Saturday, February 19, 2011

Five halftime thoughts: Wright State

1.) The Flying Dutchmen are right where they want to be, down 33-26. No, that’s actually not true at all. As good as the Dutchmen have been playing from behind, this is not a good seven-point deficit. They’re getting all the calls but squandering opportunities at the free throw line, missing one free throw in each of their last four trips and shooting 11-of-16 from the charity stripe overall, while enduring a nearly seven-minute drought from the field.

2.) Wright State is putting on an absolute clinic on how to defend Charles Jenkins, putting at least two and as many as four players on him every time he touches the ball. Jenkins doesn’t seem fazed and has been aggressive in driving the lane and creating contact, and his dish to Brad Kelleher led to the Kelleher 3-pointer that ended the Dutchmen’s dry spell. Mo Cassara will be looking for ways to get Jenkins open in the second half, but the Dutchmen won’t win if…

3.) …Mike Moore remains almost invisible. Moore had a nice driving layup in the game’s first minute and nothing since. He’s 1-for-4 from the field and has to be a factor for the Dutchmen to have a shot—especially since the Dutchmen are just 1-of-9 from 3-point land.

4.) Wright State entered the game averaging just 27 rebounds per game, but the Raiders have hit the boards with a vengeance with Greg Washington in early foul trouble as they’ve pulled down 10 offensive rebounds (and 20 overall) and scored 10 second-chance points. Stephen Nwaukoni had just one rebound in seven minutes so it’s imperative that David Imes (three rebounds in 19 minutes) get involved and display the form he showed his last two games.

5.) Expect both teams to heat up from outside. The two squads were an almost incomprehensible 2-for-22 combined from beyond the 3-point line, including 1-of-13 for Wright State. Given those struggles, if the Dutchmen can tighten up their interior defense they should be able to chip away at the Wright State lead and turn this into another last-second nail-biter.

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