Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Alma Preview

Game Twenty Two (11-10, 6-4)
WhoAlma Scots (7-14, 3-7)
WhereVan Noord Arena
WhenWednesday, February 8 -- 8:00 PM                                            
AudioStretch Internet
VideoStretch Internet, MIAA Gameday
StatsLive Stats, MIAA Gameday

When We Last Met
Calvin recorded their first win away from home with an 85-77 win over the Scots in January. The win came before Calvin's string of improved shooting percentage arrived (the effective field goal percentage for the game was just .426), but the Knights were +10 on the boards, and +5 in the turnover column.

Tom Snikkers had 25 points, but he had limped out to something like a 1-7 start, so his shooting efficiency numbers left something to be desired, but Alma had no answer for him in the second half. Bryan Powell was the offensive hero of the game. He dropped 24 on the Scots and used the game to introduce us to his new-and-improved mid range jumper. Brian Haverdink also reached double figures with 13 points.

About Alma
Alma's pretty much run the gamut of MIAA highs and lows. They've beaten Adrian and they've lost to Olivet. No one's going to mistake them for a top notch team, but even at 7-14 they're much improved over the "typical Alma" bottom feeder that we've become accustomed to.

The Scots aren't going to play great defense, they're not going to rebound particularly well, and they're not going be physical and try to get the the free throw line, but they will try to run the floor a little bit, and they do shoot a pretty high percentage.

Four Factors

When Calvin hit the road for Alma three and a half weeks ago, they were effectively shooting .450 as a team. Since then, they've elevated their season effective field goal percentage to .477 (with an eFG% of nearly .570 in the last six games).

Alma shows a shooting advantage, but Calvin has been a different team this last time through the league, and Calvin's size clearly affected the Scots last time out. The Knights should control the stat sheet this time.

The only way Alma stays in the game is if Calvin gets lazy on defense and resorts to fouls and half-hearted close outs leaving Alma with open threes and extra free throws.

Prediction and Final Thoughts
I predicted that Tyler Kruis would have huge game in the last meeting, but that didn't happen. He scored 8 points on only 1-7 shooting and really wasn't the factor that I thought he would be against the extremely undersized Scots. Since that game, however, Kruis has been a new man. He's averaged over 12 points per game while shooting .730 in the last six Calvin games. I'll repeat my prediction of a huge game for Tyler.

Massey is predicting an 11 point win for Calvin, but I'm more than willing to stretch that out to 16.

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