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Old 01-11-2023, 07:20 AM   #1
Queens_NYC
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East Carolina

Wednesday, January 11th, 2023
9:00 PM
Fifth Third Arena
ESPNU

The Bearcats (10-6 [2-2 AAC], KenPom #74, NET #100) look to bounce back from Sunday's loss with a win against East Carolina (10-7 [1-3 AAC], KenPom #165, NET #176).

The Pirates are coming off back-to-back losses to UCF at home (by 3) and Memphis away (by 10), but have demonstrated road prowess so far during the young AAC campaign by beating Wichita State by 10 in Koch Arena on New Year's Eve.

ECU is still very much finding themselves under first-year head coach Michael Schwartz as they've had 12 different players start at least one game this season. The core of their rotation is made up of young players including Sophomore 6'2 guard Javon Small (15.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.4 apg) and Sophomore 6'8 forward Brandon Johnson (13.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.1 apg).

The Pirates are not a great shooting team (41.5% FG) but get to the foul line at a high rate where they attempt over 22 FTs/game.

The Bearcats beat the Pirates 3 times during the 21/22 season and currently hold a 6-game winning streak over ECU.

UC is 9.5-point favorites at home tonight.

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Old 01-11-2023, 03:54 PM   #2
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ECU is trying to play modern basketball. They take only 15% of their shots from the midrange, one of the lowest rates in the country. But they shoot a terrible 55% at the rim, including a laughably bad 76% on dunks. I don't know how you miss one out of every 4 dunk attempts. They also are bad from three where they shoot 32%. It all adds up to an effective field goal percentage ranked #243. They make up for that a bit with good offensive rebounding and getting to the free throw line, but overall the offense is ranked just outside the top 200 in efficiency.

ECU's defense is just above average. They are good at defending the 3pt line, but they give up a lot at the rim, don't force many turnovers, foul a lot, and are bad on the defensive glass. The defense has been much better recently though, with an adjusted efficiency under 0.96 points per possession in 5 of their last 6 games. As a result their Torvik ranking has improved from 239 to 170 in that span. The improved defense is mostly the result of forcing more turnovers and defending the 3pt line.

This seems like a game where we should play two bigs at all times and focus on getting the ball inside. ECU is going to attack the rim and defend the 3pt line, so our focus should be on the paint on both ends.
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Old 01-11-2023, 04:00 PM   #3
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This seems like a game where we should play two bigs at all times and focus on getting the ball inside. ECU is going to attack the rim and defend the 3pt line, so our focus should be on the paint on both ends.
Freshman big man Ezra Ausur has been playing a lot of minutes over the last 10 games. He's a guy who does all of his damage inside, with only one basket made away from the rim in that span. I wouldn't mind playing Kalu when Ausur is on the floor, and then have Ody exclusively play the 4.
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Old 01-11-2023, 09:55 PM   #4
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Making nearly everything beyond the 3 point line and next to nothing inside of it.

We've done a really good job at making the extra pass to find open shooters.

Need to find a way to get guys better looks at the rim.
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Old 01-11-2023, 10:24 PM   #5
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The interior defense has been great and we're hitting threes.
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Old 01-11-2023, 10:33 PM   #6
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Need to find a way to get guys better looks at the rim.
Skillings has been to the rim a couple times, but that's about it. ECU is following the scouting report on MAW and shut down his left hand, and he's the only other guy who usually gets to the rim. He airballed his right handed layup attempt. The bigs have been limited to hook shots in the lane.
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Old 01-11-2023, 10:34 PM   #7
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How many times have you heard of the Bearcats leading the conference in offense? I can't remember it.
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Old 01-11-2023, 10:47 PM   #8
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One of the few negatives from tonight has been Ody's finishing at the rim. Seems like he can't find a rhythm to save him life.
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Old 01-12-2023, 10:20 AM   #9
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ECU got to the rim 26 times, but they only converted 35% of those. Outstanding rim protection, and we did it with only one big on the floor most of the time. Lakhin, Ody, and Kalu only played 50 minutes combined, so we had 30 minutes with only one big on the floor. Along with grabbing 34 of their 40 misses we really dominated the paint on defense.

It would be nice to get to rim more ourselves. 14 attempts isn't great, and we'll need to be able to score inside if the threes aren't falling or we're just denied looks like against Temple.
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Old 01-12-2023, 02:01 PM   #10
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Who exactly was this team last night, and where have they been all season?

It was like they suddenly figured out how to set up an open shot for someone else?
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