Friday, November 9, 2018

UCSB vs. NDSU Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

Game 2
UCSB @ North Dakota State
Sunday, November 11, 2018, 11 am PST
The Gauchos return to the cold northwestern part of the country to take on the NDSU Bison of the Summit League with the Bison looking to revenge the 85-66 walloping at the hands of the Gauchos in the Thunderdome last year.  The Bison, coming off a 15-17 season, have to replace their best player in Paul Miller plus one of their all-time scorers in Adam Jacobson.  In their season openers, the Gauchos defeated Wyoming in Laramie 76-66 and the Bison lost at New Mexico State 73-56.  According to the UCSB press release, Max Heidegger continues to exhibit concussion symptoms and will not be making the trip but an insider in the program said that it is still undecided.  Fingers crossed.

By the Numbers (2017-18 for this game, will switch to 2018-19 next)                                                       
2017-18 Record 15-17 23-9
Conference Record 5-9 11-5
Home/away vs D1 5-7 (home) 8-5 (away)
 National Rankings (2017-18)
Composite 192 136
DCI 211 140
RPI 210 127
Pomeroy 176 123
Massey 190 147
Sagarin 175 144
SOS 170 307
CBS Preseason Rank 213 203
Preseason Poll Pick 5th/6th 3rd
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)    
Offense 169 64
Defense 179 212
Scoring 74.4 75.8
PPG Allowed 70.8 69.1
NDSU last year:
Best win: S. Dakota
Worst Loss: Western Illinois

UCSB All-time record vs. Bison:  1-1
Last game (2017):  UCSB 85-66, in SB

The Arena:  The Bison play in the Scheels Center, originally built in 1970 and known as the Bison Sports Arena, it was redone in 2016 as part of the construction of the Sanford Heath Athletic Complex and bestowed with its new name.  Capacity is 5,830 and they averaged 2,757 fans last season.

Head Coach:
Coach Dave Richman enters his fifth season as the Bison HC and has been with the program for 13 years.  He has a 77-52 record including an NCAA appearance his first year, losing by 10 to Gonzaga as a 15 seed. While he possesses a solid record as HC, he has trended downward every season with win totals of 23, 20, 19 and 15.  Age 39, this has been his only HC position.
The Bison are tasked with replacing three starters from last season including two of their all-time best players and have no seniors on this year’s roster.  Their leading returning scorer is junior wing Tyson Ward who led the team in rebounding (5.9) and is a preseason 2nd team All Summit pick.  It was a former reserve that led the way in their first game as F/C Rocky Kreuser had a career night.
Bison Probable Starters
Vinnie Shahid  #0  Guard, JC transfer Jr, 5’11”, 190 lb   Bison fans are excited about this quick, dynamic pg who averaged 18 ppg and ~ 5 assists at  Western Nebraska CC and was named 2nd Team All JCC. Shahid hit a whopping 48% of his three point attempts.
Jared Samuelson  #11  Guard 6’3”, 185 lb, Junior, Averaged 5.4 ppg on 42% from beyond the arc last year, zero points in 15 minutes in the opener. He did not score against UCSB last year
Sam Griesel  #5  Wing, Freshman,  6’6”, 210 lb   3 points and 4 boards in 24 minutes in his first college game.
Tyson Ward  #24  Wing, Junior, 6’6” 190 lbs  11.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 2.6 apg.  Preseason 3rd team All Summit pick.  Statistical leader in points, rebounds and assists from 2017-8.   Most of his fg attempts are inside the arc. He scored 8 points against UCSB in 2017 on 2-3 from three.  6 points on 3-9 shooting in the opener.
Rocky Kreuser  #34  Forward/Center 6’10”, 245 lb Sophomore 3.8 ppg, 2 rpg.   Killed it in the opener, 23 pts, 5 boards & only 1 foul.

