Thursday, March 13, 2008

Post Game: Georgetown -- Picking Through the Wreckage

I hoped the 'Cats would get into a rock fight, but instead they got caught in an artillery barrage. The Hoyas handed the Wildcats the worst beating in their series in over 10 years (March 1996, 106-68 Hoyas) this afternoon in Madison Square Garden. I Bleed Blue and White's Jaime posted a reaction piece with a promise that Mark will post a recap later. The always reliable Nova News Blog filed a more detailed recap, "Nova Falls to G-Town" in what has to be one of Tim's most cryptic recaps in a while. He lists the reasons for the defeat, but spends little time dwelling on the details -- be sure to catch his and Jaime's work. And also the Let's Go Nova Blog (Pete -- please retire that Live Blog feature, it's killing the 'Cats...). I was disappointed to see the official box score did not contain the play-by-play, a feature I have come to rely on for post game analysis. Hopefully boxes from subsequent games will have it. And even though CO_Hoya over at the Hoya Prospectus Blog is on hiatus, his stand-in, Tom, has put together CO_Hoya's trademark "By Half Analysis" with the Georgetown viewpoint in his post "Analysis: Georgetown 82 Villanova 63". The breakdown by halves...

 Offense Defense

If it is any consolation Georgetown's 133.3 rating in the first half was not nearly as impressive as the Wildcat's 150.0 rating in the second half of the Syracuse game yesterday...yeah, I don't feel any better either. This was the team's worst defensive effort since the St. Joseph's game early last month. The Hoyas, powered by 10-17 3 point shooting (Jon Wallace alone accounted for ½ of those makes by shooting 5-5) bested the Joe's eFG (68.2) by posting 71.4. Adjustments at the half powered an eleven point run to tie the game early in the 2nd, but the Hoyas didn't rattle, and the 'Cats could not sustain the drive. They did manage to hold the Hoya's 2nd half rating to 116.1, but appears to have been too little too late. Normally Nova can blunt an opponent's good shooting performance by limiting scoring possessions (ie force turnovers) & limiting second chances (rebounding), but in this game the turnover rates were largely a wash and when the opponent is hitting at the equivalent of a 70% rate, gathering about half of the misses will have only a modest impact on the score. In short, in the 3 point barrage negated any advantages their defensive strengths might have provided.

Georgetown's shooting display was quite impressive. The Hoyas set a Big East Tournament and school record for 3 pointers made by hitting 17 of 28. A fitting tribute to senior point guard Jon Wallace who has developed into an outstanding outside shooter over his four years in the Blue and Gray. Junior Jesse Sapp set a career high in scoring. At least one part of Villanova's game plan did work as senior center Roy Hibbert had virtually no impact on the game. Hibbert sat with foul problems through much of the first and second halves, scoring zero points for the first time in two years.

Odds and Ends...
1. Corey Stokes had a terrible shooting day, the first in quite a while. His 2-12 day translated into a PPWS of 0.62, dragging his season long PPWS back below 1.00 with this game (0.97). This was also his first start of the season.
2. The front court led the way with scoring as Dwayne Anderson, Dante Cunningham and Antonio Pena each scored 12 points. They were relatively efficient as well, earning PPWSs of 1.21, 1.10 and 1.21 respectively. Anderson and Pena were taking regular/starter shares of the available shots within the offense, taking 26.1% and 21.6% of the shots (respectively) when they were on the court. Dante was a bit low, with only 15.3% of the shots when he was in. Dwayne in particular was active on the offensive boards, gathering 50% of Villanova's 12 offensive rebounds.
3. Scottie Reynolds worked through his eye injury, an open cut he sustained during a drive at the mid-point of the first half. It never quite closed and he had to sit out a portion of the second half as the attending medic reclosed and rebandaged the site. Scottie nevertheless had a team high 13 points, earning a PPWS of 1.10 with an eFG of 44.4 (50.0 is a good marker for efficiency).
4. Referee Notes -- The crew was manned by John Cahill, Ed Corbett and Brian O'Connell called a game decidedly in Villanova's favor. The calls on the Hoyas was just beyond the standard deviation for (Villanova's) games played on neutral courts this season. Nearly 37% of Nova's scoring (a Connecticut-like portion) came from the free throw line. A portion like that is more typical for the winner in a tight foul-for-possession game. Villanova had 18 FTAs in the first half alone. The numbers evened a bit in the second half, with the Hoyas getting 13 FTAs to the Wildcat's 10. The Wildcats went 1-6 in games manned by Cahill crews, 5-2 in games manned by Ed Corbett and 3-2 in games manned by Brian O'Connell. On the whole this season, Cahill and O'Connell crews have been near the mean for (average) fouls called in a game, while Corbett crews have been more hands off.

1 comment:

editor said...

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