Montana State Preview
Saturday, December 9, 2017, 1:00 PST
By the Numbers;
MSU Rankings: UCSB Rankings:
DC2: 159 DC2: 106
RPI: 77, RPI SOS: 74 RPI: 44, RPI SOS: 156
Pomeroy: 185 Pomeroy: 164
The Gauchos go back on the road to face a Montana State Bobcats team
that might be a little angry after getting walloped by Central Michigan
earlier this week. The Bobcats have been road warriors and this will be
their first home game against a D1 program. Their home is the Brick
Breeden Arena, originally opened in 1957, seats 8455, renovated twice
(1993, 2013). They’ve averaged about 2400 a game but expect more
Saturday as their other home games were against lower division teams.
Of consideration, the arena is located at an elevation of ~ 4900 feet so
altitude could play a factor for our team not accustomed to it.
The Bobcats have played a more difficult schedule than the Gauchos
losing on the road to Louisiana Tech, Utah State and Fresno State. The
teams have one shared opponent in Nebraska Omaha with both coming out
victorious, the Bobcats winning by 9 in their opening game which was on a
“neutral” (in Great Falls, MT) court. They will be the second out of
three Big Sky opponents for the Gauchos this season with the Gauchos
defeating Montana and yet to play Sac State. The Bobcats were picked
fourth in the Big Sky, just behind Montana. UCSB and Montana State have
played 10 times in a series that began in 1972. The Gauchos hold a 9-1
all-time edge. The teams last met on Dec. 12, 2009 with the Bobcats
recording a 76-64 victory in Bozeman. The last time Santa Barbara won a
game in the series was on February 21, 2009, when it won a 78-72
overtime in SB.
Looking at their season stats, which are skewed by their stinker of a
game against CMU, the Bobcats are scoring 77ppg and giving up 75 ppg.
They attempt about 21 3pt shots per game and make them at a .381 clip
which includes their 1-16 performance against the Chippewas. They force
about 13 turnovers per game.
The Bobcats have a star player who deserves the focus of the Gaucho
defense. Junior wing Tyler Hall (6’5”, 210) is the pre-season Big Sky
MVP and was shut down by CMU, scoring zero points in just 11 minutes of
play. On their message board, the fans said he might be nursing an
ankle injury which would explain that performance. Still, he is scoring
about 19 ppg, takes a lot a of threes, about 8 attempts per game and
makes them at a .432 clip. He only attempts a couple fts per game but
is shooting .913 from the line.
Running the point is sophomore Harald Frey (6’1”, 180 lb) from Norway.
He is second on the team in scoring with 14.3 ppg and leads the team in
assists with 3.2. He takes five three pointers a game and is making
them at a .400 clip.
RS Junior Forward Keljin Belvins who transferred from S. Mississippi
(6’6”, 200 lb) is third in scoring with 8.9 and second in rebounding,
These three are the only players to average more than 25 minutes.
Senior reserve forward Konner Frey (6’6”, 200 lb), no relation to
Harald, leads the team in rebounds with 5.3 pg in only 17 minutes of
Juniors Devonte Kline, a 6’0” guard and Sam Neuman, a 6’7” forward have started most of the games.
Match-up, prediction: Since opening with an easy win
over NDSU, the rest of our games have been close, Texas A&M
excepted. Despite our 7-2 record, we are only outscoring our opponents
for the season by about 3. I think this game hinges upon the health of
Tyler Hall. If he is 100%, it seems that he is the kind of player that
can keep his team in the game no matter what. If he is injured and is
unable to perform, then the Gauchos should end up winning comfortably.
I’ll go with that Hall is healthy and while I penciled this game as a
loss before the season started, with the way the Gauchos are playing
now, I predict the Gauchos end up in another battle but are able to once
again come out on top. UCSB 78 MSU 74
Montana State Fun Fact: Their 1928-29 men’s team won
the mythical National Championship as awarded by both the Helms
Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll. These two groups bestowed
national titles retrospectively to whom they deemed to be the best
teams in the years before the NCAA tournament got started.
Official Site: http://www.msubobcats.com/index.aspx?path=mbball
Hey Guys! (with my preview of UCSB): http://bobcatnation.com/bobcatbb/viewforum.php?f=21
How to Watch: http://www.bigskyconf.com/sports/2015/1 ... igSky.aspx