BASKETBALL Middle Tennessee (3-7, 1-3) vs WKU (11-4, 4-2), 4PM Saturday/1PM Sunday, January 23/24, 2021

MTFNBY5

Hall of Famer
Jul 26, 2005
5,507
820
113
I never did hear anything on Tyson Jackson. Hope he’s ok.
Could it be that both Jackson and Fussell are candidates for a redshirt year? (As for Jackson; I hate that a member of last years C-USA Freshman team hasn't progressed to where he is an integral part of the team as a Soph. - has covid hindered player development that much?)
 
  • Like
Reactions: SpaceRaider

dukewayne

All American
Jul 11, 2008
2,216
830
113
Aren't redshirts virtually irrelevant this year? I was thinking the NCAA has basically made this a free year of eligibility for all.

In another thread I had brought up concerns about Jackson, a conf freshman honoree, essentially doing little more than riding the pine. To me, that is a waste of a year worth of good experience where he was thrown into a baptism of fire. With that experience and the raw tools he has, he should be developing into a leader on the team that is also all-conf by next year. Short of an unbeknownst injury, this is a failing on the coach's part.

Then again, I'm not really seeing the development of any players on this team.
 

mtfblue

All Conference
Jul 26, 2005
1,864
360
83
Aren't redshirts virtually irrelevant this year? I was thinking the NCAA has basically made this a free year of eligibility for all.

In another thread I had brought up concerns about Jackson, a conf freshman honoree, essentially doing little more than riding the pine. To me, that is a waste of a year worth of good experience where he was thrown into a baptism of fire. With that experience and the raw tools he has, he should be developing into a leader on the team that is also all-conf by next year. Short of an unbeknownst injury, this is a failing on the coach's part.

Then again, I'm not really seeing the development of any players on this team.
to my knowledge, only in football was the extra year given
 

SpaceRaider

Moderator
Moderator
Jul 22, 2001
70,341
3,940
113
God's Country
analysis of Sunday's game from the wku board:

PACE 69

EFFICIENCY
WKU 99
MTSU 75

This is more the kind of game I expected: a rough-and-tumble brawler in which we might find it tough to score, but MT was so bad offensively we'd still win. That's the mental script I wrote--yesterday was the opposite of that. Today? This one pretty much matched those expectations.

MT was ghastly shooting it, but credit their sheer energy and hustle to keep this one pretty close until we locked it down on D and reclaimed the glass late in the game. That said, this felt like a cat-and-mouse game. It was a matter of time before we put them away. When it got to "winning time" late, the Tops dropped a 13-1 hammer of a run to close it out over the final five minutes. In fact, MTSU managed just 6 points over the last 7 minutes. The Tops simply shut off their water in crunch time.

Facts:
1. This was MTSU's worst O-Eff rating of the season BY A LOT. They've had lower raw O-EFF, but not a lower total rating via KenPom. They could not make shots from anywhere on the floor. They were a disastrous 32.5% on 2s (3rd worst of the season) and an icy 21.5% from 3 (2nd worst). This results in their worst overall eFG% of the season and that's saying a LOT give they have one of the 10 worst offenses in this collection of United States.

2. They made a good FT%, but had their 3rd lowest FTrate of the season, so they could make up much ground there.

3. This happened on their HOME COURT with two of their best offensive players back in action.

Next, let's talk about why understanding tempo-free stats is helpful. It's a major reason I write these posts. The announcers were gushing about MTSU's Offensive Rebounding. This is WRONG and a terrible analysis of what was happening on the court.

First, MTSU DID get a lot more O-Rebs than we did. They retrieved 26% of their misses and we only managed 17%. So, yes, they won the O-glass. However, recognize that MTSU's O-Reb% was BELOW the national average of 28%. The announcers were focused on the WRONG END of the floor! Where MT succeeded was in keeping us off the glass on OUR end: MT was very good on DEFENSIVE rebounding. They got a lot of O-Rebs because they missed a MILLION shots! Of course they got a big number down there because there were so many chances to get misses! Their real success was that Bassey got ZERO O-rebs on the WKU end. That's rare. However, Charles grabbed 14 D-Rebs. This is why "rebounding margin" is an almost meaningless stat. If you miss 70% of your shots, OF COURSE you will get more of your misses back. What's important is rate/frequency. Percentage of misses. THAT is what matters.

