Sunday, November 14, 2010
All Eyes On Cedarville
While the Golden Knights are still trying to figure out each other, their opponent for the opening round of the Gary Miller Classic is already raising a trophy. Cedarville is 2-0 after defeating host Rio Grande, 85-78, in the championship game of the Rio Grande Bevo Francis Tournament Saturday. Here are some stats on the Yellow Jackets you might find interesting (thru 2 games). Please keep in mind that two games doesn't exactly make a trend, but it does shed some light on the club:
* Two seniors and two sophomores average double figures -- Matt Harner (15.5), Austin Foote (14.0), Brian Hecker (13.5), and Derrick Hannon (13.0)
* The Yellow Jackets are 25-of-55 on threes (46%) and 74-of-129 (57%) from the field overall. Good shooters, right?
* Well, maybe that's only when they have a hand in their face. They're only 10-for-21 from the foul line, a paltry 47%. Harner has made 7-of-9 threes but he's 0-of-4 from the charity stripe.
* Opponents are shooting 50% from the field against them.
* They've outrebounded opponents an average of 38-25.
* The attendance for the championship game was 340. I've had bigger parties at my house. Apparently the Yellow Jacket fans don't travel well, but they support their team like crazy on campus.
Before heading to the Hammermill Center, Cedarville -- who is ranked #14 in NAIA Division II -- will play two more important games in their division. They host #24 Indiana Wesleyan as well as preseason #1 and defending national champion Saint Francis (Ind.) on Nov. 19-20 in the 33rd Annual Cedarville Invitational. (We'll provide updates on those games on the Gannon Hoops website. And if you think I'm the only one blogging about Cedarville basketball, guess again.)
I'm trying to get a gauge on how good Cedarville is, but I'm not sure if I should be impressed that they beat Bluefield (W.Va) by 23 to open the season. I don't know anything about Bluefield -- not even their team mascot. CU was 26-9 last year with one of those losses by 17 at Urbana (88-71). Then again, they shellacked Urbana at home 97-75. Other W's came against Roberts Wesleyan, Daemen, and Taylor (Ind.), who GU held off for a two-point home win last year. Everyone else on their schedule from a season ago sounds like a high school (St. Xavier), a bank (Huntington), or a merger between a blood-pressure drug and a rural church (Trevecca Nazarene).
Update #1: (11/16/10) Cedarville led at halftime, 45-39, but lost at Findlay tonight by a 94-75 final. The Oilers are preseason #3 in Division II play.
Update #2: (11/20/10) Cedarville lost at home Friday night to NAIA Division II #24 Indiana Wesleyan, 70-65. The Jackets shot just 41% from the field in front of a nice-sized crowd of 1700+.
Update #3: (11/21/10) Cedarville fell to 2-3 overall after their 100-84 home loss to NAIA Division II #1 St. Francis (Ind.). Cedarville was just 4-of-12 from the foul line, making them an even 50% for the season (25-for-50) on charity tosses. I'm perplexed how a team that shoots it so well from three-point range (40%, 50-for-125) can be so abysmal when uncontested. I also can't understand how St. Francis, the patron saint of animals, could be so mean to Yellow Jackets.
Update #4: (11/24/10) Cedarville ended its three-game losing streak with an 87-75 home win over Ohio Christian. The game was close throughout. CU jacked up 35 threes (making 11) and shot 59% from the foul line, bringing their season FT percentage to 53.2%.
Geez, I think we know more about Cedarville than we do our own Knights. We'll learn a lot Nov. 26-27. And so will coach John Reilly.