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Old 10-08-2017, 07:53 PM   #1
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Looking at the Non Conference Opponents

I'm bored and I like to write about college basketball when I'm bored. Here is a quick breakdown of every opponent we play in the non conference. Read if you wish, skip if you don't.

Nov 10th: Savannah State

16-17 Record: 13-16
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 317
Off Rank: 249
Def Rank: 333
16-17 PPG: 85.7 (6th nationally)
16-17 PPG Against: 91.0 (350th)
# of Returning Starters: 3
Interesting Stat: #1 in Adjusted Tempo. They use just 12.1 seconds of shot clock on offense.

This first game of the year should be a high scoring game and the Bearcats could easily put in 100+. 57% of Savannah States shots are 3 point attempts and thus they lead the country in 3 pointers made even if they didnt shoot them at a very high rate. Lets just hope they don't fall like they did for Marshall who played a similar style. Bearcats win big.

November 13th: Western Carolina

16-17 Record: 9-23
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 322
Off Rank: 348
Def Rank: 183
16-17 PPG: 61.4 (347th Nationally)
16-17 PPG Against: 73.3 (213)
# of Returning Starters: 5

The Catamounts were really young last season with out a senior in the starting lineup and that probably explains why WCU went from a top 200 team a year prior, all the way back to 322 in 2016-17. The winning formula for small schools is get old and stay old and hopefully with some added experience, they can return to where they once were, a yearly top 250 team. Their offense is dreadful though and they probably won't score more than 50 against the bearcats. Bearcats win big

November 16th: Coppin State

16-17 Record: 8-24
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 343
Off Rank: 331
Def Rank: 336
16-17 PPG: 66.2 (316th)
16-17 PPG Against: 78.8 (315th)
# of Returning Starters: 3

Coppin State plays 3 AAC teams in the non conference and all 3 should win big and win easily. Coppin State has been one of the worst teams in the country for a few years running and I don't expect anything to change. Most of the bad teams we play, at least are ok on one side of the ball but Coppin state is both dreadful on offense and defense. The bright side of this game is that our freshman and younger guys should get serious playing time these first few games. The Cayman Island's trip brings much tougher competition. Bearcats win big

**Cayman Island Classic***

Instead of previewing all teams, Ill just preview who I think our opponent will be after the buffalo game.

November 20th: Buffalo

16-17 Record: 17-15
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 122
Off Rank: 152
Def Rank: 113
16-17 PPG: 77.7 (72nd)
16-17 PPG Against: 74.2 (225th)
# of Returning Starters: 3
Interesting Stat: Offensive pace. This team isn't Savannah state, but they do come in at 35th in offensive pace. Another game to see how much this team really wants to get up and down.

Buffalo is a top tier buy game, so getting to play them for free in the Cayman Island's is a good win for an athletic department stretched on cash at the moment. Blake Hamilton is gone for buffalo but CJ Massinburg is set to take his place. He averaged 14ppg last season and should emerge as the leading scorer. Xavier beat them by 30 last year at home, so I expect we run through them as well.

November 21st: Richmond

16-17 Record: 22-13
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 92
Off Rank: 74
Def Rank: 133
16-17 PPG: 74.2 (154th)
16-17 PPG Against: 72 (175th)
# of Returning Starters: 3
Interesting Stat: Top 15th in the country in 2pt FG%

Richmond was a top 100 team in Kenpom last year, however its hard for me to expect to retain that status while losing their top 2 scorers from last season. However they do still return 2 double digit scorers and that should be enough to boost them over UAB and keep them in the Kenpom top 150-200, but I do expect a pretty steep drop off. IF the bearcats play relaxed, they should win this by 15 or more.

November 22nd: Iowa

16-17 Record: 19-15
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 71
Off Rank: 43
Def Rank: 122
16-17 PPG: 80.5 (31st)
16-17 PPG Against: 78.1 (301st)
# of Returning Starters: 4
Interesting Stat: They return everyone except leading scorer Peter Jok. Thats 11 scholarship players returning.

