Friday, December 30, 2011

Whitman Preview

Game Eleven
WhoWhitman Missionaries, 7-3, Northwest Conference
WhereLynden, Washington
WhenFriday, December 30, 10 PM (EST)                                           
AudioStretch Internet
StatsLive Stats

When We Last Met
This will either be the first meeting between the two schools, or the first in a long time. I don't have any record of them playing. Then again, my records don't go back all that far.

About Whitman
Whitman's a good team, but I'm not yet sure how good they are. Good enough to beat Calvin? Definitely. Good enough to dominate them the way Whitworth did last night? Hopefully not.

They have one common opponent with the Knights; they suffered a 10 point loss at the hands of Wheaton on a neutral floor in Texas. That single data point would match them up very well with Calvin, who lost by five to Wheaton at home.

Whitman can claim solid wins against Chapman and Lewis and Clark (though the jury's still out on L&C in my opinion), as well as a solid 37 point drubbing of Buena Vista. Their nine point home loss to George Fox looks pretty bad though.

'Four Factors'

The two teams look to be pretty evenly matched, although Whitman does hold a decent advantage when it comes to shooting percentage.

One big area of concern is going to be turnovers (isn't it always?). It doesn't shot up on this graph, but the Whitman defense has forced A TON of turnovers so far this year -- around 27% of their opponents possessions end in giving the ball away. I don't know if that's due to a press (I'm guessing not because they average under 68 possessions per 40 minutes. Usually teams that press play at a faster pace than that.), but hyper-active defenses usually give Calvin trouble.


They don't appear to be particularly explosive on offense -- their 105.3 offensive efficiency rating is good, but nothing to write home about -- but they have lock-down type defensive numbers. Whitman has been  strong on the glass, and as mentioned above, very active in forcing opponent turnovers.

Predictions and Success Benchmarks
  • Massey says Whitman by a score of 73-66 (before last night's beat down).
  • Offensive success benchmark: score more than 70 points.
  • Defensive success benchmar: allow fewer than 73 points.
  • Obviously a win would be nice, but there wouldn't be much shame in keeping it within a possession or two.

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