Saturday, January 14, 2012

Alma Preview


Game Fifteen (6-8, 1-2)
WhoAlma Scots (4-10, 0-3)
WhereArt Smith Arena, Alma, MI
WhenSaturday, January 14 -- 3:00 PM                                          
AudioStretch Internet
VideoUstream, MIAA Gameday
StatsLive Stats, MIAA Gameday


When We Last Met
Calvin trounced Alma 115-65 at the Van Noord Arena on Senior Day last year. Five Knights reached double figures in the scoring column but, unfortunately, none of those players are playing this year (last year’s four seniors plus Jordan Brink)

About Alma
Alma's a little bit of a weird case. They're the second best shooting team in the league (their .540 eFG% is just .007 below that of Hope), but they don't rebound well, they turn the ball over a little too much, and they don't get to the free throw line all that well. Consequently, their offense ends up looking only average.

As far as defense goes, Alma's never heard of it. They've allowed nearly 84 points per game this season, and while that's inflated a bit due to their relatively fast pace, it's backed up by their league worst 108.6 defensive efficiency rating.

Throw an average offense and a really bad defense into a hopper, and out comes a 4-10 Alma squad.


'Four Factors'


As I stated above, Alma actually makes quite a few of the shots that they take, but Calvin is going to destroy them on the glass, and they'll likely win the turnover battle as well. It's not often that Calvin has the advantage in ball control, so they need to take advantage.


TeameFG%PPWSFTrORb%Rb%ArTOrBlk%Stl%OEffDEffPOSPOS/40
Calvin0.4500.970.300.350.540.600.200.130.1094.097.3102372.4
Alma0.5401.130.310.230.450.500.220.030.07100.3108.6107777.1

This one should be played at a pretty quick pace, so the score will look high even if Calvin's offense can't get it firing as cleanly as we'd like.

Alma leads the league in three point attempts, and we've established that they shoot well, so Calvin absolutely cannot allow them to receive open looks from the outside. Tyler Kruis et al. should be able to handle whatever (if any) inside game that Alma comes up with on their own, so helps should be minimal with an eye to the three point line.

On offense, Calvin should look to shove the ball inside. Alma doesn't list anyone on their roster taller than 6-4, and no one's heavier than 220, so Tyler Kruis should have a field day. And even when he's not going, Tom Snikkers and Matt DeBoer should be able to get up close for some short range looks.

Predictions and Whatnot
Ken Massey's rating system likes Calvin by an 80-77 score, but I'm willing to stretch that out to 82-72. I think this is a really good matchup for Calvin (and not just because Alma is very bad).

A few benchmarks: I'd really like to see the offense score more than 80, and the defense to hold Alma to 74 or less. Those marks would probably give us the efficiency numbers that we're more used to seeing.

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