Penn Preview - 2
1st Round Edition - Update
Well, I do not know about you guys, but I am very excited about tomorrow.
The Aggies and Quakers get underway just after 2:00 (central time) tomorrow afternoon live from Lexington, Kentucky, and the game will be broadcast on CBS (HD).
This week has been pretty quiet, and there has not been a whole lot of news out of College Station or Lexington. I am viewing this as a good thing and hoping that the good guys are treating this as a business trip and they will come out focused and ready to play.
Obviously anything can happen in the NCAA tournament, but if the Aggies can keep Penn forward Mark Zoller and guard Ibrahim Jaaber in check, they should easily get past the intellectual group from Penn.
Gillispie, the ultimate sandbagger, does not share my optimism; he had this to say today in their meeting today with the media in Lexington, “Penn is a very, very, very good team - a very difficult opponent for us to play the way we have to play. We’re happy to be in and hopefully we’ll play well enough tomorrow to win.”
I fully understand that he can not say anything other than that, but I still find it funny.
I think one other thing to keep an eye on, something that we failed to mention in the preview on Sunday night, is free throw shooting. Both the Aggies and Quakers have really struggled from the line this season, but the Quakers are one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the nation.
While the Aggies are only making 72.4% of their free-throws on the year, the Quakers are absolutely horrible in making just 66.3% of their attempts from the charity stripe.
What is so surprising about the horrible FT percentage by Penn is that they are actually one of the top shooting teams in the nation. They shoot almost 50% from the field overall, which ranks 9th in the nation, while their 66.3% average from the free-throw line ranks 249th in the nation.
No, that is not a typo, yes, that says two-hundred-forty-nine.
Am I implying that we actually want to see the Aggies rack up a bunch of fouls and put the Quakers on the line?
Well, let's not go that far just yet, but just know that if Penn does wind up shooting 20+ free-throws tomorrow afternoon that will not necessarily be a bad thing.
I think it is also worth mentioning that the Aggies should be able to dominate Penn on the boards as the Quakers rank 177th in rebounding margin (the Aggies rank 36th) - - just something else to keep an eye on.
Finally, it is worth a mention that Josh Carter wound up leading the nation in three point field goal percentage this year. Josh finished up the season making 51.6% of his shots from downtown in connecting on 83 of his 161 attempts.