Monday, January 5, 2009

game preview: Brown

A quickish programming note before I write anything about Brown. I've given up on the last basketball season preview. You're missing out on Wake. Sorry. They're pretty good. There ya go.

So what am I up to since I'm blowing that off? Here's what the future holds, if I stick to plan:

- I have one more football game to make highlights out of. That should be sometime in the next couple weeks.

- Hopefully I will also have some basketball games to make highlights out of. Any basketball win I get my claws on will also go in the videos section.

- I'm also converting my recordings over to DVD. I don't have a full-time studio, I have a personal computer, and I don't have the space to store them all. Where this applies to the blog and you, lucky reader, is that hopefully I can get my paws on some older games that I didn't have, and then the videos section can get really interesting.

- As for actual writing, I have certain plans. I skipped the Xavier game preview, but that's probably the last one I'll skip. I have to do a few more recruit profiles and I fully intend to finish those. Signing Day will bring a couple interesting things. I'll write up some kind of Signing Day extravaganza. That's also when I plan to update the depth chart by class. It's not 100% accurate right now because I last updated it somewhere in the middle of the season, and I figure there's not much point in doing so again until the '09 class is in the books. It'll get an update and a bit of a makeover then.

OK. Brown.....

Virginia Cavaliers (6-5, 1-0) vs. Brown Bears (5-7, 0-0)

Possible starting lineups:


PG - Sammy Zeglinski (11.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.0 apg)
SG - Calvin Baker (8.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.7 apg)
SF - Sylven Landesberg (19.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.6 apg)
PF - Mike Scott (11.0 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.0 apg)
C - Assane Sene (3.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.7 apg)


PG - Adrian Williams (13.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.5 apg)
F - Peter Sullivan (14.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.8 apg)
F - Chris Skrelja (7.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 4.0 apg)
F - Matt Mullery (15.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.3 apg)
F - Scott Friske (5.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.9 apg)

Brown's a little bit weird, which is what happens with some of these mid-majors trying to stand out from the pack. They have a motion offense, which is a basketball term for "run around a lot and try not to post anyone up." OK, Matt Mullery is allowed to post up, and has earned a 63% FG percentage doing so, and blocks shots besides. This offense otherwise leads to weird stats, like "the leading rebounder is also the leading assist man." And the guard-types - Williams and Sullivan, the only guys who generally take any threes - barely have any assists at all.

Now, they also have three guys doing all the scoring. Hey, that sounds familiar. And it's even more of a pronounced trend at Brown than here. Gee, you think. This should be easy. And their starters play, like, all the minutes. The problem is this - the only guy in that starting lineup smaller than 6'5" is Adrian Williams at 6'1". OK, so Sammy can probably guard him, but that leaves 6'2", 186 Calvin Baker to guard 6'5", 210 Peter Sullivan or 6'6", 220 Chris Skrelja. So Baker is listed as the "possible starter" up there, mainly because he's started all the games, but he's gonna get torched if he has to carry the defensive load, so I'm expecting and hoping that his minutes will for the most part go to Mo Diane, who's 6'5". Diane's been puzzlingly horrendous on offense this year, so he ought to get the start, focus on locking down one of their three scorers defensively, and let Baker play against some reserve. That'd let Baker open up on offense, which would be nice to have.

This isn't like the Hampton game where you can point at all kinds of great matchups in our favor. I'm a little bit worried, and if Brown had anyone beyond their top three guys who could consistently score, I'd be a lot worried. Fortunately they're even more of a three-man show than we are, and it's Brown, so they've got a lot of gumpy white guys with the same skill set.

As a note, the official site rather ominously says "Brown-Virginia Game Still Scheduled For Tuesday" which is the sort of headline that intends to reassure but only manages to induce panic, because you shouldn't have tell people that it's "still" scheduled. The blicky weather headed for Charlottesville tomorrow night threatens to make for a small crowd, assuming the game is played at all, so let's hope the combination of crappy and dangerous weather and crappy yet dangerous opponent on a darksome Tuesday night in the dead of winter in a half-dead arena doesn't make for a really lame stupid game where an Ivy League school gets an ACC hat to hang on the wall.

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