Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dancing with the Stars: Oakland Grizzlies

Conference: Summit

Record: 25-9, 17-1

Rankings: 69 (Kenpom), 58 (RPI), 58 (Sagarin)

Potential Seed: 12/13

Best Players: Keith Benson (18.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.6 bpg), Reggie Hamilton (17.4 ppg, 5.4 apg), Will Hudson (12.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg)

Big Wins, Bad Losses: Oakland did knock off Tennessee on the road this season, coming from behind to knock off the Vols 89-82 on the strength of a terrific performance by Larry Wright. That was it for the Grizzlies in terms of impressive wins, as they whiffed in the rest of their games against high-major competition.

Tendencies: Oakland wins because they are terrific on the offensive end of the floor. Of the nine players on their roster that play, only two have an offensive rating below 110, which is why they are the 15th most efficient team in the country on the offensive end of the floor. Keith Benson is a potential first round pick in the paint, but he's far from the only weapon this team has. Hamilton is a terrific creator, Hudson is a blue collar four man that hits the glass, Wright is capable of taking a game over, and they have a couple of shooters that can space the floor. This team is legit.

How They Got There: As I said earlier, Oakland played a number of high-major opponents, but they were only able to breakthrough against Tennessee. In Summit League play, the Grizzlies were incredible, losing one game, when Keith Benson managed just 18 minutes due to foul trouble.

Outlook: Oakland will probably get a fairly good seed for a Summit League team. Depending on how things shake out in the major conference tournaments, the Grizzlies will probably end up somewhere in the 12 or 13 range. I wouldn't want to be the four or five seed forced to play them in the first round.

No comments: