We should find out more about 2 injuries today: How bruised is Murray State forward Ivan Aska‘s knuckle, and how bad is Morehead State guard Terrance Hill‘s knee. I’ll keep you posted as soon as I find out anything.
In action today, it’s another opposites matchup: Hard nosed defense against pure offense. And to keep the theme alive, two teams heading in opposite directions as well.
Here’s today’s first word.
[Jacksonville State (5-10, 0-2) at SEMO (6-7, 1-0), 7:30 p.m. CST] If you could combine SEMO’s offense with Jacksonville State’s defense, you’d have a great team. Instead, we have a matchup of 2 incomplete teams hoping to piece things together long enough to get a win.
I’ve said all season long that SEMO’s guards scare me, and not in the good way. The Redhawks are last in the OVC in forced turnovers, last in 3-point defense, and 10th in free throw shooting. These are all areas that are usually guard friendly. The one guard stat that’s good for the Redhawks: 1st in assists with over 15 a game. They’re great passers, and it helps when you can pass to a pair of great interior scorers. When the guard play is good, this team is almost unstoppable. But when it’s not, they can’t stop anybody.
Except maybe the woeful Jacksonville State offense. This team isn’t a “slow down” team, but only averages 62 points a game. They’ve yet to reach that number in OVC play. In 2 conference games, the Gamecocks are hitting 13.2% from 3-point range, and just 50% from the free throw line. Too small a sample size? For the season, they’re just 25.3% behind the arc and 63.3% from the FT line. That 3-point percentage, worst in the nation. Their defense ranks 2nd in the OVC in efficiency, (points per possession) but until the Gamecocks can find a way to score, they’re going to continue to have problems winning.