Maverick Maniac's Musings

March 2, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game #31 Preview–North Dakota State

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Previews — Jon Green @ 11:30 am

Omaha Men's Basketball Preview - North Dakota State - 3-2-13
Live Stats

Live Video ($8? and No Audio?)
Live Audio (Gary Sharp – 1620 AM)

South Dakota State proved to be too steep a challenge for the Mavericks on Thursday and now Omaha gets to try their luck against North Dakota State, another of the top teams in the Summit.

North Dakota State
The Bison haven’t been close to losing in two previous matchups with Omaha over the last couple years. Could today be different? I think it just might. Taylor Braun, North Dakota State’s best player, is still easing his way back from a broken bone in his foot. He played on Tuesday but was not his usual self and did not score. He had 26 points the last time these two teams met, so not having him at full strength would be big.

Additionally the Bison have struggled some down the stretch. They lost at Oakland, only won at Fort Wayne by four, lost at home to Western Illinois, and lost at Akron during the last seven games. Still this is a team that defeated South Dakota by 19 and Kansas City by 37 without Braun. It’s not like they don’t have other talented players.

They do however tend to play a slower pace and strong defense. They haven’t given up 70 points at Minnesota on December 11th and if Omaha wins this one it will take some great shooting since North Dakota State’s offense is usually very efficient.

Omaha will look to Justin Simmons to lead the way and while each game you wonder if he’s finally going to get shut down my somebody he seems to find a way to push for 20 points. He scored 14 in the first matchup and has hit 20 11 times this year now and done it in seven of the last nine games. Incredible stuff.

It’s also the final game for Alex Welhouse, Jacques Coleman, and Tyler Egli. Those three have been great members of the program and it’d be great to see them go out with a strong finale.

Top Five Wins, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
73 – South Dakota State (65-62)
112 – Oakland (73-65)
149 – @ Towson (65-48)
163 – @ Morehead State (69-57)
163 – Morehead State (69-49)

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
147 – @ Green Bay (59-74)
124 – Western Illinois (36-49)
124 – @ Western Illinois (42-50)
112 – @ Oakland (63-66)
73 – @ South Dakota State (53-69)

While they don’t have a lot of great wins, this is a team with a very good resume when it comes to avoiding bad losses. Perfect against teams sub 150. Omaha would be by far the worst loss of the season.

Omaha vs. North Dakota State – Conference 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 48.6% 37.1% 69.1% 1.016 1.146 18.6 1.000 47.4% 50.1% 40.4% 17.0 45.4% 25.4% 64.8% 3.2
NDSU 49.2% 37.1% 64.2% 1.125 0.888 15.6 1.478 53.5% 39.8% 36.4% 18.0 55.8% 30.4% 80.0% 3.5
Favors.. NDSU Tied Omaha NDSU NDSU NDSU NDSU NDSU NDSU NDSU NDSU NDSU NDSU NDSU NDSU

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.

This is what a mismatch looks like on paper… Omaha is tied in 3FG% and a better FT shooting team. These are the best two shooting teams in the Summit League and both are top 40 in the country.

Expected Starters
North Dakota State
Guard – Lawrence Alexander – 6-4 – Sophomore – Averaging 10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists.
Guard – Kory Brown – 6-4 – Freshman – Averaging 5.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.
Guard – Taylor Braun – 6-7 – Junior – Averaging 14.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists.
Forward – TrayVonn Wright – 6-7 – Junior – Averaging 9.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks.
Forward – Marshall Bjorklund – 6-8 – Junior – Averaging 11.5 points and 6.1 rebounds.

Omaha
Point Guard – CJ Carter – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 9.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
Guard – Alex Phillips – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 8.3 points and 2.5 rebounds.
Guard – Justin Simmons – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 16.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 – Junior –  Averaging 12.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Three Things to Watch
1) Pace – This matchup is between the Summit’s fastest team (Omaha at 72.6 possessions per game – 16th in the country) and one of the Summit’s slowest (North Dakota State at 61.7 is 337th in the country). It will be interesting to see where this one settles out as the Western Illinois games were definitely slower than normal for Omaha but weren’t all that low (71 and 70). The first matchup with North Dakota State on the other hand is in the bottom four at 66. The faster this game is the better for Omaha.

2.) Battle Inside  – North Dakota State has a fantastic front court of Marshall Bjorklund and TrayVonn Wright. Bjorklund is incredibly effective scoring 11.5 per game while shooting 67%. He also is good on the glass grabbing 6.1 per game. Wright grabs another 5.9 and adds 9.6 points and can step outside and hit the occasional three at 29%. He’s a presence on the defensive end blocking 1.7 per game. Omaha’s John Karhoff and Alex Welhouse will be tasked with slowing these two down tonight and it will definitely be a big challenge.

In the first matchup Bjorklund was 6-6 scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds. Wright had 14 points as well but the two played only a combined 49 minutes in the blowout. Welhouse had just two points and one rebound in 18 minutes while Karhoff had six points and two rebounds in 25 minutes. They’ll need to be a lot better if Omaha wants to stay in this one today.

3.) Pride – This game will be a really tough one for Omaha to win. These two teams have met twice since Omaha moved to D1 and the results were a 98-65 beating last year and a 95-51 beating this year. I don’t think it’ll be quite so ugly at the Ralston Arena and Omaha is playing better, but there’s a significant chance this game is a 20 point one late. Hopefully Omaha can at least keep it close and end the year competitively.

Prediction
North Dakota State is really good. Taylor Braun not being at full strength will help, but I’m still taking the Bison 85-70.

Massey – North Dakota State wins 76-64
RealTimeRPI – North Dakota State wins 69-54

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2012-13 Omaha Women’s Basketball – Game #28 Preview – Kansas City

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Previews,Women's Basketball — Jon Green @ 11:00 am

Omaha Women's Basketball Preview - Kansas City - 3-2-13

Live Stats
Live Video ($8 – Me on the call!)
Live Audio (Free – Kansas City Feed – T.J. Jackson) 

It’s a four game losing streak for the Mavericks now. The roughest stretch of the year has led to this… one last game to get one last win. The Mavericks will be determined to pick it up today. If Omaha does lose and fall to 6-10 they’d lose the tiebreaker to Kansas City since the Roos have a victory over South Dakota. Since Omaha already loses tiebreakers to Western Illinois and North Dakota State (who they are tied with at 6-9) the Mavericks would be in 8th place. Not where they want to finish. So this is… a must win!

Kansas City
The Roos have had a real up and down years. The big problem for them has been the injury bug which limited first-team All-Summit selection Kim Nezianya to just seven games in November before her season ended. Without her much of the weight has been placed on Eilise O’Connor, the only player averaging more than 5.7 points. O’Connor has tried to do it all, and is averaging 17.5 points per game, but shoots just 35% and turns it over nearly four times per game.

This is definitely a team that has a lot of role players but perhaps not enough leaders. Four players average 3.5 to 5 rebounds. Four players average 4.4 to 5.7 points. The problem is that they don’t have someone to rely on to go grab eight rebounds a game or anyone else to help O’Connnor in scoring.

In the matchup in December Omaha got a huge 21 points from Ericka House who went 7-15 from three. Omaha relied on those outside shots to pull away in the second half as the Mavericks shot just 31% from twos for the game. They went 11-27 from three and had double-doubles from both Frauendorfer (11 points and 13 rebounds) and Carolyn Blair-Mobley (14 points and 12 rebounds). Jamie Nash even had a great game with seven points, five rebounds, six assists, five steals, and just two turnovers. If Omaha can get those kind of performances I think they’ll be in good shape.

Kansas City can moved up to the #6 seed, but it requires a very particular scenario… Kansas City needs to beat Omaha to get to 6-10. Then they need to be tied with Western Illinois (requiring them to lose at home to Oakland). Finally they need North Dakota State to not be involved in the tiebreaker since Kansas City comes out last in a 3-team tiebreaker. So they need North Dakota State to shock South Dakota State in Fargo. It’s an unlikely scenario so most likely Kansas City will be playing IUPUI next Saturday in Sioux Falls.

Top Five Wins, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
202 – Saint Louis (56-53)
205 – South Dakota (60-56)
242 – @ Western Illinois (51-50)
257 – Fort Wayne (77-59)
261 – North Dakota State (62-60)

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
295 – Oakland (46-55)
266 – (Neutral) Boise State (64-71)
261 – @ North Dakota State (48-59)
257 – @ Fort Wayne (42-49)
249 – @ New Mexico State (50-75)

Some decent wins as Omaha probably doesn’t have as good of a best win. Certainly no pushover and with a win at Omaha they’d be at 6-10. 6-10 Isn’t great but it’s also just two results flipped from a .500 season.

Omaha vs. Kansas City – 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 37.0% 29.7% 75.3% 0.830 0.857 22.2 0.721 51.1% 37.6% 31.4% 23.0 51.0% 33.1% 68.1% 4.0
UMKC 39.5% 32.5% 79.0% 0.796 0.906 26.7 0.510 48.5% 37.7% 28.6% 19.0 44.2% 22.8% 66.0% 3.4
Favors.. UMKC UMKC UMKC Omaha Omaha Omaha Omaha Omaha Omaha UMKC Omaha Omaha Omaha Omaha 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.

While Omaha isn’t among the league leaders in many categories they are better than Kansas City in most. The Roos are better in the shooting categories, highlighted by shooting 79% from the FT line in conference, and defensive 3FG%, but that is it!

Expected Starters
Kansas City
Guard – Eilise O’Connor – 5-9 – Junior – Averaging 17.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.5 steals.
Guard – Emile Blakesley – 5-8 – Senior – Averaging 3.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.5 steals.
Guard – Lexis Hardiek – 5-7 – Sophomore – Averaging 4.4 points and 1.0 rebound.
Forward – Taylor Leathers – 6-0 – Freshman – Averaging 5.6 points and 3.5 rebounds.
Forward – Hailey Houser – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 5.7 points and 4.1 rebounds.

Omaha
Point Guard – Jamie Nash – 5-4 – Senior – Averaging 9.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 3.2 steals.
Guard – Carly Cator – 5-9 – Senior – Averaging 2.1 points and 2.6 rebounds.
Guard – Paige Frauendorfer – 6-0 – Senior – Averaging 14.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.
Guard – Carolyn Blair-Mobley – 5-10 – Senior – Averaging 11.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.2 assists.
Center – Taijhe Kelly – 6-4 – Sophomore – Averaging 4.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.

Three Things to Watch
1) Race to 50? – The Mavericks have hit 50 in four of their last seven games, and Kansas City has hit it in just three of their last seven games. It’s quite possible that the first team to 50 will win this game. Omaha scored 39 in their last game while Kansas City scored just 33. I hope we aren’t watching a battle for 40 today.

2.) Rebounding Advantage – This would seem to be something Omaha could really exploit. The Mavericks grab 33.1% of their own misses, not spectacular but a solid number. Kansas City allows opponents to grab 34% of their misses. That would seem to be a good situation for Omaha and could make up for shooting woes that Omaha has been showing. On the other end Omaha isn’t a great defensive rebounding team grabbing only 68.1% of the available defensive rebounds but Kansas City is a very bad offensive rebounding team as their opponents usually get 77.2% of the available rebounds. Remember that the defensive rebounding problem really cost Omaha on Thursday against South Dakota. If they can lock that down today they could be well on their way to a win.

3.) Senior Day – It’s the final game for Carly Cator, Carolyn Blair-Mobley, Jamie Nash, and Paige Frauendorfer. The emotions will be running high but I know that first and foremost they want to end their career with ONE.LAST.WIN. The effort today should be fantastic and since Kansas City is headed to Sioux Falls they do have slightly less to play for.

Prediction
It has to end with a win today. It just has to. I know Omaha will fight for it, not sure it’ll happen, but I can’t pick against them in this one when I know they can win. 51-45.

Massey – Omaha wins 57-49
RealTimeRPI – Omaha wins 68-52

March 1, 2013

2013 Omaha Baseball – Game #1 Preview – UTSA

Filed under: Baseball,Omaha Mavericks,Previews — Jon Green @ 10:00 am

Friday, March 1st, 2013 – 6 PM
Wolff Stadium (San Antonio, Texas)
Live Stats
Live Audio – UTSA Feed – Free?

Omaha will get their season off to a start on Friday. It’s a lot later than some schools have started but for the Mavericks it is just right and will start a season where they’ll play 56 games by March 18th. The longest stretch of days off is a couple of 4 day of stretches from April 22nd through the 25th and from April 29th through May 2nd. And that’s assuming that nothing from earlier in the year gets rained out and games get scheduled during that time. There’s been talk of UNO and Nebraska getting together if the schools have rainouts early in the year and Nebraska only has Kansas State on the 23rd of April scheduled for those two breaks right now…. so that may be when that happens. Either way, I’m not real concerned about the Mavericks waiting until March 1st to start when the season will be relentless after this.

Omaha was picked to finish sixth (out of six) in the Summit League this year, though just a single vote behind Fort Wayne. Although I made it to a few baseball games last year I would not remotely contend that I can provide you any sort of good preview of this year’s team. Instead I can just say that Omaha brings back four starters. Outfielder Alex Mortenson is back for his sophomore year after starting 43 games and hitting .292 with 19 runs, 4 home runs, and 26 RBIs. Junior infielder Caleb Palensky started all 48 games and hit .250 last year with 24 runs and 17 RBIs. Senior infielder Tyler Splichal hit .302 last year with four runs and four RBIs before getting hurt after 14 games while senior outfielder Connor McCrite hit .193 with five runs and five RBIs in 30 starts.

