Most MAC teams are on a break for exams, so it’s a good time to take a look at how the league looks at this point in the season.
Today we’ll take a look at the current conference team statistics and where Kent State stacks up. Later in the week we’ll look at where KSU individuals rank, and analyze individual teams, their records, their rankings and their strength of schedule.
Best records in the league belong to Buffalo (8-0), Toledo (8-1) and Ohio (7-1). OU lost its first game this week at 9-3 Michigan, 69-46. The Bobcats hung with Michigan defensively for about 25 minutes but struggled to score. Ohio shot 22.4 percent from the floor and 19 percent from the three-point line.
Kent State is 6-4, the eighth-best record in the 12-team MAC. It’s been a good year for the league so far.
The team statistics:
Scoring: Northern Illinois leads the league — and is second in the nation — at 92.6 points a game. It was just two years ago the Huskies averaged in the 50s. They have a new coach and, obviously, a new style of play. Second is Toledo at 78.9, then come a bunch of teams between 67 and 70, including Kent State, which is averaging 68.6. A year ago the Flashes averaged 61.4
Scoring defense: Northern Illinois is at the bottom here, allowing 72.8. Obviously not much defense in its games. Best defense is Buffalo at 55.0, Ohio second at 55.8. Kent State is 1oth at 67.1, which is four points better than last season’s 71.0 The Flashes’ worst game came against Baylor in an 84-42 defeat. That 84 looks quite g0od in comparison. Baylor is averaging 95 points a game and beat Winthrop 140-32 this week. 140 is the second highest total in NCAA history and the 108-point margin is the biggest in the history. (Story on that game is here; the statistics are crazy.) Only two teams have scored fewer points against Baylor than Kent State. One is No. 1 Connecticut, the only team to beat the Bears (72-61.
Scoring margin: Toledo is fist at plus-22.8 points a game. KSU is ninth at plus-1.5. Last year the Flashes were worst in the MAC at minus-9.6. Worst so far this season is Miami at minus-5.0.
Free throw percentage: Northern Illinois leads at 81.0 percent. Kent State is third at 72.1. The Flashes have made 52 more foul shots than any team in the league; they lead the nation in number made and taken. Two years ago the Flashes averaged 61.5 percent in foul shooting — a distant last in the league.
Field goal percentage: Ball Sate leads at 45.3 percent. Northern Illinois and Toledo are virtually tied at 44 percent. Kent State is sixth at 41 percent, Miami last at 34.3 percent. Last year Kent State was eight at 39.6.
Field goal defense: Ohio is first at 33.9, Toledo second at 34.1. KSU is 11th at 40.3, which is still better than the 43.4 percent (last in the MAC) last season.
Three-point percentage: Northern Illinois leads at 39.4 percent, with Toledo second at 38.9. Kent State is third at at 36.4, an astounding increase over last year’s 26.9. Remember the Flashes have essentially the same roster as last season. Worst in the MAC so far is Ohio at 26.5. The Bobcats had led the league in three-point shooting for two straight years. I can’t imagine they’ll be that low all season.
Three-point baskets per game: NIU is first at 8.9, Toledo second at 7.8, Ohio third at 7.6. Kent State is 10th at 5.2, which is one per game higher than a year ago.
Three-point defense: Northern Illinois leads at 26.3 percent with Akron at 27.2. Kent State is seventh at 30 percent. Last year the Flashes were second to last at 34.3 percent.
Rebounding margin: Buffalo is first at plus-13.4, with Bowling Green a distant second at plus-6.6. Kent State is fifth at plus-4.3. Ohio is last at minus-7.1. Last season KSU was 11th at mins-2.9.
Blocked shots: Ohio ranks first at 4.6 per game, Akron and Buffalo second at 4.1. KSU is 10th at 2.7. Last year KSU was last at 1.2.
Assists: Ball State is first at 16.0, with NIU, Akron and Western Michigan all at about 14.6. Kent State is 10th at 11.9. Last year the Flashes were ninth at 11.4.
Steals: Toledo is first at 11.8, Ohio second at 10.9. Kent State is ninth at 7.6. This is one the few statistical categories KSU is worse than a year ago, when they were fourth in the conference at 8.5.
Turnover margin: Toledo leads at plus-9.1 a game, with Ohio second at plus-8.6. Kent State is 11th at minus-2.1, the other category where the Flashes are underperforming last season, when their margin was minus-1.2. They’re actually committing about 1.2 turnovers per game fewer than a year ago; they just are forcing about two fewer.
Assist-turnover ratio: Toleod leads at 1.3, with NIU at 1.2. Kent State is 11th at 0.7, the same as last season.
Attendance: As usual, Toledo leads the league at 3,513 per game. Second is Ohio at 2,328. Despite its undefeated record, Buffalo is ninth at 1,008. Kent State is last at 431. The KSU number is about 60 below last season, though attendance tends to pick up when conference season starts.
We’ll look at individual stats in another post. Larissa Lurken leads the conference in scoring at 23.0 points per game.