Blogs > Pemberton's Point

Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Oakland at IUPUI preview

The opponent — IUPUI (15-12, 8-8) enters Saturday’s game in fourth place in the league and clinched a spot in the conference tournament with a win over IPFW Thursday. The win gave the Jaguars the tiebreaker over IPFW, which can only tie them now and UMKC can’t catch the Jaguars.

Junior Robert Glenn, a transfer from junior college Wabash Valley, is the frontrunner for Summit League Newcomer of the Year. Glenn (6-foot-7) leads the Jaguars in scoring (13.9), blocks (1.7) and is third in rebounding (5.3). He is currently seventh in the nation in field goal percentage (62.9 percent, with a minimum five field goals per game). Glenn averages 16.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in league play and has scored 20 or more in five of IUPUI’s last eight games.

Freshman Alex Young is the Jaguars second leading scorer at 11.1 per game, but has found himself in and out of the starting lineup, starting three of the last 10 games. He was held scoreless in IUPUI’s win over IPFW and has scored in double figures just twice in his last nine games after scoring in double figures in 14 of his first 15 games. Young still leads all Summit League freshman in scoring, but has been ineffective when his minutes and shots are limited.

Sophomore Leroy Nobles (10.1 points, 1.4 3-pointers) has emerged as one of the Jaguars top 3-point threats. Nobles has averaged 12.5 points and 2.1 3-pointers in his last 11 games, including 16.3 points in his last three games.

Gary Patterson (9.6 points, 2.0 3-pointers, 2.7 assists) is the Jaguars' lone senior and will be playing in the last home game of his career. Junior Jon Avery (8.9 points and 5.8 rebounds) has started seven of the Jaguars last nine games and in those seven starts he is averaging 12.7 points and 6.6 rebounds.

Sophomore Adrian Moss, who missed nine games with a knee injury, started the Jaguars last game and has started eight games this season, averaging 4.6 points and 2.6 assists. Junior forward Billy Pettiford (5.4 points and 5.6 rebounds) started the first 20 games off the season, but has came off the bench in six of his last eight games. The 6-7 Pettiford leads the team in assists at 2.6 per game. Sophomore John Ashworth (3.1 points) averages over 20 minutes a game and has made 13 starts.

Head coach Ron Hunter has lead the Jaguars to seven consecutive seasons with a .500 record or above. He is the school’s all-time leader in wins with 248.

Key matchup — Oakland’s Keith Benson vs. IUPUI’s Robert Glenn. Glenn has scored in double figures in 15 of his last 16 games, with the lone exception begin a two-point performance against Oakland on Jan. 22. He played just 15 minutes, which is he second lowest all season. Benson had nine points and 10 rebounds in Oakland’s win over IUPUI. Benson is also coming a seven-point effort against Western Illinois, his lowest scoring output since Nov. 29. Expect a bigger game out of both these guys on Saturday as each team will try to get their big guy going.

Matchup history — Oakland leads the all-time series 18-12, but is just 6-9 all-time at The Jungle. IUPUI is 8-4 at home this season and the Jaguars homecourt nicknamed The Jungle, which seats just over 1,200 fans, is a difficult place to play. The Grizzlies won the last meeting, 75-57, led by 33 points from senior Erik Kangas, who shot 11-for-15 from the field and 8-for-11 from 3-point range. Freshman Drew Maynard was the only other Oakland player in double figures with 15 points and point guard Johnathon Jones added seven points and 10 assists.

The skinny — This is the Grizzlies (17-11, 10-5) final road game of the regular season and an important game for a couple reasons. Oakland can clinch at least the third seed with a win and will also have a chance to reach 20 wins in the regular season. The Grizzlies also still have a shot at second place, but need Oral Roberts to lose two games. An Oakland loss and Oral Roberts win eliminates Oakland from a shot at second place.

Oakland started off hot against Western Illinois and will likely to try to get off to another hot start against the Jaguars. The Grizzlies are 13-3 when leading at halftime. Kangas scored 23 points at Western Illinois and Oakland is now 9-1 when he scores 20 or more. Kangas is two 3-pointers shy of breaking his single-season school record for 3-pointes (108).

Junior point guard Johnathon Jones continues to lead the nation in total assists with 208 and has reached double figure assists in four straight games. Look for Jones to get his teammates involved early and try to silent the home crowd.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home