The Mavericks return a slew of pitchers this year. Senior Matt Tew started the most posting a 1-6 record in 13 starts with a 5.60 ERA. Sophomore Zach Williamson started four games and appeared in eight others while posting a 4.65 ERA and a 2-2 record. Senior Derek Landis started four games, appeared in nine others, and went 1-3 with a 5.02 ERA while senior lefty Cory Buckley went 1-2 in three starts with a 5.62 ERA. Omaha’s best lefty by ERA last year was Cole Volkers who started three games, appeared in seven others, and went 1-2 with a 3.16 ERA. Finally junior Josh Bullock is back after going 0-4 with a 6.12 ERA in 15 appearances and five starts.

Are any of those guys going to start? Well yes of course and Mortensen, Palensky, and Splichal seem to be locks to start to me. Omaha does have 13 freshman on the roster and two other sophomores we haven’t talked about so there will be plenty of competition from new players and other veterans. Omaha’s got a 35-man roster right now so there will be a lot of players angling for some time.

As the season goes on we’ll get a better feel for how competitive Omaha will be. They had some good moments last year and with softball off to such a great start I know that I may be expecting more out of them than is realistic, but let’s hope they can live up to it. Excitingly the first home game is just a week away, a 1 PM game against North Dakota at Westside on Friday the 8th.

Matchup

Omaha Category UTSA
N/A Record 6-3
N/A Batting Average .356
N/A HRs 5
N/A Slugging % .495
N/A On Base % .431
N/A Stolen Bases 12
N/A Runs/Game 8.78
N/A ERA 3.69
N/A Runs Allowed/Game 5.44
N/A Shutouts 0
N/A Strikeouts/Game 6.89
N/A Opp. Batting Average .302
N/A Fielding % .953

Team Info
The Roadrunners are starting their first season in the WAC after playing in the Southland last year. UTSA was 22-32 last year, 11-21 in the Southland and was picked to finish 8th in this year’s WAC. The Roadrunners are led by Daniel Rockett, an honorable mention All-Southland selection last year, who is hitting .514 with 12 RBIs already. RJ Perucki, third-team All-Southland last year, already has 17 RBIs and is hitting .425. The top pitcher for the Roadrunners is Nolan Trabanino who is 3-0 this year with a 1.29 ERA. Michael Kraft has started the first games of the two weekend series so far but is 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA and has only pitched seven innings so far.

Previous Meetings
This is the first meeting between the two schools.

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

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game #30 Preview–South Dakota State

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Previews — Jon Green @ 11:30 am

Omaha Men's Basketball Preview - South Dakota State - 2-28-13
Live Stats

Live Video ($8? and No Audio?)
Live Audio (Gary Sharp – 1620 AM)

Omaha is on their 2nd three game winning streak of the year and just like the last one they’ll look to get to four against one of the top teams in the Summit League. Last time it was Oakland that shut down the Mavericks and this time they’ll deal with Summit League leader South Dakota State

South Dakota State
Omaha heads into this game knowing that South Dakota State will be celebrating a Summit League championship if they win the game. That’s nothing to be ashamed of though, it’s not like Omaha’s been responsible for letting them get to that position and only three teams have topped the Jackrabbits this year. Anyways to prevent the Jackrabbits from winning the title on Omaha’s court the Mavericks will have to give them their fourth loss in the final six games of the season.

South Dakota State had gone on an eight game run after losing at South Dakota but that streak was ended when they lost at Oakland on February 9th. They came home to beat IUPUI and Western Illinois but ventured back on to the road last week for non-conference games at Cal State Bakersfield and Murray State. They lost both of those games and in the process had Nate Wolters injured in the loss to Murray State. He’s expected to play but has been limited in practice this week.

The Jackrabbits are one of those teams that does it all. They are a good FG shooting team, 15th in the country at 3FG% and FT%. They don’t turn it over much (10.2 per game, 7th in the country). They score 1.088 points per possession, 18th in the country, and that’s up to 1.159 in conference play. Defensively they are not quite as adapt but still rank 3rd in conference in FG%. They also are 4th in rebound percentage. There’s not a lot to pick on in this resume.

Omaha only lost the first matchup 78-63, but the game was over at the half when South Dakota State led 56-28. John Karhoff had 16 points while CJ Carter and Justin Simmons had 10 each. Nate Wolters did play 29 minutes and was just 5-16 from the field. If Omaha sees him have a similar performance that could give the Mavericks a shot.

The Jackrabbits shot 48% from the field and weren’t dominant on the glass thanks to Matt Hagerbaumer’s 11 rebounds. If South Dakota has a similar shooting day and isn’t dominant on the glass it will at least give the Mavericks a puncher’s chance.

And that punch might be Justin Simmons. Remember that the first meeting between these two teams came on December 1st. While Simmons did start with some good games he had only averaged 12.4 points up to that point. Starting with the Kansas City came on December 30th Simmons has averaged 20.4 points and become the go to scorer on the team. He’s been slowed a few times but most of the time teams can’t quite find a way to totally shut him down. It’s been very helpful that he’s hit 18 of his last 34 3FGs during Omaha’s six of eight winning stretch. He’s been even better at home as he’s hit 11 of 18 at home in his last four games (61%). If he heats up tomorrow night I hope he gets a lot of looks to try to propel the Mavericks to an upset.

Top Five Wins, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
3 – @ New Mexico (70-65)
86 – North Dakota State (69-53)
100 – Tennessee State (78-71)
106 – @ Montana (68-67)
115 – Oakland (81-74)

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
322 – @ Hofstra (63-66)
260 – @ Cal State Bakersfield (78-79)
255 – @ South Dakota (71-74)
115 – @ Oakland (83-88)
94 – @ Murray State (62-73)

South Dakota State is undefeated at home but does have nine road losses. Of course five of those are to top 100 RPI teams and they have won at RPI #3 New Mexico and two other teams with RPIs above Omaha (Montana and Western Illinois).

Omaha vs. South Dakota State – Conference 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 49.0% 37.3% 68.9% 1.019 1.136 19.3 0.965 47.2% 49.5% 40.1% 17.0 46.3% 26.4% 65.3% 3.3
SDSU 47.0% 41.9% 77.9% 1.159 0.980 13.4 1.615 53.4% 44.0% 35.9% 17.0 51.9% 30.1% 74.0% 1.6
Favors.. Omaha SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU Tied SDSU SDSU SDSU 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.

Omaha doesn’t top South Dakota State at much, just FG% and blocks. The two teams are tied in opposing turnover rates at 17.

Expected Starters
South Dakota State
Guard – Nate Wolters – 6-4 – Senior – Averaging 22.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.8 steals.
Guard – Brayden Carlson – 6-4 – Junior – Averaging 8.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
Guard – Chad White – 6-6 – Junior – Averaging 9.7 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Forward – Tony Fiegen – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 9.6 points and 5.4 rebounds.
Forward – Jordan Dykstra – 6-8 – Junior – Averaging 12.3 points and 7.6 rebounds.

Omaha
Point Guard – CJ Carter – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 9.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
Guard – Alex Phillips – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 8.4 points and 2.6 rebounds.
Guard – Justin Simmons – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 – Junior –  Averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Three Things to Watch
1) Nate Wolters’ Health – We know that Nate Wolters injured his right hip at Murray State and has missed practice time this week. He’s expected to play but if it’s not a close game I’m sure he won’t play much. It will be interesting to see how effective he can be. He was noticeably affected by it Saturday but he’s had a while to heal up.

2.) Shooting – Omaha is a very good shooting team, 34th in the country for the year, and South Dakota State is 50th. The Jackrabbits are also 15th in three point shooting. For Omaha to stay in this game they’re going to need to be red hot from the field and hope that South Dakota State is cold.

3.) Crowd – Omaha is planning a blackout and I’d expect a big crowd on Thursday night. The crowd has been very supportive over the last few games and with such a big name in town I expect some buzz to the atmosphere and it might really pick the team up.

This is where I lament how Omaha’s women’s game is at the same time at the Sapp Fieldhouse. I’m so glad to be doing the women’s game as I’ve really enjoyed this team. That said… with how well the men are playing and how good Nate Wolters is… it’s really tough to miss this one! Blame the Summit League… they are the ones who after a full season of having the men’s and women’s teams play mirror schedules gave Omaha, Western Illinois, and IUPUI home games on both the men’s and women’s side this weekend.

Prediction
I think Omaha is really going to turn up for this one, but I’ll predict a close South Dakota State win, 81-75.

Massey – South Dakota State wins 85-74
RealTimeRPI – South Dakota State wins 74-70

2013 Omaha Softball–Games #15-#19 Preview–Colorado State Classic

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Previews,Softball — Jon Green @ 11:00 am

Omaha’s not traveling south this weekend. Instead Omaha heads West to the Colorado State Classic where they’ll face Bradley, Brown (twice), Colorado State, and Washington. The Mavericks will play twice on Friday, once on Saturday, and twice on Sunday.

There are live stats this weekend! See the Colorado State Classic page for full information.

Omaha vs. Bradley

Matchup

Omaha Category Bradley
13-1 Record 8-6
.306 Batting Average .327
18 HRs 7
.516 Slugging % .456
.408 On Base % .399
21 Stolen Bases 19
5.93 Runs/Game 6.14
1.18 ERA 4.45
1.5 Runs Allowed/Game 5.14
5 Shutouts 1
4.64 Strikeouts/Game 4.50
.183 Opp. Batting Avg. .277
.975 Fielding % .928

Team Info
Bradley was picked to finish seventh in the MVC, the same place they finished last year after a 21-31 season. Bradley played Western Illinois last year losing 5-4. The Braves are led by pitcher Madeline Lynch-Crumrine who has been First-Team All-MVC the last two seasons. She’s been off to a somewhat rough start this year going 5-3 with a 2.95 ERA so far. With these teams matching up in the tournament opener I hope we get to see a matchup of her and Dana Elsasser. Their best hitter so far has been Alyson Clemente who is hitting .524 with two home runs and 16 RBIs. Clemente was named the MVC Player of the Week after she went 10-14 with nine runs and nine RBIs last weekend.

Previous Meetings
Omaha leads the all-time series 2-0. They faced Bradley in the 1989 Northern Iowa Tournament and the 1991 Northern Iowa Tournament.

Date Home/Away Result Score
4/15/1989 Neutral (Cedar Falls, Iowa) W 7-0
4/14/1991 Neutral (Cedar Falls, Iowa) W 3-2

Omaha vs. Brown

Matchup

Omaha Category Brown
13-1 Record N/A
.306 Batting Average N/A
18 HRs N/A
.516 Slugging % N/A
.408 On Base % N/A
21 Stolen Bases N/A
5.93 Runs/Game N/A
1.18 ERA N/A
1.5 Runs Allowed/Game N/A
5 Shutouts N/A
4.64 Strikeouts/Game N/A
.183 Opp. Batting Avg. N/A
.975 Fielding % N/A

Team Info
Hard to believe a team hasn’t their started their season yet but that’s the case for Brown. It’s not unusual for Ivy League schools though as only Dartmouth has gotten their seasons started before this upcoming weekend. Brown was 10-27 last year going 7-13 in the Ivy League. They did not face any Summit League opposition. Brown does boost last year’s Ivy co-player of the year, Stephanie Thompson. Thompson hit .477 last year, 2nd best in the country, and had nine home runs, and 27 RBIs. Thompson, a senior, is 2nd in school history in home runs, batting average, and doubles. Brown’s top returning pitcher is Jessica Cherness who went 7-12 last year with a 5.10 ERA.

Previous Meetings
Omaha leads the all-time series 1-0, winning the only game between the schools 12-0 in Orlando, Florida at the Rebel Spring Games in 1994.

Date Home/Away Result Score
3/25/1994 Neutral (Orlando, Florida) W 12-0

Omaha vs. Colorado State

Matchup

Omaha Category Colorado State
13-1 Record 6-9
.306 Batting Average .262
18 HRs 7
.516 Slugging % .382
.408 On Base % .345
21 Stolen Bases 6
5.93 Runs/Game 4.53
1.18 ERA 4.69
1.5 Runs Allowed/Game 6.4
5 Shutouts 0
4.64 Strikeouts/Game 4.93
.183 Opp. Batting Avg. .306
.975 Fielding % .921

Team Info
Colorado State may be 6-9 but they’ve already played some tough competition dropping a game to #23 Georgia 5-4 last weekend and losing 11-0 to #24 Oregon State later that day. They ended the weekend losing 4-2 to a Syracuse team getting some national attention so don’t let the six game losing streak fool you. On the other hand they lost 4-1 to an Oklahoma State team that Omaha’s beaten and had to go nine innings to beat Kansas City 17-16. The Rams were 28-22 last year going 8-4, tied for 2nd, in the Mountain West while Head Coach Jen Fisher was named coach of the year. They will lean on Kacie McCarthy, last year’s Mountain West Pitcher of the Year. McCarthy is 4-4 this year with a 3.54 ERA. Chelsea Biglow (.196 avg, eight RBIs), Ashlie Ortega (.365 avg, 14 RBIs), and Emily Pohl (.408 obp, three RBIs) are all returning First Team All-MWC selections. Omaha and Colorado State will be both team’s first game of Saturday so a McCarthy-Elsasser matchup could be in the cards.

