Akron at Creighton Pick and Prediction for tonight.
Akron at Creighton should be a nice battle between two programs with strong offenses. Creighton is undefeated this season with wins over Ole Miss, Washington State, Wisconsin and North Carolina State. Akron is 6-1 and their one blemish was an opening game loss at Youngstown State.
Akron is deep and they can score a lot of points if they play a fast enough pace. Akron does not dictate their own pace of play as evidenced by their Advanced Game Log, which is a testament to their own inability to impose their will upon opponents.
No opponent has been able to contain Akron’s offense, but they are facing opponents that are not exactly strong on defense.
Noah Robotham is considered doubtful to play in this game and he’s one of their better shooters. He does not add much else to this team on the offensive and defensive ends. However, there are other shooters on this team and better defenders as well.
Akron’s opponents commit quite a bit of turnovers as it relates to their assists per game. Akron is not the strongest team when it comes to ball movement. Akron’s offense is potent, they get to the line quite a bit and they are rather good at hitting their Free Throws. Against lesser competition, their three point shooting defense is average and so is their defense of shots taken inside the perimeter. A strong offensive team could possibly have their way with Akron’s defense.
Akron does not turn it over much, but then again they have not faced really aggressive defenses that try to force turnovers. Games involving Akron could turn into foul fests depending upon the opponent. Akron is a strong rebounding team on both the offensive and defensive ends, but they really have yet to be challenged.
Akron is a money zone offensive team, they only shoot 12.3% of their shots in the mid-range (3rd in the country). The shots taken are either in the restricted arc or from three point range, which means if they are going to take a tough shot it is going to be for that extra point. Only 18.5% of their shots are in transition, but they have an effective Field Goal rate in transition of 64.6%.
Defensively, they let opponents score in the money zone way too easily. In fact, they are 14th worst in the country in letting opponents score in the money zone. 49.9% of shots taken against Akron are in the restricted arc and they have been lucky that their opposition just has not finished well there at 51.8%. Akron allows opponents to get out into transition to take shots 19.3% of the time, which typically means that they are effective at slowing teams down, but this is deceiving since almost every opponent they faced was dedicated to playing a slow game. In fact, the only opponent they faced that was devoted to playing fast was Youngstown State and they are one of the fastest paced teams in the country. Youngstown State and Akron played at a pace of 79.3 possessions in that game.
In their last game, they drilled a MAC opponent at the Century Link Arena, Buffalo. Now they take on another MAC opponent, a far less tested opponent in Akron.
Creighton is going to put up a lot of points whether they are hitting their threes or not. Notoriously slow-paced Wisconsin could not slow down Creighton enough. Of course, there were opponents that simply enabled Creighton to play even faster like Ole Miss and Washington State and the scoring was fast and furious.
Loyola (MD) and Wisconsin were able to slow down the Creighton pace a bit, but they are notoriously slow themselves. Nobody has contained this offense and Creighton is proving themselves to be a contender not only for the Big East crown, but a possible National Championship.
Creighton’s pace of play lends itself to higher scoring and their offensive efficiency is simply one of the best in the country (8th best per Ken Pomeroy). They have excellent ball movement and they do not turn the ball over. They do a solid job of forcing turnovers on their end.
Who shoots three pointers better than Creighton? Apparently no one. Creighton is just an offensive machine and while they are not a team that frequents the Free Throw Line too much, they also avoid fouling themselves. Creighton just pushes the ball down the floor and scores in bunches. Opponents are able to score against Creighton, but they either are not able to keep up the effort all game or not able to match them.
33.5% of Creighton’s shots are in transition and they are just deadly from everywhere on the court. It does not matter where they are taking the shots because the shots are going to fall. Opponents are not getting into transition as much against Creighton because of Creighton’s defense efforts to stem boomerang points on the other end.
Akron at Creighton Prediction and Pick
Akron will play at Creighton’s pace tonight and this means that this game will be very fast paced. Expect a 75 to 78 possession game with plenty of scoring from Creighton and Akron. Akron’s shooters will be able to get shots off and knock them down as well. Creighton is not a defensive juggernaut and Akron will have scoring opportunities, but the Zips do not have enough punch to last forty minutes with Creighton. They just do not have it, but they do have enough punch to keep up with many teams… just not Creighton. Creighton and Akron should score a lot of points in this game. Creighton gets their three point shooting back on track in this one and Akron may shoot hot as well.
Prediction: Creighton 94 Akron 76 (Pick: OVER 158.5)
Pick of the Day lost last night with Alabama falling apart against Texas in the second half reviving the idea of “Soft Alabama”. Pick of the Day is 12-10.