Well, that was awful. Thanks to some very uninspired play, a lack of hustle, and a team missing for the first 35 minutes of the game UB will be playing Central Michigan, in Amherst. A first round game was a foregone conclusion after Akron beat us a few games back but it would have been nice to face of of the MAC's holy trinity of futility (EMU, NIU, Toledo).Granted none of those would have been a give me but I suspect CMU will be much more of a challenge.
This will be the second trip by the chips to Amherst but Bulls fans will have to forget that UB destroyed the chips because this is not the same Bulls team that was rolling through the conference. After the Ball State loss the Bulls have been in a tail spin. Losers of five straight on the road with an overall record of 3-6. Suffice it to say while I don't like our chances in Cleveland I am a bit relieved that we don't have to go to mount pleasant.
Central Michigan is a two man show. Trey Zeigler and Jalin Thomas carry the Chips in pretty much every offensive category. The two combine for more than half of CMU's Points, Field Goals, Free Throws, and three pointers. They also account for more than a quarter of the teams rebounds, blocks steals, and assist.
The Bulls have done a pretty decent job against teams that rely too heavily on on player, the hope is that that trend continues. What can't continue is the awful shooting that plagued UB in its last two games.
The Bulls are in their worst shooting slump of the season, four consecutive games under 50%. Fortunately CMU is an awful rebounding team. Tenth in the conference in defensive rebounding. In fact the only things the Chips do well defensively is steal the ball (1st in the conference).
|Field Goals Made||650||1|
|3-pt Field Goals Made||131||1|
|3-pt Field Goal Point Pct||20.2||1|
|Assist to Turnover||0.73||1|
|Free Throw Pct||66.4||2|
While Central will give the Bulls a chance to get their shooting numbers back up they will challenge the Bulls defense.
When you strip away the non conference games and measure the Chips only by their performance in conference they match up very well with the rest of the Mid American Conference.
They shoot a lot, they shoot very well from beyond the arch and when they do miss they tend to get the ball back. Central Michigan Forward William McClure (6-7 240) is ranked fourth in offensive boards this season.
The way the Chips have been playing lately is sort of what was expected all season. CMU was the two time defending West Champion and brought in a nationally coveted player but were just awful through the non conference schedule and struggled early in the MAC.
Central Michigan did turn their season around their after the beating Buffalo gave them a few weeks ago (UB has lost 5). Their losses came to the #1 and #2 teams in the west. Ball State and Western Michigan.
The Bulls are going to have to rely on the inside game to free things up for Filzen. Getting yanked against the Falcons could be just when was needed going into conference play.