Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Post Game: Fordham -- Triple Digit Scoring!

Post titles from the Villanova blogosphere provide a good idea of what happened in the Pavilion earlier this evening...from Tim over at Nova News -- "Villanova Slaughters Rams". The boys over at the I Bleed Blue and White blog -- "Villanova Destroys Fordham 107-68". The official website was a bit more restrained in their lede from the AP wirestory, "Wildcats Easily Win Over Fordham, 107-68". The Villanova post offense led by Dante Cunningham, hammered the Fordham Rams in the Pavilion earlier this evening. Cunningham scored a career high 31 points in 29 minutes of play. This was Dante's third double-double at Villanova, but definitely his most dominant. Fordham forward Chris Bethel never knew what hit him as Dante scored at the 18:14 mark of the first half and didn't stop until Coach Wright removed him (for the last time) at the 7:27 mark of the second half. The official box score is available at official website.The breakdown by halves...

 Offense Defense

A young Fordham team that pushed the pace at every opportunity was burned...repeatedly. Villanova posted phenominal offensive numbers (the left half of the table above...), the defense however, appeared to be due as much to Rams' inexperience as the 'Cats defense. Villanova defended the perimeter very well, limiting Fordham to a 30.8% shooting percentage. Comparing the defensive stats, first half to second half, it was apparent that Villanova's aggressive defense came out of the half-time talk. Fordham turned over 9.8% of their first half possessions (little pressure on the ball...), up to 22.0% in the second half (more consistent with pressure on the ball). The same half-over-half improvement is present in the Stl% and the Blk% stats. The exception was offensive rebounding. The Rams rebounded their misses at roughtly twice the rate as they did in the first half.

Notes & Observations
1. The attention on Cunningham obscures the phenominal efficiency at which Corey Stokes is scoring. Stokes posted identical 91.7% eFG% rates in the first two games. That's an outstandingly efficient scoring rate. Stokes has scored 30 points over the past two games on 6-7 3 point shooting, and a surprisingly less successful 2-5 at 2 point FGAs. He has been perfect from the line...
2. The Villanova frontcourt rotation (Cunningham, Pena, Tchuisi and Clark) scored 53 of Nova's 107 points on 20-30 shooting from the field. Those four went 13-17 from the line too.
3. All five starters scored double digit points. But unlike the Albany game, only the two Coreys (Fisher and Stokes) saw 30 minutes or more of playing.
4. The staff used ten players again in this game, giving eight of them more than ten minutes apiece.

Ref Notes
The zebra crew, Jeff Clark, Pat Driscoll, and Earl Walton, are a veteran crew that have monitored multiple Villanova games virtually every year. This game saw a good many foul calls, a bit atypical for these three referees (maybe not Driscoll...). What was unusual was the number of calls that went Villanova's way. Driscoll and Walton staffed crews have tended to award more free throws to Villanova's opponents. Not this game.

Roster Notes
1. Shane Clark returned to play just 11 (or so) days after anthroscopic surgery to clear his right knee. Shane played 16 minutes, scoring 8 points while pulling down a rebound. Welcome back Shane!
2. Casiem Drummond dressed but did not play. The staff made a game-time decision not to use him given tenderness in his foot. No word on his status for the Niagara game Wednesday.
3. Dwayne Anderson was DNP. A foot injury sidelined him for the second game. No word on his return.

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