NEC Daily Ball Screen: 11/27/21
So are we still worried about Bryant?
The Bulldogs headed up the road to Providence and knocked off Brown, a solid Ivy League team, 65-59, yesterday afternoon thanks to outscoring the Bears 65-59 over the final 10 minutes.
Peter Kiss scored a team-high 16 points on 13 shot attempts, and also added 6 assists and 5 boards. Hall Elisias had a super-efficient 13 points (4 of 7 from the field, 5 of 6 from the free throw line), plus 6 boards and 4 blocks, while Adham Eleeda scored 14 points (4 of 12 from deep) and had 8 boards. Chris Childs added 13.
In yesterday's Ball Screen, I wondered how much Tamenang Chong would give Brown, and the answer was; not much, at least not offensively. The Bears' star forward is still working his way back from a hip injury, and was just 2 for 14 from the field. However, dude grabbed 21 rebounds! Sophomore point guard Dan Friday led Brown with 14 points on 8 of 18 shooting.
For all the talk coming into the season about Bryant's incoming transfers, Tyler Brelsford, Greg Calixte, and Grant Coleman combined to go scoreless in just 18 minutes of action, as Jared Grasso largely went 6-deep on Saturday.
Don't look now, but Bryant has improved 18 spots at Kenpom since losing to Bethune-Cookman a week ago. A reminder; never overreact to a single, 40-minute basketball game. The Bulldogs are fine.
Down in Destin, Florida, St. Francis-Brooklyn lost to McNeese St. 71-59 to open the Emerald Coast Classic. Michael Cubbage got going (19 points on of 12 shooting, plus 6 boards), and Tedrick Wilcox stayed hot by putting up his first D1 double-double (10 points, 11 boards). There was no Robby Higgins in this one, but Glenn Braica got 9 points in 16 minutes from Estonian freshman wing Kasper Suurorg, who came into the game scoreless in 5 minutes played.
The Terriers held McNeese St. to just 3 of 13 from deep, but continued to have trouble protecting the rim; McNeese got a whopping 32 attempts at the rim, makin 19. 7'1" big Brendan Medley-Bacon had 21 points (6 of 10 at the rim) and 8 boards, while "big wing" Myles Lewis scored 13 points on 7 field goal attempts.
Offensively, St. Francis-Brooklyn just couldn't buy a bucket from downtown; 3 of 19 overall, with Wilcox and Larry Moreno combining to go 2 for 10, while Cubbage was 0 for 3. On the season, the Terriers are shooting just 28.3% from three.
St. Francis-Brooklyn gets North Carolina A&T in the consolation game of the Emerald Coast Classic at 11am to start things off. NC A&T, which fell to Samford 77-75 yesterday, is 0-6 against D1 teams, but that doesn't tell the complete story; coach Will Jones and the Aggies are currently ranked #258 at Kenpom, and have played a road and buy-game heavy schedule. Single-digit losses to UNC Greensboro, Jacksonville, South Florida, and Samford show that they are far from a pushover.
Mount St. Mary's gets to play its first D1 game in Emmitsburg, as it takes on a Navy squad that's 4-2 with wins over Virginia, Radford, and Furman. LIU has its home-opener against the MEAC's Delaware St., which has played just two games against D1 programs; a 63-53 loss at Rider, and a 67-63 home defeat to UNC Wilmington.
Things to watch:
1) Who gets the backcourt minutes for Long Island? On Wednesday, freshman point guard Andre Washington played a season-high 19 minutes in LIU's 64-62 loss to Saint Peter's, while Tre Wood, who has struggled mightily, logged just 17. Derek Kellogg needs more from the PG spot, as well as Alex Rivera, who has missed all 10 of his 3-point attempts. LIU is much better than Delaware St. on paper, but needs to figure out a way to let the big frontline carry them.
2) How does St. Francis-Brooklyn deal with Demetric Horton? The 6'5" wing, who transferred in from Purdue-Fort Wayne, is a major threat who has made 14 of 35 from three after scoring 24 points on 14 shots yesterday. Horton has been the lone efficient offensive player for NC A&T, so if SFC can shut him down, that would go a long way.
3) We all know that the Mount likes to get things done on the offensive boards; with the frontcourt of Malik Jefferson, Mezie Offurum, and Nana Opoku in 2020-21, Mount St. Mary's grabbed 31.3% of their misses, good for 69th in the country. So far they've been done a bit...27.5%...but of course they've played a difficult schedule thus far, though they put up OR rates above 30% in the loss at Kentucky and the win over Robert Morris. Anyway; Navy has been the 31st best defensive rebounding team so far, only allowing opponents to corral 21.9% of their offensive rebound opportunities. And those opponents included Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Louisville. If the Mount can't get 2nd chance opportunities, can they be efficient enough shooting the basketball?
No Best Bets today. The 5th grade travel hoops team, of which I am an assistant coach, has a 9:30am scrimmage and I won't have time to dig into the lines.