Monday, December 4, 2017

UNO vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

Nebraska-Omaha Preview
Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 7:00 PST
The Gauchos welcome the road weary Mavericks to the Campus Events Center Tuesday night, in the third straight year these two teams have met.  In 2015, the Gauchos spoiled the opener of Omaha’s new arena in on a last second bucket by Eric Childress and in 2016 Omaha returned the favor on the Gauchos home court, easily defeating the young Gauchos. The Mavericks  are coming off 12 point loss to the Washington Huskies, their 8th defeat of the season vs only one victory.  They have played a difficult schedule, ranked 94th in the country and with only one home game.  They’ve been handled fairly easily by the P5 schools and have been competitive with the low to mid-majors.

Looking at their season stats, the Mavericks are giving up a whopping 89.6 ppg and allowing about a .500 shooting % so our prolific Gauchos should have no trouble scoring on them.  They are scoring 76.7 ppg including a respectable .367 from three.  They take about five more shots from beyond the arc than the Gauchos ~25 vs. ~20.  Similar to the Gauchos, they have balanced scoring with 4 players in double figures plus two more just under 10.  They don’t rebound particularly well, outboarded by about 6 pg.

Individually, the Mavs are lead by Junior wing Zach Jackson (6’5”, 185) with 17.6 ppg, shooting .441 from three, adding 5 rpg and 10 steals. He gets to the line the most on the team with 49 attempts, .755 on the makes.  For comparison, Max has 67 attempts in one less game.  Jackson scored his then career high 14 points on the Gauchos last year while adding 8 boards.
Senior guard Daniel Norl (6’3”, 200lb) is second in scoring with 13.1 ppg, shooting threes at a .333 clip and pulls down 5.2 rpg.
Junior Forward Mitch Hahn (6’8”, 210lb) missed has four games but started the five he’s played in.  He leads the team in rebounding at 6.2 pg.  Jacks up a fair # of threes but only makes .273 of them. Overall he is scoring 12ppg.  Last year, he scored 15 on five three pointers against us.
Sophomore PG KJ Robinson (6’0”, 190lb) leads the team in assists with 4 pg and adds 10.9ppg.  He is the team’s best 3 point shooter making 20-42, .476
Sophomore guard JT Gibson (6’3”, 195lb) comes off the bench but plays starter minutes at 27mpg.  He scores 8.7ppg and is not shooting well from three, .289
Senior PF Lamar Wofford-Humphrey (6’9”, 225lb) started in Hahn’s place when he was out and scores at a 8.4 ppg clip.  He is second on the team in rebounds with 5.3 per.
Senior PF Daniel Meyer (6’9”, 250lb)  has started every game but plays reserve minutes at less than 14 per game.

Match-up, prediction:  If the Gauchos manage to bring the same motivation & intensity they have been, they will win this handily by around 15.  That being said, this could be a trap game, Omaha might be better than their record and its tough to bring it every game.  I think it will be closer than it should.  UCSB 87 Omaha 81

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