So, yes, MTSU did win the glass today. But, 1) it was not THAT big a margin and 2) this was mainly due to good hustle on the defensive end, not the O-glass. OK, I digress.

Beyond that, the Topper D was KILLER. We rebounded well on defense. Chuck blocked five shots and altered many others. We didn't foul. If you're preoccupied with a couple of open 3s and breakdowns, that's fine--those happened. But MTSU is an AWFUL shooting team and had to take 23 total 3s which was 38.3% of their total attempted FGAs. I can GUARANTEE you this was our plan! Make MTSU shoot 3s. They suck at it and REALLY sucked today (5-23, 21.5%). This is what we do. Most nights, teams cannot make enough to beat us if we do what we do well.

A few individual shout-outs are in order. BassOMatic: 23 and 14; 5 blocks; 9-11 FGs and 5-6 FTs. What else can you say? ELITE big. Planetary in his presence on the court on both ends all the time. Carson had a another unstoppable stretch of hoops that established him as a factor early on: 8 and 5; 2 ast; 1 turnover; in 27 SOLID minutes. Next, the highest O-EFF on the court today was Kenny Cooper BY A LOT: 225 rating is off the charts. Why? He didn't miss a shot and didn't make a turnover: 9 pts, 2 ast, 0 turnovers. Rawls got NO CALLS but was 5-6 from the field on an array of Tay-like drives and finishes. I have to say, Rawls getting zero FTs in this game is simply laughable. Josh: hustling his way to 9 pts and 9 rebs and 3 steals, JUST missing a double-double.

Team-wise, we got the turnovers under control (18% is good) and lit it up on 2s (60%) and the line (78%). This offsets 3-15 (20%) from deep because we didn't take too many. We fell in love with the 3 in the 1H and the game stayed tight. The minute we started to be laser-focused on pounding it inside and driving it, we got separation in this game that MTSU could never overcome. It was the same story in crunch time: we took no bad 3s, focused on D, and slapped a 13-1 run to close out MT on the road.

Championship team stuff.

IDENTITY STATS
1. FREE THROWS. WIN. Always and forever. +8 takes, +6 makes. This even as the refs let both teams play in this one.
2. DEFEND 2s. Kong-sized WIN. SHUT. THEM. DOWN. 32% for MTSU. We shot 60%. Game over.
3. REBOUND. Loss. Kudos to Middle. No one can say they didn't play hard and outwork us for stretches in this one. They did. They just...weren't very good.
4. TURNOVERS. Loss. -2 margin, but both teams took pretty good care of it. Cannot complain about 18% (national avg is 19.3%). Plenty good enough and a major improvement over our recent struggles.

WKU now sits 6-2 in CUSA and are alone on top in the East. The The Toppers have the most overall wins and the most road wins. In fact, the Tops are a now a VERY impressive 4-1 on the road. WKU and Marshall are the only teams to complete road sweeps. The Tops also boast the #1 rated defense in league games so far.

SOAK THIS IN. Road sweeps are rare and we just beat a rival by 15 and 16 points with STRONG closing efforts in both games. We are enjoying our best start in 19 years. It's a good time to sit and enjoy the success over the next few days.

Great work doing what we needed to this week and destroying MTSU twice to boot. We are in a holding pattern regarding the ODU games in Diddle next week. Hopefully those will happen, but we're in good position in CUSA now regardless.
 

OliverLBaltz

Staff
Mar 19, 2018
23
27
13
To those who have asked about Jackson, I have not heard anything of an injury. I imagine he has just fallen out of the rotation. In 115 minutes (almost three full games worth) this season, he has 19 points, 18 rebounds, 19 fouls, 13 turnovers, and zero blocks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SpaceRaider

OliverLBaltz

Staff
Mar 19, 2018
23
27
13
Just to add another nugget to display how bad he has been with turnovers:

Take every C-USA player that has played more than 53 minutes this season. Tyson leads the conference in turnover rate at 41.5. The next highest is UTSA's Adrian Rodriguez at... 32.4.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SpaceRaider