Previous Meetings
Colorado State leads the all-time series 1-0 as they came to Omaha and beat the Mavericks 7-6 in 1981.

Date Home/Away Result Score
4/17/1981 Home L 6-7

Omaha vs. Washington

Matchup
*These Statistics do not include a game at Seattle on Wednesday night

Omaha Category #18 Washington
13-1 Record 10-5
.306 Batting Average .334
18 HRs 11
.516 Slugging % .478
.408 On Base % .430
21 Stolen Bases 14
5.93 Runs/Game 5.80
1.18 ERA 1.69
1.5 Runs Allowed/Game 1.87
5 Shutouts 4
4.64 Strikeouts/Game 6.73
.183 Opp. Batting Avg. .190
.975 Fielding % .971

Team Info
Washington won the National Championship in 2009 and came in 3rd in 2010. The last two years they have “only” made the Super Regionals going 39-19 last year and just 7-16 in a tough Pac 12 conference. They finished the year ranked 14th in the country and did not play any Summit League competition. They beat #23 Georgia last weekend 14-2! Washington was picked 4th in this year’s Pac-12 and has a couple of strong pitchers. Junior Kaitlin Inglesby was a First Team All Pac-12 selection last year and is 2-2 on the year with a 1.83 ERA. Junior pitcher Bryana Walker is 7-2 on the year with a 1.21 ERA and was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week after going 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA including a shutout of then #23 Florida State. The Huskies’ best batter has been Hooch Fagaly who is hitting .439 with 10 RBIs and 12 runs. Inglesby is not just a pitcher, she also is hitting .372 this year with 18 RBIs.

Previous Meetings
This is the first meeting between the two schools.

February 24, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Track and Field – Event #9 Preview – Summit League Indoor Championships

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Previews,Track and Field — Jon Green @ 2:12 pm

The Summit League Championship has already began with the Pentathlon starting this morning. Sami Spenner is going to win that, you can put it in the bank.

What else might Omaha win? Here’s all their top 5 in the Summit League performances from this year…
60m – Maja Mihalinec has top time of 7.52… better than Deborah John of North Dakota State who has a 7.65 in 2nd.
200m – Maja Mihalinec is 2nd in this one with a 24.45. Antoinette Goodman of North Dakota State has run a 24.21.
800m – Katarina Zarudnaya’s 2:12.23 is 3rd. Paige Stratioti of North Dakota State has the top time of 2:09.26.
Mile – Amanda Vorthmann ran a 4:56.57, 4th best behind Tera Potts who ran a 4:55.02 for South Dakota State.
3000m – Amanda Vorthmann’s 9:47.90 is 4th again behind Heidi Peterson of North Dakota State who has a 9:45.27.
5000m – Vorthmann once again near the top. Her 17:22.68 is 3rd best this season with Brittni Hutton of Oakland having run a 16:45.31.
60m Hurdles – Sami Spenner has a 8.66 this year, 3rd behind Deborah John of North Dakota State who has a 8.42.
4x400m Relay – Omaha’s team has been 4th with a 3:52.42, North Dakota State the best at 3:45.74.
Distance Medley – Omaha is again 4th, this time in 13:03.80. UMKC the top team with a 12:16.65.
High Jump – Sami Spenner’s 1.72m is only 3rd with Kathie-Lee Laidley’s 1.70m in 4th. Megan Glisar of South Dakota has cleared 1.79m.
Long Jump – Omaha should see success here. Sami Spenner leads at 6.23m with 2nd place all the way back at 5.88m. Kathie-Lee Laidley is 3rd with 5.84m and Denneil Shaw is 5th with 5.78m.
Triple Jump – Sami Spenner is first here as well with a 12.99m. Second place is all the way back at 12.27m while Denneil Shaw is 5th with a 11.68m.
Pentathlon – Sami Spenner put up a 4126 earlier this year, 2nd place is only 3371.

I predict Sami Spenner wins three events and Omaha wins five in total.

If anyone wants to see the schedule it is here with the heat sheets here.  This is the link to live results.

Here’s who appears to be competing for UNO… though just because they are listen on the heat sheets doesn’t mean they for sure will compete.
Sami Spenner – Pentathlon, 60m Hurdles, 4x400m Relay, High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump
Maja Mihalinec – 60m Dash, 200m
Terri Armstrong – 60m Dash, 200m, 4x400m Relay
Kathie-Lee Laidley – High Jump, 60m Hurdles, Long Jump
Katarina Zarudnaya – 800m, 4x400m Relay
Lauren Psota – 800m, 4x400m Relay
Nicole Behm – 1 Mile, Distance Medley Relay
Amanda Vorthmann – 1 Mile, 3000m, 5000m
Ashley Kildow – 1 Mile, Distance Medley Relay
Kristin Rogers – 5000m
Kristin Carmichael – 5000m
Kayla Fenske – 5000m
MiKayla Peck – 5000m
Karo Garcia – 5000m
Jaqueline Mezick – Distance Medley Relay
Lydia Martin – Distance Medley Relay
Jessica Ripp – Long Jump, Triple Jump
Denneil Shaw – Long Jump, Triple Jump
Elizabeth Thompson – Shot Put, Weight Throw
Amanda Alexander – Pentathlon
And a quick schedule of the start times of the events… There should be some live stats available at this link.

Sunday
9:30 AM – Pentathlon – Sami Spenner, Amanda Alexander
      10 AM – 60m Dash
      10:30 AM – High Jump
      1 PM – Shot Put
      1:45 PM – Long Jump
      2:45 PM – 800m
3 PM – 60m Dash – Prelims – Maja Mihalinec, Terri Armstrong
3 PM – Weight Throw – Finals – Elizabeth Thompson
3:30 PM – 60m Hurdles – Prelims – Kathie-Lee Laidley, Sami Spenner
4 PM – 800m – Semi Finals – Katarina Zarudnaya, Lauren Psota
5:05 PM – 60m Dash – Semi Finals
5:35 PM – 60m Hurdles – Semi Finals
6:05 PM – 3000m – Finals – Amanda Vorthmann
6:15 PM – Long Jump – Finals – Sami Spenner, Jessica Ripp, Kathie-Lee Laidley, Denneil Shaw
6:35 PM – 200m – Semi Finals – Maja Mihalinec, Terri Armstrong
7:05 PM – Distance Medley Relay – Finals – Nicole Behm, Jaqueline Mezick, Lydia Martin, Ashley Kildow

Monday
11:30 AM – Triple Jump – Finals – Jessica Ripp, Sami Spenner, Denneil Shaw
12 PM – Shot Put – Finals – Elizabeth Thompson
1 PM – Mile – Finals – Amanda Vorthmann, Ashley Kildow, Nicole Behm
2 PM – High Jump – Finals – Sami Spenner, Kathie-Lee Laidley
2 PM – 60m Dash – Finals
2:20 PM – 60m Hurdles – Finals
2:40 PM – 800m – Finals
2:50 PM – 200m – Finals
3 PM – 5000m – Finals – Kristin Rogers, Kristin Carmichael, Kayla Fenske, MiKayla Peck, Karo Garcia, Amanda Vorthmann
3:45 PM – 4x400m Relay – Finals – Terri Armstrong, Lauren Psota, Sami Spenner, Katarina Zarudnaya

February 23, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Women’s Basketball – Game #26 Preview – North Dakota State

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Previews,Women's Basketball — Jon Green @ 6:20 pm

Omaha Women's Basketball Preview - North Dakota State - 2-23-13

Live Stats
Live Video ($10)
Live Audio (Free – NDSU feed)

While the last game was one of those you don’t expect to win, this one is a game you can come out and expect to have a good chance to win. Omaha has their last chance to pick up another road win this year and needs this win to keep hopes alive of a winning conference season.

North Dakota State
These two teams met at the Sapp Fieldhouse last month and Omaha rode a season high 25 from Paige Frauendorfer and a great team rebounding night to a 61-52 win. Jamie Nash had her nearly triple-double with 11 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds.

North Dakota State plays a fairly slow pace, a little faster than Omaha, and are stronger on offensive than defense. They like to shoot the three, but they aren’t particularly good at it. Their main scorers are Katie Birkel and Danielle DeGagne who both had double figures against Omaha the first time.

The Bison have been hurt by injuries and the retirement of Hannah Linz to a recurrence of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma has been a problem for them. She was the only main three point shooter over 30%.

North Dakota State has lost six of their last eight games, the only wins at South Dakota (What?) and at home to Oakland. This is a must win for the Mavericks.

One special factor for Omaha could be Taijhe Kelly. When she is efficient inside she is a difference maker unlike any Omaha has. In the first matchup with North Dakota State she had six rebounds and four blocks but went 0-4 from the field in 23 minutes. Staying out of foul trouble is a key for her but she has blocked five or more in four straight games and it would seem that could be doable again tonight.

If Omaha can get some other players that Frauendorfer going tonight I think the Mavericks take this one. If most of the team struggles to hit shots again and Frauendorfer is shooting 18 times to try and keep things going it could get iffy.

Top Five Wins, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
97 – Harvard (81-72)
134 – IUPUI (71-68)
224 – Milwaukee (60-48)
232 – @ South Dakota (57-50)
248 – (Neutral) Prairie View A&M (61-56)

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
285 – @ Kansas City (60-62)
280 – @ Boise State (61-80)
277 – Drake (50-62)
261 – Fort Wayne (58-70)
261 – @ Fort Wayne (58-65)

They have had some good wins at home. Definitely can sneak up on teams.

Omaha vs. North Dakota State – 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 37.6% 32.4% 75.3% 0.843 0.854 23.1 0.695 51.3% 37.9% 30.8% 23.0 52.3% 33.4% 70.0% 3.7
NDSU 39.2% 26.1% 74.0% 0.883 0.956 17.3 1.025 52.7% 43.9% 36.1% 20.0 49.6% 28.4% 70.4% 2.9
Favors.. NDSU Omaha Omaha NDSU Omaha NDSU NDSU NDSU Omaha Omaha Omaha Omaha Omaha NDSU 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.

Generally North Dakota State is better than Omaha on offense. The only place that isn’t true is in 3-point shooting where the Bison are particularly poor and FT%. Omaha is also a stronger offensive rebounding team. Omaha is stronger on the defensive side with the only exception being the defensive rebounding side where North Dakota State has been narrowly better.

Expected Starters
North Dakota State
Guard – Dani DeGagne – 5-10 – Senior – Averaging 13.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.1 steals.
Guard – Katie Birkel – 5-8 – Senior – Averaging 14.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.7 steals.
Guard – Jamie Van Kirk – 5-9 – Sophomore – Averaging 8.1 points and 3.7 rebounds.
Forward – Liz Keena – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 4.6 points and 2.4 rebounds.
Forward – Marena Whittle – 5-11 – Freshman – Averaging 6.4 points and 7.2 rebounds.

Omaha
Point Guard – Jamie Nash – 5-4 – Senior – Averaging 9.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 3.2 steals.
Guard – Carly Cator – 5-9 – Senior – Averaging 2.1 points and 2.8 rebounds.
Guard – Paige Frauendorfer – 6-0 – Senior – Averaging 14.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.6 steals.
Guard – Carolyn Blair-Mobley – 5-10 – Senior – Averaging 11.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
Center – Taijhe Kelly – 6-4 – Sophomore – Averaging 4.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks.

Three Things to Watch
1) North Dakota State’s Shooting – The Bison shoot just 25.6% from three for the year and aren’t all that much better at 41.3% inside the arc. North Dakota State still takes 28% of their shots from three. Compare that to Omaha who takes just 26% of their shots from deep and shoots 33%. If Omaha can force North Dakota State into difficult threes that might really hurt their ability to stay in the game. In the first matchup North Dakota State took 19 threes (30% of their shots) and hit 26% of them.

2.) Someone Help Paige… – Paige Frauendorfer has scored 44 points in the last two games, that’s a full 44% of Omaha’s points. Someone else has got to step up and help her out as Omaha is going to find defense focusing on her. She’s only taken 33% of Omaha’s shots over the last two games so it’s not like other people aren’t getting the looks… they just have to hit them.

3.) Turnovers – Omaha has been doing a good job at this the last couple weeks but it’s worth noting that in the last matchup Omaha had 23 turnovers to 13 for the Bison. That was one of the reasons the game was within nine despite Omaha dominating other areas.

Prediction
I’ll take Omaha to sweep the season series in a tight game, 58-51.

Massey – Omaha wins 62-57
RealTimeRPI – Omaha wins 61-60

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game #29 Preview–North Dakota

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Previews — Jon Green @ 12:26 pm

Omaha Men's Basketball Preview - North Dakota - 2-23-13Live Stats
Live Video ($8? and No Audio?)
Live Audio (Gary Sharp – 1620 AM)

Omaha has 10 wins locked up thanks to their victory over Chicago State on Tuesday. Today they get their final non-conference game of the year and definitely their best chance left to get a 10th D1 win.

