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Thursday, November 03, 2005
Checking the Stats - Brock
It may only be an exhibition game, but you know I can't turn down a chance to look over a few stats. Since Brock has already played nine games this year, there's a decent amount of data to tell us what to expect from them.

Like Northwestern and the Canadian team Iowa played last year, Brock is what the Big Ten Wonk would call a perimeter-oriented team (POT). They've taken 39% of their shots from outside the arc this year. Consisten with most POTs, Brock does not excel at offensive rebounding or getting to the free throw line. They rebound about 32% of the shots that they miss, and they attempt about .292 free throws for each field goal, which would be below average in the NCAA. The strategy has backfired so far, as Brock is only making 31% of those outside shots. If it weren't for center Kevin Stienstra's 60% shooting, the offense would be pretty pathetic.

Public Service Announcement - If any of your friends have been
hiding under a rock or have already slipped off to a cave to begin winter
hibernation, you need to alert them that the Big Ten Wonk has returned from his
off season hiatus and resumed daily posting. If you're not yet familiar with his site,
it's the internet nirvana for all Big Ten hoops fans. Check it out. Do it. Do it.

As for the defense, Brock has been OK. Stienstra has been playing 38 mpg, which is probably a big reason why Brock's opponents have only shot 47% on their two-point shots, despite taking most of their shots there. Teams playing Brock have only taken 22% of their shots from deep. It'll be interesting to see if Hansen can muster any offensive game against them on the inside. Outside of Stienstra, Brock lacks any size, and it has shown in their defensive rebounding, where they have grabbed only 62% of their opponents' missed shots. Look for either Brunner or Thomas to have a big game fueled by offensive rebounding.

So if Hansen holds his ground against Stienstra, and Brock doesn't suddenly get hot from downtown, it should be your typical exhibition game blowout, instead of last year's uncomfortably close outcome against Laval.

Bonus Halloween Weekend Tales
Since Halloween fell on a Monday this year, most of us non-Trick-or-Treater types decided to celebrate it over the weekend. I happened to have two East Coast friends visiting for the weekend, so there was extra cause for giddiness. We engaged in some standard PG-rated reunion activities, including watching movies during mandated periods of convalescence. The titles included classics like Dodgeball and Starsky and Hutch, which led to us dressing as the Average Joes for costume parties later that night (kudos to my sister by the way - awesome party). It also led to "Do it, do it" and "Bacardi and Coke, do it" being among the most common phrases of the weekend.

Anyway, one of the funner parts of the night turned out to be walking around downtown and checking out everyone else's costumes. There were ghostbusters (complete with decked-out white hearse), Stuart from MadTV, popped-collar frat boys (what fun is that, anyway?), and a variety of appreciably and creatively under-dressed co-eds. Our crew of dodgeball players wasn't always recognized, but was definitely appreciated by those who did. The double-take, walk-by, turnaround, and "Hey Average Joes!" sequence was a common occurrence as the evening wore on. It even led to some spontaneous mid-ped mall rubber ball exchanges. Outstanding.

Anyway, we were walking home later when we met up with a guy dressed as Morty Finkle, easily my favorite costume of the night. He was decked out with the gray wig and green suit, and had all the lines ready to go - "Morty Finkle of Finkle Fixtures, biggest light fixture chain in the Southland" and "Hey, [insert command], do it, do it." If you're reading this, Morty, well done sir.

I realize this probably bored the #*&#! out of 97% of my readers, but if you enjoyed Starsky and Hutch, you can appreciate how hilarious this actually was. Finkle was a character Starsky used as a disguise on one of his undercover missions at the end of the movie, so it was a pretty obscure costume idea. Throw in the fact that my friends and I had been celebrating his lines forever, and the random crossing of paths it took to meet this guy at the very end of the weekend, it was definitely a memorable moment. Fun weekend.
Nobody makes me bleed my own blood!

Gotta love the Brock Universities and Bemidji State's of the world. I still think it's better than playing a bunch of fat has-beens on an EA Sports team though.

Also, nice python-gator reference below!
If it weren't for daily-read blogs like MLitB, I'd have no source for insane stuff like snakes eating alligators or guys lighting themselves on fire with flaming shots, and I'd have no fury for incompetent presidents.

I guess I could just try picking up a newspaper.
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