Friday, November 12, 2010

Ferris State Exhibition Preview

 Calvin at Ferris State
WhatPreseason Exhibition
WhereFerris State University - Big Rapids, MI
WhenSaturday, Nov. 13 - 7:30 PM
RadioWFUR 102.9 FM
AudioStretch Internet
Video(Ferris) America One (pay)
Live Stats(Ferris) Presto Sports
Tickets(Ferris) (231) 591-2888
DirectionsGoogle Maps
Last YearFerris 88, Calvin 68

It's finally game time! The end result won't count in the standings (and that's a good thing for Calvin fans), but we won't let that stop us from having a good time.

Statistical Comparison
The unfortunate thing about the beginning of a brand new season (for nerds like me) is the lack of useful statistical information. The only thing we have to go on is last years' numbers, but the teams are obviously somewhat different now than they were last year. Here are the numbers anyway:

  2010 Team Metrics
CalvinFerris Advantage 
Calvin eFG% vs. Ferris DeFG%0.4990.493Calvin
Calvin DeFG% vs. Ferris eFG%0.4900.511Ferris
Calvin TO% vs. Ferris DTO%0.2010.209Ferris
Calvin DTO% vs. Ferris TO%0.1710.199Ferris
Calvin ORb% vs. Ferris DRb%0.3720.644Calvin
Calvin DRb% vs. Ferris ORb%0.7050.347Even
Calvin FTr vs. Ferris DFTr0.4570.410Calvin
Calvin DFTr vs. Ferris FTr0.2670.401Calvin
Calvin OEff vs. Ferris DEff107.7104.2Calvin
Calvin DEff vs. Ferris OEff101.5106.1Ferris

For an explanation of these statistics, see What I'm Using: Team Metrics.

I'm figuring the advantage as if Ferris was a D3 opponent, ignoring the fact that they're numbers were earned versus a D2 schedule. I don't think this would ever be a problem during the regular season. Calvin's non-D3 opponents feature a smattering of NAIA-II schools that are very comparable to D3, and Grace Bible, who was MIAA caliber last year. I don't have a hard and fast method of determining 'advantage,' but for now I'm going off of absolue difference from MIAA average. For example, last year's average eFG% in the MIAA was .485. An offense that shot .490 against a defense that held opponents to .480 would be considered 'even'. Don't know if that's the best way to do it, but I will roll with it for now.

Here's a quick summary of what each team has returning from a year ago. Hopefully this provides some context to what was lost.

 Returning  CalvinFerris

Last Meeting
Calvin actually hung in the game for 27 minutes, but the Bulldogs' athleticism finally wore out the Knights. Ferris State outscored Calvin by 19 points over the final 12:13 to turn a one point lead into a 20 point win. I was a bit nervous after the bench only combined to go 3-21 from the field, but they were an inexperienced group. The big take away lesson from last year's exhibition matchup is that a 20 point loss to Ferris in no way spells doom for the season. The Knights continued to struggle with inconsistency through December, but they found a way to come together and win the MIAA. I wouldn't be altogether shocked if this year's squad shows a simlar stumble out of the gate, but I expect them to be more than competitive come league play.

Key Matchup
I'm very interested to see how Calvin's post players fare against Justin Keenan. The Bulldog big man has been named Division II's Preseason National Player of the Year. He's a load, and I wouldn't expect him to be stopped, but it will provide a nice opportunity for the inexperienced Calvin frontcourt. They'll have as much of a battle as they want. Experience, yo.

Sure-To-Be-Wrong Prediction
In earlier exhibition action, the Bulldogs walloped Aquinas by 30, and then they lost to Indiana in overtime (but really should have won it in regulation). I'm guessing Calvin's talent level is closer to that of Aquinas and not Indiana. Ferris State by 25.