As DJC alluded to below... this is the 2nd HIGHEST RANKED NON-CONFERENCE TEAM to play at Coleman. I so wish I could make the trip, but at this late juncture probably couldn't find anyone to go to the game with (if I could get the day job cleared early). I hope there is a solid crowd... if not, we REALLY need to revisit having more OOC games in Bham.
Anyways, the Shockers are 10-0 with really no huge wins to note (they beat UTK at home 70-61). They do have 2 true road wins @ Tulsa and St Louis (drilled Tulsa, squeaked by STL).
The Shockers have four averaging 10 PPG or better led by Ron Baker at 14.6. He's a 6'3" guard that looks half surfer dude/half IT geek. regardless he's efficient and we need to keep an eye on him as he's their best 3 point shooter (with more than a handful of attempts). Cleanthony Early leads the team in boards and is 2nd at 14.2 PPG. For a 'big guy' (6'8") his FG% isn't that great (.432). Tekele Cotton and Fred VanVleet drop 11.2 PPG with Cotton 2nd in boards and VanVleet technically being their best 3pt shooter (10-20 for the season).
In 3 of their last 4 games the Shockers have trailed at the half. Also of note is Wichita St isn't overly enamored with the 3 ball as roughly 31% of their shots come from beyond the arc. They average 77.6 PPG while giving up 60.4.
- .458 FG
- .331 3pt FG
- +8 rebound margin (THIS ONE WORRIES ME)
- Only 10 turnovers/game
My keys to the game:
- Get Jacobs involved early in the offense
- Have another shooter emerge tonight beside Releford (Cooper- I'm looking at you)
- Rebound, rebound, REBOUND!
I suspect this game will be in the low 60s which sort of favors us, but note that the Shockers play good D. I'd like to gump and say we SHOCK THE WORLD, but my brain tells me otherwise.
Game is at 9PM EST (8 CST) on ESPNU. If you are in the Bham/Tuscaloosa area try to make it out there to support the team. Tickets are available for as little as $8. See DJC's post below on the link.