Friday, January 20, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Tail of the tape MU vs. USM

Marshall (13-5,4-0) visits Southern Mississippi (16-3,3-1) on Saturday in a battle of two teams at the top of Conference USA’s basketball standings. The Thundering Herd will be fighting to stay undefeated in league play while Southern Mississippi looks to build off a 59-55 victory over UAB Wednesday night.

Using the incredible website, lets take a look at the two squads biggest statistical differences.

1) FT Percentage

Southern Mississippi ranks 21st in the NCAA, shooting 74.9 percent from the free throw line. Marshall is much worse, the Herd is only converting free throws at 60.4%.

2) 3pt FG Percentage

The Golden Eagles are also a much better three point shooting team, USM ranks 67th in the nation at 37.4%. Marshall’s 3-point shooters have struggled all season, hitting 30.3% of their opportunities.

3) 2pt FG Percentage

Marshall converts a higher rate of two point field goal attempts than Southern Mississippi, coming it at 57% compared to the Golden Eagles 48.5%.

4) Rebounds Per Game

Both teams are strong on the glass, ranking in the nations top 100 for rebounds per game. Marshall does hold a statistical edge, bring in 42 rebounds per game compared to USM’s 37.5.

5) Turnovers Per Game

Southern Mississippi does a better job protecting the ball than Marshall, they only average 11.9 turnovers per game, MU gives the ball away 13.9 times per game.

6) Defensive Floor Percentage (The percentage of a team's possessions on which at least one point is scored ).

Marshall is allowing its opponents to score at least one point on 50.9% of their offensive possessions. Southern Mississippi does a better job defending, it’s opponents only score on 46.3% of their offensive possessions.

7) Defensive 3pt FG Percentage

Marshall is a better defensive team beyond the arch, allowing teams to convert 30.1% of their 3-point attempts. Southern Mississippi struggles a little bit in that area, allowing the opposition to hit 34.6% of their 3-point shots.

8) Defensive 2pt FG Percentage

This is an area that Marshall really struggles with, the Thundering Herd allows opposing teams to score on 60.9% of their 2 point attempts, good for 338th in the nation. The Golden Eagles are much better, limiting opponents to 52.7% of two point attempts made.

This should be a pretty close game, both teams rebound well and have different strengths on either side of the ball. Southern Mississippi is a better shooting team but, Marshall’s strong 3-point defense might pose problems for the Golden Eagles. Marshall will have to do a better job limiting USM’s two point field goal percentage. The key in doing so will be stopping senior forward Maurice Bolden who averages 11.1 points per game, mostly in the paint.

Tip off is scheduled for 6pm ET tomorrow in Hattiesburg Mississippi.

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