Game Day: Dartmouth
The Opponent: Dartmouth (0-0)
Probable Starting Lineup:
Injuries: Jordan Gathers (hip)- OUT.
Essentials: 7 PM, @ Reilly Center, Video via www.Gobonnies.com stream only.
What Vegas is saying: Bonnies favored by 10. I’ve seen them listed as low as -8.5 as well.
One stat: The Bonnies finished third in the Atlantic 10 in scoring a year ago averaging 73.4 points per game trailing only VCU and UMass. It will be interesting to see how this team plays pace-wise given that our two “best” players are likely Ndoye and Wright who play down low. Will the team slow the pace up to go inside first or continue to run a faster paced offense as they have done under Schmidt? My gut tells me they still work at a fast clip but possessions at the end of the game may look a bit different right now at least, without Matt Ice and Kloof to create for themselves.
Pick to Click: Let’s go with junior forward Dion Wright. Dion could wind up with more than his fair share of double-doubles this season and it would be great if he kicked off his season with one at home. Let’s project Wright for 17 points and 11 rebounds tonight. Wright had a breakout season of sorts last year and could become an all-league player by the end of this season if he really can develop that jump shot at some point.
The Bonnies will win if: They dominate the glass and realize they can score inside at a high clip. As we mentioned in the scouting report on Dartmouth they allowed opponents to shoot almost 50% on two pointers last year showing they cannot protect the rim or defend inside with consistency. Ndoye and Wright could have a field day inside on offense. On the defensive end, if the Bonnies limit this good offensive rebounding team to say 9-10 boards on that end and play “decent” defense the Bonnies should be fine. Even if the Bonnies struggle shooting the ball they can win this game with defense and rebounding; just two of Schmidt’s “triangle” he always talks about. This game is simply about defending them and just pounding them on the glass on both sides of the ball. Even if we turn it over and our guards shots aren’t falling to a large degree, we can break their spirits by getting stops and creating one-and-done possessions. They will be games where we need to defend, rebound and shoot the crap out of it to win this year; this is not one of those games. We need to commit to the defense end and simply go inside and attack the rim on the offensive end.
The Bonnies will lose if: Dartmouth connects on a ton of three pointers and extends possessions via offensive boards. If Dartmouth grabs any more than 12-13 offensive boards the Bonnies may find themselves giving up some of those second chance three pointers that seem to bury a team. Dartmouth cannot walk into the RC and knock down 8 three pointers and grab 15 offense boards…if that happens this game will likely be a dogfight inside of the last four minutes.
3 Keys to the Game:
- Allow no more than 11 offensive rebounds
- Hold Dartmouth to 42% shooting
- Out rebound Dartmouth by 5 or more
Bona Nation Fan Pulse Says: They are a team that brings back four starters off a “solid” season for them. There are a good number of alums out there who see this is a game we could lose while most are saying we should win by close to double digits and I would have to agree. I’ve seen some fans say they are more worried about this game more so than other openers in recent memory.
KenPom Predicts: A 76-69 win with a 73% chance of victory.
Predictions for the game:
Ian- Bonnies win 74-62
Shane- Bonnies win
Vinny- On Vacation in Mexico with a drink in his hand.