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Zips basketball: Three pre-game observations

By George Thomas Published: February 16, 2013

There’s been a change in approach this week with the Zips.  The coaching staff decided to break the game down into four-minute rounds that the team must win.

They’ll be graded on how many offensive rebounds, deflections, steals and post-touches they get in each segment and it will be determined whether they won each of 10 rounds within the game.

As the Zips continue to pursue a little history with an 11 game winning streak in the MAC and a pursuit of a 17-game win streak overall (the country's longest), anything that gets them through the game.  They have a tendency to play to the level of their competition and although this is a gimmick, it’s not difficult to understand that the coaching staff is looking for more focus.  Here are my three observations for the rematch with Bowling Green – they won the first 68-55 - for this evening’s game:

  • They should go to Zeke Marshall more in this game.  Offensively he had one of his better games of the season being pitted against The Falcons Cameron Black.  But he will need to hit the boards harder considering he grabbed only three against the Falcons in the first go around.
  • After Wednesday’s effort against Eastern Michigan, point guard Alex Abreu needs to bounce back from an effort that saw him commit nine of the team’s 20 turnovers, many of which were unforced.  He and the team must take care of the ball.
  • The bench needs to come back to life.  They’ve struggled a bit with respect to consistency in recent games. They’ve delivered when necessary, but it’s better to have them do so throughout the game rather than having the team’s back against the wall.  Dambrot made some changes in the rotation – notice that freshmen Reggie McAdams and Jake Kretzer came off the bench earlier.  They will need a chance to gel, but there’s no time like the present.:

Key matchup:  Marshall versus Cameron Black.  The Zips need for him to get rolling early to help set the tone that will allow the Zips to do a little running for a chance.

Key stat:  This one is very simple: the Falcons rank 10th in rebounding defense in the Mid-American Conference.  If the Zips crash the boards (hello, Demetrius Treadwell and Marshall), they win this game, easily.

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