Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Albion Preview

WhoAlbion Britons
WhereVan Noord Arena
WhenWed. -- 7:30 PM
Web VideoVideo
Web AudioAudio
Tickets$5, $3

I don't need to tell you that this is a big game, but I will. It's huge. It may be the biggest non-Hope game of the conference season. It's a game the Knights simply have to win if they have aspirations of a third consecutive MIAA championship and a Pool C NCAA Tournament bid.

When We Last Met
Usually Calvin-Albion games are epic battles that turn into fantastic tales second only to the Calvin-Hope lore, but the meeting was as big of a laugher as this series usually sees.

Calvin was tied with Hope at the top of the standings with two games remaining in league play. Calvin fans were prepared for a dogfight with the Britons at (historic) Kresge Gymnasium, but the game wasn't as intense as advertised.

The Knights never trailed in taking a 17 point lead into halftime before cruising to a 12 point victory. But it wasn't really that much of a blowout. The Britons actually cut the Calvin lead to 3 with around two minutes to play, but two consecutive three pointers by the Knights killed the rally and the only Albion threat of the night.


Calvin eFG% vs. Albion DeFG%0.5080.475Albion
Calvin DeFG% vs. Albion eFG%0.4860.474Calvin
Calvin TOr vs. Albion DTOr0.210.20-
Calvin DTOr vs. Albion TOr0.180.22-
Calvin ORb% vs. Albion DRb%0.3700.716Calvin
Calvin DRb% vs. Albion ORb%0.7020.384Albion
Calvin FTr vs. Albion DFTr0.330.39-
Calvin DFTr vs. Albion FTr0.310.49Albion
Calvin OEff vs. Albion DEff106.997.6Calvin
Calvin DEff vs. Albion OEff102.6102.3Albion

The statistics look pretty darn similar.

Albion is probably the only team in the MIAA that could be expected to match Calvin's rebounding ability; they've actually been slightly better on the whole year.

As always, turnovers will be the key for the Calvin offense. Albion plays good defense, so possessions will be at a premium. When Calvin takes care of the ball, offensive success usually follows. The Knights have had eight games in which they've turned the ball over on fewer than 20% of their possessions. In those games, they've had an average offensive efficiency rating of 114.0. In the nine games in which they've been above 20% in turnover rate, they've only managed an average offensive efficiency rating of 100.9. The difference between these efficiency numbers is equivalent to just over 9 points in a 70 possession game.

Nine points will usually make a difference.

Oh yeah, and they're 3-6 when they turn it over more than 20% of the time and 6-2 when they don't.

Take care of the ball please.

And the keys to defense will be to contain JC Cruse, and to prevent open three point looks. Albion's usually not afraid to let a three ball fly, and they'll knock down plenty of them.

Sure To Be Wrong Prediction
Calvin by 3
Need to win level: High
Expected to win level: Medium
Massey Prediction: Calvin 73, Albion 69 (62% chance of victory)

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