Game Preview: Georgia St.

Panther in a cage

Coming up this Saturday is a game against the Georgia St. Panthers of the CAA.

The Panthers come to the Ryan Center with a 5-5 record. They average 64.3 points per game while giving up 66.2 points per game. GAST is also 1-3 on the road this season.

GAST is also a relatively young team with only one senior on their squard. The rest of the team is a good mix of classes: 4 juniors, 6 sophomores, and 5 freshmen.

One of the more interesting match-ups to keep an eye on is rebounding. URI has been fairly weak all season in terms of rebounding, especially offensive rebounds. URI is averaging 33.1 rebounds per game (11.2 offensive rebounds). That is good enough for 252nd place in D1 basketball. Luckily for the Rams, the Panthers are even worse. GAST averages 32.9 rebounds per game (9.9 offensive rebounds). That puts GAST at 260th place in D1 basketball.

URI should (finally) be expected to win the rebound battle which will give the Rams additional shots for some much needed second chance points as well as limiting the second chance points for the Panthers.

In their last game, URI was able to keep SMU under their average offensive rebounds by 2 (SMU averages 10.4 offensive rebounds per game and Rhody held them to 8). That is potentially taking 6 points (a maximum of 8 – assuming the worst that SMU would nail two 4-point plays) off the boards. While that didn’t matter as URI blew SMU out of the Ryan Center, winning the rebound battle like that could be the deciding factor in a close game.

One other advantage that URI has over GAST is at the PG position. Mike Powell will be a key difference in this game. URI averages 11.6 turnovers per game while GAST averages 13. GAST’s PG, Devonta White, actually has a sub-one assist-to-turnover ratio at 0.85:1 (he has 28 assists and 33 turnovers). Mike Powell has a 1.62 assist-to-turnover ratio which is middle of the road in the A-10. The only ball control advantage GAST has over URI is in team steals. The Panthers average 1.5 more steals per game (8.4 to 6.9). As long as URI keeps an eye out for defenders coming up from behind to poke the ball out they should be fine.

Looking at all the other important stats (FG%, FT%, 3pt%, assists), GAST and URI are fairly close to each other and that should make this a great game for the fans to watch. Now if only more than 2,500 people would show up and support this team.

Last note looking at all of the stats. It is amazing how URI is so bad at FT’s, rebounding, and 3pt shooting yet they found a team who is, more or less, just as bad as they are.

URI wins a close one 62-58 as it comes down to making free throws to close it out.


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