Bradley (4-1) at Central Michigan (3-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McGuirk Arena (5,300) -- Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Bradley 3-0, CMU 1-0. Away Record: Bradley 1-1, CMU 0-2. Neutral Record: Bradley 0-0, CMU 2-0. Conference Record: Bradley 0-0, CMU 0-0. Series Record: Series tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: Both sides will be looking for their second win in a row when the Bradley Braves visit McGuirk Arena for a non-conference tilt against the Central Michigan Chippewas.
The Braves cruised to an 80-57 victory over Tennessee-Martin their last time out to improve to 4-1 on the season. Bradley began the 2012-13 campaign by defeating Eastern Illinois (76-53), Texas-Pan America (78-61), and IUPUI (79-72), but its perfect season was demolished when it suffered a 19-point setback to South Florida. Coach Geno Ford seems intent on driving the program back towards the Missouri Valley Conference's throne after finishing 7-25 in his debut with the team last season. Ford compiled a 3-0 record versus CMU as head coach of the Kent State Golden Flashes prior to the beginning of his stint with Bradley.
CMU returns home after going 2-1 in the Utah Thanksgiving Tournament. Kyle Randall sent the team home as winners by knocking down a game-winning jumper to push the Chippewas to a 54-52 win over Idaho State, which improved the team's record to 3-2. CMU opened up the tourney with a four-point win over Wright State before being handed a 67-51 setback by Utah. The team's only other loss came on the road to Iowa in its season opener. Coach Keno Davis is only in his first season at the helm of the Chippewas' program, but went 1-1 versus Bradley while serving the same position at Drake.
The Central Michigan and Bradley series is tied at 1-1. The road team has won each game, but the series has been idle since the 2003-04 season.
Bradley is an efficient team on the offensive end an average of 75.2 ppg on 45.5 percent shooting from the field. Its high scoring averages comes after the team managed to dish out 85 assists to 60 turnovers and convert 89-of-115 attempts at the charity stripe in its first five outings. Ford's team is also decent on the boards with a +3.4 average rebounding margin. Bradley was shut down in its lone loss, as it made only 35.5 percent of its field goals while the Bulls made 51.9 percent of theirs. Walt Lemon Jr. leads the balanced attack with 13 points and four assists per outing. Tyson Pickett (12), Jake Eastman (11.4), and Will Egolf are all scoring more than 10 ppg. Egolf just missed a double-double his last time out with 13 points and nine boards.
The Chippewas have a very balanced attack of their own. Through five games, CMU has had four different leading scorers and the same number of different leading rebounders. However, the lack of a definite leader has not yielded overwhelming results. The team is averaging only 60.2 ppg on 37.7 percent shooting from the field. Its opponents are just ahead with 61.8 ppg on 43.2 percent shooting. CMU is also carrying a -1.0 rebounding margin into this one. Randall is leading the team with 10.6 ppg while seven players average between 5.4 and 7.8 ppg. Although the scoring leader is not consistent, the Chippewas' obsession with scoring from deep has been. CMU is averaging 21.8 attempts from three-point range per game, but it has only converted 30.3 percent of the long range shots.
Although CMU has to be tough to prepare due to its deep rotation, it is not going to be a very threatening opponent unless it starts knocking down a higher percentage of its 3-point shots. The Braves know how to score without turning the ball over, which is going to make them difficult for anyone they face this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bradley 72, Central Michigan 67
11/28 10:33:10 ET