The Mocs have gone 0-3 so far on the West Coast swing, which is not too surprising as the Mocs were heavy underdogs in all three games. This game, the Mocs are not as big of an underdog. Both teams are looking for their first D1 win of the year in the third place game of this half of the bracket.
IUPUI is lead by Ian Chiles. He is scoring 18.6 points per contest. The 6-1 senior guard is not much on three point shooting, though. He has really struggled from long range throughout his career, and this year, he is making 29.3% from there, with twelve made threes on the year. He likes to shoot the three, but doesn't make many. After seeing what Morehead State did yesterday (driving to the basket and making lay-ups time after time), the Jaguar guard has to be excited about his opportunity to get to the basket and score. He scored 22 in the loss to Gardner-Webb yesterday.
Mitch Patton is the toughest match-up for the Mocs. He is 6-9, 248 pounds. He is struggling from the floor compared to last year. A year ago, he shot 58.2% from the floor. This year, he is shooting 46.4% from there. He is averaging 14.5 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per contest. He will be a handful for the Mocs big men.
Marcellus Barksdale is 6-5, but is the Jaguars leading rebounder, pulling down 7.7 per game. Khufu Najee is averaging 10.4 points per game.
IUPUI games are highlighted by the lack of offensive rebounding. The Jaguars rank 63rd in the country in defensive rebounding percentage, while sitting at 303rd in offensive rebounding percentage. They don't shoot the ball particularly well, shooting 27.7% from three point range. The Mocs, on the other hand, are one of the worst defensive teams in the country in terms of shooting percentages. Opponents are shooting 45.7% from three point range, good for 345th in the country out of 351 teams. Opponents are shooting 58.6% from two point distance, good for 343rd in the country. That's some really ugly defensive numbers at this point. Morehead State shot 73% from the floor yesterday, so the Jaguars will look to take advantage of that as well. IUPUI has been middle of the road in terms of committing turnovers, whereas the Mocs have been slightly above average at forcing them. The Mocs will again need to force turnovers against the Jaguars to be able to win this one.
Can the Mocs defense turn it around on one day's notice? It should be noted that Morehead State is a really good team so yesterday's performance may not be quite as bad as it first appears, but any team shooting 73% and getting a lot of lay-ups is never a good sign. The Mocs offense appears to be coming together though. They shot over 50% yesterday and appeared to have a little flow in the offense. If Z Mason can stay out of foul trouble, he should be able to score against the Jaguars, and Gee McGhee should put up nice numbers too. One more player stepping up and joining them is what they need in this one. I think the Mocs find a way to eek this one out. This is two very evenly matched teams, and the Mocs finally get one. Mocs 83, Jaguars 82.