Saturday, March 14, 2009

Louisville #02 Post Game -- Villanova Defense

The first half was not pretty, but after a few lead exchanges the Wildcats seemed to break out on top with a cushion of 6-10 points they maintained through the end of the half, going into the locker room with an 8 point lead. A late rally by the Cardinals did not materialize as both of their bigs, Samardo Samuels and Terrence Jennings were hit with 2 fouls apiece. The second half, that is another story. The breakdown by halves...

 Offense Defense

Half Time Adjustments
I am not going to use green and red on this one, another bi-polar Christmas card. The Wildcats built their 1st half lead with slightly better shooting (compare eFG%s) and complete domination of the boards -- on both ends of the floor. Louisville's 25.0% offensive rebounding rate translates into a 75% defensive rebounding rate for Villanova. Both teams lost about 3 in 10 of their possessions, negating any advantage either might have derived from pressing defense. Note also that both teams were close on possession loss through steals (Nova lost 14.6 vs Louisville loss of 11.3). Using the forced turnover stat discussed by contributor Ray Floriani early in February (forced TOs = Stls/TOs), 45.5% of the Wildcat's 1st half turnovers were forced, while they were able to force 36.4% of the Cardinal's turnovers. This is the second game running where the 'Cats have faced a different look after the break, and have not adjusted well to those changes. The Cardinal's 2nd half defense fit the profile of a good Villanova defensive effort -- a high turnover rate coupled with limiting offensive boards. The Cardinals also clamped down hard on the Wildcat's shooting, holding the 'Cats to <30.0% for both 2 and 3 point FGAs.

Ref Notes
Jim Burr, John Cahill and Mike Roberts ran the crew on Friday night. They seemed to have a "let'em play" style for a good part of the game, calling a few in the low post (4 on Samuels and Jennings in the 1st half), but they seemed to ease up on the 2nd half as the Cardinals put the game away.

Next Up
The first round of the NCAAs, opponent to be named Sunday. Can't wait to see these 'Cats take the floor again.

No comments: