha
Point Guard – Jamie Nash – 5-4 – Senior – Averaging 9.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 3.2 steals.
Guard – Carly Cator – 5-9 – Senior – Averaging 2.0 points and 2.7 rebounds.
Guard – Paige Frauendorfer – 6-0 – Senior – Averaging 14.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.
Guard – Carolyn Blair-Mobley – 5-10 – Senior – Averaging 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists.
Center – Taijhe Kelly – 6-4 – Sophomore – Averaging 5.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.

Three Things to Watch
1) Omaha’s Shooting – The Mavericks have shot below 40% in four straight games and six of their last seven. Not surprisingly, Omaha’s lost all but one of those games. Omaha’s been under 40% in all 10 of their losses and only won twice while shooting under 40%. Those two games were at Kansas City where they hit 11 threes and vs. Western Illinois where they had an offensive rebounding edge and held Western Illinois to 34% shooting. So Omaha’s not likely to win this game unless they can hit shots (duh?). That doesn’t bode well considering South Dakota leads the Summit in FG% against (36.5% in conference games) and Omaha shot 35% against them in the first meeting and 23% in last year’s meeting in Vermillion.

2.) Interior Defense – In conference games South Dakota shoots 47.7% on twos and just 30.3% on threes. They are the rare team whose eFG% (counts 3FG’s as worth an extra point in FG% calculation) is worse than their 2FG% at 47.1%. In other words if South Dakota shot at their conference percentages they would score more points taking all their shots from two than even messing with threes. Omaha on the other hand shoots 42.7% from two and 32.2% from three. At those rates you’d be better off shooting only threes. Of course in practice it’s a horrible idea to just give up on one of the two types of shots, but it just shows how much better South Dakota is inside than out.

So this is going to put pressure on Omaha’s defense inside. In the first matchup South Dakota attacked the baseline areas and hit a lot of what I thought were tough shots. They managed to shoot 53% on 2FGs as Nicole Seekamp went 6-11, Lisa Loeffler went 7-11, and Polly Harrington went 5-9. Omaha has to find a way to limit those opportunities and force South Dakota to take other looks. South Dakota was just 3-13 from three in the first matchup but they didn’t need to hit many of course. If Taijhe Kelly can bring some big energy, block five shots, and make them think twice about even more that could be a difference maker. She played just 21 minutes and had two blocks in the first game. Interesting stat of the night – Taijhe Kelly blocks approximately 10% of opposition two point FGs while on the court. That’s 3rd in the country and slightly ahead of Brittney Griner in 5th.

3.) Offensive Glass – Omaha has won each of the 10 times they have had their best offensive rebounding percentages. Omaha has also won six of their 10 conference games when they were above average on the offensive glass. They haven’t won a single game when they were below average in both offensive and defensive rebounding during conference play. Obviously rebounding is important for Omaha but I think with as poor as they have shot at times it takes on an added importance on the offensive end. Omaha grabs a good amount of offensive rebounds and they often present themselves as big scoring opportunities for Paige Frauendorfer (70 offensive rebounds), Taijhe Kelly (60 offensive rebounds), and Carolyn Blair-Mobley (56 offensive rebounds).

Prediction
I’ll take Omaha to start the home stand off on the right foot with a 57-53 win. Really hoping Omaha can hit some early baskets to get a good start to the game and be shooting in rhythm.

Massey – Omaha wins 57-55
RealTimeRPI – Omaha wins 64-54

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