Halftime Update of K-State’s Next Opponent

17 Mar

Obviously, it’s by no means certain that the Wildcats will advance to the third round, given their game against the Utah State Aggies has yet to even begin. But in the interest of being proactive, here’s my analysis of the first half of the No. 13 Belmont/No. 4 Wisconsin game.

First of all, the Badgers have the capacity to be lethal from 3-point range. In the first half, they drained 7 of 14 attempts, meaning that shots from beyond the arc accounted for 62 percent of their points. The guys making them aren’t the ones you would expect either: how about forwards Jon Leuer (6’10”) and Mike Bruesewitz (6’6″)? From the outside, they definitely had the advantage over Belmont, and the 34-27 halftime score in their favor showed as much.

However, Belmont is no pushover. The Bruins were actually dominant in the paint. Their two main big guys, Scott Saunders and Mick Hedgepath, run the floor well, and as a result, they end up in good position in transition and either get the basket or the foul the vast majority of the time. So Belmont has the edge in close to the basket.

Another thing to note, one which the announcers have been mentioning often, is that the Bruins play a lot of guys. I think Belmont subs more than Kansas State’s Frank Martin did earlier this season, and that is saying something. They have 11 guys who average 10 minutes or more each game, and 10 players have gotten time in all 34 games this season.

One last comment: the Bruins have done a great job forcing turnovers. The Badgers average 7 per game, and against Belmont they committed that many in the first half.

That’s all for now; enjoy the games!

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