Bison Probable Key Reserves:
Cameron Hunter  #22  Guard Sophomore, 6’3”, 185 lb   The only other returning starter (21 games) for the Bison, he averaged 9.2 ppg, 2.4 apg and 3 boards.  A solid 3 point threat, he shot 42% from beyond the arc, with just under half his shots taken from outside.  He scored 11 against UCSB in 2017 including 4-5 from the FT line.
Tyree Eady
  #3  Guard, RS Freshman, 6’5”, 215 lb   Came off the bench in the first game but played over 20 minutes and was the second leading scorer.
Deng Geu  #23  Forward 6’8”, 215 lb, Junior 6.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg.Led team in blocks & fg %.  Put up 11 against UCSB last year.  Athletic but still plays inexperienced.
Jordan Horn  #21 Guard  6’2”, 195 lb, Sophomore Transfer (Siena)

UCSB Probable Starters (assumption of no Max)
Devearl Ramsey: #4  PG, RS Sophomore.  6’0”, 185lb
JaQuori McLaughlin: , #3  Guard, RS Sophomore  6’4, 190lb
Ar’Mond Davis: #1  Wing, Grad Transfer. 6‘6”, 190lb
Jarriese Blackmon:  #2  Forward, Senior, 6’7”, 220lb  
Amadou Sow#12  Forward, Freshman, 6’9”, 235lb  

UCSB Probable Key Reserves:                                                        
Christian Terrell:  #23  Wing, Junior, 6’5”, 200lb  UCSB
Ami Lakoju: #14  Center, Senior, 6’9”, 260lb
Jay Nagle#5  Wing, Freshman.  6’8”, 205lb
Zach Moore:  #34  Guard, RS Junior.  6’5”, 210lb
Robinson Idehen: #35  F/C, Sophomore, 6’10”, 230lb
Opening Game Recaps
UCSB: The Gauchos defeated Wyoming in Laramie 76-66.  They utilized their depth and applied a good pressure defense all game limiting the Cowboys to 36% shooting and 17% from three.  Despite the majority of players playing their first game together the offense executed well and UCSB shot over 50% from the field.  The defense was able to harass and chase down open perimeter shooters better than they did last season.  JaQuori McLaughlin led the team with 17 points and provided a steadying hand at point when starting PG Devearl Ramsey was on the bench.  The speedy Ramsey had 14 points and was 7/8 from the FT line.  Freshman Forward Amadou Sow lead the team with 11 boards, helping the Gauchos outrebound Wyoming 40-29.  The Gauchos led the game 29 of 40 minutes and held the lead the entire second half.

NDSU:  The NMSU Aggies crushed the Bison right out of the gate, jumping to an 18-3 lead and led by double digits the whole way, defeating NDSU 73-56.  The one bright spot for the Bison was the emergence of Sophomore Forward Rocky Kreuser who had a career night with 23 points on 5-6 from three, 9-11 overall after averaging less than 4 ppg last season.

Match-up & prediction:
Similar to UCSB, Bison fans are excited about their team despite some key losses from last year, feeling the talent coming in is superior. The Bison have talent & depth at guard & wings but SB has more talent & depth at those positions even without the great Max Heidegger.  Despite Kreuser's career night, I see Sow being able to handle him and Ami & Idehen should improve upon Tuesday's lackluster performances.  Ramsey's speed will cause the Bison trouble on both ends of the court.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
If Kreuser’s performance was not an aberration and is a real threat, then Sow will need to stay out of foul trouble and/or Idehen and Lakoju will need to provide much more than they did against Wyoming.  NMSU, like UCSB vs. Wyoming, went deep into their lineup which bodes well for UCSB in terms of continuous fresh legs applying defensive pressure.  Tyson Ward had a poor opener but is still a threat that CT/Davis/JMac will need to shut down.  One area that UCSB needs to address is turnovers.  I expect game two to be cleaner and UCSB will address that and
Prediction:  Gaucho depth & talent prevails, UCSB 74 NDSU 63

Official Site
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NDSU Pre-Season Preview Links: ... -league-5/ ... eview-2019

Fun facts about NDSU:
They are the greatest FCS football team in history having won the national championship 13 times including 5 consecutive from 2011-2015. They are 9-0 this season. QB Carson Wentz led the Super Bowl champ Eagles to an 11-2 record last season before going down to injury. Their rival is South Dakota State, one of the top mid-majors in the country this year.  Average November high temperature in Fargo, ND is 37 °F and the average low is 22°F.  Average November high temperature in Santa Barbara is 70°F and the low is 49°F.  Ole.

Just for kicks, my preview of the matchup from last year:

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