Tuesday, November 21, 2017

UCSB vs. Montana Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs. Montana, Progressive Legends Classic
Tuesday, November 21st, 5:00pm
The Gauchos and the Grizzlies face off in the Championship game of the Pepperdine Region of the Progressive Legends Classic tournament.  Montana by virtue of a 69-64 victory over Oral Roberts and UCSB with their 92-84 win over the host Waves.  We have a shared opponent this year, both on the road at Pitt with the Grizzlies coming out on top in OT and the Gauchos losing by 8.  Head-to-head UCSB has a 3-2 advantage including a win in their last match-up which was in 2004 in Santa Barbara. 

The Grizzlies return the bulk of their production from last year’s .500 team plus add a familiar face in Cal State Fullerton transfer J Akoh.  In total, Montana returns the majority of its production in all aspects of the game, bringing back its top two – and four of its top five – scorers. On the other end of the floor, Montana had six players with 90 or more rebounds a year ago; five of them are back on the court. In total, Montana returns 68.1 percent of its rebounds, 67.4 percent of its steals, 65.9 percent of its blocked shots, 62.1 percent of its points and 59.9 percent of its assists. They do have a high roster turnover with 6 new faces.  They were picked to finish 3rd in the 12 team Big Sky.  Their top-two leading scorers returning are guards Ahmaad Rorie and Michael Oguine and will be a challenge for Jackson and Heidegger to stop.  Rorie, a 2016-17 Second Team All-Conference honoree, averaged 17.6 points last year including a 19.4 average in Big Sky play. Oguine also put up better numbers in league play scoring 13 points per game compared to an 11-point average on the year. 
The Grizzlies are scoring at 70 ppg and giving up 68ppg.

Starting Lineup:
PG:  Jr Ahmaad Rorie, a transfer from Oregon, is again leading the team in pts (18 pg) and assists (4 pg).  He is athletic, quick and will be tough to stop.
SG:  Michael Oguine is posting similar numbers with 17 ppg and 3apg while adding a team leading 6.7 rpg.  Neither he nor Rorie shoot lights out from three but do make many attempts, 50 between them at about a .300 average clip.
Wing:  Junior, 6’7”  Bobby Morehead is 3rd in scoring at about 9pg and 2nd in rebounding with 5.5 pg. He leads the team in 3pt % at .375 but has only 16 attempts.
F:  6’8” Senior Fabijan Krslovic out of Australia is contributing 6ppg and 5.5 rpg.
F:  6’8” Junior Jamar Akoh (CSUF) is adding 5.8 ppg and 3.5 rpg but is shooting at only a .333 clip, horrible for a post.

Major Bench Players
6’5” Soph guard Sayeed Pridgett provides some scoring punch, 3rd on the team with 7ppg in 24mpg.  He is more of a slasher with only 4 3pt attempts this year, making 1
6’8” Frosh forward Karl Nichols had a bit of a break-out game against Oral Roberts with 11 pts on 5-6 shooting and 4 rebounds
6’2” Frosh guard Timmy Falls is averaging about 10 mpg. 

Match-up & Prediction:
I think these teams are evenly matched and the game will be closely contested and entertaining.
With Marcus Jackson back, we have a more well-rounded team than in the first three games.  Canty and King are superior to the Grizzlies Krslovi and Akoh so we have an advantage in the post.   The speed of Rorie is of concern and we may see Gabe tasked with covering him.  Should Jackson struggle on defense, Terrell may see significant minutes to counter their guards.   Should be a fun one but I see the Gauchos coming out ahead.  UCSB 79  Montana 74.

Montana Official Preview:  http://www.gogriz.com/news/2017/11/20/m ... ath=mbball
Hey Guys!  http://egriz.com/grizboard/viewforum.ph ... ceaed6fe8a
How to watch:  https://watchstadium.com/live/uc-santa-barbara-vs-tbd/

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