North Dakota
When these two teams last met it was at the NCC Championship in Mankato, Minnesota on March 9, 2008. Omaha was the better team that year but North Dakota had upset South Dakota and advanced to the NCC championship game while Omaha knocked off Minnesota State-Mankato to get there. The Mavericks swept the season series (84-69 in Omaha, 96-88 in Grand Forks) and were victorious again in the conference title game 75-68. My favorite part of the story… the attendance (in the final NCC game) was 128.

Fast forward a few years and North Dakota has developed into a solid D1 program in the Big Sky. They spent the last three years in the Great West conference going 19-15 in conference and finishing with winning records overall the last two seasons. They won the conference tournament the last two years to move into the postseason losing 77-67 to Air Force in the CIT in 2011 and 70-64 to Drake in 2012. North Dakota has had a few upsets over the last couple years, perhaps most notably South Dakota State last year.

This year the… Nickname less school (yes they are no longer the Fighting Sioux are don’t have a replacement name yet) has been a strong competitor in their first season in the Big Sky. They had a slow start to the season going 2-8 before Christmas with the only two wins over non-D1 competition. After that they really got going winning 10 of their last 16 games as they got into the conference portion of their schedule.

They have only won one non-conference D1 game this year (56-53 at home vs. Bowling Green) and the Big Sky is not particularly strong, 28th out of 31 conferences in the RealTimeRPI conference RPI standings. For comparison the Summit League is 18th.

UND doesn’t play quite as quick as UNO but does have a few good scorers in Troy Huff, 18.6 points per game, and Aaron Anderson, 13.6 points per game. Those two along with Jamal Webb, 9.4 points per game, create the strong backcourt for North Dakota and combine to play 97.1 minutes a game and score 63% of North Dakota’s points. If Josh Schuler is healthy he plays a full 28.6 minutes and chips in another 9 points. Those four combine for 77% of their points. This is not a hugely deep team.

Omaha’s got a fighting chance in this one and I expect we’ll see a nice paced game with both team’s guards taking a lot of the offense and putting on a show.

Top Five Wins, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
244 – Bowling Green (56-63)
254 – @ Northern Arizona (81-79)
286 – Sacramento State (49-48)
294 – @ Northern Colorado (64-62)
322 – @ Montana State (82-73)

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
298 – @ Southern Utah (67-79)
294 – Northern Colorado (66-75)
292 – Kansas City (70-73)
286 – @ Sacramento State (58-67)
254 – Northern Arizona (72-74)

Chicago State has played a fairly grueling schedule but they do have some bad losses as well. Their only really good win was at Toledo on the last day of December.

Omaha vs. North Dakota – Overall 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 46.9% 36.4% 69.3% 0.981 1.138 20.2 0.882 50.0% 48.8% 37.9% 17.0 46.0% 25.2% 63.3% 2.7
UND 41.8% 33.1% 72.5% 0.947 1.021 18.8 0.881 48.0% 44.6% 34.5% 19.0 49.4% 29.8% 67.9% 3.4
Favors.. Omaha Omaha UND Omaha UND UND Omaha Omaha UND UND UND UND UND UND UND

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.

Omaha is a better shooting team and better offensively in general. North Dakota doesn’t turn it over as much and is a better FT shooting team. North Dakota is better in the defensive categories and in rebounding.

Expected Starters
North Dakota
Guard – Aaron Anderson – 5-10 – Junior – Averaging 13.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists.
Guard – Shane Benton – 6-3 – Freshman – Averaging 2.9 points and 1.1 rebounds.
Guard – Jamal Webb – 6-1 – Junior – Averaging 9.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.4 steals.
Forward – Troy Huff – 6-5 – Junior – Averaging 18.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.2 steals.
Center – Mitch Wilmer – 6-11 – Senior – Averaging 5.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks.

Omaha
Point Guard – CJ Carter – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 9.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
Guard – Alex Phillips – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 8.4 points and 2.7 rebounds.
Guard – Justin Simmons – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 16.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 – Junior -  Averaging 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Three Things to Watch
1) Justin Simmons vs. Troy Huff – Two really talented scores in this one. Not at all predicting they will guard each other, but Simmons averages 16.4 and Huff averages 18.6. Huff has scored 20 or more on eight occasions this year (in just 18 games) while Simmons has done it nine times in 28 games. Should be fun to watch.

2.) Injuries – Omaha doesn’t have any to speak of really and hasn’t much all year. North Dakota can’t say the same thing. While the Mavericks have eight players who have played at least 27 of 28 games, North Dakota has just five that have played at least 25 of their 26 games. Brandon Brekke has averaged 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds for North Dakota but has only played in 13 games including missing the last two. Josh Schuler has averaged nine points off the bench but he’s missed the last five games. Wilmer averages 1.3 blocks and Archer adds 1.1 so Omaha will need to be wary of them when they drive inside.

3.) Inside Battle – Two ways to look at this. One is that North Dakota Starts at 6-11 center and boasts three other players in the 6-7/6-8 range that average 15+ minutes per game. That sounds like some inside strength, but consider that one of those other players is Brandon Brekke, who might not play. Jordan Allard averages 3.1 points and 3.5 rebounds. Doug Archer averages 2.6 points and 2.0 rebounds. Even starting center Mitch Wilmer only averages 5.7 points and 4.3 rebounds. Combine all three and we’re only talking 11.4 points and 9.8 rebounds. One would think that perhaps John Karhoff is more talented inside and that between him and Alex Welhouse there is good chance for Omaha to take advantage.

Prediction
It will be fun to see how the two teams seem to compare. North Dakota left for D1 in 2008-09 when the NCC ended, so they are three years ahead of Omaha in terms of transition. Omaha was a better program in their last year together in the NCC though and has grown into D1 quickly. I’ll take the Mavericks 81-74.

RealTimeRPI – Omaha wins 72-67

February 22, 2013

2013 Omaha Softball–Games #11-#15 Preview –Jackson State Tournament

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Previews,Softball — Jon Green @ 10:00 am

Omaha will travel down to Mississippi this weekend as they play five games at the Jackson State Tournament in Jackson, Mississippi. Unlike last weekend though Omaha won’t be facing four opponents. They won’t even play three like they did the opening weekend. No, this weekend they will face just two, the host Jackson State (twice) and Evansville (three times). There will be no live stats available, so just hope they do well and wait for final scores to trickle out. Check UNOSoftball on Twitter and Facebook; whenever the scores are known they’ll be updated there.

Omaha faces Evansville at 3 PM Friday, 11 AM Saturday, and 11 AM Sunday. They’ll face Jackson State at 5 PM Friday and 4 PM Saturday. With the struggles that these two programs have had this year I don’t think Omaha will be satisfied with anything less than a 5-0 weekend!

Omaha vs. Evansville

Matchup

Omaha Category Evansville
9-1 Record 0-5
.295 Batting Average .171
14 HRs 1
.508 Slugging % .220
.405 On Base % .226
12 Stolen Bases 2
6 Runs/Game 1.8
1.13 ERA 8.59
1.3 Runs Allowed/Game 6
4 Shutouts 0
4.6 Strikeouts/Game 3.2
.179 Opp. Batting Avg. .339
.985 Fielding % .952

Team Info
Evansville’s top starter is… Annie Moore? Moore leads the team with 10 innings and three starts but she has a 9.90 ERA and has given up 16 hits and 12 runs in those innings. Batters are hitting .340 against her. Taylor Perry has pitched 7.2 innings in four relief appearances this year. Batters are only hitting .267 against Perry. Evansville’s best batters have been Halie Malone (4-8 on the year having started three games), Kendall Kautz (4-14 on the year with 2 RBI) and Kayla Fortner (4-14 on the year with four RBI and their only HR). The team has not looked good so far but four of the five losses last week were to “name programs”, Virginia Tech and Troy. Evansville was 18-37 last year, 8-19 in the MVC. They lost 4-3 to Kansas City last year as well as being swept 8-2 and 3-0 by Western Illinois. Those were their only Summit League matchups. The Aces are picked ninth in this year’s MVC.

Previous Meetings
Omaha leads the all-time series 1-0. The only previous matchup was at the Southern Illinois Tournament in Edwardsville, Illinois in late March 1989. Omaha won 9-1 in that matchup.

Date Home/Away Result Score
3/31/1989 Neutral (Edwardsville, Illinois) W 9-1

Omaha vs. Jackson State

Matchup
Note that these statistics for Jackson State are from only the first seven games

Omaha Category Jackson State
9-1 Record 4-10
.295 Batting Average .255
14 HRs 0
.508 Slugging % .333
.405 On Base % .335
12 Stolen Bases 9
6 Runs/Game 2
1.13 ERA 5.50
1.3 Runs Allowed/Game 6.3
4 Shutouts 1
4.6 Strikeouts/Game 2.7
.179 Opp. Batting Avg. .253
.985 Fielding % .984

Team Info
Jackson State top starter as of a few weeks ago was Breea Jamerson, 1-4 on the year with a 4.10 era. Their top batter was Jasmine Warren who was 8-20 with two RBIs. The Tigers were 32-27 last year going 12-4 in the SWAC and finishing 2nd in the Eastern Division. They went on to finish as runners-up in the conference tournament. They didn’t face any Summit League members last year. Jackson State just split a pair of games with NAIA Belhaven on Tuesday by scores of 3-4 and 6-5.

Previous Meetings
This is the first meeting between the two schools.

February 21, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Women’s Basketball – Game #25 Preview – South Dakota State

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Previews,Women's Basketball — Jon Green @ 6:22 pm

Omaha Women's Basketball Preview - South Dakota State - 2-21-13

Live Stats
Live Video ($5)
Live Audio ($5 and SDSU feed… same purchase as the video)

It feels like a lifetime since Omaha last played. The last game was a loss to IUPUI in the final seconds on February 9th. Now twelve days later Omaha is facing a really tough matchup as they play South Dakota State in Brookings tonight.

South Dakota State
It’s been tough for any Summit League foe to top the Jackrabbits this year. Against 7 of the other 8 teams they own a 12-0 record. The only teams to beat them since November 28th are IUPUI twice and a loss by 10 at #7 Penn State. This will be the toughest game of the year for Omaha.

South Dakota State features a very balanced lineup headline by two main scorers. Megan Waytashek averages 14.4 points and Ashley Eide averages 13.7 points but no other player averages more than 8.4 points. Nine players have played in at least 26 of their 27 games while averaging atleast 11 minutes. No one averages more than 29 minutes.

By contrast of course Omaha features just a few main players and in their last win had only five players make up 89% of their minutes and all of their points.

South Dakota State is a good shooting team who leads the Summit in both 2FG% and 3FG%. Ashley Eide shoots 37% from three while Megan Waytashek shoots 43% from deep.They have a couple more shooters in the low 30% range, but those two are the main threats.

If there’s any weak spot for the Jackrabbits it might be that they aren’t great from the FT line and do turn it over a decent amount. Both of those were factors last week as they lost at IUPUI. South Dakota State went 24-37 from the FT line and had 20 turnovers. They also went 1-17 from three and still only lost by three.

In the first matchup Omaha played with the Jackrabbits for most of the game but had one bad stretch in the first half that really cost them. Omaha was nearly perfect from the FT line, 21-22, which allowed them to stay in the game despite shooting 37% compared to South Dakota State’s 52%. No Jackrabbit had more than 11 points but six players scored between 9 and 11. South Dakota State went 8-20 from there including 3-5 shooting from Rachel Walters who is a 20% shooter from deep if you remove her two really good games of the year.

I don’t think Omaha will win, but an argument could be made that Omaha can be in this game. They definitely didn’t look overwhelmed by South Dakota State in the first matchup and if they can play a full game tonight and the Jackrabbits aren’t sharp, who knows.

Top Five Wins, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
21 – Nebraska (60-55)
49 – @ Georgetown (64-58)
50 – Middle Tennessee State (63-56)
121 – @ Northern Iowa (61-49)
160 – (Neutral) Washington State – 130

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
117 – IUPUI (56-57)
117 – @ IUPUI (67-70)
64 – Marquette (74-77)
57 – @ Central Michigan (62-88)
30 – Creighton (54-63)

Yep… that’s a good resume for a Summit League school.

Omaha vs. South Dakota State – 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 37.9% 33.3% 74.7% 0.846 0.839 23.6 0.697 52.4% 37.2% 29.5% 22.0 52.8% 33.6% 70.5% 3.6
SDSU 44.0% 35.3% 69.0% 0.988 0.803 21.8 1.018 63.0% 37.9% 29.2% 25.0 55.3% 37.2% 74.0% 3.4
Favors.. SDSU SDSU Omaha SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU Omaha SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU 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 State is prettty good. They are not outside the top six in any category I track. Omaha betters them in just three categories: free throw percentage, defensive field goal percentage, and blocks per game.

Expected Starters
South Dakota State
Guard – Gabby Boever – 5-8 – Sophomore – Averaging 6.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.4 steals.
Guard – Ashley Eide – 5-9 – Senior – Averaging 13.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
Forward – Leah Dietel – 6-1 – Senior – Averaging 5.6 points and 5.6 rebounds.
Forward – Hannah Strop – 6-0 – Junior – Averaging 3.5 points and 4.2 rebounds.
Forward – Megan Waytashek – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 14.4 points and 4.2 rebounds.

