Bobcat Men Pre-Conference Look
Coaches Poll: 5th
Media Poll: 5th
Accumulative RPI Rank (national): #116
Accumulative RPI Rank (conference): #3
Projected RPI conference record: 11-5
Non Conference Record
Non-Conference games remaining: 2 (bracket buster game and Cal State-Bakersfield)
Best Non-conference Win: UC Santa Barbara
Worse Non-conference Loss: University of Oregon
Strength: Toughness / Defense
Surprise of the non-conference:
None really, the players who I expected to start are starting. The players who are leading were expected to lead. Closest I can come to it is that walk-on Brian Louff is playing like a scholarshipped sophomore.
Biggest question the Bobcats need to answer:
Coach Huse needs to prove his system will work in conference. The last two seasons his teams have preformed very well in the non-conference only to have his teams under perform in conference. Last season they manage to get back in form for the conference tourney, but only after a very disappointing conference season. The conference coaches feel they have Huse’s ticket, and that is to zone the Bobcat’s, and make them hit their perimeter shots. The Bobcat’s will see this strategy all season in conference until they can make opponents pay.
Thoughts on the non-conference:
Three of the Bobcat loses were by 4 or less points. Even some of their victories came after being down in the game. The Cat’s are mentally tough and are not averse to playing from behind. Still though, they will need to develop more of a killer instinct.
Thoughts on the Conference:
The Cats seemed to have proves that they are better than the fifth place, that both the media and coaches have predicted. They are projected by most RPI services, as a top three team in conference. To match that projection they are going to have to shoot 45% or better night in and night out. They are alsogoing to have to hope their defense can compensate for their weakness on the boards.