Monday, November 15, 2010

Davenport Preview

 Calvin at Davenport
Calvin Season Opener
Tue, Nov. 16 - 7:00 PM
WFUR 102.9 FM, WBBL 107.3 FM
Web Audio
Web Video
Live Stats
Stretch Internet (Davenport)
$5 Adults, $3 Everyone Else

It's a game that counts in the standings! I get to actually attend this one! I'm literally (figuratively) breaking out in hives due to the excitement of it all!

This is the type of game that might not seem fun at the time, but should pay dividends in the long run. Davenport is a good NAIA-II team (ranked #11). The overall talent level of the NAIA's Division II is very comparable (maybe slightly worse) than NCAA Division III. So DU at #11 (NAIA-2) is probably pretty close to Hope at #17 (D3). We're not trying to be scientific here, but ballpark. Point is, they are a pretty good team so there will be plenty of "learning experiences" and "teachable moments." You can always tell when one of these moments occur because Coach Vande Streek nearly shatters the hardwood with a foot stomp.

This is exactly what Coach means when he speaks of being held accountable for mistakes. Davenport (like Ferris, but to a lesser extent) will turn Calvin defensive lapses into points. The good news is that the game, being out of division, and therefore out of region, will not figure into Calvin's potential NCAA Tournament chances. Therefore, the primary goal of this matchup is to get better. Find the areas that the team is weak and FIX IT. And also mainly to win.

Stat Chart

 Statistical Matchup
Calvin eFG% vs. Davenport DeFG%
Calvin DeFG% vs. Davenport eFG%
Calvin TOr vs. Davenport DTOr
Calvin DTOr vs. Davenport TOr
Calvin ORb% vs. Davenport DRb%
Calvin DRb% vs. Davenport ORb%
Calvin FTr vs. Davenport DFTr
Calvin DFTr vs. Davenport FTr
Calvin OEff vs. Davenport DEff
Calvin DEff vs. Davenport OEff

Davenport's numbers are based on their four games, but Calvin's numbers are based solely on Saturday's "exhibition" game. (Sidebar: In what world does it make sense to count a game as regular season for one team and exhibition for the other. Doesn't seem right at all.) Small sample size alarm bells should be sounding in your head. Because of this, I'm skipping the exercise of picking which team has the statistical advantage.

I think it is interesting to note that the average Davenport game so far has been pretty much as one-sided as the aforementioned Calvin-Ferris quasi-exhibition contest. Maybe even more lopsided. Since Calvin is, in all reasonable likelihood, much better than an amalgam of Great Lakes Christian, Grace Bible, Goshen, and Ohio Christian (DU loves them some Christian opponents; Calvin makes five in a row), and Davenport is most certainly not as good as Ferris State, the game should be somewhat closer than these narrowly-viewed statistics would suggest. Feel free to ignore them.

Series History
This will be the first ever men's basketball matchup between the two institutions.

Various otherings
I'm not intimately familiar with Davenports previous four opponents (save Grace Bible), but the competition level seems to leave a lot to be desired. Grace is obviously a very legitimate opponent. Their recent play has put them at or... gulp... above that of Calvin. Goshen is a legitimate opponent, but they are by no means a strong team. My limited knowledge of the Goshen program would lead me to compare them to a lower-half MIAA team. Great Lakes Christian and Ohio Christian are gimme games. Kinda like Calvin vs. Grace from five or six years ago.

Again, I'm no expert on NAIA and NCCAA hoops, but these results suggest that while Calvin should be the underdog in this matchup, we should have a competitive game on our hands.

Sure-to-be-wrong prediction.
Davenport by 6.
Need to win level: low.
Expected to win level: medium-low

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