Bisons reach GSC semis, lose to Reddies

The season is over for the Bisons after an interesting run through the GSC Tournament this past weekend.  For a while, it looked like their tournament run was going to be quite short, but a remarkable stretch of ten minutes toward the end of the Valdosta State game, capped off by an amazing final five seconds, sent the Bisons into the second round for a rubber game against Henderson State.

Here are the stats for the game against VSU:

HU VSU +/-
Eff 95.6 92.1 3.5
TS% 52.7 50.6 2.1
OR% 33.3% 30.6% 2.8%
TR 18.2 17.0 1.3
Harding
Player Name MIN GS TS% RR ISP ITP IPP Floor% %TP ORtg
Andrepont, Patrick 25 2.9 50.0 14.9% 2.38 8.95 5.54 26.6% 12.8% 61.9
Sims, Brandon 31 11.1 81.0 6.9% 4.01 7.59 11.02 52.9% 10.8% 145.2
Barnett, Steven 24 1.6 25.6 4.4% 2.90 9.66 7.02 30.0% 13.8% 72.7
Hall, Matt 38 11.6 52.7 19.6% 8.21 21.97 20.56 37.4% 31.3% 93.6
Thies, Jacob 24 4.6 71.4 13.3% 2.18 6.90 5.85 31.6% 9.8% 84.7
Kee, Cole 9 0.2 17.4 0.0% 0.19 1.68 0.94 11.3% 2.4% 56.3
Bibb, Reggie 17 6.4 60.8 3.1% 2.41 5.59 7.36 43.0% 8.0% 131.5
Morgan, Trent 30 9.7 50.0 3.6% 4.34 7.55 11.03 57.4% 10.8% 146.1
Howard, Brian 2 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.0% 0.0% 0.0

Reggie Bibb’s fall-away three at the buzzer allowed the Bisons to play one more day in Southaven, so I got to see them play a rubber game in the season series against rival Henderson State on Saturday.  The Bisons were cruising early in that game, nailing 8 of their 14 three-point attempts in the first half.  Matt Hall and Brandon Sims really had it going, and the Bisons went into halftime ahead by ten.

The second half started out fairly even, and HU was still up ten with about five minutes to play, when the Reddies began a huge run, closing out the Bisons 76-71 in the final minute.  Below are the stats for this game:

HU HSU +/-
Eff 98.6 102.9 -4.3
TS% 59.2 57.7 1.5
OR% 16.7% 26.7% -10.0%
TR 18.1 16.9 1.2
Player Name MIN GS TS% RR ISP ITP IPP Floor% %TP ORtg
Andrepont, Patrick  33 -0.5 37.6 6.2% 2.94 11.00 7.85 26.7% 16.3% 71.4
Sims, Brandon  35 10.4 61.1 9.7% 3.39 8.50 9.10 39.9% 12.6% 107.1
Barnett, Steven  30 4.7 66.7 6.8% 2.40 6.23 5.16 38.6% 9.2% 82.9
Hall, Matt  38 20.2 66.2 7.1% 10.56 20.82 26.74 50.7% 30.9% 128.5
Thies, Jacob  14 0.2 54.3 0.0% 0.93 1.83 2.72 50.9% 2.7% 148.6
Bibb, Reggie  11 -3.6 0.0 0.0% 0.26 3.08 0.61 8.4% 4.6% 19.9
Morgan, Trent  23 7.5 53.2 11.8% 3.05 5.69 7.40 53.6% 8.4% 129.9
Bynum, Jesse  16 3.7 70.9 16.9% 3.35 10.09 7.90 33.2% 15.0% 78.3

Jesse Bynum had a season-high 11 points in this one, as he kept the Bisons in the game for much of the second half.  HSU star Dee Dee Drake rode the bench for almost the entire game, as he fouled out in just six minutes of playing time.

Matt Hall had 31 points total, but he went cold in the second half.  One player can only do so much, and no one (save Bynum) was there to pick up the slack.  Rick Hamilton was MIA yet again (he wasn’t even with the team, so who knows what’s going on), and Sims and Andrepont couldn’t get their shots to fall late in the game.

Henderson State used their remarkable quickness to keep attacking the basket, making a number of both easy and difficult shots to get back in the game and pull out the win.  Point guard Antoine Vinson was instrumental in getting the Reddies, scoring 23 points to lead them with Drake on the bench.

I think the official scorer messed something up in the box score I have, so either Larry Bray or Mike Phelps didn’t foul out.  I can’t remember which, but I know Drake did foul out, and he’s only shown with one foul.  Plus, it says that Marques Collins was the player who had 23 points, while I distinctly remember that it was Vinson.  Either that, or the game announcer was reading the wrong names.  I’ll try to sort all that out to get the individual stats correct before I release the final version.

