Recon: vs. Binghamton (0-0)/ Friday @ 8:00 PM
The Opponent: The Binghamton Bearcats out of the America East Conference. Binghamton went 6-25 last season and finished with an RPI of 325 so yes, they’re terrible. There’s really not a whole lot to say about this game other than it’s the home opener and SBU needs to find a way to cruise to an easy victory vs. a poor team.
Last Time: The two clubs met last December on the 20th and the Bonnies earned a 69-51 win. Marcus Posley scored 20 points while Dion Wright and Jay Adams each scored 15. The Bonnies earned a +15 margin in the rebounding department and held Bighamton to 38% shooting.
The Skinny on Binghamton: According to most media outlets Bingo, I think people call them that, is picked to finish 5th in the America East. Which means they should be better than last season but still not all that good. This is the America East, Not a mid-major. Per the link mentioned above here’s a quick hit on the Cats…
“The Bearcats enter the fourth season under head coach Tommy Dempsey having gone 6-26 last season (5-11 in America East). Eleven players return from last season’s team, including each of the top four scorers in Willie Rodriguez (11.8 ppg), Dusan Perovic (11.5 ppg), Romello Walker (8.6 ppg) and point guard Marlon Beck (8.2 ppg).
Rodriguez, an America East All-Rookie selection last season, was dubbed a preseason First-Team All-Conference selection by Sporting News. Rodriguez, a 6-foot-6 forward, led the Bearcats in scoring, rebounding (5.5 per game) and blocked shots (23) as a freshman.
The Bearcats must replace the experience of three transfers in Jordan Reed, Nick Madray and Magnus Richards. All three players had been starters for the Bearcats at some point.”
The Stats: From last season…(RED=Bad, Green=Good) Figures inside colors represent nation ranks.
The Path to Victory: With this being the first game of the season SBU will have to avoid taking too long to shake the rust. The three new freshman will have to jump into the deep end of the pool with both feet and even players like Idris Taqqee will have to step into their new role and embrace it from the tip. According to KenPom, this is the Bonnies’ third easiest game of the season. But, that doesn’t mean the Bonnies couldn’t lose it. The only way Mark Schmidt’s club allows Bingo’ to come into the RC and earn a win, to me, is if they basically hand them the game. What does this look like? It looks like a negative turnover ratio, getting beaten on the glass and playing stupid basketball. I expect there to be rust, but as long as the effort and some semblance of a solid execution are there, SBU should eventually pull away to win.
The Known (their best player): Willie Rodriguez, 6-6, Forward. A sophomore, Rodriguez will likely matchup with Dion Wright in the post and though he will give up an inch or so does gives the Bearcats a nice post presence to build on going forward. Rodriguez really came on strong at the end of his freshman season and finished shooting 43% from the floor, 68% from the line and 21% from three. He scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds last year vs. SBU. It will be on Wright/Woods/Gregg to keep the sophomore in check and make sure they guard him out to the three point line because he’s proven to be a decent-enough shooter.
The Gut Feeling: There should be little doubt that the Bonnies win this game at home in front of their faithful. Binghamton is an average team from a poor conference playing on the road vs. a club that almost never loses a home opener. SBU may be thin and small but they’re more talented, better coached and more experienced. While I expect the Bonnies to show some rust and warts of an offseason during the contest they’ll eventually play well enough to dispatch Binghamton. I expect the Big Three (Wright, Posley, Adams) to do the bulk of the damage (will be a theme this season) but for the supporting cast to look decent as well vs. inferior talent.
The Prediction: Bonnies 78- Binghamton 65