Omaha
Point Guard – Jamie Nash – 5-4 – Senior – Averaging 10.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 3.1 steals.
Guard – Carly Cator – 5-9 – Senior – Averaging 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds.
Guard – Paige Frauendorfer – 6-0 – Senior – Averaging 14.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.
Guard – Carolyn Blair-Mobley – 5-10 – Senior – Averaging 11.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
Center – Taijhe Kelly – 6-4 – Sophomore – Averaging 5.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.

Three Things to Watch
1) Depth – Omaha’s players will be rested from this nice long break. Perhaps it’ll give them a bit more of a spark as they’ll be playing quite a few more minutes than South Dakota State’s starters.

2.) Turnovers – Omaha struggled to the tune of 21 turnovers in the first matchup with South Dakota State including eight by Jamie Nash. Omaha has to limit those tonight. They can be especially costly on the road as it can play a major part in a game steamrolling out of control. South Dakota State did commit 21 turnovers against Omaha as the Mavericks had 11 steals. That kind of defensive intensity will be important tonight.

3.) Complete Game – Omaha played a strong 2nd half in the first meeting but were down 15 at the break after a bad run late in the first half. Omaha can’t let that happen tonight. Just need to stay in this one until late and then make a play for the game.

Prediction
Can’t pick against South Dakota State but I don’t think it’ll be too ugly. I’ll take the Jackrabbits 64-56.

Massey – South Dakota State wins 66-54
RealTimeRPI – South Dakota State wins 71-58

February 20, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Swimming and Diving–Event #17 Preview–Summit League Championships

Filed under: Previews,Swimming and Diving,The Summit League — Jon Green @ 2:25 pm

This meet will take place over four days, starting with two relays tonight and ending with five individual events and a relay on Saturday. On each of the final three days events will have preliminaries in the morning at 10 AM CT and finals in the evening at 5 PM CT. Tonight they’ll start the relays at 6 PM CT.

You can find all the information about the championships here. Psych Sheet is available here. Live results are here.

I’ve come up with a projection for the team scores using the best times so far this season.

Points for a relay go as follows:
1st – 40
2nd – 34
3rd – 32
4th – 30
5th – 28
6th – 26
7th – 24
Each team can only be awarded points for one relay.

For the individual events it goes:
1st – 20
2nd – 17
3rd – 16
4th – 15
5th – 14
6th – 13
7th – 12
8th – 11
9th – 9
10th – 7
11th – 6
12th – 5
13th – 4
14th – 3
15th – 2
16th – 1

Team Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Total
Oakland 80 313 384 357 1134
Omaha 62 124 216 141 543
IUPUI 68 89 141 154 452
South Dakota 56 123 148 120 447
South Dakota State 58 82 128 122 390
Eastern Illinois 56 36 60 65 217
Western Illinois 48 30 39 30 147

As you can see, Oakland is a heavy favorite to win going away, potentially beating the next two teams combined. Omaha is a favorite for 2nd with IUPUI and South Dakota the next two in line.

Here’s Omaha competitors and their ranks in each competition. The top three times coming in are listed as well. Finally I’ve listen the project points for each event.
Wednesday:
200 Yard Medley Relay – 1:44.16/1:45.68/1:45.93 – School Record = 1:45.61
Projected Points: 32
3rd – 1:45.93 – Omaha ‘A’
7th – 1:50.90 – Omaha ‘B’

800 Yard Freestyle Relay – 7:31.05/7:43.36/7:54.20 – School Record = 7:31.21
Projected Points: 30
4th – 8:00.44 – Omaha ‘A’
6th – 8:05.90 – Omaha ‘B’

Thursday:
500 Yard Freestyle – 4:56.60/5:05.06/5:05.29 – School Record = 5:00.77
Projected Points: 9
9th – 5:13.15 – Lexi Bergeron
17th– 5:18.43 – Christen Young
19th– 5:19.05 – Mattea Fosbender

31st- 5:36.93 – Sarah Blount

200 Yard Individual Medley – 2:03.24/2:06.57/2:07.49 – School Record = 2:05.87 
Projected Points: 18
9th – 2:10.66 – Maddie Hutt
12th- 2:11.14 – Lexi Bergeron
13th– 2:12.48 – Erin Wright
19th– 2:14.99 – Hannah Alexander
21st– 2:15.02 – Ashley Kneifl
34th– 2:20.00 – Claire Alexander
35th- 2:20.28 – Morgan Cullison
44th- 2:25.86 – Jordane Linahrt

50 Yard Freestyle – 23.59/23.60/23.87 – School Record = 23.36
Projected Points: 36
4th – 23.87 – Natalie Renshaw
9th – 23.96 – Cami Hansberry
10th– 23.99 – Whitney Korgan
13th– 24.46 – Anna Haxby
16th– 24.67 – Hannah Johnson
25th– 25.04 – Chelsea Hartman
38th- 25.69 – Victoria Schab 
45th- 26.85 – Caitlin Brown
48th- 27.81 – Kari Mettenbrink

3-Meter Diving – 324.60/264.15/256.95 – School Record = 341.15/469.35
Projected Points: 27

4th – 242.33 – Miranda Knipfer
7th – 191.32 – Maddie Richardson

200 Yard Freestyle Relay – 1:34.91/1:35.67/1:37.54 – School Record = 1:35.24
Projected Points: 34
2nd – 1:35.67 – Omaha ‘A’
8th – 1:40.90 – Omaha ‘B’

Friday:
400 Yard Individual Medley – 4:22.89/4:27.46/4:27.89 – School Record = 4:29.85
Projected Points: 48

6th – 4:37.27 – Lexi Bergeron
7th – 4:37.75 – Maddie Hutt
8th – 4:38.13 – Erin Wright
10th– 4:39.33 – Hannah Alexander
12th– 4:40.21 – Christen Young
18th– 4:44.95 – Mattea Fosbender
28th- 5:02.11 – Morgan Cullison
29th- 5:05.54 – Claire Alexander
32nd- 5:12.90 – Sarah Blount

100 Yard Butterfly – 55.00/55.01/56.01 – School Record = 56.37
Projected Points: 29
6th – 58.29 – Jenna Foiles
9th – 59.12 – Cami Hansberry
11th- 59.30 – Christen Young
16th- 1:00.28 – Ashley Kneifl
18th– 1:00.51 – Tasha Posthuma
22nd– 1:00.98 – Morgan Cullison
27th- 1:02.39 – Whitney Korgan
28th– 1:03.00 – Chelsea Hartman
29th– 1:03.46 – Katie Maier
35th- 1:07.75 – Kari Mettenbrink
38th- 1:14.00 – Caitlin Brown

200 Yard Freestyle – 1:52.04/1:53.99/1:54.43 – School Record = 1:51.03
Projected Points: 24

7th – 1:55.88 – Erin Wright
9th – 1:56.76 – Whitney Korgan
14th– 1:57.38 – Hannah Johnson
19th– 1:58.63 – Mattea Fosbender
21st- 1:58.52 – Jenna Foiles
26th- 2:00.51 – Ashley Kneifl
43rd- 2:12.65 – Caitlin Brown

100 Yard Breaststroke – 1:02.64/1:04.08/1:05.27 – School Record = 1:04.08 – Maddie Hutt
Projected Points: 43
2nd – 1:04.08 – Maddie Hutt
6th – 1:06.64 – Hannah Alexander
12th– 1:08.23 – Katie Maier
13th– 1:08.43 – Jordane Linhart
14th– 1:08.57 – Anna Haxby
16th- 1:08.96 – Erin Wright

100 Yard Backstroke – 54.82/55.64/56.26 – School Record = 55.60
Projected Points: 16

6th – 57.78 – Natalie Renshaw
14th– 1:00.86 – Cami Hansberry
20th– 1:01.60 – Ashley Kneifl
21st– 1:01.92 – Victoria Schab
23rd– 1:02.39 – Jenna Foiles

1-Meter Diving – 310.70/262.49/250.20 – School Record = 318.80/437.84
Projected Points: 24

6th – 231.59 – Miranda Knipfer
8th – 195.68 – Maddie Richardson

400 Yard Medley Relay – 3:45.93/3:52.52/3:53.17 – School Record = 3:51.35
Projected Points: 32
3rd – 3:53.17 – Omaha ‘A’
8th – 4:05.90 – Omaha ‘B’

Saturday:
1650 Yard Freestyle (Times listed are for 1000 Yard) – 10:07.01/10:27.79/10:29.24 – School Record = 17:20.61
Projected Points: 0
18th – 11:02.91 – Mattea Fosbender
19th – 11:03.69 – Lexi Bergeron
20th – 11:07.57 – Christen Young
28th – 11:41.49 – Morgan Cullison
29th – 11:49.79 – Tasha Posthuma
30th – 11:51.99 – Sarah Blount

200 Yard Backstroke – 1:58.31/1:58.83/2:01.06 – School Record = 1:58.38
Projected Points: 12

8th – 2:09.39 – Jenna Foiles
16th- 2:12.61 – Cami Hansberry
19th– 2:14.83 – Ashley Kneifl
21st- 2:15.99 – Claire Alexander
24th- 2:17.51 – Victoria Schab
25th– 2:18.16 – Sarah Blount

100 Yard Freestyle – 51.24/51.32/52.01 – School Record = 51.11
Projected Points: 26
2nd – 51.32 – Natalie Renshaw 
9th – 52.60 – Whitney Korgan
17th– 54.09 – Cami Hansberry
21st– 54.24 – Hannah Johnson
25th- 54.68 – Ashley Kneifl
27th- 55.01 – Erin Wright
30th– 55.56 – Anna Haxby
32nd– 55.85 – Chelsea Hartman
42nd- 59.13 – Caitlin Brown
47th- 1:01.53 – Kari Mettenbrink

200 Yard Breaststroke – 2:17.91/2:20.18/2:21.40 – School Record = 2:17.91 – Maddie Hutt
Projected Points: 41
1st – 2:17.91 – Maddie Hutt
5th – 2:23.49 – Hannah Alexander
13th– 2:28.40 – Katie Maier
15th– 2:30.70 – Jordane Linhart
16th– 2:31.35 – Erin Wright
19th- 2:34.30 – Anna Haxby
23rd– 2:36.89 – Claire Alexander

200 Yard Butterfly – 2:00.87/2:02.33/2:05.13 – School Record = 2:06.86
Projected Points: 28
6th – 2:11.00 – Jenna Foiles
7th – 2:11.66 – Christen Young
14th– 2:17.61 – Morgan Cullison
18th– 2:20.70 – Tasha Posthuma
21st– 2:25.65 – Sarah Blount
22nd- 2:26.36 – Katie Maier
26th- NT – Jordane Linhart

400 Yard Freestyle Relay – 3:27.93/3:29.76/3:32.04 – School Record = 3:25.52
Projected Points: 34
2nd – 3:29.76 – Omaha ‘A’
8th – 2:43.90 – Omaha ‘B’

Projected Omaha winners: (1)
Maddie Hutt – 200 Yard Breaststroke

Projected Omaha runner-ups: (4)
200 Yard Freestyle Relay
Maddie Hutt – 100 Yard Breaststroke
Natalie Renshaw – 100 Yard Freestyle
400 Yard Freestyle Relay

Projected Omaha 3rd places: (2)
200 Yard Medley Relay
400 Yard Medley Relay

Projected Omaha 4th places:
(3)
800 Yard Freestyle Relay
Natalie Renshaw – 50 Yard Freestyle
Miranda Knipfer – 3-Meter Diving

Projected Omaha 5th places:
(1)
Hannah Alexander – 200 Yard Breaststroke

Looks like we shouldn’t expect a lot of top finishes for Omaha though moth Maddie Hutt and Natalie Renshaw have a shot in several events. The Relay teams are also going to be competitive.

I’ll have updates every day throughout the tournament.

February 19, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game #28 Preview – Chicago State

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Previews — Jon Green @ 4:20 pm

Omaha Men's Basketball Preview - Chicago State - 2-19-13Live Stats
Live Video ($8? and No Audio)
Live Audio (None)

It’s been a nice break for Omaha to get rested up for their four game home stand to end the season and the Mavericks start it tonight against the Chicago State Bobcats. Omaha is coming off a road win at IUPUI while Chicago State was an 82-74 winner against D-II Urbana in their last ball game. These two schools are meeting for the 2nd time this year with Omaha winning the first meeting 68-66 in a neutral site game in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Chicago State 
While Chicago State has not proven to be a particularly strong team this year they do have a few good wins and from the first matchup it definitely seems like tonight could be competitive. In the first matchup this year Omaha was missing CJ Carter so Caleb Steffensmeier got the start and played 31 minutes, scoring 11. Omaha was led by 17 from Justin Simmons and Alex Phillips.

Chicago State relied on three main scorers, Matt Ross who had 13 points and seven rebounds, Jeremy Robinson who had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Greg Tucker who had 14 points. It ended up being Greg Tucker’s highest scoring game of the year and he won’t be a factor tonight since he hasn’t played any real minutes since early December.

Matt Ross has been the 2nd leading scorer for Chicago State and has been in double figures in eight of the last 10 games. He’s a big man with good range as he shoots 35% from three and hit two of six against Omaha. He leads the team in rebounding with 6.6 per game. Jeremy Robinson is 3rd in the team in scoring with 9.5 per game and has been real up and down. He’s score 0 points on three occasions but has hit 20 as well. He’s averaging 5.6 rebounds as well and is more of an inside presence with Ross. The matchup down low between Ross/Robinson and Welhouse/Karhoff should be interesting to watch.

