Thursday, February 15, 2007

Know your opponent: The Sam Houston State Bearkats

Leading scorer-Junior Ryan Bright at 14.8 ppg

The Fresno State Bulldogs have a non-conference game Saturday night at 7pm in the Save Mart Center in ESPNs bracketbusters (non-tv game). The Bulldogs were matched up with Sam Houston State. Here is some info on the opponent.

A little Bit about Sam Houston State:

The Sam Houston State Bearkats are members of the Southland Conference and currently reside in second place 1/2 game behind Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 10-2. Their conference losses have been against UT-Arlington and McNeese State.

Southland Conference

Coach Bio:

The Bearkats are coached by Bob Marlin. His record at SHSU is an overrall 138-93 in 8 seasons. He coached previously at Pensacola Junior College where he amassed a 123-35 record in 5 seasons. In 1993 he was named National Junior College Coach of the Year. Prior to the head job at Pensacola JC he was an assistant at Alabama, Marshall, and Louisiana-Monroe.

SHSU Coach Bob Marlin

Season to date:

Sam Houston State enters with an 18-7 record and an RPI of 97. In the Pomeroy Ranking they are rated at 138. The quality losses they have amassed are against the likes of Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, UCLA, and I will include Southern Miss which was on the road. Bad losses include the likes of UC Irvine, McNeese State, and UT-Arlington. Pomeroy predicts a 73-67 FSU victory. Three of SHSU victories were over non division-1 opponents.

Schedule, results, and predictions

Statistically speaking:

Three Bearkat players enter with double figure scoring averages. They are Forwards Ryan Bright (Junior) at 14.8 ppg and Aaron Wade (Senior) at 12.2 ppg. Guard Jejuan Plair (Senior) enters with a 10.8 ppg average.

Nine players play 10 or more minutes per game with no player averaging over 30 minutes per game. The Bearkats average 76.4 ppg and outscore their opponents at a 10.7 ppg clip. They shoot 46% from the field, 36% from the three, 64% from the line, and also average 8.3 made 3pt FGs per game . They enter with a +1.4 rebounding margin.

Of note is the fact that SHSU averages 19.8 assists per game, showing the teams willingness to share the ball and find open players. They also have issues with ball security shown in the 15 turnovers per game.

Season stats

Crowd control:

Lastly, I will point to the fact that the Bearkats have played in front of a total of 70,728 fans the entire season. That averages out to be 2,811 per game. Saturday nights game should a tough experience, although they have played down at Texas Tech, Gallagher-Iba Arena, and at Pauley Pavilion. Those were all double digit losses though.

Seems to me the Southland Conference draws smallish crowds comparable to some Valley High School Basketball leagues.

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