Do your basketball games suffer from boringness? Are they slow-paced? Not a lot of passing? Do they have a bunch of defense?
Do you want your basketball games to be fast paced, high scoring, lots of passing and little to no defense? Well if you do The Citadel Bulldogs are for you.
Side effects may include: No defense. Blowing your opponent out or getting blown out. Death. Going .500 at best.
Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough to watch a Bulldogs game.
If you experience a Bulldogs game for more than four hours call your doctor immediately.
The Citadel Bulldogs are unlike any other team in the nation. They average a Division 1 best 97.2 PPG despite the inability to shoot the three ball, only shooting 34.1% (218th in the nation) on the season. To be completely honest, they don’t shoot well in general at 41.7% (291st in the nation), they just shoot A LOT.
Their leading scorer, Zane Najdawi averages 16.2 PPG. For a team that averages almost 100 PPG isn’t that much. Instead, the Bulldogs do an excellent job of spreading the ball around with a multitude of lineups. As many as ten players have the ability to play 10+ minutes on any give night. As a team, they average 19.1 assists a game.
But on the flip side of things they give up 99.7 PPG, which is, well, terrible. Opponents shoot an excellent 52.7% and 38.8% from deep. One aspect that the Bulldogs excel in is forcing turnovers. Opponents are averaging nearly 20 turnovers per game, resulting in nearly 25 points per game for The Citadel. That turns into approximately 1/4 of the total scoring per game.
While forcing turnovers is their strong suit, the Bulldogs do very few things well on defense. In the second half of games, the Bulldogs get outscored 952-910. They show up in the first half and then go away in the second. It has become an all too common occurrence this season.
As stated earlier, The Citadel has to find interesting ways to score due to a lack of any shooting ability. In addition to nearly 25 points from turnovers, they also get to the free throw line at a high rate. They also allow opponents to their fair share of trips to the charity stripe. In total, over 40 combined points per game come from free throws.
We need to round back to the three-point shot. Despite showing very little ability to hit from behind the arc, The Citadel does not care. They attempt 37.3 three point attempts per game. Yes, you read that right. 37.3!!! That is insane. Of the 37 attempts per game, they are connecting on 12.7 per game. Their philosophy is basically to throw the ball at the basket once they hit midcourt and hope for the best.
This is the team who either blows you out or gets blown out. Some of their scores have been a 146-84 win against Johnson University, a 130-63 loss to Iowa State, a 119-90 win over Truett-McConnell, and a 115-71 loss to conference foe ETSU. Win or lose, they are wildly entertaining.
When the Bulldogs win, they have to score 90+ (except a 79-74 win over VMI) because their defense is that bad. If they step up their game defensively, this team would blow people out every night and could win the Southern Conference, but until that happens, I expect ETSU and UNCG to run away with it.
Now we get to the real question. Can a team that is not overly talented or successful pull in a solid audience?
The easy answer is no. The Bulldogs are averaging an anemic 1,166 per game in the 10 home games this season. That is down from 1,815 last season and 1,521 in the 2014/15 season. It is much harder to tell with a Citadel fanbase that is almost nonexistent. In the 2000s, The Citadel has not broken the 2,300 per game average. Exciting, successful, or terrible, there is just not a fanbase for the program.