Not a lot has gone right for either the Miami RedHawks or the Western Michigan Broncos this season as the teams hook up for a contest inside Millett Hall on Tuesday night. The Broncos (7-15, 3-7 MAC) have dropped five of their last six games, but the good news for WMU is that they were competitive in all of those games and managed to beat a very good Ohio Bobcats team.
Meanwhile, the RedHawks (9-14, 2-8 MAC) are on a skid as well with eight of their last nine games ending in a loss, with their lone win coming against a wildly inconsistent Buffalo Bulls squad at home.
When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Where: Millett Hall, Oxford, Ohio
Listen: 1450 AM (Hamilton, Ohio)
Line: WMU -2
Scouting the Broncos
Thomas Wilder has carried Western Michigan in MAC play with 20.2 points per game (fourth in the league), while Tucker Haymond and Reggie Jones also averaged double-digits in points over the last ten games. The problem for the Broncos lies in their defense as it allowed the highest shooting percentage at .503 and the highest three-point shooting percentage at .414 in conference play.
Scouting the RedHawks
On the other side of the court, the Weathers brothers have had a positive impact on Miami in their freshman seasons despite the losses as Michael is third in the MAC with five assists per game in league play while Marcus is ninth in field goal percentage with .554. The ‘Hawks problems start with on offense as they have the second-fewest assists with 11.5 per game and the team generally struggles rebounding the ball as it has the fewest boards per game in the conference with 31.2.
Players to Watch
Thomas Wilder, G, Western Michigan: Wilder has had a pretty strong season thus far as he leads the team in points (18.4 PPG) and assists (3.6 APG). He’ll need to have a good assist night for the Broncos to have some success on the offensive end.
Tucker Haymond, G/F, Western Michigan: Haymond is also having a tremendous year scoring the basketball with a .459 shooting percentage from the field. Haymond and Wilder are both lethal from downtown (.386 and .451 respectively), while Miami’s defense struggles guarding the three-point shot.
Michael Weathers, G, Miami: The freshman guard has put the team on his back since entering MAC play with 14.2 PPG, five APG, 3.1 rebounds per game, 17 steals, and 11 blocks. He’ll have to take good care of the basketball tonight if the RedHawks want to pick up the win, something that he has struggled with as he turned the ball over 57 times in league action.
Logan McClane, F, Miami: McClane could very well be the X factor in this game with his ability to rebound the basketball with 7.8 RPG in MAC play. He’s also having a strong season shooting the ball as he has shot .529 from the floor in the last ten games.
Keys to the Game
This should be a highly competitive game in Oxford with both offenses having their way for the most part. It is hard to see how Miami can keep up with the offense of Western Michigan, but the defensive play for the RedHawks could end up being the equalizer if they can get stops and turn defense into offense.
Western Michigan 65-60.