Chicago State’s leading scorer is Quinton Pippen, and yes he is related to Scottie. Quinton is Pippen’s nephew and is a good scorer just like his uncle. The 6-4 guard is averaging a team leading 10.4 points and is also among the team leaders in assists and rebounds. Pippen was held to just six points against Omaha as he went 2-9 from three and 2-12 from the field overall. Pippen has taken 66% of his shots from deep and has only attempted 24 FTs this year, a definite shooter to keep an eye on.

The Bobcats are a deep team who have used 11 starting lineups with only Ross and Robison starting every game. Six Bobcats average at least 20 minutes per game with another five averaging at least 10. Defensively they are 10th nationally in steals with 9.9 a game. Quinton Pippen average a team high 1.8 but five average at least one per game. 

Getting back to the first game, Omaha shot 22 FTs compared to just eight for Chicago State. Omaha’s 16-22 shooting from the line was the different maker as they were outrebounded by one but gave up 15 offensive rebounds. Omaha also shot 49% from the field and weren’t particularly sloppy with the ball, only turning it over 14 times.

Tonight’s going to be a challenge but there’s no doubt Omaha should win this one at home.

Top Five Wins, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
174 – @ Toledo (58-53)
281 – Utah Valley (62-54)
302 – Houston Baptist (81-56)
305 – Alabama State (67-54)
No Other D1 wins, four non-D1 wins.

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com 
314 – @ Texas Pan American (65-68)
310 – @ Rice (60-63)
295 – N.J.I.T. (58-63)
295 – @ N.J.I.T. (78-83)
292 – @ SIU-Edwardsville (57-71)

Chicago State has played a fairly grueling schedule but they do have some bad losses as well. Their only really good win was at Toledo on the last day of December.

Omaha vs. Chicago State – Overall 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 46.9% 35.9% 68.9% 0.975 1.142 20.3 0.868 50.0% 48.8% 37.9% 17.0 46.2% 25.1% 63.6% 2.7
CSU 39.7% 34.0% 73.4% 0.860 0.998 21.6 0.817 52.0% 44.5% 33.6% 22.0 51.1% 29.8% 66.9% 2.9
Favors.. Omaha Omaha CSU Omaha CSU Omaha Omaha CSU CSU CSU CSU CSU CSU CSU CSU

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.

The stats don’t tell a great tale for the Mavericks. Omaha is better at shooting and most areas of the offensive game. Chicago State has an edge in FT% and assists/basket. Defensively Chicago State dominates winning every category as well as all the rebounding categories.

Expected Starters
Chicago State
Guard – Jamere Dismukes – 6-1 – Junior – Averaging 8.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.7 steals.
Forward – Mashawn Chamberlain – 6-4 – Junior – Averaging 0.8 points and 1.1 rebounds.
Forward – Quinton Pippen – 6-4 – Junior – Averaging 10.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.8 steals.
Forward – Jeremy Robinson – 6-9 –Senior – Averaging 9.5 points and 5.6 rebounds.
Forward – Matt Ross – 6-8 – Junior – Averaging 10.0 points and 6.6 rebounds.

Omaha
Point Guard – CJ Carter – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 9.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
Guard – Alex Phillips – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 8.4 points and 2.6 rebounds.
Guard – Justin Simmons – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 16.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 8.0 points and 4.7 rebounds.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 – Junior -  Averaging 12.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Three Things to Watch
1) CJ Carter’s Impact – CJ missed the last matchup when he had his back injury and his presence could tip the scales in favor of the Mavericks tonight. In his place Caleb Steffensmeier stepped up and Marcus Tyus played 22 scoreless minutes but added six rebounds. Hopefully CJ can produce at those levels or above and allow Steffensmeier and Tyus to play some very strong minutes off the bench still.

2.) Karhoff/Welhouse vs. Ross/Robinson – The two big men for Chicago State combined for 27 points and 18 rebounds against Omaha the first time while Karhoff and Welhouse were held to just 14 points and nine rebounds combined. If Omaha’s big men can reverse that matchup this time it’d make it really hard for Chicago State to win.

3.) Good start – After over a week off Omaha might be a little rusty. Hopefully they don’t show any signs of it and they get off to a great start tonight.

Prediction
Omaha’s playing really well and I think with them back at home and with plenty time to be prepare we’ll see a good performance tonight. I’ll take Omaha 89-73.

Massey – Omaha wins 77-75
RealTimeRPI – Omaha wins 87-76

February 15, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Track and Field – Event #8 Preview – Nebraska Tune-Up

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Previews,Track and Field — Jon Green @ 11:26 am

Omaha’s final regular season indoor meet is today as they head down to the Nebraska Tune-Up. There are live stats available here.

The Mavericks will be looking to get one last strong weekend in before heading off to the Summit League Championship in Vermillion on the 24th and 25th. I suppose we should do SCHOOL RECORD WATCH and take a look at where one might fall this weekend… we’ll focus on those who have been close so far
First of all Maja Milhalinec is the school record holder in the 60m Dash at 7.49. She’d need to shave just 0.03 seconds off her season best time to match it… so that’s a possibility every weekend.

Amanda Vorthmann is running the 1,000m this weekend. She has not run the event this year and was about seven seconds off the school record time last year, but with her setting the mile, 3000m, and 5000m over the last couple months, who are we to say she can’t set another?

Sami Spenner has set a couple records as well and her best time of 8.66 in the 60m Hurdles is only .11 seconds off the school record.

Kathie-Lee Laidley already holds the school record in the high jump and while it’s been a couple years since she set it she could still top it again. So those four are probably the most likely if UNO is going to set another record this weekend.

If anyone wants to see the schedule it is here with the heat sheets here.

Here’s who appears to be competing for UNO… we sure learned last week that just because they are listen on the heat sheets on Wednesday doesn’t mean they will compete there on Friday… but it is a good idea.
Lianne McNaughton – Weight Throw
Elizabeth Thompson – Shot Put
Amanda Alexander – Long Jump, 60m Hurdles
Jessica Ripp – Triple Jump, 60m Hurdles
Sami Spenner – Triple Jump, High Jump, 60m Hurdles, 200m
Kathie-Lee Laidley – High Jump, 60m Hurdles
Avery Schmidt – 5000m
Karo Garcia – 5000m
Denneil Shaw – 60m Dash, 200m
Terri Armstrong – 60m Dash, 200m
Maja Mihalinec – 60m Dash, 200m
Kristin Rogers – 1 Mile, 1000m
Michelle Gatewood – 1 Mile
Nicole Behm – 1 Mile, 3000m
Ashley Kildow – 1 Mile, 1000m
Kelsey Green – 600m
Jaqueline Mezick – 800m
Lydia Martin – 800m
Lauren Psota – 800m
Katarina Zarudnaya – 800m
Carolyn Newhouse – 1000m
Amanda Vorthmann – 1000m
Kristin Carmichael – 3000m
Kayla Fenske – 3000m
MiKayla Peck – 3000m
4x400m Relay – Omaha ‘A’ – Katarina Zarudnaya, Lauren Psota, Terri Armstrong, Amanda Vorthmann

And a quick schedule of the start times of the events… There should be some live stats available at this link.

1:00 PM – 5000m – Avery Schmidt, Karo Garcia
1:55 PM – 60m Hurdles – Amanda Alexander, Jessica Ripp, Sami Spenner, Kathie-Lee Laidley
2:00 PM – Weight Throw – Lianne McNaughton
     then – Shot Put – Elizabeth Thompson
2:00 PM – Long Jump – Amanda Alexander
     then – Triple Jump – Jessica Ripp, Sami Spenner
2:25 PM – 60m Dash – Denneil Shaw, Terri Armstrong, Maja Mihalinec
3:00 PM – Mile Run – Kristin Rogers, Michelle Gatewood, Nicole Behm, Ashley Kildow
3:00 PM – High Jump – Sami Spenner, Kathie-Lee Laidley
4:40 PM – 600m – Kelsey Green
5:10 PM – 800m – Jaqueline Mezick, Lydia Martin, Lauren Psota, Katarina Zarudnaya
5:55 PM – 1000m – Kristin Rogers, Ashley Kildow, Carolyn Newhouse, Amanda Vorthmann
6:15 PM – 200m – Sami Spenner, Denneil Shaw, Terri Armstrong, Maja Mihalinec
7:10 PM – 3000m – Nicole Behm, Kristin Carmichael, Kayla Fenske, MiKayla Peck
8:05 PM – 4x400m Relay – Omaha ‘A’ – Katarina Zarudnaya, Lauren Psota, Terri Armstrong, Amanda Vorthmann

February 14, 2013

2013 Omaha Softball–Games #6-#10 Preview –North Texas Lovelace Invitational

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Previews,Softball — Jon Green @ 2:00 pm

Omaha will travel down to Texas this weekend as they play five games as the North Texas Lovelace Invitational in Denton, Texas. The Mavericks will be facing Dayton twice along with single games against North Texas, Oklahoma State, and Iowa. Live Stats will be available here.

Omaha vs. Dayton

Matchup

Omaha Category Dayton
5-0 Record First Games
.348 Batting Average N/A
12 HRs N/A
.652 Slugging % N/A
.442 On Base % N/A
7 Stolen Bases N/A
8.2 Runs/Game N/A
1.27 ERA N/A
1.2 Runs Allowed/Game N/A
2 Shutouts N/A
4.8 Strikeouts/Game N/A
.147 Opp. Batting Avg. N/A
.981 Fielding % N/A

Team Info
Omaha will face Dayton in the 1st game on Friday and on Sunday. So Dana Elsasser will probably be pitching both games. Dayton plays once on Friday before the Omaha game, so Omaha will probably get their 2nd pitcher, junior Alysha Isaacson who went 5-10 last year with a 4.76 ERA and three complete games. On Sunday Dayton will probably throw sophomore pitcher Kayla English. English was 10-10 last year with a 2.55 ERA and 12 complete games. She gave up a team high 15 home runs. Their top returning batters are sophomore Natalie Mariano, an outfielder who was A-10 All-Rookie last year while hitting .309 with three home runs, Leah Sitter, a senior outfielder who hit .264 and had 16 stolen bases, and Kathleen Maloof a senior infielder who hit .294 last year a team high seven home runs, 17 RBIs, and seven doubles.

Dayton was 22-29 last year and split a pair of games with Summit League member IUPUI in April. They played Detroit twice last year going 1-1.

Previous Meetings
This is the first meeting between the two schools.

Omaha vs. North Texas

Matchup

Omaha Category North Texas
5-0 Record 3-2
.348 Batting Average .291
12 HRs 1
.652 Slugging % .400
.442 On Base % .419
7 Stolen Bases 7
8.2 Runs/Game 6.2
1.27 ERA 2.69
1.2 Runs Allowed/Game 4
2 Shutouts 0
4.8 Strikeouts/Game 4.2
.147 Opp. Batting Avg. .291
.981 Fielding % .961

Team Info
Omaha will face North Texas on Friday in what will be the 2nd game for both schools. Kat Barrow will probably go for UNO. North Texas started three pitchers last weekend but Brittany Simmons pitched the late game on both Friday and Saturday so we’ll assume she’s the one they’ll turn to. Simmons went 1-1 last weekend with a 0.75 ERA over 9.1 innings. Batters did hit .364 against her and she gave up nine runs, eight unearned. North Texas’ top batter was Jordan Terry who hit .400 with five RBIs. Lesley Hirsch and Taylor Schoblocher both hit .333 on the weekend as well.

Previous Meetings
This is the first meeting between the two schools.

Omaha vs. Oklahoma State

Matchup

Omaha Category Oklahoma State
5-0 Record 2-2
.348 Batting Average N/A
12 HRs 0
.652 Slugging % N/A
.442 On Base % N/A
7 Stolen Bases 2
8.2 Runs/Game 2.25
1.27 ERA N/A
1.2 Runs Allowed/Game 2
2 Shutouts 0
4.8 Strikeouts/Game 9
.147 Opp. Batting Avg. N/A
.981
Fielding % N/A

Team Info
First of all Oklahoma State hasn’t updated their stats on their website, so I just did the ones that were really easy to calculate from the box scores. Since the game will both team’s first of the game I expect the pitching matchup to be Dana Elsasser for Omaha vs. Kat Espinosa of Oklahoma State. Espinosa started both of the first games for the Cowgirls last weekend pitching just fiving innings in the opener, but with no hits allowed, and then pitching a seven inning one run game for them in her 2nd game. She had 12 strikeouts in her 12 innings pitched. Tarah Ettinger was Oklahoma State’s most dangerous batter going 7-10 in the last three games with three RBIs.

Previous Meetings
Omaha has faced Oklahoma State three times in the past, never since 1982 though. Omaha won the first matchup and lost the last two.

