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MAC Basketball 2022-23


Let'sGoZips94
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9 hours ago, Blue & Gold said:

I watched part of that game but missed seeing Ali. UConn looked unbelievably good.

 

UCONN hasn't lost yet. What's even more amazing - their smallest margin of victory is 10 points against OK State, and they've played Oregon, Bama, Iowa State, Florida, and Butler as well. 

Edited by Let'sGoZips94
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32 minutes ago, LoyalZIP said:

Also not MAC, but Aziz has maintained his solid production this year for Utah Valley. Averaging a double-double and shooting 60%+ from the foul line. Throwing a 3 in every now and then too. They’ve beaten Oregon and BYU on the road. 

I'm still a bit baffled why he left Akron.

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49 minutes ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

 

He was hardly in the rotation during our biggest games at the end of the season. 

Meh...he played 400 minutes as a true Freshman. That's more than a lot of Frosh. Played 13 minutes against UCLA. Enrique was his BFF. Playing in a program that likely would be in the MAC finals a few more times during his career.

 

Good for him, but I'm baffled why he left. 

 

Maybe I'm just old...if you don't play enough as a Freshman, you transfer. If you play really well, you transfer.

 

A player needs to fall within the "not-bad-enough-to-be-disenchanted-and-transfer-but-not-good-enough-to-be-attractive-in-the-portal" if he's to stick around.

 

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1 hour ago, Captain Kangaroo said:

I'm still a bit baffled why he left Akron.

I talked to Groce about it and he also was baffled. He indicated he didn't see it coming. But John had a great attitude about the transfer saying strange things happen in college sports every day. So move on.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is how the MAC performed during OOC play per the NET rankings.

 

MAC Team's NET Rankings
30 - Kent State
98 - Toledo
118 - Ohio
125 - Ball State
132 - Akron
198 - Buffalo
253 - Central Michigan
277 - Bowling Green
292 - NIU
300 - Eastern Michigan
326 - Miami
327 - Western Michigan

Overall Record by Quad
Q1 0-21 (.000)
Q2 4-15 (.211)
Q3 12-19 (.387)
Q4 40-22 (.645)
Overall 56-77 (.421)

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18 minutes ago, MDZip said:

One surprise tonight. Ball State takes out Toledo at Toledo. BUGS, Can't, CMU and Buffalo also winners. 

Ball State out-rebounded Toledo by 20!  13-2 in offensive rebounds.  Looking at the stats, they played an almost perfect game.  Our funny friends at "Over the Pylon" must be "Over the Moon" of their new coach.  Coach Lewis is old school:  all suits and ties for him and his staff.

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22 minutes ago, clarkwgriswold said:

EMU was 18 of 64 from the field and 3 of 22 from the 3 point line.  Yikes.

 

I hit a 2 leg parlay of unders (BUGS/EMU Under 157.5 and OU/Buffalo Under 158.5). My thought process for BUGS/EMU was EMU would maybe hit 70-80, and BUGS would struggle. Complete opposite. BUGS shot out of their minds. 

 

EMU is a poorly coached team. Heath has as much if not more talent than anyone in the MAC, and they're consistently embarrassed by their opponent - home, away, on the moon, etc. 

 

Balls is the team to watch in the West. Coach Kowalchoke finally has competition, and much like his March performances, I think Toledo folds a bit in the regular season. 

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Probably won't do this every week after the games, but after getting to see a decent amount of each team in week 1, here's how I would rank them currently:

 

1. Kent--They didn't look as unbeatable as everyone in the country perceives, but they went 2-0 and won at Millett. Not an easy task. Carry won single-handedly yesterday

2. Ball State--I don't think this will wind up being the 2nd place finisher when it's all said and done, but this program seems to be coming back to life. Decent guards, a great big, decent experience, and a great hire. They play real hard, and could make some noise.

3. Toledo--Despite the loss to Ball State, the way they dominated WMU for 40 minutes spoke volumes. I don't see this as a Toledo team that will win 15-17 league games, but they're still really good and will be a contender. They're in Kent on Tuesday.

4. Bowling Green--I'll show the Falcons some love, though I expect them to really struggle in the grand scheme of things. They were dominant in Ypsi, and put together a hell of a performance to beat Ohio yesterday. It's funny, everyone expected both BG football and BG men's basketball to be horrible, finish at the bottom of the league. And while I still believe they're not any good, they somehow win games. Huger is coaching for his job. He's got Metheny back, and he's not one to mess around with. The whole team has never met a shot they don't like, and they've got an athletic big guy who can finish. My surprise of the year so far.

