Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FSU vs. WSSU preview-Just win please!

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FSU vs. Winston-Salem State Preview:

The Bulldogs will finish out their road trip with a game in North Carolina versus the Rams of Winston-Salem State. This will be the two teams second meeting in as many years, the Bulldogs beating the Rams 85-63 on November 10, 2006. The Rams are in their 3rd year of the 5 year transition to Division 1 Basketball. They are competing in the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference but cannot compete in the postseason tourney until year 5.

WSSU Coming in:

The Rams enter with a 1-3 overall record and enter on the heels of a loss to Wake Forest 73-53. They were led by Brian Fisher’s 18 points and 8 rebounds. The Rams were dominated in the paint by the much bigger and more physical Demon Deacons.

The Rams are averaging 57 points per game and have only one player in double figure scoring in 6’2” sophomore guard Brian Fisher. Surprisingly, Fisher also leads the Rams in rebounding at 3.8 per game which doesn’t bode well for WSSU.

As far as team statistics go, they tell a very distinct story of why the Rams have a 1-3 record and also what the Bulldogs need to do to exploit WSSUs weaknesses.

-Rams shoot 32% from the field
-Rebounding deficit of 10 per game
-Average 17 turnovers per game
-Assist to turnover ratio of -7

The Rams do shoot the three quite effectively at a 36% clip and are actually outshooting themselves from 2.

The Bulldogs coming in:

FSU enters off of a tough road loss at the hands of the Sam Houston State Bearkats 68-57. The Bulldogs put forth a terrible shooting effort which did not allow them to stay in the game late. When you shoot 28% from the field and 3-24 from three you just aren’t going to win many games at all, especially road games. Couple that with being outrebounded by 10 and there just isn’t a way a team can stay in a game that way.

The Dogs were only able to stay around 10 because they were able to force 24 turnovers and get to the free throw line 24 times which was very promisining for a perimeter oriented team. The Bulldogs were led by Kevin Bell’s 16 points and 7 assists and Hector Hernandez and his 17 points and 9 rebounds.

For the season the Bulldogs are scoring 70 points per game, shooting 42% from the field, 31% from three, and 70% from the free throw line which is very repectable. The issues are the -7.3 rebounding margin and only 12 assists per game as a team which isn’t going to allow the team to be very successful unless those two areas show marked improvement.

Whats at stake:

Self respect. The Dogs cannot trip up against an opponent like WSSU. This team is on the schedule as a sure win. After a dismal 1st road effort the Dogs must find a way to improve road shooting and get the job done. With a shorthanded roster with many holes, every game is going to be a fight so Cleveland and staff must find advantages anywhere they can and exploit them. This team just needs wins against whoever and wherever because they are going to be hard to come by all season long.

MBs Take:

The Dogs continue to struggle but force enough turnovers and make enough 3s to come home with a W.

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