This is the game that interests me the most in the early portion of the schedule. Big 10 writers are calling Iowa a sleeper in the country because they return everyone except Peter Jok (who was a big loss no doubt) and some of the younger guys showed a ton of promise last year. PG Jordan Bohannon scored 26 points and added 13 assists in Iowa's final game in the NIT. As a freshman he put in 10pgg and 5 assists whiling shooting 41% from 3. Also returning is second leading scorer Tyler Cook. In my opinion this is a MUST WIN game and it won't be easy unless we really smother the 3 point line. Honestly this is the kinda of team i won't mind slowing the pace up a bit for. They can trade buckets with just about anyone and Its the kinda of team where trading baskets can be a losing strategy. Lets buckle down, and defend and beat their less than equipped half court defense. Bearcats wins. But in a tight one.

November 27th: Alabama State

16-17 Record: 8-23
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 342
Off Rank: 345
Def Rank: 315
16-17 PPG: 65.9 (321st)
16-17 PPG Against: 74.4 (229th)
# of Returning Starters: 3
Interesting Stat: 30th in offensive rebounding percentage last season

Nice soft landing spot after the Cayman trip and before the trip to Cintas. Dreadful offense with dreadful defense equals 30 point UC win. Maybe more. Also lots of minute for the freshman and walkons

December 2nd: @Xavier

16-17 Record:
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 31
Off Rank: 29
Def Rank: 68
16-17 PPG: 74.6 (145th)
16-17 PPG Against: 71.3 (153rd)
# of Returning Starters: 4
Interesting Stat: Elite rebounding team on both ends of the floor.

Our first true road game of the year and its a big one. This is Mick's most talented offensive team he's ever brought into Cintas Center. Blueitt and Macura cannot beat us alone, so its going to have to be one of Xavier's younger players that steps up. We stand a chance to win, but we absolutely need to hit shots in this one.

December 9th: Florida*

16-17 Record: 27-9
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 5
Off Rank: 24
Def Rank: 5
16-17 PPG: 77.9 (69th)
16-17 PPG Against: 66.5 (47th)
# of Returning Starters: 3

December 12th: Mississippi State

16-17 Record: 16-16
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 88
Off Rank: 135
Def Rank: 72
16-17 PPG: 72.5 (197th)
16-17 PPG Against: 71.3 (149th)
# of Returning Starters: 4

In terms of raw talent (At least recruiting rank wise), Mississippi State has one of the better roster makeups in the country. They have more 4 star talent than UC and yet have no near the success to back it up. Its hard to say if this year is going to be the year but on paper they have a pretty formidable team and if they click just right, UC could have a tough fight on their hands. I expect to UC hold onto a win especially at home in front of a sold out crowd. It should end up being at minimum a top 100 win and could even be as good as a top 60 win.

December 16th: @UCLA

16-17 Record: 31-5
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 16
Off Rank: 2
Def Rank: 84
16-17 PPG: 89.9 (2nd)
16-17 PPG Against: 75.5 259th)
# of Returning Starters: 1

3 players from last year team were drafted and yet UCLA is still a pretty decisive top 25 team. They bring in a top 5 recruiting class highlighted by Kris Wilkes and Jaylen Hands, however what will make UCLA so good this year will be its returners. Thomas Welsh returns for his SR year and he is absolutely deadly from the mid range. Reports from practice have him stretching out to the 3 point line a lot more and extending his range. Aaron Holiday is also back as well as Prince Ali, who missed all last season due to injury. I listened to an interview where Alford expects to be a much better defensive team this season and it may help them make up for the offensive losses losing Lonzo Ball dealt them. Before the Ball family got to UCLA, home games for the Bruins were fairly tame for a "blue blood" School but I'm really not sure what to expect when UC rolls into town. Lonzo Ball was the single reason they beat us in California last year, so without him on the roster, I expect UC to give UCLA a hell of a battle and might even come out on top.

December 19th: Arkansas-Pine Bluff

16-17 Record: 7-25
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 348
Off Rank: 351
Def Rank: 299
16-17 PPG: 61.8 (345th)
16-17 PPG Against: 72.5 (187th)
# of Returning Starters: 4

The softest of cushions to land on after a brutal brutal 4 stretch. Bearcats win against the worst team they play all season.

December 21st: Cleveland State

16-17 Record: 9-22
16-17 Kenpom Rank: 242
Off Rank: 312
Def Rank: 139
16-17 PPG: 67.2 ( 300th)
16-17 PPG Against: 71.7 (168th)
# of Returning Starters: 4

Last game of the non conference season and its against team who defends well for a 9 win team. Ultimately they have no chance against UC and should bow out pretty easily. Bearcats win big

Last edited by justinhub2003; 10-08-2017 at 07:56 PM.
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