Home Game!: UC-Riverside Preview

How ya been? Is this thing on? No really. I know it has been a long holiday. Hopefully it has been a relaxing one as well. We got a home game folks! We should have had one back against Wayland Baptist but instead that was postponed. Rejoice, for you shall bear witness to your team in the flesh.

You may remember this team from last season. UTSA made the trip out to Cali and lost 82-75 on December 2, 2010. You don’t? No worries. This is another non-conference game that primarily serves as a tune-up for the league schedule. That isn’t to say that we should or can drop this one. No, rather it we should be playing a little better. As always, I’d rather a win than a loss but we’ve nearly used up our allotment of moral victories for this non-conference schedule.

Things to know if you haven’t been keeping up:

Melvin Johnson was suspended early in the year, got in Coach Brooks Thompson’s doghouse and finally found his scoring touch in the last two games. He had 24 against Houston and nearly won the game down the stretch with some timely steals but couldn’t find the range from deep –missing three in the last two minutes, including the potential game winner. Two nights later he dropped 25 points on 6 of 7 from range. He seems to have his head on straight and whatever personal issues were getting in the way of balling do not seem to be getting in his way any longer. Shooters are finicky and Mel is definitely a shooter. He is two percentage points off the career mark for three point percentage while only a 53 makes away from the all-time school record for makes. For context, he made 80 last year and has already knocked down 20 this season.

3-point Field Goals

  1. Keith Horne 198 (1988-92)
  2. Marlon Anderson 192 (1994-96)
  3. Devin Brown 176 (1998-02)
  4. Ronnie Ellison 152  (1989-92)
  5. Melvin Johnson III 145 (2009-Present)

*Stats courtesy goutsa.com –sports information dept.

Kannon Burrage is awesome.

Well, he is awesome at scoring the ball. Any game where he has played more than 14 minutes he has scored in double figures. His 15.7 ppg is a true indication of what you get from him. His high is only 22 and his twin lows were eight and nine in the two 14-minute outings he had. I love how consistent he is. Check his point totals: 8, 22, 19, 19, 14, 18, 13, 17, 16, 18, 9. He makes shots and gets to the line. Brutally efficient. His low games are combinations of low minutes played and/or low shot attempts.

He is shooting .476 from the field, .395 from three, and .776 from the line (of second-team high 49 attempts)*. That puts his True Shooting percentage — which accounts for field goals, free throws, and three point shots — at a sparkling .587 and his eFG% — which accounts for the fact that threes are worth one more point than a two — at .544. Dude is balling. Watch him on Wednesday night. He can bully his way through the lane –accounts for those free throw attempts — shoot the three with efficiency and accuracy, and make freebies.

*Mike Hale has 56 attempts (45 makes ) but 38 of them came in a four game stretch. The last one with more than 4 attempts against Pepperdine, he made 7 of 8 and went 0-7 from the floor. He seems to have lost his aggressiveness going to the basket and in general. Before that game he had an average of 7.6 trips to the line and only 2.5 since. Now he is coming off the bench.

We are shaky down the stretch. This is odd considering we have a guy that can get to the basket (Burrage) and a dead-eye shooter (Johnson) and a hustler in Jeromie Hill. We can probably just chalk it up to being on the road for 9 out of 11 games and losing the best player of the last three years and third all-time scorer in school history. We make free throws and cause turnovers. I have a feeling the trend will not continue and UTSA will start closing out games a little better.

If you are going to the game:

Get the $11 package. You get a hotdog and a drink for basically two bucks extra –they cost about $3 each separate.

Take lots of pictures –and add them to the cokerchronicles flickr group.

If you cannot make it:

The game will be on RowdyZone with video! You can always catch the radio feed online or on plain ol’ 92.5. Uncle Andy has the call.

Game starts at 7pm at the Convocation Center

Where I’ll be:

Got tickets to the Spurs v Clippers game (I know, I know) so I’ll be catching up on the archive whenever they decide to put it up.


Where you will be:

Tell us in the comments (someone has to use that thing).

UC-Riverside:

Hard to tell what they are all about from just the box-score. Phil Martin is the leading scorer. Looks like he can shoot the three, and get to the line. He is 6-4, 200 lbs and from Staten Island. I am already thinking he likes to bully his way to the basket like Baron Davis did when he was in Charlotte. I always hated that shit.

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Editor extraordinaire, UTSA grad student. Twitter