Diving in Kent State and James Madison

Welcome to the third version of the School Basketball Mid-Main Roundup, the place I choose two top-tier NCAA Division I faculty basketball groups and take an unnecessarily deep dive into the state of their applications.

As a fan of school and gamblers, you should keep updated with the most recent main mids. These are the individuals who win convention tournaments and make Cinderella work.

I am right here to interrupt down two of those groups, one from the MAC and one from the Solar Belt.


It is exhausting to not love Kent State. The golden flashes are all I would like from a basketball workforce.

Kent State performs an aggressive and energetic man-to-man protection that has taken down each opponent. The Flash crept as much as thirty fifth in defensive effectivity behind the highest 30 eFG% allowed (45.1%) and the highest 10 defensive turnover charge (24.9%).

The flashes cease the whole lot.

Do you need to run choose and roll? The Flashes are fifth nationally in PPP choice allowed (.521).

Need out in transition? Flash is #23 in PPP transmission allowed (.821).

Need a spot? The Flashes are thirty sixth nationally in PPP allowed (.775).

Need to publish? Flashes are 46 in PPP allowed (.663).

It additionally incorporates any motion you need off the ball or off display, which is essential to all of those unimaginable defensive stats.

Kent State has an innate potential to pressure you into unhealthy iso positions. It is not going to permit opponents to run good attacking combos with respectable half distances, which ends up in inefficiency in each space of ​​the ground (aside from nook 3).

Picture credit score: Central Financial institution of Bahrain Analytics

However whereas coach Rob Sendrov put collectively a superb line of defense – one thing he is been nice at doing over time – Jamie and Jose pulled it off.

Kent State has returned 4 starters from a workforce that completed second within the MAC event final season, together with defenseman Malique Jacobs.

Jacobs is engaged on his third straight MAC defensive all-around workforce, however needs to be contemplating a MAC DPOY. He is the present MAC chief in EvanMiya’s DBPR scale, and he is not notably shut.

Jacobs can lock within the opposing workforce’s high scorers every evening, giving the opposite 4 gamers — all good defenders in their very own proper — sufficient flexibility to be aggressive and restrict the whole lot else.

In the meantime, Kent State’s high scorer is sort of unattainable to cease. Defending MAC Participant of the Yr Honest Carry is again in full pressure, dropping 16.3 factors and 5.9 assists per sport whereas hitting 1 million steps again 3 seconds and making extremely spectacular photographs like this:

The issue is, Kent State does not have a lot offense exterior of Curry. Nor has Flash found out the best way to make all of the items work. It’s because they fall into isolation teams on the fourth highest charge nationally regardless of being ranked nineteenth in isolation effectivity.

However when you have got the most effective participant on earth, and you’ve got the ability to knock out the opponent’s finest participant, you win matches.

And take a look at the outcomes for Kent State. The Flashes are 11-3, and their solely three losses are:

  • A two-point loss towards the mid-major powerhouse Charleston.
  • A five-point loss to Houston, holding them to only 49 factors whereas main late on.
  • A seven-point loss towards Gonzaga, which held her beneath 75 for under the second time this season.

It is a nice resume. Kent State is the workforce that ought to win the MAC title, a workforce that may upset the Blue Bloods of their first event weekend.


Probably the most stunning workforce in faculty basketball this season?

Look no additional James Madison Dukes.

It is humorous as a result of the soccer workforce did one thing related. The Dukes jumped from FCS to the FBS degree final season and shocked the world with their offensive firepower. Todd Centio and the Dukes are thirteenth in scoring (37 PPG).

Properly, the Dukes of school basketball moved from the CAA to the Solar Belt and beat each protection of their path.

James Madison is first nationally in scoring, with 89.7 factors per sport. The Dukes have a whopping 10 wins by not less than 15 factors this season, together with some brutal scores (106-58 over Hampton, 115-79 over LIU).

Mark Bengton is a stellar offensive coach who returned with 4 gamers from final season, together with his two finest objectives in Vado Morse and Takal Molson. These two gamers common 24.7 factors, and fellow freshman Terrence Edwards provides 11.3 factors.

The Dukes are very energetic on the defensive finish, rating nineteenth in defensive turnover and utilizing these turnovers to create transition alternatives. James Madison is fifth in switch factors per sport (24.1) and is thirtieth highest in PPP (1.191).

Within the half court docket you get numerous choose and roll combos, primarily with Morse and Molson, but additionally with a number of ball gamers. James Madison is eighth in bench minutes.

You may additionally see numerous Dukes’ finest gamers’ chops, and so they can smash the offensive boards.

Both method, add the transition offense to his penetrating dribble drive and offensive rebounding prowess, and James Madison has landed defenses with the most effective of them.

James Madison is sixth nationally in share of photographs taken on the rim, averaging almost 36 FGA per sport both on the rim or within the paint.

The Dukes are happening on you, and so they don’t have any issues making these photographs.

Picture credit score: Central Financial institution of Bahrain Analytics

Surprisingly, the Dukes rank a lot increased on Kienbaum’s defensive proficiency scores. Defensive turnovers assist, however James Madison can be a superb participant in capturing competitors and display protection.

Dukes ranks within the 94th percentile in permitted positional PPP (.750) and within the 86th percentile in permitted PPP (.629).

It is a wild improvement from a workforce that completed final within the CAA final season with defensive effectivity. However then once more, Byington is quoted in blue Ribbon Through the pre-season he stated:

“I feel our protection will enhance rather a lot. We have added the athleticism. We’ll have some huge guards and guys who can transfer round and nonetheless have the ability to get within the protection and make them uncomfortable.”

Both method, the items come collectively for that workforce on offense and protection.

Picture credit score: Central Financial institution of Bahrain Analytics

The Dukes are the workforce to beat within the Enjoyable Belt.

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