Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Previewing New Hampshire

Yeah, so we're all looking ahead to George Washington, but there is still a pounding to be administered in the meantime.

New Hampshire likes to shoot the three a little bit. The Wildcats are scoring 37.2% of their points from behind the arc, which is the 14th-highest proportion in the country. They're kinda like Appalachian State, except without any discernable threats.

Three New Hampshire players have more than 50 three-point attempts this season, and just about everyone who plays is willing to shoot the three.

The problem, as is usually the case with these really bad teams, is that the Wildcats are poor shooters:

New Hampshire Offense 2005-2006
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate22.9202
Off Reb Rate26.8291

Remove the adjustment for threes and New Hampshire is shooting 38.8% this season. This is what one of the worst offenses in the country looks like: New Hampshire misses a lot of shots, doesn't generate any second chances from those misses, doesn't get to the line, and turns the ball over too much.

So it's no secret why the Wildcats are one of the slowest-paced teams in the country. NC State will push the tempo every chance it gets.

Probable starters:

Blagoj Janev (6-8, 220) -- Team's leading scorer (16.9 pts/40) and its best shooter. Janev is 20-52 (.385) from behind the arc and has an eFG% of .565. He should be the Pack's main concern, as we definitely want his inefficient teammates shooting the ball

Mike Christensen (6-8, 215) -- NC State's unofficial sixth man. Trust me, you will like Mike Christensen. You will like Mike Christensen a lot. Dig it:

3FG%: .255 (13-51)
eFG%: .370
PPFGA: 0.84
TO%: .270
Usage: 27.5%

And he's second on the team in minutes. Mike may take a few breaks from being terrible, but he's still going to waste a ton of UNH possessions.

Tyrece Gibbs (6-2, 205) -- This season, Gibbs has been a better rebounder than both Janov and Christensen. Averages about 12 pts/40.

Jermaine Anderson (6-1, 175) -- Meh.

Jamaal Caterina (6-6, 210) -- Easily the team's best rebounder, averaging 8.6 rebs/40. Second-best PPFGA on the team, but only plays about 18 minutes per game. Listed as a Forward/Center despite his height.

There are several guys on the UNH who will see playing time. Ten Wildcats have started a game this season. Chris Vetrano (5-8, 165) has been averaging 27 minutes/game and I wouldn't be surprised if he starts in place of Gibbs or Anderson. Vetrano is the other UNH player with more than 50 3PAs (17-50).

Brandon Odom (6-5, 220) is averaging about 21 minutes/game. Watch out for Ioannis Karalis (6-4, 200) and Branimir Zeko (6-8, 220) as well. Neither Karalis nor Zeko will factor into the UNH offense much.

As for the defense...

New Hampshire Defense 2005-2006
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate21.6202
Off Reb Rate32.4168