Thursday, December 6, 2012

Four on the Floor For the Week of December 3

Once again, it's time for our new weekly segment "Four on the Floor", which highlights four teams either playing very well or not so well.  In this week's segment, all the teams featured are so far having successful seasons.

Stony Brook

The Seawolves are 6-2 on the season with half their wins coming on the road.  They also led for a good portion of their game against UConn before eventually losing to the Huskies at Storrs. I got to see Stony Brook at home as they defeated Canisius.

Stony Brook does it with defense. They are nineteenth in the country in two point field goal percentage defense at 40.1 percent.  The Seawolves are also fifteenth in the country in block percentage at 15.4 percent. Late in the game, the Seawolves hit their free throws.  Only eleven teams in the country have a better free throw percentage than Stony Brook's 77.1 percent from the line.

Two players stand out in particular for the Seawolves.  Freshman Jameel Warney has been an absolute find for Coach Steve Pikiell. He averages eleven points, nearly eight rebounds and over one block per game. Warney is also shooting 59.6 percent from the field. Impressive.

And of course, there is Mr. Stony Brook himself, Tommy Brenton.  Brenton is the ultimate one man stat machine.  He averages eight points, eight rebounds, nearly five assists per game and over two steals per game.  Brenton seemingly has never met a loose ball he hasn't sprawled out for on the court.

The Seawolves have a huge test in front of them.  Their next five games are on the road and they won't play a home game until an America East conference game vs. New Hampshire.  If they can somehow win four of the five games, they will be in great shape for conference play.


The 49ers are putting the Atlantic 10 on notice.  They have got off to a tremendous start at 8-0 with a big win last night at Davidson over a very good Wildcats team. Charlotte also won the Great Alaska Shootout earlier in the season and gave East Carolina their only loss so far this season last Saturday.

It's all about defense for the 49ers.  They are twenty fourth in the country in two point field goal percentage defense at 40.5 percent.  Charlotte also ranks in the top fifty five in three point field goal percentage defense, block percentage defense and steal percentage defense.

Charlotte is a very deep team.  They have ten players that average ten minutes or more per game.  The 49ers are led by Chris Braswell who averages fifteen points, six rebounds per game and shoots fifty one percent from the field.  The senior Braswell surprisingly averages only twenty three minutes per game and it's not because he fouls a lot.  He only averages 2.3 fouls per game. Just shows you how deep Charlotte is as a team.

If the 49ers can win at Miami next Friday, they stand a very good chance of being undefeated come conference play in January.


The Mountain Hawks have picked up right where they left off from the NCAA Tournament when Lehigh knocked off Duke in the second round.  The Mountain Hawks are 7-2 with their only losses at Baylor and at Pittsburgh.  Their average margin of victory is nineteen points.

The Mountain Hawks are an offensive juggernaut.  They are eighteenth in the country in scoring, averaging 80.2 points per game.  Lehigh is second in the country in three point field goal percentage at 43.2 percent and sixth in the country in free throw percentage at 78.9 percent. They are twenty fifth in the country in field goal percentage at 48.2 percent and are number thirty in the country in assists, averaging 16.4 assists per game.  The Mountain Hawks are fifteenth in effective field goal percentage at 55.2 percent.  And they do all this without turning the ball over as they are ranked number twenty four in the country in turnover percentage on offense at 16.7 percent

But what's most impressive about Lehigh is one C.J. McCollum.  He averages twenty four points, five rebounds, three assists and one and half steals per game, while shooting over fifty percent from the field and an insane fifty three percent from beyond the arc .  Supposedly there will be nearly forty scouts for the Lehigh - North Texas game on December 20th to see McCollum play.

They might also want to watch his teammate Gabe Knutson.  Knutson is a 6-9 forward averaging fifteen points and five rebounds per game.  He also shoots fifty eight percent from the field and forty three percent from beyond the arc.  Little wonder why the Mountain Hawks are on pace for at least twenty two wins.  Game to watch is their January 5th road game at VCU.

New Mexico

Steve Alford really has the Lobos picking up where they left off from last year's 28-7 team that barely lost to Louisville in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.  New Mexico has solid wins over Davidson, George Mason and UConn.

The Lobos don't really stick out in any statistical team category except in two categories.  They are tenth in the country in free throw percentage at 78.1 percent and are twenty sixth in offensive rebound defense percentage at 26.3 percent.  Basically, they hit their free throws and they limit their opponents' second chance opportunities.

New Mexico has eight players who average about sixteen minutes or more per game.   Their offense is a three headed attack of Kendall Williams, Tony Snell and Alex Kirk, who combine for thirty eight points per game.  Williams also averages five assists per game, while Snell  adds three assists per game and shoots over ninety percent from the free throw line.  Kirk averages nine rebounds per game and shoots fifty three percent from the field.

The Lobos, with one of the best home court advantages in the country in "The Pit", will have some significant tests in the next seven games ;Valparaiso at home , home and home with New Mexico State, home to Nate Wolters and South Dakota State, then at Cincinnati, then at St  Louis, then home to UNLV.  By the end of the game vs. the Rebels, Alford should know where his team stands as far as NCAA hopes.

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