Diving in Kent State and James Madison

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

As a fan of faculty and gamblers, you have to keep updated with the newest 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 laborious to not love Kent State. The golden flashes are all I would like from a basketball staff.

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 price (24.9%).

The flashes cease all the pieces.

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

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

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

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

It additionally accommodates 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 means to pressure you into unhealthy iso positions. It is not going to permit opponents to run good attacking mixtures with respectable half distances, which ends up in inefficiency in each space of ​​the ground (apart from nook 3).

Picture credit score: Central Financial institution of Bahrain Analytics

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

Kent State has returned 4 starters from a staff 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 staff, however must be contemplating a MAC DPOY. He is the present MAC chief in EvanMiya’s DBPR scale, and he isn’t significantly shut.

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

In the meantime, Kent State’s high scorer is nearly unimaginable to cease. Defending MAC Participant of the 12 months 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 pictures like this:

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

However when you could have the very best participant on earth, and you’ve got the facility to knock out the opponent’s greatest participant, you win matches.

And have 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 below 75 for less than the second time this season.

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


Essentially the most shocking staff in school basketball this season?

Look no additional James Madison Dukes.

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

Nicely, the Dukes of faculty 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 a minimum of 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 greatest 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 lively 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 plenty of decide and roll combos, primarily with Morse and Molson, but additionally with a number of ball gamers. James Madison is eighth in bench minutes.

You will additionally see plenty of Dukes’ greatest gamers’ chops, and so they can smash the offensive boards.

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

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

The Dukes are taking place on you, and so they don’t have any issues making these pictures.

Picture credit score: Central Financial institution of Bahrain Analytics

Surprisingly, the Dukes rank a lot greater 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).

This can be a wild improvement from a staff 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 mentioned:

“I believe our protection will enhance so much. We have added the athleticism. We’ll have some massive guards and guys who can transfer round and nonetheless be capable of get within the protection and make them uncomfortable.”

Both means, the items come collectively for that staff on offense and protection.

Picture credit score: Central Financial institution of Bahrain Analytics

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

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