Good: Davidson is 80.6% from the free throw line as a team. That’s good enough for 19th in the nation. The Wildcats were 20/23 from the charity stripe in their opening loss to Auburn and kept it close for most of the game even with Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson struggling.
Bad: Davidson is allowing teams to shoot 54.8% from two point range; that’s not good, especially against a team like Charlotte that shot 55.0% from inside the three point line.
Good: Dayton is the best team in the nation right now from 2 point range, shooting 71.4% on its attempts. Obviously Obi Toppin’s high percentage shots are playing a big role. The sophomore is 18/23 on his field goal attempts through 2 games. Obviously the competition is still lacking.
Bad: Defending the perimeter has not been Dayton’s strong suit through its first 2 days. The Flyers are allowing teams to shoot 41.9% from range which ranks 331st currently.
Good: Defense has been stellar in the Dukes’ first 3 games. Duquesne is holding opponents to less than 20% from three point range and have the 6th best steal percentage in the nation. Lipscomb’s abysmal shooting night is certainly driving this stat thus far.
Bad: While perimeter defense has been strong, the interior has been a bit lackluster. The Dukes are allowing opponents to shoot better than 50% from 2 in their first 3 contests.
Good: Onyi Eyisi had 8 offensive rebounds in Fordham’s latest win over Marist, and the sophomore is top 20 nationally in offensive rebounding rate.
Bad: Fordham is just 52.5% from the free throw line as a team. That’s in the bottom 10 nationally. Rams have to shoot it better from the charity stripe.
Good: AJ Wilson has the 5th best block rate in the country! It’s great to see George Mason have a reliable big man on defense after Jarerd Reuter didn’t add much to this team last season.
Bad: Defensive rebounding has been a major concern. The Patriots gave up 20 offensive rebounds to Navy, 13 to Longwood, 12 to LIU, and 14 to James Madison. George Mason has to keep these weaker opponents off the offensive glass.
Good: Obviously I’m going to mention Arnaldo Toro’s rebounding rates. He’s 7th in the country on the offensive glass and 5th in the country on the defensive glass. Toro has 52 rebounds through 3 contests and is collecting boards at an insane rate on both ends of the floor.
Bad: 52.1% of George Washington’s field goal attempts are coming from beyond the three point line, and this is the 7th highest rate in the nation. Unfortunately, the Colonials are only shooting 27.2% from deep and not connecting on many of their long range attempts.
Good: Defense has actually been pretty solid through 3 games. La Salle is holding opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 41.5% and just 24.7% from three. Both of these metrics currently rank top 35 nationally.
Bad: La Salle joins the ranks of A-10 teams with free throw woes. The Explorers have made just 56.1% of their attempts from the charity stripe as a team.
Good: A lot of things going well for the Minutemen so far. I’ll point out that Massachusetts has the 2nd best non-steal turnover rate on offense nationally, meaning they’ve done a really good job at taking care of the basketball. A team with a lot of underclassmen isn’t making too many mental mistakes, and that’s a great sign for Matt McCall’s club.
Bad: Massachusetts could certainly be better at getting to the line and connecting on free throws. Right now the Minutemen are 171st in the country in free throw attempts per field goal attempts and also rank 271st in free throw shooting percentage.
Good: Jacob Toppin has yet to commit a turnover this season, and Jeff Dowtin has only committed 2 through 3 games. As a team, the Rams have been fairly good at taking care of the basketball, which is impressive given their strength of schedule thus far.
Bad: Believe it or not, 2 point shooting hasn’t been Rhode Island’s bread and butter through 2 games. The Rams are just 43.0% from 2, ranking 282nd nationally. Obviously a difficult Maryland team is driving that stat down.
Good: Offensively, Richmond has been very efficient in its first few contests. The Spiders are shooting a nearly 60% effective field goal percentage and are 42.5% from deep as a team.
Bad: The bad news is the other side of the ball. Defense has not been good thus far. Richmond is allowing teams to shoot 42.0% from deep, and the competition hasn’t been stiff. Teams are also shooting an effective field goal percentage of 54.4% against the Spiders, which is not great.
Good/Bad: I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but the Hawks are shooting 52.7% of their field goal attempts from behind the arc, which is a lot. Saint Joseph’s has some real sharpshooters in Ryan Daly and Taylor Funk, but when the threes aren’t falling, they’re really going to struggle. In essence, I think SJU’s reliance on the three has been a blessing due to the thin bench and having a way to keep up with more athletic opponents, but the lack of a 2 point game hurts as well.
Good: Offensive rebounding has been huge for the Billikens thus far, and though they rank 321st nationally in average height, these guys play much bigger. They’re also 21st in the nation at getting to the free throw line, meaning Saint Louis is drawing a ton of fouls so far.
Bad: Unfortunately, foul line shooting is still an ugly issue for this Saint Louis team. The Billikens are shooting just 53.1% from the charity stripe and are giving up a ton of potential points when they get to the line. This has been a recurring issue for Travis Ford’s teams.
Good: Freshman Justin Winston has been an incredible bright spot in what’s been a rocky start for the Bonnies. He’s 5/9 from three on the season, 10/12 from the free throw line, and his 19 points were enormous in helping the Bonnies take down Rutgers.
Bad: St. Bonaventure is committing a ton of fouls, allowing teams to shoot free throw attempts at a rate higher than 50% per field goal attempt. 3 Bonnies are averaging more than 5 fouls per 40 minutes this season, so inexperience has certainly led to some fouling mistakes.
Good: The Rams are doing what they always do on the defensive end of the floor. VCU is 9th in the country in defensive turnover percentage and forced 26 LSU turnovers this past week. De’Riante Jenkins is currently top 100 nationally in steal percentage.
Bad: Turnovers have been an issue for the Rams themselves. They’re coughing it up on 23% of their possessions which ranks 280th nationally. VCU certainly has to do a better job taking care of the basketball as non-conference SOS starts to ramp up.