Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Guest Contributor: Ray Floriani from the Jimmy V Classic

NEW YORK CITY – A good deal of the statistical breakdown regarding last night’s game is already addressed. Here are a few other press row observations.
* Villanova needs to locate the shooters. A.J. Abrams (game high 26 points) ran off post screens, curled and got a number of good looks off ball reversals. He hit some huge perimeter shots in the stretch that allowed the Longhorns to pull away.
* Free throws. Nova got to the line but 16 of 25 from the charity stripe is unacceptable against marquee opponents . And the Big East will provide a number of them.
* Stops. The deficit was four points for the Wildcats for what seemed like minutes midway through the second half. Each time Texas was able to convert on their end and keep the Cats from making it a one possession game. Digging in and getting key stops when needed is a priority.
* Late game, have to commend Rick Barnes of Texas for his strategy. After Abrams and Damion James buried a few perimeter shots , the Longhorns saw the outside shooters were getting more attention so they opted to penetrate and dish inside.
* Nova got another solid effort from Dante Cunningham. He led the Cats in scoring and rebounding with a 23 point 12 board effort. Overall Texas’ big men were not the most skilled but with three 6-10 physical players in the rotation, they presented a challenge. Dwayne Anderson chipped in with 9 boards in relief for Nova. He will be counted on for similar contributions for Jay Wright’s club on a regular basis once the Big East schedule unfolds.
* Stat that stood out…TO rate. Texas with a19% figure was a bit more careful than Nova at 27%.

First game notes…Stephan Curry put a show on the final four minutes with four clutch shots in Davidson’s 86-65 win over West Virginia. Curry finished with a game high 27 points, 10 assists. The breakdown:

West Virginia6896

Stats of note…West Virginia owned the glass with a 59% OFF REB Rate (to Davidson’s 29%). The Mountaineers had a 58-32 rebounding edge overall. How did Bob Huggins’ team lose? The eFG% provides a clue. Davidson checked in at 48%, a fair figure but a good deal better than WVU’s paltry 36%. Turnovers again reared their ugly head...

 TO Rate
West Virginia25

Quotable of the night: “We have to continue to do the things we did tonight like defend, rebound and be efficient on offense.” - A.J. Abrams of Texas. With a nice tempo free reference at the end.

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