Final Conference Tournament/Ranking Analysis

It looks like we had a shocker in the SIAC, which was about the worst possible situation for the GSC teams that were on the bubble.  The ridiculous SIAC regular season is so long that their teams (for the most part) don’t play credible in-region, non-conference games.  So, we had possibly overrated Benedict already a lock, and it was their job not to let any other SIAC teams in the NCAAs.  Alas, they failed, allowing 16-15 Albany State into the tournament field.

The question is, do we know which team is out because Albany is in?  My guess is that Christian Brothers would have made it instead.  In fact, they probably should have made it over Valdosta State, since they had a superior overall and in-region record, and they had a more consistently good season.  Really, Florida Gulf Coast should be the school that’s complaining over this one.  I think they’re possibly the second-best team in the region, but apparently their 21-3 in-region record as an independent wasn’t enough for an at-large berth.  Unless they’re on some sort of NCAA probation list (entirely possible), they should have been a lock.

As for the seeds, Montevallo is a deserving #1, but everything breaks down after that.  Rollins may only be the third best team in the SSC, but they got the #2 seed.  Benedict is an okay 3-seed, even though we have no idea how good they are, and Barry is a decent enough 4-seed.  Henderson State as a five seems pretty high to me; I guess they got bonus points for winning the division and reaching the GSC tournament final game.  Eckerd’s #6 seed is a bit low, since they could be the best team in the SSC, plus they won the conference tournament.  They’ll face Benedict in what might be an unlucky first-round matchup for them.  Valdosta State should not have been in the field, but they are the #7 seed.  Then we have fluke SIAC champ Albany State as the #8 seed, which should be a good way to reward Montevallo for a solid GSC run.

Loose Ends

I’m going to hold out on another stat release until I feel like I’ve got a clean box score from the HU-HSU game.  The HU side seems to be correct, but something is wrong with HSU’s side.  Hopefully they’ll get all that straight before the NCAA tourney starts.

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10 thoughts on “Bisons reach GSC semis, lose to Reddies

  1. Hamilton is gone after revealing to Coach Morgan following the HSU game that he had transfer aspirations. Coach sent him packing. Apparently his dad thinks he is reincarnation of Calvin Murphy.

    13-0 run by HSU and no timeout called by Harding?

    Sad to see Kee not play at all in his final game. Seems that in four years, no one was able to figure a way to get his production to match his confidence.

  2. Yeah, I thought that was kind of a tough way for Cole to go out. For all my criticism of his shot selection, we needed someone to go out and make a shot. The offense just fell totally flat at the end, and the defense was somewhat helpless against HSU’s penetration.

    Thanks for the tip on Hamilton. I’m not sure where he thinks he’s going, but I guess he’d better get on it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a lateral move to another D-II school when he realizes he won’t be playing on a D-I team.

    Speaking of getting on it, I guess we’re going to need a pretty strong incoming class next year to offset the losses of Bibb, Andrepont, Sims, Kee, and now Hamilton. I’m sure I’ll dive into that one later.

  3. I thought what you said was kind of interesting Ses about the confidence and production of Kee so i went back and did some computing. Seems to me that when he was playing he produced. I went back and did the numbers for his first half of conference to his second half of conference. He was right at averaging double figures for the second half compared to the first half where he only scored a total of 8 points the whole first half of conference. Then i went back to look at the minutes played and the Avg. minutes he played in the first half came out to be 5 mins exactly and for the second half he played a Avg. of 18 mins. So i don’t think it was his production that was down it was the minutes per game was down, and if i’m not mistaken didn’t something like this similarly happen last year? First half of conference was not seen then second half came out firing.

  4. I went back and ran some numbers, and there’s a fairly decent correlation between Kee’s minutes played in a game and his offensive rating for that game. The correlation is just .57, but it’s there, and in statistical terms you might say that minutes played explained 32% of the variance in his rating. Whether that’s because he had time to get in the groove in some games or because Coach Morgan kept him in since he had the hot hand, I’m not sure.

    There’s not really any good way to spin his 93.1 offensive rating for the season, but it’s hard to get going when you’re not getting much time. On the other hand, his lack of production definitely warranted a seat on the bench most of the time. He certainly wasn’t helping the offense (overall) when he was in there.

