It was a brutal seven day stretch for the Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball team.
After getting thoroughly dominated by last-placed IUPUI at the Resch Center last Sunday, the Phoenix followed it up with another disappointing home loss on Saturday night, this time against rival Milwaukee.
The Panthers shot 50% from the floor during the game, including making 11 three pointers and shooting 52.4% from beyond the arc, and were in control for almost the entire game leading to an 87-80 final score.
It was the second straight game and fifth time this season that a team has shot at least 50% from behind the arc. Opponents made at least 11 threes and have shot at least 44% on three pointers in four of Green Bay’s last six games.
“I’ve defended our guys and said it was just guys hitting shots,” head coach Linc Darner said after the Milwaukee loss via the Green Bay Press Gazette. “But a couple times they ball screened and we didn’t switch very hard and let them shoot it. There at the end of the game they ran a little stack play and we didn’t guard it very well.”
It’s a disappointing turn of events for a Phoenix team that appeared to be turning a corner defensively. In back-to-back victories, Green Bay held Northern Kentucky to 37.7% shooting, including just 5-26 (19.2%) from three, and held UIC to 6-21 (28.6%) from behind the arc just two weeks earlier. Green Bay had momentum and appeared to belong in the upper echelon of league teams.
But in the two games that have followed, Green Bay gave up 93 points to IUPUI and allowed them to shoot 48.4% from the floor and 50% from behind the arc before Saturday’s shooting exhibition from the Panthers.
Since conference play began only bottom-dwelling IUPUI is allowing opponents to score more points and shoot better than Green Bay. And despite playing at a high tempo designed to force turnovers the Phoenix are averaging just 5.0 steals per game in conference play, which ranks dead last in the Horizon League.
Nationally, Green Bay ranks 335th in defensive efficiency according to KenPom and ranks 341st out of 353 Division I teams in three point field goal percentage defense as opponents are knocking down 38.5% of their three point attempts so far this season.
It was a pair of opponent’s guards that did the majority of the damage in each of the Phoenix last two defeats with Jaylen Minnett (31) and Marcus Burk (27) combining for 58 of the Jaguars 93 points and Te’Jon Lucas (31) and Darius Roy (23) leading the way for the Panthers on Saturday night.
“We have got to get better defensively,” Darner said. “We have got to get better guarding the ball off the bounce. Guarding good guards.”
“If I’m a guard, I’m loving playing against us right now.”
Categories: By The Numbers