Sunday, January 27, 2013
By Matt Giles
While Robert Morris was expected in the preseason to top the Northeast Conference this season, there was no way both Bryant and Sacred Heart were thought to make any noise in the NEC. However, all three teams are tied for first at the end of January, and though we have highlighted some concerns surrounding Robert Morris, we thought we would examine Bryant's statistical profile after suffering consecutive losses (to Sacred Heart and Long Island).
The Bulldogs are still scoring at an impressive rate -- in those losses, Tim O'Shea's squad scored 1.21 points per possession -- but Bryant's defense now resembles a large-holed colander. SHU and LIU combined scored 1.31 PPP; in particular, Sacred Heart converted 67.6 percent of their twos and 46 percent of their long-range attempts. One of Bryant's deficiencies was their lack of depth; O'Shea essentially plays just five Bulldogs. Vladyslav Kondratyev and Shane McLaughlin do see some playing time, but Bryant rarely dips into their bench. Bryant has so far been able outscore their opponents, but their propensity to skip on the defensive end -- Bryant does not force turnovers and grab defensive rebounds particularly well -- is beginnign to become a serious concern.