Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Alma Preview

WhoAlma Scots
WhereAlma, MI
WhenWed. -- 7:30 PM
Web VideoNone
Web AudioAudio
DirectionsGoogle Maps

When We Last Met
I was going to begin this blog post with a big wise-crack about the Alma hoops program, but then I remembered that I've been starting with this 'When We Last Met' section, and then I was glad that Calvin faced off against the Scots in the opening round of last year's MIAA tournament so I didn't have to rehash the near-death experience we all suffered in the season's final game (thank you, Brent Schuster!).

So anyway, when we last met, right. Calvin trounced Alma 67-49 at the Van Noord Arena last February in the conference tournament. One of those good old-fashioned 'we'll shoot 46% from the floor, you'll shoot 36%, and we'll out rebound you 45-21' kind of beat downs. You know, the kind we're used to.

Calvin eFG% vs. Alma DeFG%0.5140.488-
Calvin DeFG% vs. Alma eFG%0.4910.482Calvin
Calvin TOr vs. Alma DTOr0.210.16Calvin
Calvin DTOr vs. Alma TOr0.180.22-
Calvin ORb% vs. Alma DRb%0.3670.676Calvin
Calvin DRb% vs. Alma ORb%0.6960.250Calvin
Calvin FTr vs. Alma DFTr0.330.32Alma
Calvin DFTr vs. Alma FTr0.320.29Calvin
Calvin OEff vs. Alma DEff106.9106.0Calvin
Calvin DEff vs. Alma OEff103.591.0Calvin
The 'D' on the front of a stat indicates a defensive version of the stat.

The stats are telling me that Calvin is the huge favorite in this contest (no kidding, right?). According to the Massey Ratings, Alma is the worst team that Calvin will face all year.

Let's go through the 'four factors' (in priority order).

Shooting percentages (eFG%) is slanted in Calvin's favor, although Calvin's offense versus Alma's defense rates as a near tie (I called it even).

Alma doesn't seem to force many turnovers (TOr), so that's a big plus for Calvin. Their offensive woes usually stem from poor decision making with the basketball. They'll struggle the most against opponents that force the issue.

Calvin should hold a pretty dominating advantage in rebounding. League average rates are about 32% for the offense and 68% for the defense. Alma's season stats pretty much hit the average DRb% mark, but Calvin's offensive rebounding has been excellent (36-37%). Calvin also sports a plus rating on the defensive glass (nearly 70%), and Alma has struggled mightily (only 25%) rebounding on offense.

The only advantage that I could come up for for Alma is in their ability to prevent Calvin from getting to the free throw line (defensive free throw rate).

Sure To Be Wrong Prediction
Calvin by 10
Need to win level: HIGH
Expected to win level: HIGH

Massey Prediction: Calvin 81, Alma 70

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