Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Courtside for Nova at Seton Hall

by Ray Floriani

NEWARK, NJ - Thoughts while covering Villanova-Seton Hall courtside:

* It’s a win. Sure Seton Hall was handled easily by their first two Big East opponents but in this conference road wins, or any other wins for that matter, are cherished like precious gifts. Villanova had to struggle but in overtime they made the plays and Scottie Reynolds made the free throws to get the W.
* Nova led by eight with four minutes to go and proceeded to score one field goal, by Antonio Pena in the lane. Again, overcoming a situation like that to get the win is what counts.

* Respective high scorers Scottie Reynolds (40 points) and the Hall’s Jeremy Hazell (26 points) put on quite the show.Using the NBA efficiency index (FG + FT + R + A + PTS + S + Blk) - (missed FG + Missed FT + TO), produced this side-by-side comparison for Scottie Reynolds and Jeremy Hazell.

Eff.per min

Hazell’s efficiency is a not as high due to a 9 of 24 mark from the floor. Actually, the Hall sharpshooters’ halftime numbers were

Eff.per min

Why the drop for Hazell? Credit the dogged defense by Reggie Redding following the intermission.

* Turnovers. Both clubs valued the ball. Villanova in fact, had only 4 turnovers following halftime.


* Reynolds simply had a vintage night. He penetrated, hit from the perimeter (5 of 8 from three), the line (15 of 16) and made a succession of huge plays en route to a 40 point night. Good evening to step it up as a number of NBA scouts were in attendance.
* Gonzalez was encouraged by John Garcia’s 12 board night, but ‘Nova’s Dante Cunningham had another sterling performance with 21 points 13 rebounds, and a number of them coming in crucial junctures.
* Quote : "Everyone here who follows the Big East is not surprised. People around the country were but with nine ranked teams they follow the conference closer and are beginning to understand St.John’s beating a Notre Dame, these things happen all the time in this league. Hey, it’s fun and you never have to worry about getting up for a game." - Villanova coach Jay Wright

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