In keeping with KenPom, just one convention (the Massive West) has performed a better proportion of shut video games than the Solar Belt (KP defines shut video games as these determined by 4 factors or much less).
Fittingly, the Solar Belt Event’s first spherical 4 video games have level variations of 5 or much less. A kind of video games includes Arkansas Little Rock (UALR), the virtually consensus preseason decide to win the league. The Trojans stumbled badly within the league, culminating within the tumultuous departure of pre-season Solar Belt Participant of the Yr Markquis Nowell in mid-February.
After Nowell’s unceremonious exit, the Trojans have gained as soon as of their final eight contests. As a result of the Solar Belt has opted for a “pod” system during which every member of the league has performed a sequence of matches towards solely 4 opponents, that is the primary assembly between UALR and the State of Appalachia. . Mountaineers are my selection of darkish horse within the event, a range aided largely by their ranking on ShotQuality.com, which charges each shot taken in each Division I sport and adjusts to the extent of competitors. App State ranked # 100, the Solar Belt’s second highest rating behind Coastal Carolina (97).
Whereas UALR’s points had been primarily personnel-related, App State suffered from a myriad of COVID-related and injury-related illnesses. Regardless of some painful losses on the finish of the season, Dustin Kerns’ crew are as wholesome as at any time because the begin of the season and maintain a significant benefit within the backcourt over the Nowell-less model of the UALR.
Trojans are primarily a dribbling and rim assault primarily based assault, which portends little success towards an App State protection that fouls on the lowest fee of any Solar Belt staff. With out the Serpent’s Head, UALR would not have the nudge to beat a stable App State protection, and this line (App State +1) seems to be misjudged primarily based on UALR’s preseason status and success within the Nowell a part of the calendar.