5. Buffalo--Opened league play with a pair of home games against a similar OU team and dreadful NIU. The Bulls put together a decent nonconference season, and have gotten off to a nice start. Beating OU at home is always good. This team is pretty unrecognizable from a roster standpoint, and I don't trust Whitesell. I'd expect a regression to the mean in the next few weeks.

6. Akron--It's okay, I promise! It's funny, going into last year with the additions of X, KJ Walton, an offseason for Bandaogo, Freeman, Clarke, Dawson, etc. we were expecting massive things, to be massive favorites. Then reality set in and it was unrecognizable from October to March. Fast forward to this past March, once again on cloud nine, getting every important piece back, then the portal + injuries begin to pile up. Groce re-tools, puts together a roster to get excited about, then a huge win over SDSU! WOW! Then a couple nice wins and let downs. MAC play arrives, this team has been without X for a couple games, Clarke for a couple weeks, Aziz, Ali transferred out, Dawson out for the year, another P5 transfer has come in and been a disappointment. All of a sudden we're relying on Kobe Mitchell, Nate Johnson, Tavari Johnson, and an NIU transfer. Not a great feeling. But considering the circumstances, I've seen far better (to this point) Akron teams play far worse against much worse teams. Tuesday at BG is not a must-win, but it sure does feel like it. TTP.

7. Ohio--After losing their two best players to the portal, Boals has put together another decent team. Roderick is still there, and Miles Brown is a stud. This is a team to keep an eye on.

8. CMU--Tony Barbee can coach! Going into last season, they seemed like a team that would be a distant last place. But they won at Kent, gave Toledo and Akron fits, and found themselves in Cleveland. They had the ball on the last possession with a chance to win. All with a thrown together mish-mash roster. Not many guys returned from that group, but he re-tooled and has another pesky team. Freshman Reggie Bass is fun to watch.

9. EMU--It pains me to put them this high after losing a home game to BG by 25, but they actually looked okay in the 2nd half against CMU. They were down big early, but rallied and won. One of their other wins this year was at FIU, who just beat a great UAB team. Stan Heath is not a good coach, but they have Emoni Bates and nobody else does. He's got a Nick Harney attitude with modern day NBA talent. They could beat anyone but also lose to anyone by 30. 

10. WMU--Lamar Norman seems to be a shell of his former self after a pair of MAC games. I'm on the fence about this new coach, who seems to prefer to play inside-out, despite having Norman. He doesn't let him run wild. Toledo put up 100 on them. Still dangerous, but I'm disappointed.

11. Miami--Groce's step-brother is going to have a long year. They put up a good fight against Kent, but had no answer for Carry. They had a 6-point lead deep into the 2nd half, but you knew there was no hope. I do think there's potential, as Lairy is still there, and he's got a big-dog style guy who can pass as well as any big.

12. NIU--Poor Rashon Burno. Wow, they're bad. Bad bad bad. Keshawn WIlliams is the single bright spot on this team. A mid-major program in the Chicago area should never be this bad, but here we are again. There will be a fight for the last spot in Cleveland, and I would put NIU's chances at 0.0%. 

 

If Kent runs Toledo off the floor by 15+, I'll be a bit more convinced that they're as ahead of the pack as the metrics suggest. But all I see on the horizon is another grind of a MAC season for the Zips. Few of these games will be easy, and it all boils down to Cleveland. Seeding doesn't matter, matchups don't matter. You gotta bring it every night. 2022 taught us that. Go Zips!

 

Edited by LoyalZIP
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22 hours ago, LoyalZIP said:

If Kent runs Toledo off the floor by 15+, I'll be a bit more convinced that they're as ahead of the pack as the metrics suggest. 

 

 

They're a Final Four team according to the CBS Sports announcers during the Balls game.

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5 minutes ago, LoyalZIP said:

 

Indeed they are. I like WMU to the Sweet 16 and Miami to the Elite 8 as well.

 

Wait until NIU is within 2 pts of KSUcks at 0-2 (beginning of the game). Might as well take them to the title game as a dark horse. 

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I don't think Kent is a Buffalo of a few years ago, but they do look the best in the MAC given the ~17 game sample size we've seen. I think they will go 15-3 in the MAC with the second place team (whoever that is) going 13-5 or 12-6.

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