Saturday, January 12, 2013

Idaho: Three keys and a prediction

Take what the defense gives them: Opponents are shooting 50 percent against the Vandals on two-point field goals in WAC games. I think this is a game where the Aggies can get back to feeding Sim Bhullar after an up and down pace on Thursday seemed to throw the big man off.

Contain Barone, Madison: Idaho gets most of it's production from four guys in terms of minutes, but offensively, the Vandals play through senior center Kyle Barone and wing Stephen Madison picks his spots. Both players are averaging 15 ppg. Madison leads the team with 158 field goal attempts, Barone is second with 135. Connor Hill is third with 105 and the next player has 80. The problem with the Aggies when they go after one particular player, such as Louisiana Tech's Raheem Appleby, other players tend to get off against them. Connor Hill is third on the team in scoring at 10 ppg and he's shooting 46 percent from 3. Mike McChristian scores 7 ppg but he is also a good shooter at 34 percent.

Back on track on the boards: I don't think the 26 offensive rebounds the Aggies allowed against Seattle will happen often. It's what Seattle does and they shoot a lot of 3s, which usually favors the offensive team. It was good to see Sim Bhullar pull down 11 rebounds on Thursday. Idaho is obviously slower paced, meaning keeping them to one shot is important. It would be good to see the center continue to lead the team in rebounding, adding to the rebounding of Sy and Mullings on the wings.

Idaho is coming off a 55-49 home loss to Denver so Saturday's game is somewhat significant for Idaho (2-2) trying to avoid getting swept at home. NMSU has had success at Idaho, winning two of the past three games there before losing a one-point game last year. This is a hard game. I wrote for Saturday's paper that Thursday's win could be a sort of turning point game for the Aggies pulling out a close game away from home. But a bigger part of me wonders why NMSU played such a sloppy close game at a winless Seattle team and I can't get the Arlington game out of my head.

 I think Idaho wins 66-62


Anonymous said...

The tea leaves say the Aggie turn the ball over AND miss critical free throws.

Anonymous said...

Tea leaves were wrong again.