    One other interesting comparison is to Patrick Andrepont, who finished with an only slightly better 94.1 rating. Andrepont’s shooting was off pretty much the whole year (though not as bad as Kee’s), and turnovers were a big problem for him (more so than they were for Kee). You’d have to argue that Andrepont was a spectacular defender (possibly true) to warrant playing him (23.8 mins) so much more than Kee (13.5).

    A final note: Kee may have deserved to ride the bench after his poor and inconsistent play in the non-conference season, but who really got the benefit of his minutes? Reggie Bibb looks like the only player who saw a significant increase in minutes, and while his production may have increased a little bit, he wasn’t really any better overall than Kee.

  5. Early in the conference, Kee was playing outside and taking too many 3’s and not rebounding. Coach had an extremely quick trigger on him. Allowed others to make the same errors, but not Kee. I suspect some attitude problems with him over the 4 years.

    Late in the season, Kee was playing more inside (in place of Thies) where he was more effective and rebounded well and played acceptable defense. He seemed to have a whole different attitude from what I saw over the previous two years. In the last two conference games he was 3/10 at HSU, 3/9 vs CBU. In the tournament his playing time went to nothing. He was 0/2 vs VSU and did not play in the last game.

    I imagine fatigue was a factor in the final as Kee and Hamilton not playing took its toll.

  6. I’ve followed Kee’s career as a devoted Bison fan, and I must admit to have to been enamored in his saga .. I have always been a big Kee fan, as I feel that his production has always been consistent: when he plays, he produced .. granite, he did start the year on a bit of a slump, but he rose out of it strong and gave major contributions when he was allowed to play.

    I guess the one misconception is that while all these stats and figures are great and somewhat helpful, basketball is not a game played on paper, and a person’s stats definately do not correlate completely w/ success. If you want to look at stats, lets measure Kee’s minutes in the second half of conference compared to the first half, and let’s see how that correlated in to the Bison’s success .. It shows that when Kee was playing, for whatever reason, the Bison’s were successful.

    I just hate that Kee, being a senior, did not get the opportunity to TOUCH the floor his final game as a Bison, a game in which they definately could have used him.

  7. Crunching the numbers from the suggestion in the last comment: Kee averaged 13.2 minutes in Bison wins and 12.9 minutes in Bison losses. My 13.5 minute average above didn’t take into account that he didn’t play in the last game, but these numbers do. When Kee played 14 or more minutes, the Bisons were 8-7, and when he played 13 or less, they were 9-5. I wouldn’t advocate using these figures for any kind of legitimate study, since it’s a pretty small sample, but there’s not really a good way to spin this favorably for Kee. There’s not a particularly bad one, either.

    Indeed, basketball is not played on paper. It would be more convenient for me if that were the case, but it would be considerably less interesting to watch. Actually, though, basketball statistics have improved enough on the offensive side of things that you can basically reduce a player’s offensive performance to a single number (Oliver’s offensive rating). Offensive rating is not glamorous, but it tells you almost exactly how that player contributed to the team’s offensive success.

    In Kee’s case, the numbers don’t work out well for him. He was the Bisons’ seventh-best performer of nine regulars on offense, in the same class with Andrepont and Trent Morgan. They were a notch behind Bibb, Hamilton, and Barnett, who were a few notches behind Brandon Sims. Everyone obviously was well behind GSC West POY Matt Hall.

    It’s great to look back on Kee with fondness. There were times when he looked great, and times when he didn’t look great. Unfortunately, he didn’t look great for much of this year, and Coach Morgan probably wisely let him ride the bench at some crucial times. Perhaps he should have played in his last game. After all, he did play in every other game this year. Let’s just not trick ourselves into thinking he was an offensive force waiting to be unleashed.

  8. Definitely wasn’t the threat of Hall. Not even in the same category but he was able to drop double digits in scoring on any given night if he was allowed off the bench. Just funny how you said Kee was in the same category as Morgan and didn’t get half the playing time he did. Just think if he was given more of the playing time that Morgan did he could of contributed more, but that not here nor there. He graduated and moving on.

  9. Yeah, I imagine that Coach Morgan thought Trent (and similarly, Andrepont) were better defenders. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a good reason for them to have been getting so much more PT than Kee. Or maybe he thought Kee was just too unpredictable on the floor and not as good a fit in the offense, which could be valid. Still, I suppose the bottom line is that Kee wasn’t any less efficient on offense than they were, regardless of the reasoning behind it all.

  10. The defense reasoning is an intersting one because i remember for a fact that in the Monticello game and the Arkansas Tech game Morgan was given the task to shut down Newell and Whiters. Newell ended up pouring in 41 that night then Whiters i believe if i’m not mistaken poured in 35 or so. Defense being the key between them both? I don’t see it.

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