Date Home/Away Result Score
4/22/1977 Neutral (Norman, Oklahoma) W 4-2
3/25/1978 Neutral (Norman, Oklahoma) L 5-7
3/25/1982 Neutral (Bartlesville, Oklahoma) L 2-3 (8)

Omaha vs. Iowa

Matchup

Omaha Category Iowa
5-0 Record 3-2
.348 Batting Average .250
12 HRs 4
.652 Slugging % .359
.442 On Base % .322
7 Stolen Bases 1
8.2 Runs/Game 4.4
1.27 ERA 4.81
1.2 Runs Allowed/Game 6
2 Shutouts 2
4.8 Strikeouts/Game 3.4
.147 Opp. Batting Avg. .252
.981 Fielding % .929

Team Info
Omaha will be facing Iowa 2nd on Saturday while Iowa will be playing their first game of the day. That would seem to indicate Omaha’s Kat Barrow will face Kayla Massey of Iowa who pitched the first game of all three days last weekend for the Hawkeyes. Massey had an ERA of 5.25 last weekend as she gave up 17 runs in 18.2 innings against Lipscomb, Houston, and #11 Louisiana. Omaha will probably think they can touch her up as she allowed opponents to bat .244 against her. Johnnie Dowling was Iowa’s best batter at .389 on the weekend while Megan Blank had two HRs and eight RBIs to lead the team. Massey was a first-team all Big ten selection last year as was Blank.

Previous Meetings
Omaha’s media guide lists the series at 3-1 Iowa. Iowa’s media guide lists it as 2-1 Iowa. Iowa’s game notes list it at 2-0 Omaha (their media guide says 2-1 but only listed two separate 10-2 wins from 1981 with no dates). Omaha’s game notes have it at 1-1. The only two games I could find in Omaha’s media guide are listed below. I’m lead to believe the actual record is 1-1.

Date Home/Away Result Score
5/1/1981 Neutral (Ames, Iowa) L 2-10
5/2/1981 Neutral (Ames, Iowa) W 7-6

February 9, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game #27 Preview – IUPUI

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Previews — Jon Green @ 11:19 am

Omaha Men's Basketball Preview - IUPUI - 2-9-13

Live Stats
Live Video ($8?)
Live Audio (Free – IUPUI Feed)

Omaha got schooled 68-50 at Western Illinois on Thursday. That’s all that needs to be said about that game as far as I’m concerned… on to the next one.

IUPUI
Omaha heads to Indianapolis on Saturday looking to steal one last road win in their first trip through the Summit League. Omaha already has wins at South Dakota and Kansas City and to get a 3rd would have to feel like a very successful season. IUPUI is the perfect candidate to get that win against as they’ve lost nine straight and find themselves at 1-10 in conference.

That not to say it’ll be easy to get a win, but it’s definitely something UNO can achieve. Omaha won the first matchup in Omaha 90-79 and if they shoot like they did that night, over 60%, it’ll be difficult for IUPUI to keep pace.

The Jaguars are down to seven scholarship players and the depth has been a real problem for them. They lost their best player to an eligibility issue and this is a season that hopefully for them is just a bad year to forget and not the start of a lot of bad seasons in a row.

Mitchell Patton averages 13 points and five rebounds inside and has to smile seeing what big men have done to Omaha lately. Donovan Gibbs is the other player in double figures averaging 10 points and just over six rebounds. These two big men will try to hurt Omaha inside where they might be vulnerable.

Omaha has so many weapons and with what seems to be advantage on the perimeter Omaha’s guards will try to get going and propel Omaha to a victory in this one. Justin Simmons seems to be a consistent big time scorer and the question is if CJ Carter or Marcus Tyus can be his 20-point teammate in this one, a role both have played this year.

Sorry for the briefer than normal preview. Didn’t get started on this early enough and have a women’s game to prep for.

Expected Starters
IUPUI
Guard – Greg Rice – 5-11 – Senior – Averaging 8.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists.
Guard – Sean Esposito – 6-3 – Senior – Averaging 7.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.
Guard – P.J. Hubert – 6-5 – Junior – Averaging 5.9 points and 1.0 rebounds.
Forward – Donovan Gibbs – 6-7 –Junior – Averaging 10.4 points and 6.3 rebounds.
Center – Mitchell Patton – 6-9 – Junior – Averaging 13.4 points and 5.0 rebounds.

Omaha
Point Guard – CJ Carter – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 9.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
Guard – Alex Phillips – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 8.5 points and 2.5 rebounds.
Guard – Justin Simmons – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 16.0 points and 3.9 rebounds.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 7.7 points and 4.4 rebounds.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 – Junior -  Averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Three Things to Watch
1) Post Play – John Karhoff is usually pretty solid inside but today he might have his handful. Welhouse will have to help down low a lot and the Mavericks will expect to give up some points and rebounds inside, limiting them is the key.

2.) Perimeter Advantage – Justin Simmons is the best guard in this game and if can play like he has been 20+ points are probably in the cards. The real question is whether UNO can push their advantage outside to include another guard going off, be that Carter or Tyus probably.

3.) Good start – Getting down 20-0 is not an option. IUPUI is no Western Illinois, but a good start will get UNO’s confidence back if it started to wane at all.

Prediction
Not going to go way out on a limb and pick an upset. Not even really going to call this one close. Western Illinois is a dang good team and well rested right now. If they don’t come out rusty I expect them to be in control throughout. I’ll take the Leathernecks 81-64. Might be underrating Omaha’s offense but with a slower pace expected it’s not as bad as it might look. I’m also going to predict that Justin Simmons doesn’t score 20 points tonight. not a huge limb but he has done it in four straight games.

Massey – IUPUI wins 84-80
RealTimeRPI – IUPUI wins 85-79

2012-13 Omaha Women’s Basketball – Game #24 Preview – IUPUI

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Previews,Women's Basketball — Jon Green @ 11:03 am

Omaha Women's Basketball Preview - IUPUI - 2-9-13

Live Stats
Live Video ($8 – Me on the call)
No Live Audio

Taijhe Kelly’s development will continue on Saturday when she and the Mavericks take on IUPUI at home. The Mavericks had a lead late in the game at IUPUI before their offense went cold and they couldn’t get the stops they needed. The resulting loss is one of several Omaha had a chance to grab on the road that could have changed this season.

IUPUI
Still the Mavericks are 6-5 in the league and just a game behind IUPUI for 2nd place. A win today would give them a fighters chance to get back to 2nd place while a loss probably means they would be out of the running and possibly too far back to catch South Dakota in 3rd.

One of the keys to this one will be Taijhe Kelly. The sophomore has 12 or more rebounds in three straight games and double-doubles in two straight. She had a school record tying seven blocks as well against Western Illinois and has 12 in the last two game combined.

When she elevates her play like this Omaha is a different team. Their low post is a lot more threatening on both ends and Kelly causes problems for opposing players. Today could be a great opportunity for her as no player over 5-10 averages more than 15 minutes for IUPUI.

The Jaguars have been a strong team but a couple of bad losses, a three point loss at North Dakota State and a 20 point home loss to South Dakota, have outweighed the big upset at South Dakota State so far. They still have road trips to South Dakota and Kansas City ahead so this is not their last tough road game, and they’ll be looking to get a big win at this point.

IUPUI has a real balanced attack with only one player averaging more than 26 minutes, DeAirra Goss who plays 29 per game. Goss averages double figures with 12.8 points per game but she isn’t the leading scorer. That honor belongs to Kerah Nelson who is scoring 13.3 points per game.

The Jaguars play some tough pressure defense and are the best rebounding team in the league. It’s going to be a battle out there for the Mavericks today. This game could challenge UNO since there isn’t a single player to key on, it’s going to be a team effort they face.

Offensively Omaha needs their main players to come through as usual. Paige Frauendorfer and Carolyn Blair-Mobley bear a lot of responsibility for UNO’s scoring and in big games Omaha has a hard time if they don’t play well. The wildcard off the bench is Ericka House who has reached double figures 11 times, all UNO wins.

Sorry for the brief preview today… didn’t get started early enough and need to prep for my women’s basketball broadcast.

Expected Starters
IUPUI
Guard – Dee-Dee Bellamy – 5-3 – Junior – Averaging 3.6 points and 3.9 rebounds.
Guard – Katie Comello – 5-15 – Junior – Averaging 9.4 points, 2.0 assists, and 1.9 steals.
Guard – DeAirra Goss – 5-10 – Junior – Averaging 12.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.5 steals.
Forward – Kerah Nelson – 5-10 – Junior – Averaging 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds.
Center – Clara Mitchell – 6-1 – Senior – Averaging 3.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Omaha
Point Guard – Jamie Nash – 5-4 – Senior – Averaging 10.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 3.3 steals.
Guard – Carly Cator – 5-9 – Senior – Averaging 2.3 points and 2.9 rebounds.
Guard – Paige Frauendorfer – 6-0 – Senior – Averaging 14.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.
Guard – Carolyn Blair-Mobley – 5-10 – Senior – Averaging 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
Center – Taijhe Kelly – 6-4 – Sophomore – Averaging 5.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.

Three Things to Watch
1) Taijhe Kelly – On a total roll and in a situation where she’s facing a mostly undersized IUPUI team. Look for another big game out of her and notice that she’s starting to make a bigger impact on defense.

2.) Ericka House – Omaha is 11-0 when she hits double figures. If there’s anyone right now who can spark this team off the bench, it’s her. Needs to pick her times to shoot well today because IUPUI is not going to give her a ton of space.

3.) Jamie Nash – IUPUI is going to apply a lot of pressure and try to force turnovers. Nash had seven at IUPUI and if she can limit the turnovers today it could be the difference maker.

Prediction
Omaha was the better team for most of the game the first time around. I think the same is true this time but with a different end result. Omaha wins 67-60.

Massey – Omaha wins 59-57
RealTimeRPI – Omaha wins 68-59

February 7, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Women’s Basketball – Game #23 Preview – Western Illinois

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Previews,Women's Basketball — Jon Green @ 5:07 pm

Omaha Women's Basketball Preview - Western Illinois - 2-7-13

Live Stats
Live Video ($8 – Me on the call)
Live Audio (Michael Brokowski and Logan Sell – WIU Feed – Free!)

Omaha got a big win on Saturday to get back to .500 in the Summit League at 5-5 and now they are a strong home stand away from positioning themselves as a likely top four team in the league. The first opponent is Western Illinois tonight. The Leathernecks are reeling having lost four straight including an embarrassing loss at Chicago State. They are desperate for a win as they plummet down the Summit League standings and they did beat Omaha by 27 in the first matchup. Doubt we’ll see that again though…

Western Illinois
There are a few things we can take from the first Western Illinois-Omaha tussle that I think show why it’s unlikely to happen again. First of all Omaha shot 31%. Yes Omaha hasn’t been great at shooting in conference play, but to see them shoot that poorly again would be weird. Also Western Illinois went 11-19 on threes. A crazy 58%. That kind of shooting is a once-in-a-year type night for even a team like Western Illinois that is great at threes. Omaha is also going to be more aware of it tonight.

The rebounding battle was even as Western Illinois had 10 offensive rebounds. Don’t expect to see that again tonight as Western Illinois isn’t a good offensive rebounding team usually and Omaha will be focused on it. I do think Omaha could see a large number of offensive rebounds since Taijhe Kelly has been dominating the offensive glass lately and Western Illinois isn’t the greatest on the defensive glass.

Take Omaha’s worst game of the year and combine it with one of Western Illinois’ best shooting performance and that’s how they ended up with a 27 point loss. It won’t happen again.

The one concern for Omaha is that they are more and more relying on just five players to do it all. We know that Nash, Frauendorfer and Blair-Mobley are expected to be huge and play nearly the whole game. Taijhe Kelly has seen a resurgence that led to her playing 33 minutes at Oakland. This is the same Taijhe Kelly that just a month ago was playing eight minutes against Fort Wayne. The more Omaha depends on her the more pressure and responsibility is on her. It is true that if she isn’t getting the job done Omaha will go to the bench but with as quiet as Vaughn and Gebers have been the last few weeks it’s no sure bet. Finally outside Ericka House has been playing a lot and has been so up and down. Omaha really needs her good side as she might be the difference maker in many games for them considering the boost she can provide.

Top Five Wins, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
133 – Eastern Illinois (70-68)
183 – Bradley (92-81)
213 – Valparaiso (69-55)
242 – Omaha (71-44)
258 – @ North Dakota State (85-83)

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
337 – @ Chicago State (54-56)
283 – @ Fort Wayne (49-80)
274 – Kansas City (50-51)
256 – @ SE Missouri State (47-56)
224 – South Dakota (58-68)

There are some pretty decent wins, but you can see they seem to play much better at home with several bad road losses. Good news for Omaha.

Omaha vs. Western Illinois – 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 38.5% 34.1% 72.4% 0.852 0.857 23.9 0.673 50.5% 38.3% 30.6% 22.0 53.4% 34.4% 70.5% 2.9
WIU 38.7% 34.7% 61.4% 0.857 0.967 21.5 0.896 64.0% 41.7% 37.2% 19.0 44.7% 24.9% 67.2% 3.0
Favors.. WIU WIU Omaha WIU Omaha WIU WIU WIU Omaha Omaha Omaha Omaha Omaha Omaha WIU

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.

Western Illinois is generally better on offense though Omaha’s better on FTs by quite a bit. Defensively Omaha is superior though Western Illinois gets slightly more blocks. Omaha better on the glass and Western Illinois pretty poor on the offensive side.

