Monday, November 19, 2012

Anderson Preview

A raven
Game Preview
WhoAnderson Ravens
WhatHopefully a beat down
WhereVan Noord Arena
WhenTuesdya, Nov 20 - 7:30 PM
AudioCalvin Stretch Internet
VideoCalvin Live Stream
Live StatsCalvin Live Stats

When we last met

True story: my wife, our (then) two-year old daughter and I went on a family “vacation” to Indianapolis* last year for really the sole purpose of attending the Calvin at Anderson game on the return trip. Also a true story: the game sucked.

*Priceline’s Name Your Price or Negotiator (or whatever it is exactly that William Shatner advertises) is really the way to go for every hotel stay. We ended up with a very nice room in the downtown Indy Hilton for under $50. This is not a paid advertisement.

The final margin was only 13 and, though the deficit was greater for much of the game, there was a perpetual feeling that Calvin was one run away from making the game interesting. But no such sustained run came, and the Knights trailed by double figures for the final 29:32 of the game (that's most of it). Watching it was sort of like banging your head against the wall, but not so fast that you're knocked out quickly. More like a slow, relentless thud. But I'm probably over exaggerating things somewhat.

I don't like myself when I get worked up about sports (because it's, like, sports), but there's nothing more frustrating than not being able to hang with these guys when it's like "you can/should be able to hang with these guys".

Also, their student section was fairly good (ahem).

About Anderson

Thankfully, I do not expect a repeat performance! Anderson's coach, Tom Slyder, resigned in the summer to take the North Park job (he was the guy coaching from ten steps onto the court all game on Saturday -- great job keeping him in line, refs). Anderson hired Wheaton (IL) assistant Owen Handy to fill the role, but the program appears to have suffered a high rate of attrition.

I haven't been intimate with their roster situation -- and I do know that they had a few pretty good seniors last year -- but this year's team consists of only one senior and two juniors. The rest are freshmen and sophomores (mostly sophomores) with relatively little experience at this level. Only three players that recorded time in last year's meeting are still on the roster, and those players combined for only 29 minutes.

It could be that the youngsters are really good, but the HCAC coaches voted Anderson #8 (out of 10) in the preseason poll, so I'm doubting that's the case. Their potential experience issues will be exacerbated by the fact that this will be their season opener.

I wouldn't feel bad if Calvin beat them to a bloody pulp so long as the bloody pulp in question was purely figurative.

Anderson doesn't have any players that are both (1) taller than 6-6 and (2) heavier than 190 lbs so Calvin should (again) have a distinct size advantage. They have one player on the roster listed as a center: Levi Gleason (6-6, 215). From his player bio (emphasis mine):
Levi played in 12 games in 2011-12, finishing with six points, six rebounds and a blocked shot ... majors in Criminal Justice.
Tyler Kruis will eat that for lunch and then demand seconds. I'm not sure that Gleason is the guy that starts in the middle for Anderson, but he had the most impressive season last year of any returning player that's taller than 6-3. I typed that correctly.

Anderson's lone senior is Phil Hogan who averaged 19.5 points per game en route to a First Team All-HCAC selection. He's legit, but I'm not sure there are many other threats on the team.

Prediction, keys, and general whathaveyou

Key to the game: win

Prediction: I'll say Calvin by 13. A win indeed would be a win, but this smells like a game that should be won by double figures. The Anderson program has been non-terrible to pretty good over the past several years, but this does not appear to be that type of team. Massey predicts Calvin by eight based on pretty much no information at all.

Importance: This is a regional game, so it is of utmost importance. You can't lose winnable (home) games and expect to have your name called on Selection Monday.

I'm giving the students a pass because there was significant volleyball action taking place (though Saturday should have been better attended). I will not give the students a pass if they continually don't show up and/or make a sound. I saw them bring it down the stretch for the volleyball team; they need to bring same now.

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