Friday, January 18, 2008

Post Game: DePaul -- Half Time Adjustments

I have looked at more than a few First Half/Second Half breakdown boxscores the past 3 or so seasons. Many show one team's (but often both team's...) performance changes from the first to the second half. The box score (from Villanova's Official Web Site) shows this game was clearly in the pattern of more than one or two games this season. DePaul dominated in several areas of the game through the first 20 minutes. And then, as chronicaled in the accounts at Let's Go Nova Blog & the I Bleed Blue and White Blog, the Wildcats stormed back with adjustments (in the line-up, the strategy for attacking the basket, the defensive sets, etc.) that turned the game in Villanova's favor. Last night's game, as the breakdown below demonstrates, fits that mold very closely:

Offense Defense
1st 2ndTotal1st2ndTotal

Even a cursory review of the numbers shows that the Villanova squad picked up both offensively and defensively between the halves. Note the improvement in eFG% on both ends of the court. The 'Cats also improved their offensive rebounding, an area where the Blue Demons are not especially strong. Free throw attempts (and makes) as a percentage of FGA took a rather dramatic jump in the second half, a typical phenomena for the home team. Turnovers may have remained as pesky as ever, but the table suggests there was an improvement (albeit extremely modest...) even in this category.

Odds and Ends...
Casiem Drummond checked in for a 3 minutes stint. Drummond, who missed six games due to a stress fracture, is Villanova's best option at the #5, and was sorely missed in the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati games. Hopefully this marks the beginning of his return to the line up.

Dante Cunningham scored his fourth double-double of the season. This is the first of the Big East regular season for Dante.

Points from free throws are becomming a major component of Villanova's scoring in Big East play. In OOC games Villanova posted about 21% of their.score from the free throw line (opponents posted about 22% of their points the same way). In Big East play that percentage has grown to 25% (opponents are still around 20%). For this game that number was 30.3%.

Antonio Pena's playing time has mushroomed in Big East regular season play. His eFG in Big East games is 58.6, while his PPWS has grown to 1.27, both suggest he may be in the process of becoming a third/fourth opiton on offense, a definite growth in his role with the team. The staff may have turned to him for his rebouding though. In Big East play Pena's OReb% is 11.6 (definitely Top 500-type number) while his DReb% is a very respectable 17.1. In the absence of effective field goal defense (and streaky shooting from the offensive mainstays...) effective rebounding has become a priority.

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