Preview: WKU vs. Bowling Green

Western Kentucky looks to even their record at 3-3 when they host Bowling Green on Wednesday night.

Western Kentucky hosts undefeated Bowling Green (4-0) in Diddle Arena on Wednesday night, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.

Read our full preview below for details on the matchup.


TV: American Sports Network. Click HERE for network clearances/listings.

Radio: Hilltopper IMG Sports Network. Click HERE for network listings.


Vegas line: The Toppers opened as 4-point favorites, with the line shifting to WKU favored by 2 points as of Tuesday night.

Kenpom model: Bowling Green is ranked No. 117 nationally on Kenpom.com, while WKU is No. 144 overall. Kenpom’s system likes the Toppers by 2, giving them a 59 percent chance to win.


Opponent roster highlights: BGSU has started the year 4-0 overall and 2-0 on the road, including a 19-point win at Drake and a 15-point home win over Wright State. They're led by 6-foot-8 senior forward Richaun Holmes, who's averaging 15.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game on 56 percent shooting. Holmes also blocks 18 percent of opponent's 2-point shot attempts when he's on the floor, the 4th highest individual rate in Division 1.

As a team, the Falcons are mediocre offensively (No. 204 nationally,) but great on defense (No. 59 nationally.) They excel most at keeping teams off the offensive glass, allowing opponents to only get an offensive rebound on 22 percent of missed shots, the 3rd best rate nationally in Division 1. This could be the story of the game, as WKU loves to hit the offensive glass--although they've struggled in that area so far this season. BGSU also excels at blocking opponent's 2-point FG attempts, boasting a 19.2 percent block rate (mostly led by Holmes,) the 4th best rate in Division 1.

So the idea for WKU is pretty simple, create quality shots--or BGSU will make them pay by blocking a large number of attempts, and not allowing the Tops many second chances on the others.


Game Notes: WKU--LINK.

BGSU--LINK.


Stat of the match: The combined record of the three opponents who have defeated WKU this season is 16-6, and their two road defeats have come against teams a combined 7-0 at home.

Quote of the match: WKU head coach Ray Harper on BGSU--"Good basketball team. They beat you on the glass, and then they grind you out on the defensive end. They've got a terrific player in Holmes who potentially could be a pro. In his last outing, I think he had 27 (points), 18 (rebounds), and 5 blocks. Last year against us, 21, 14 and 7 blocks--he's averaging 4 blocks a game. With that being said, he doesn't foul much. So, bigtime player, and they're very balanced after that. They have no one else averaging double-figures, but they have a lot of guys from that 5 to 9 point range. There's only been one team to score 60 points on them, in the four games, that was Detroit on Sunday.


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