Expected Starters
Western Illinois
Guard – Michelle Maher – 5-9 – Freshman – Averaging 9.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.4 assists.
Guard – Rebecca Henricson – 5-6 – Junior – Averaging 4.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.8 steals.
Guard – Saule Kontautaite – 5-9 – Senior – Averaging 12.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists.
Forward – Ashley Luke – 6-1 – Senior – Averaging 8.9 points, 6.4 rebounds.
Forward – Michele Salvatori – 5-10 – Senior – Averaging 6.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.

Omaha
Point Guard – Jamie Nash – 5-4 – Senior – Averaging 10.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 3.3 steals.
Guard – Carly Cator – 5-9 – Senior – Averaging 2.4 points and 3.0 rebounds.
Guard – Paige Frauendorfer – 6-0 – Senior – Averaging 13.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.6 steals.
Guard – Carolyn Blair-Mobley – 5-10 – Senior – Averaging 12.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
Center – Taijhe Kelly – 6-4 – Sophomore – Averaging 4.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.

Three Things to Watch
1) Taijhe Kelly – How good does she look right now? I haven’t said it publicly, just to my wife, but I think she’s capable of averaging a double-double her senior year if she can put it all together. I’m not saying she’ll get to that level, but her size and athleticism is basically unmatched in the Summit League. She’s still so raw and is being coached up week by week and the sky is the limit. She’s shooting 53% from the field so if Omaha can feed her she’s a great option. She does a ton of her work on the offensive glass and that’s always going to be a big part of her game, hopefully she starts to be an even bigger presence on the defensive glass to really put her over the top.

2.) The Frauendorfer/Blair-Mobley duo – I’ll keep harping on it because I think it’s so important. Omaha has only lost one game this year when they both scored in double digits, the South Dakota State game. Without a deep bench Omaha has to get good play out of those they depend on night in and night out. There aren’t others who can pick up the slack.

3.) Jamie Nash – We know Jamie is going to turn it over a lot, her role on this team causes some of it. She handles the ball a TON and she is driving into the paint a lot where some of those turnovers occur due to not being able to get a shot/pass. All that said she’s averaging 5.4 turnovers per game and that does cause some problems at time. What I’d hope to see from Nash is less turnovers on bad passes and steals. She’s had her pocket picked too much lately and that’s caused some problems for UNO.

Prediction
Omaha gets revenge tonight and I gotta good feeling about this one. 68-54 Mavericks.

Massey – Omaha wins 65-59
RealTimeRPI – Omaha wins 66-54

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game #26 Preview – Western Illinois

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Previews — Jon Green @ 4:15 pm

Omaha Men's Basketball Preview - Western Illinois - 2-7-13

Live Stats
Live Video ($10)
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Omaha’s three game winning streak was due, at least in part, to having a nice schedule during that stretch. The same can be said if the Mavericks lose back-to-back games by failing to upset Western Illinois tonight. Expectations were not that Omaha would beat Oakland at home or win at Western Illinois. Failing to pull back-to-back upsets is not a bad thing if Omaha plays well.

Western Illinois
It’s no guarantee that Omaha will play well of course. Don’t forget that in the game back at the Ralston Arena, Omaha gave up 1.30 points per possession, the best number Western Illinois had posted in over seven years. The Mavericks were on the wrong side of a 75-47 run during the game and while they were able to make it a close game and only lose by 15 it could have been so much worse. Don’t expect too much tonight, Western Illinois is a team that forces their opponents to make good decisions and play smart basketball.

They will be efficient on offense and move the ball really well. On defense they’ll take away from Omaha from the Mavericks will want. Justin Simmons will be challenged tonight. A lot of what he did in the first game came in the final closing minutes.

I wonder if UNO will run any press at Western Illinois after seeing how well it worked in the final minutes of the first game. Could be worth a shot.

What I’m looking for in this one is for UNO to stay in it for a while and show some improvement over the last few weeks. Omaha needs to play much better defense in this one and also rebound the ball better. If they do those things well it’s quite possible this game is closer than the first one. A slow pace could lead to a tighter game as well.

Best Five Wins, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
64 – North Dakota State (50-42)
122 – Illinois-Chicago (70-54)
127 – Savannah State (39-35)
145 – Oakland (73-63)
224 – (Neutral) Yale (59-47)

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
271 – @ SIU-Edwardsville (50-62)
145 – @ Oakland (60-67)
137 – @ Evansville (44-49)
127 – @ Savannah State (38-39)
66 – South Dakota State (53-59)

Quite a few good wins and only loss at home, to South Dakota State. Omaha would clearly be the worst loss of the season.

Omaha vs. Western Illinois – 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 50.1% 38.2% 69.2% 1.031 1.144 20.1 0.921 46.7% 49.5% 39.5% 17.0 45.4% 26.4% 62.3% 3.3
WIU 46.9% 40.4% 69.4% 1.061 0.950 17.1 1.241 58.4% 40.7% 32.0% 16.0 50.5% 25.9% 71.7% 4.6
Favors.. Omaha WIU WIU WIU WIU WIU WIU WIU WIU WIU Omaha WIU Omaha WIU WIU

Green = 1,2, or 3 in the Summit League. Red = 7,8, or 9 in the Summit League. Better team in bold

Western Illinois better at most everything. Omaha with an edge in shooting, opponent’s turnover rate, and offensive rebounding. Notice that while Omaha is better at offensive rebounding (not that they are great) they are well behind Western Illinois on the defensive side. That’s why Western Illinois is a much better overall rebounding team.

Expected Starters
Western Illinois
Guard – Ceola Clark – 6-3 – Senior – Averaging 11.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.7 steals.
Guard – Remy Roberts-Burnett – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 6.6 points and 2.4 assists.
Forward – Jack Houpt – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 7.7 points and 4.2 rebounds.
Forward – Adam Link – 6-6 – Junior – Averaging 9.4 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Center – Terell Parks – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 12.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks.

Omaha
Point Guard – CJ Carter – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 9.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
Guard – Alex Phillips – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 8.7 points and 2.6 rebounds.
Guard – Justin Simmons – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 16.2 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 8.0 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 – Junior -  Averaging 12.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Three Things to Watch
1) Justin Simmons – Justin Simmons did lead UNO with 18 points in the first game, but scored 12 of those in the comeback after being down 20. Omaha needs him to get going early or by the time he does start scoring it might be too late. I’m a bit concerned though since last time until he was getting fast break chances he wasn’t able to do much and Western Illinois did a great job on him.

2.) John Karhoff vs. Terell Parks – John Karhoff did pretty good in this situation last time. He limited Terell Parks to 19 points and 11 rebounds and grabbed seven of his own along with ten points. Karhoff usually tends to play better on the offensive side in matchups like this and if he can do well on the offensive end it tends to make up for some of his defensive struggles against a guy like Parks. He also needs to avoid fouls as he’s gotten into foul trouble on a few occasions this year. Don’t want to see him taking defensive possessions off or just letting a guy score, but sometimes it’s better to give up a good look once you’ve been beaten than to pick up a foul.

3.) Good start – On the road against a tough opponent like this I don’t think Omaha can afford to fall behind. I’m not sure the Mavericks are strong enough defensively to get lots of stops when they need them if they get down big. By keeping pace/taking an early lead Omaha can get into a situation where great offensive play alone keeps them in it. If they are in the game late, anything is possible.

Prediction
Not going to go way out on a limb and pick an upset. Not even really going to call this one close. Western Illinois is a dang good team and well rested right now. If they don’t come out rusty I expect them to be in control throughout. I’ll take the Leathernecks 81-64. Might be underrating Omaha’s offense but with a slower pace expected it’s not as bad as it might look. I’m also going to predict that Justin Simmons doesn’t score 20 points tonight. not a huge limb but he has done it in four straight games.

Massey – Western Illinois wins 75-58
RealTimeRPI – Western Illinois wins 70-51

February 2, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game #25 Preview – Oakland

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Previews — Jon Green @ 12:29 pm

Omaha Men's Basketball Preview - Oakland - 2-2-13

Live Stats
Live Video ($8… no audio)
Live Audio (Oakland Feed)

This will have to be brief as the game is at the top of the hour and I still need to get there. Omaha comes in on a three game winning streak and ready to make a major statement by toppling Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies seem to be the 4th best team in the league this year and is only of only four Summit League teams the Mavericks have yet to beat.

Oakland
We can summarize Oakland pretty quickly.

First of all they’ve played a grueling schedule. Lots of road games just like Omaha, but the level of competition was much tougher. The games were not all blowouts. One saw them go to OT at Pittsburgh before losing 72-62. The same Pittsburgh I am currently watching beat #6 Syracuse. They are one of the best teams Omaha will face all season and are coming off a good home win over Western Illinois.

They have some great players. Travis Bader is an all-time great sharpshooter. He’s hitting 40% of his three’s and taking 10.7 a game. Averages 21.6 points and went for 47 last week against IUPUI. Duke Mondy is a brilliant transfer who is averaging 4.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 3.1 steals and 11.8 points. Corey Petros is a 6-10 beast inside averaging 12.7 points and 8.5 rebounds. Drew Valentine is a senior forward averaging 9 points and 6.2 rebounds. This is a team who depends on their best players mostly, all four of the above mentioned guys averaging at least 31 minutes.

Omaha will be challenged. The Mavericks are not as talented as Oakland but can look back to the game in Rochester for some hope. Omaha shot 55% from the field and went 11-22 from three. Neither of these teams are great defensively so Omaha will get opportunities to score. Poor shooting is not an option today, it’s gotta be hot all day to stay i n this. Additionally Omaha needs to be better with the ball (20 turnovers in the first meeting) and not get killed on the boards.  It’s doable, it’s going to be very exciting if Omaha can stay in the game, but it’s going to be tough.

Best Five Wins, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
98 – Valparaiso (70-68)
133 – Western Illinois (67-60)
210 – @ Eastern Michigan (59-57)
227 – @ Texas Southern (71-69)
273 – Kansas City (81-68)

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI – realtimerpi.com
240 – @ Louisiana (79-90)
237 – South Dakota (78-97)
133 – @ Western Illinois (63-73)
108 – @ West Virginia (71-76)
97 – @ Ohio (61-78)

Needless to say, Oakland has played a brutal schedule (for this level) as evidenced by these two categories. Couple of really good wins and no real bad losses.

Omaha vs. Oakland – 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 49.8% 38.9% 68.1% 1.027 1.131 20.2 0.909 47.0% 49.2% 41.4% 18.0 45.5% 26.3% 62.6% 3.2
Oakland 46.6% 37.7% 70.2% 1.089 1.065 18.3 1.233 59.3% 52.7% 42.4% 23.0 54.4% 34.9% 75.6% 1.1
Favors.. Omaha Omaha Oakland Oakland Oakland Oakland Oakland Oakland Omaha Omaha Oakland Oakland Oakland Oakland Omaha

Green = 1,2, or 3 in the Summit League. Red = 7,8, or 9 in the Summit League. Better team in bold

Omaha’s stronger shooting and defensively against the shooting. Oakland is better at rebounding and turnovers on both sides.

Starters
Oakland
Point Guard – Ryan Bass – 5-9 – Junior – Dayton, Ohio – Averaging 9.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
Guard – Travis Bader – 6-5 – Junior – Okemos, Michigan – Averaging 21.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 4.3 3’s (40% 3FG%).
Guard – Duke Mondy – 6-2 – Junior – Grand Rapids, Michigan – Averaging 11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 3.1 steals.
Forward – Drew Valentine – 6-5 – Senior – Lansing, Michigan – Averaging 9.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.0 steals.
Center – Corey Petros – 6-10 – Sophomore – Macomb, Michigan – Averaging 12.7 points and 8.5 rebounds.

Omaha
Point Guard – CJ Carter – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 9.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
Guard – Alex Phillips – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 8.7 points and 2.5 rebounds.
Guard – Justin Simmons – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 15.8 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 8.0 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 – Junior -  Averaging 12.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

Three Things to Watch
1) Travis Bader vs. Justin Simmons – Either one of these guys could score 30 today and I’d bet both score at least 20. Whoever plays defense on Bader needs to stick too him as tight as possible. He’s going to take threes over you yes but try to get a hand in his face so it’s not just shooting practice. Simmons will do his thing, he’s got plenty of ways to score. He had 24 in the first matchup.

2.) John Karhoff vs. Corey Petros – In the first game Karhoff did okay holding Petros to 16 points and eight rebounds but only played 23 minutes picking up four fouls. He can’t afford to get in foul trouble today and getting Petros in some would certainly help. Petros went 7-8 from the field and had four offensive rebounds. Going to be a challenge for Karhoff, hope he can put in a great performance.

3.) Bench/Marcus Tyus – Oakland’s bench is tiny. Even with some foul trouble last time against Omaha they got just 38 minutes and six points off the bench. Against Western Illinois Oakland got 28 minutes and six points off the bench. Omaha could have an advantage here if Marcus Tyus can play like he did on Thursday. That extra scoring and some relief for tired legs could give Omaha an edge late in the game.

Prediction
Omaha is playing so well but Oakland is a really really tall test. With Petros inside being such a challenge for Karhoff and Bader being nearly impossible to guard there are a lot of questions defensively. Remember that in the first matchup Omaha shot 55% from the field, 50% from three (on 22 of them!) and STILL lost by 12.

I think it’ll be closer today, but I’m not expecting an Omaha win. Oakland 89-83.

Massey – Oakland wins 87-80
RealTimeRPI – Omaha wins 81-80

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