Monday, November 17, 2008

Reaction to the Rutgers -- Marist Game

After I read and posted Ray's Note I decided to go back and take a look at the Rutgers - Marist boxscore. Three things jumped out right away...
1. The pace was well above the Scarlet Knight's 2008 season-long pace of about 67 possessions. While early season games tend to have more possessions than later season games, Rutgers' 72 possessions was about 8% above last season's pace, a bit higher than expected. A new sense of confidence in their offense?
2. While Rutgers' points per possession () seems to be consistent with last season, breaking down the numbers by half shows that both teams struggled in the first half -- Marist mustered a 70.7 ppp while Rutgers was 73.7. Rutgers exploded in the second half, rolling to an eye popping 114.1 ppp. Marist too was better offensively, but only rolled up a 90.2 ppp. The Knights logged an offensive rating (ppp * 100) of 113.1.
3. Rutgers did a very good job getting to the line. Their 2008 FTMRate was about 26.8 on an FTRate of 39.1. The Knight's numbers versus Marist were 29.6 on 55.6. Their Twin Towers (Enchenique and Ndiaye) were 9-15. Those 15 FTAs were 50% of the team's FTAs.

Their blocking percentage, 22.9, is comparable to a number Connecticut would post. That's could be tough on teams that depend on penetrating guards (*cough*) to setup their offense. One game doesn't dictate how the entire season will unfold, but going 2-0 (similar possession-based numbers for their second game, a road win at Delaware) is the best start of the Fred Hill Era.

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