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Old 11-27-2023, 10:01 AM   #1
Queens_NYC
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Howard

Tuesday, November 28th, 2023
7:00 PM
Burr Gymnasium
ESPN+

The Bearcats (5-0, KenPom #36) hit the road to Washington, D.C. to take on Howard University (3-4, KenPom #230) for UC's only non-conference game outside of Hamilton County, Ohio for the 23/24 season.

The Bison are led by 5th-year head coach Kenneth Blakeley and are coming off their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 31 years where they lost to #1 seed Kansas by a 96-68 score in the First Round last March.

Howard returns 4 of their top 9 scorers from last year's team with some of the standouts being 3rd-year 6'4 guard Bryce Harris (17.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and 2nd-year 6'6 forward Shy Odum (11.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg).

Their most fascinating player is 6'9 forward Seth Towns (16.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 48% 3FG) who started his career at Harvard in Fall 2016 before winning Ivy League Player of the Year in 17/18. He would sit out the next two seasons with a medical redshirt, then play one full season at Ohio State before sitting out two more seasons (one medical redshirt, one voluntary sit-out). He announced his transfer to Howard last May and was granted his 8th year of eligibility just a few weeks ago.

Through 7 games, Howard's best win came on Saturday at Mount Saint Mary (KenPom #277) where they won 87-83 in Double OT. Their four losses have all came on the road by an average margin of 13 points.

Howard is very loose with the ball as they average nearly 17 turnovers/game.

They do get to the free throw line often (25 attempts/game) where they make a respectable 75.6% of their foul shots.
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Old 11-28-2023, 03:45 PM   #2
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Most of the scoring in Howard's games comes from the paint. Over 42% of all their points scored and conceded from the floor have been at the rim. They also rank top 40 in getting to the line, so they clearly like to attack the basket, mostly through Bryce Harris and Shy Odom. Odom is very inefficient, shooting under 40% from the field and only 43% at the rim. Harris is much better, converting an incredible 75% on over 7 rim attempts (including more than 1 dunk) per game. Slowing down Harris will be key, I imagine we'll have Newman on him a lot. Towns is their only guy over 6'6 with significant playing time, but he's mostly a three point shooter so our shot blockers will need to be aware.

Their interior defense is horrible, allowing opponents to convert 63% at the rim. This seems like a good game to see how Vik and Aziz can operate down low together.
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Old 11-28-2023, 07:57 PM   #3
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Can definitely appreciate the value of this type of game on the road ahead of a trip to Cintas next weekend.

If we find a way to slow down Towns in the 2nd half we should win this game handily.

Nice to see Skillings play some well with his family in attendance.
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Old 11-28-2023, 08:24 PM   #4
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We should not be shooting jump shots against this team. They are tiny. The early shot clock threes need to stop.
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Old 11-28-2023, 08:34 PM   #5
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Howard can't miss in the second half. Tough when that happens on the road.
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Old 11-29-2023, 06:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedziobs View Post
We should not be shooting jump shots against this team. They are tiny. The early shot clock threes need to stop.
Thank god the team got the memo before it was too late.

I see we attempted our last 3 of the game with 6:49 to go in the 2nd half.

We shot 68% from 2 in the 2nd half and made 4/6 buckets in OT.

Our free throw shooting was superb as well.

You'd be hard pressed to find the last time we won a game when only one player (Simas) made a 3-point shot.

It took a very resilient effort to claw out a win on a night where the stars seemed to perfectly align for Howard until the final seconds of OT.

Last edited by Queens_NYC; 11-29-2023 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 11-29-2023, 09:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queens_NYC View Post
Thank god the team got the memo before it was too late.

I see we attempted our last 3 of the game with 6:49 to go in the 2nd half.

We shot 68% from 2 in the 2nd half and made 4/6 buckets in OT.

Our free throw shooting was superb as well.

You'd be hard pressed to find the last time we won a game when only one player (Simas) made a 3-point shot.

It took a very resilient effort to claw out a win on a night where the stars seemed to perfectly align for Howard until the final seconds of OT.
Yep, statistically we did just about everything you need to win on the road. We outrebounded them by 12, only turned it over 10 times, only committed 14 fouls, and got to the rim 29 times. We did finally stop shooting threes and only ended up attempting 18 for the game, 10 fewer than our average. We scored 1.2 points per possession, which is usually more than enough.

Our defense wasn't really that bad either. We held them to just 11 of 20 at the rim and forced them into nearly as many midrange attempts as rim attempts. The problem is they made over 50% from midrange, 43% from three, and 86% from the stripe. Howard's true shooting percentage was over 60%, higher even than all of our blowout wins this year. That's hard to do when you shoot under 60% at the rim, which was actually relatively inefficient for them.

Maybe the biggest takeaway is the rotations. This is the first game that was competitive wire to wire. Reed didn't see the court and Ody only played 11 minutes. Vik, Aziz, and Ody combined for 66 of 90 available minutes at the 4/5, which means Skillings played 24 of his 32 minutes at the 4. I wonder if that will continue to be the plan, or if Ody will play more against bigger teams.
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Old 11-29-2023, 10:05 AM   #8
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I see we attempted our last 3 of the game with 6:49 to go in the 2nd half.
We went on a 10-0 run immediately after that.
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Old 11-29-2023, 10:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sedziobs View Post
Most of the scoring in Howard's games comes from the paint. Over 42% of all their points scored and conceded from the floor have been at the rim. They also rank top 40 in getting to the line, so they clearly like to attack the basket, mostly through Bryce Harris and Shy Odom. Odom is very inefficient, shooting under 40% from the field and only 43% at the rim. Harris is much better, converting an incredible 75% on over 7 rim attempts (including more than 1 dunk) per game. Slowing down Harris will be key, I imagine we'll have Newman on him a lot. Towns is their only guy over 6'6 with significant playing time, but he's mostly a three point shooter so our shot blockers will need to be aware.

Their interior defense is horrible, allowing opponents to convert 63% at the rim. This seems like a good game to see how Vik and Aziz can operate down low together.
Looking back to my scouting report, a lot of things went as expected. Bryce Harris had exactly 7 rim attempts including 1 dunk. Towns shot 7 threes and only got to the rim once. We converted 79% at the rim, our bigs were 11-12 there.

I think we were too aggressive on Towns - he scored 15 from the field on 14 shots but we put him on the line 10 times where he added another 9 points. He was similar type of player as Nolley.
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Old 11-29-2023, 11:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedziobs View Post
Looking back to my scouting report, a lot of things went as expected. Bryce Harris had exactly 7 rim attempts including 1 dunk. Towns shot 7 threes and only got to the rim once. We converted 79% at the rim, our bigs were 11-12 there.

I think we were too aggressive on Towns - he scored 15 from the field on 14 shots but we put him on the line 10 times where he added another 9 points. He was similar type of player as Nolley.
Another guy you covered, Odom, ended up exiting the game early due to injury.

I wonder if that was a blessing in disguise for Howard as he was a very inefficient shooter coming into the game.
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