After finishing their first month of action 4-1, the Blue Raiders start one of the toughest December…
This Florida International team is on the up-and-up. With new head coach, Richard Pitino, the Golden Panthers have a solid upswing in their program, that's due in part to their biggest signee from the 2012 class, Jerome Frink. Frink is a 2-star recruit from the 2012 class, but he's definitely made a difference as a freshman. In his first nine games, Frink has 2 double-doubles, including a 22 and 10 outing against Boston College to start the season.
Frink is capable for putting up points, but most importantly for the Blue Raiders, they'll have to control the small forward on the glass. He's currently FIU's leading rebounder, averaging about 7 a game, a stat that no Blue Raider can boast.
If Middle wants to extend their winning streak in the conference, they'll have to find a forward to control Frink consistently throughout the game.
Keep It In The 60s
While the Golden Panthers are only 4-5 on the season, there is a consistent stat throughout all of their wins – high point totals. This season, FIU is 3-1 when they score more than 70 points, and just 1-4 when they score less than 70. On the other hand, the Blue Raiders are 9-2 when they hold opponents under 70, and just 0-1 when teams surpass the 70-point mark.
Florida International can definitely score, but Middle Tennessee is one of the most efficient defensive teams in the country, and their defense will be a key again against FIU.
Dish The Dimes
The Blue Raiders defense may be one of the nation's best, but their efficiency offensively has struggled so far this season. However, one statistic Middle can track closely to their success on the court is how well they pass the ball for scores. They currently average just less than 14 assist a game through their first 12 games. When the Blue Raiders have 12 or more assist they're unbeaten this season. However in their three losses, Middle has not hit that mark.
The guard play in college basketball is huge already, but with the set of skilled guards Middle Tennessee has, and the inconsistencies their offense has seen this season, hitting this mark in assist is a must to continue their win streak.
No Holiday Layoff
All stats aside, the biggest factor going into this matchup may be the holiday season. Games during a school's winter break are always easy trap games, and when you add in the fact that Middle is coming off a big emotional win against Vanderbilt, this game is the perfect equation for an upset. There's a good chance attendance could be low, and the Blue Raiders could be looking forward to their big matchup with the Sun Belt's preseason West division favorites in North Texas. Its games like this where a coach's preparation of his team can truly be seen.
Follow Kurt on Twitter @KurtKnowsBest and make sure to stay tuned to BlueRaiderZone.com throughout the basketball season!
CajunRedZone.com Recommended Stories
2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
We're at the halfway mark of the NFL season, so here's our first crack at a mock draft. Hey, Oakland Raiders, you're on the clock!Read More
Updated 2017 Top 50
In early July, Scout.com introduced a 2017 top 15. After spending time watching sophomores during the July evaluation periods and in the fall, it's time to extend that list to a top 50. DeAndre Ayton,…Read More
Fish Backwaters to Beat Tough Fall River Bite
If you're having a tough time catching bass this fall on your favorite river, you might want to read this tutorial from Bassmaster Pro Stephen Browning. Browning has won a lot of money fishing rivers…Read More
Mad’s World: Giants Ride Bumgarner To Title
It's a rare series when a starting pitcher truly has the biggest influence of any player on the field. But in the 2014 World Series, San Francisco Giants' left-hander Madison Bumgarner clearly was the…Read More
How the CFB Playoff Will Look in December
With the first rankings released, we project the rest of the season and predict the final four...Read More