Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Olivet Preview

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

When We Last Met
It was last year's MIAA tournament semifinal at Van Noord Arena. Olivet had lead the entire way (including a 14 point lead with around 15 minutes to play), but Calvin managed to fight their way back and took their first lead (which they wouldn't relinquish) with 3:21 left in the game. The 63-57 victory sent Calvin on to face Hope in the conference championship game.

Calvin and Olivet both enter the game with a 1-1 record in the early going of league play.

Calvin eFG% vs. Olivet DeFG%0.5160.491Calvin
Calvin DeFG% vs. Olivet eFG%0.4980.458Calvin
Calvin TO% vs. Olivet DTO%0.210.18-
Calvin DTO% vs. Olivet TO%0.190.15Olivet
Calvin ORb% vs. Olivet DRb%0.3640.695Calvin
Calvin DRb% vs. Olivet ORb%0.7090.303Calvin
Calvin FTr vs. Olivet DFTr0.320.40-
Calvin DFTr vs. Olivet FTr0.340.41Olivet
Calvin OEff vs. Olivet DEff107.0104.4Calvin
Calvin DEff vs. Olivet OEff102.5102.5Olivet

Calvin again looks to have the statistical edge. It's surprising to me that Olivet isn't a better statistical rebounding team. Michael McClary seems to put up a double-double on a nightly basis, but they must not have much in the way of rebounding after him. Calvin has owned the glass in the last couple of games, and I'll look for that trend to continue.

The key component (as is always the case) is field goal percentage. Olivet's numbers aren't very good (only .458), but they have some guys that are able to score. Obviously McClary is the leader of the bunch, but Nathan Jennings and Andre Evans can both fill it up as well (Jennings working the paint and Evans from outside).

Olivet is a tough type of team to game play against defensively. My theory in almost every case is to not pay any extra attention to the opponents' super star player. You can try to double and triple team McClary, but he'll still score in double figures plus you'll be leaving one of his teammates open. Just play your base defense, and for Calvin that does mean doubling when the player has the ball in the post, but you CANNOT allow the McClary distraction to cause you to be slow rotating back out to the three point line if the ball is kicked out. Open three point shots spell disaster (see also: Kalamazoo, 1-8-2011).

Brent Schuster can't allow himself to get into foul trouble defending McClary. There's a noticeable dip in Calvin's offensive efficiency when he's on the bench, and the Knights can ill afford any sort of dip against the Comets. They're a good team.

Sure To Be Wrong Prediction
Calvin by 4
Need to win level: high
Expected to win level: medium-high
Massey Prediction: Calvin 82 Olivet 77. A 70% chance of a Calvin victory.

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