Ball State Cardinals (1-0) vs Old Dominion Monarchs (1-0)
2023-11-11 14:00:00 EDT
The Line: Betting Odds: Ball State Cardinals +1 -- Over/Under: 142
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It’s game time in college basketball, and the stage is set for a thrilling encounter. The Old Dominion Monarchs, boasting a record of 1-0, are gearing up to face the Ball State Cardinals, also 1-0. Old Dominion, fresh off their recent win against Virginia Wesleyan, are looking to continue their momentum. Meanwhile, Ball State, coming off a dominant victory over Goshen, aims to keep their scoring streak alive. Both teams have their eyes set on victory, but only one can come out on top in this head-to-head showdown.
Old Dominion Monarchs: A Rebounding Powerhouse
The Old Dominion Monarchs’ early-season form has been a tale of two contrasting aspects: their dominance in rebounding and the challenges in scoring efficiency. With 46 rebounds on opening night, the Monarchs are a powerhouse on the boards, ranking 33rd nationally. This rebounding strength, led by Dericko Williams with eight, isn’t just about securing the ball; it’s a strategic advantage that limits opponents’ second-chance points and controls the tempo of the game.
However, when it comes to scoring, the Monarchs face some hurdles. Their average of 71 points on opening night places them 259th in the country, a stat that doesn’t quite align with their rebounding prowess. The shooting percentages further highlight this issue: 43.9% in field goals (203rd) and a modest 33.3% from the three-point line (171st). This disparity suggests a need for better shot selection or improved offensive schemes. Chaunce Jenkins, their leading scorer, and Tyrone Williams, the second-leading scorer, are pivotal in addressing these offensive challenges. Jenkins’ 16 points and Williams’ 15 points are crucial, but the Monarchs require more consistency from them and support from the rest of the squad to elevate their scoring game.
In addition to scoring and rebounding, defense is another crucial area for the Monarchs. While their rebounding helps in defensive stands, their overall defensive strategy needs to be tightened to counteract the high-scoring offenses they will face. Improving their defensive play will not only limit opponents’ scoring opportunities but also create more transition scoring chances for themselves.
Ball State Cardinals: High-Octane Offense
The Ball State Cardinals have started the season with a bang, showcasing a potent offense that can trouble any defense. The Cardinals scored 101 points on opening night, ranking them 122nd nationally. The Cardinals don’t just score frequently; they do it efficiently. Their impressive shooting stats – a 53.6% field goal percentage (53rd) and an exceptional 52.4% from three-point range (8th) – are indicators of a well-oiled offensive machine. This efficiency is not accidental but the result of a well-coordinated team effort led by Basheer Jihad, who scored a team high 21 points.
Behind this scoring machine lies the strategic playmaking of Trent Middleton, the team’s assist leader with seven. Middleton’s ability to find open teammates and create scoring opportunities was a key factor in Ball State’s offensive success on opening night. Furthermore, the Cardinals’ proficiency from beyond the arc, where they shoot over half their attempts successfully, makes them a constant threat from deep. This long-range threat opens up the floor, allowing players like Micah Bell, the team’s second-leading scorer, to exploit defenses that are stretched thin trying to cover the perimeter.
However, Ball State’s reliance on their offensive firepower does come with its challenges, particularly on the defensive end. While their scoring is top-notch, their rebounding and free throw shooting are areas of concern. This balance between their high-scoring offense and the need for defensive solidity will be crucial in their upcoming games.
David’s Pick Ball State Cardinals (+1)
Analyzing the stats and performance, the edge seems to tilt towards the Ball State Cardinals. Their high-scoring offense, led by Basheer Jihad and backed by impressive shooting percentages, poses a significant challenge for the Old Dominion defense. The Monarchs, while strong on the boards, may struggle to keep up with the scoring pace of the Cardinals. Ball State’s ability to efficiently convert from the field and beyond the arc will likely be the decisive factor in this matchup. Therefore, my pick is the Ball State Cardinals. Their scoring firepower and efficient shooting will be the key to overcoming the rebounding strength of Old Dominion.