On Tuesday evening the Bonnies dropped a 66-62 decision at South Dakota State. The loss dropped the Bonnies to 1-2 while the Jackrabbits improved to 2-1. The game at Sanford Pentagon was listed as ‘neutral’ but the Sioux Falls, South Dakota site is roughly 50 miles from the SDSU campus. The numbers of note…
Possessions: 78- An uptempo pace, a little faster than the Bona norm to date.
Offensive efficiency: SDSU 85, St. Bona 79- Bona defense yielded a metric which wins many games. The offense? A 79 wins very few games.
Kyrell Luc paced the Bonnies and all scorers with 17 points while handing out five assists. Yann Farell, despite foul trouble (more on that later) had a 16 point 11 rebound double-double. Daryl Banks added 14 points.
SDSU’s Matt Dentlinger earned kenpom.com MVP honors. The 6’8: senior scored 16 points with six rebounds and two blocked shots. Zeke Mayo, a 6’3” sophomore hauled in a game high 13 rebounds as SDSU enjoyed a 37-29 edge off the glass.
Foul mood. The number that stood out on this evening was in the free throw rate. The free throw attempts divided by field goal attempts saw the following:
St. Bona 13%
Bonnies were whistled for 26 fouls SDSU 10. Bona was 6 of 8 from the line while SDSU shot 25 of 30. Chad Venning and Anouar Mellouk fouled out for the visitors. Yann Farell did not qet disqualified, but was hit with four personals. Going out of your area, especially for a non-tournament game, of the country is a difficult proposition. Officials work certain conferences and said leagues may interpret a foul or style of play differently than In other regions. In simpler terms what could be a no call in the A10 may well be interpreted as too aggressive and a foul in the Summit (SDSU’s conference).
The key is consistency. If it is a ‘tighter’ whistle, let it be that way for the duration. In that case the players can adjust. Sometimes with a young team like Bona, that adjustment may not be as easy to realize.
“We were outscored by 19 from the foul line,” Bona coach Mark Schmidt told tapinto.net. Schmidt also emphasized officiating was not the deciding factor as he noted, “we did not lose because of the refs.”
In a game of runs a late 13-3 spurt by SDSU proved to be decisive.
Turnovers. Bona forced their opponents into an exceedingly high 32% TO rate. On the flip side, the Bonnies lost the ball 18 times for a 23% rate- their first time over the 20% mark to date.
South Dakota State is one of the top mid-major programs in the country. Last year Eric Henderson’s Jackrabbits won 30 games, were undefeated in the Summit League and took Providence to the wire in a first round loss in the NCAA Tournament.
“It was a great college game. They’re good. We didn’t play well, we turned the ball over too many times. I think our inexperience came into play a little bit.” Bona mentor Mark Schmidt
At this point it is time to take a small sample look at the Bonnies ‘ numbers after three games
Offensive efficiency: 101
Defensive efficiency: 98
Both above the projected target. On offense, break the century mark. Defense, keep opponents under it.
eFG pct: offense: 48, defense 49
FT rate : offense 27, defense 55
OREB pct: Offense 30, defense 27
TO rate: offense 17, defense 22
Schmidt’s group is getting the job done on the boards and in the turnover category (outside of Tuesday) . Bonnies are allowing opponents 32% shooting from three point range. Last year the number was 34% so there is a slight improvement to date. The number that jumps off the page is free throw rate. The defensive free throw rate metric is 343rd in the country per kenpom.com. Bonnies are committing too many fouls. Chalk it up to playing some pressure defense, which will lead to fouling and an extremely young squad. When Schmidt talks about “getting back into the gym and getting better,” no doubt the foul situation is a primary emphasis.
A final number to consider is DI experience per Kenpom.com.
‘23 – 1.6 years (232 in the rankings)
‘22 – 2.78 years (fifth in the country)