Each University of Maine basketball team has only one true big freshman back-to-the-basket low post player.
The women have 6-foot-5 Kat Williams, a true freshman from Florida while the men have 6-9 Miks Antoms, who is from Latvia and prepped for a season with the Lee Academy postgrad team.
So far this season, Antoms has played 37 minutes in four games and Williams has played 16 minutes in two games while the men have compiled an 0-4 record and the women have gone 3-1.
With so many guards on each listed roster — eight of 13 for the women and 12 of the 17 for the men — both teams have preferred the three game. Both have been guard- oriented the past three years and seem content being the same again this season.
Both teams appear to be using similar types of offensive sets. The post players just screen for the guards off or on the ball and look for them when they have the ball at the high post area.
They do not move into the low post block much and when they do they don’t get many looks or touches.
Neither team had a good inside-outside game over the past few years but instead relied mostly on dribble penetration for kick-outs and ball reversal off perimeter passes to get open 3-pointers.
Statistics prove that the highest percentage for a made 3-pointer is when the ball goes inside to a post player and is then kicked back out for a 3-point shot. Other rates of success in descending order are: dribble penetration and kick-out passes, perimeter passes, and shooting off the dribble.
The UMaine men’s and women’s stats show how dependent both teams are on 3-point shots and how both are struggling thus far with the men shooting 21.4 percent on 3-pointers and the women hitting 28.2 percent of their 3-pointers.
For the men, 42.8 percent of their total field-goal attempts have been 3-pointers while 39 percent of women’s field goals have been 3-point attempts.
Meanwhile, both teams post players aren’t taking as many shots with the four men’s post players taking 25.8 percent of Maine’s field goal attempts and the women’s four post players taking only 12.9 percent of the field goal attempts.
For assists, the men’s post players only have 21.4 percent of the team’s assists while the women have just 19 percent.
These stats show that the post players on both teams aren’t involved in their offenses enough to be effective.
The coaches should use exhibition and non-conference games to develop post and other players for conference regular season games and the league tourneys. Wins during the regular season aren’t as important as preparing for tourney play because all teams qualify for the tournaments.
A good goal for the men’s team would be to win a conference tourney game this season while the women’s goal should be a return to the conference finals.
However, those goals won’t be reached if they don’t develop their post players for much needed inside-outside games to boost 3-point percentages and to match up better defensively with America East post players.
It will be interesting to see which team, men or women, develop their freshman post players the quickest to help their teams during conference play.
Antoms has logged more minutes than Williams, so that gives the men’s team’s a slight edge but neither player has received many touches on the block.
They can’t improve sitting on the bench.