Kick them while they’re down

Akeem Springs will look to spring* the Milwaukee Panthers towards another road victory in the second of four consecutive road conference games when the Panthers take on the Cleveland State Vikings on Saturday afternoon. Springs was the centerpiece in the Panthers Thursday night victory over Youngstown State, hitting nine of his first ten field goal attempts and 14 of 18 on the night on his way to a career high 33 points and the fourth-highest field goal percentage in school history.
The Vikings are struggling due to a large amount of youth on their roster. The Vikings have one of the youngest rosters in the country featuring six freshman and only one senior on their roster. The Vikings have a 5-11 record on the season including 0-3 in conference. As might be expected with a young team, the Vikings offense has been a big time struggle. They are averaging just 62.9 points per game this season. They rank near the bottom of the conference in all major categories including made field goals per game, field goal percentage and made three pointers.
Cleveland State’s offense is led by freshman guard Rob Edwards who is averaging over 12 points per game on the season. The Panthers should not let Edwards get going. If he gets his shot going early he can be a dangerous offensive player. He scored 26 points in a recent game against Detroit. Edwards hit 10 of 18 shots in that game including three of five from long range. The only other player on the roster who averages over ten points is junior guard Andre Yates.
The Vikings are turnover prone as they average 13.8 turnovers per game. That number jumps to 16.3 when looking specifically at their conference games. They committed 23 turnovers in a 20 point loss to Green Bay on Thursday night. Four of their five starters committed a minimum of three turnovers. The Panthers should be look for their defense to force a bunch of turnovers from the Vikings and look for those turnovers to potentially create easy baskets.
The Panthers ran their offense efficiently in Thursday night’s win. They had only ten turnovers. The shot 50% on all shot attempts and 43% on trey balls. Also 22 of their 30 field goals were assisted. The Panthers need a similar offensive effort to take down the Vikings. The Panthers have way more experience and more talent than the Vikings. They need to take care of business heading into the game with Valpo next week. If they take care of business they will go to 3-1 in conference. That would match the best conference start since the 2011-2012 season.
* – Jimmy: ugh

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