Thursday, May 14, 2009

Class of 2009

The four players who will graduate as members of the Class of 2009 were not the four most heralded players to set foot on the Main Line -- not an MDAA among them. But they leave a legacy that will be hard to match. Consider that:
 1. They went 15-1 in the Big 5, compiling an astonishing 0.938 winning percentage, the best in Big 5 history.
 2. The 2006 team (they were freshmen) broke Villanova's single season win record (26) by winning 28 games on their way to an NCAA Elite Eight.
 3. That 2006 team was the Big East regular season co-champion (with Connecticut), posting a 14-2 record in conference play. That 2006 team was the first in over 20 years to earn a regular season conference championship.
 4. As seniors their (2009) team broke that record again by winning 30 games in a season.
 5. Broke the Class of 2008's record for most career wins by a class (96) by winning 102 games during their 4 years on the Main Line.
 6. First class to win more than 100 games during their college career (102).
 7. First class since the class of 1985 to lead their team to the Final Four.
 8. The first time in Villanova history a second consecutive class has won 20 or more games per season every year during their career.
 9. The Class of 2009's winning percentage (.739) is the best since 1972 posted a career winning percentage of .756. That class compiled their record over 3 years.

Some Individual Numbers
The quartet proved to be a very good front court contingent...

Dwayne Anderson19844268223558
Shane Clark25056370198716
Dante Cunningham511977131328
Frank Tchuisi9260029

...though frankly they were not brought in to provide scoring for the team. Indeed they were supposed to grab rebounds and lock down the lane, forcing shooters/scorers out to the perimeter according to the defense implemented by the coaching staff. Some of their defensive/rebounding numbers from this season...

Dante Cunningham38119999185284474747
Dwayne Anderson3181170121191435014
Shane Clark367056376139331810
Frank Tchuisi237851116101

Without context the numbers can be a little deceptive. Applying a possession-based metric, so only those rebounding opportunities when each player is in the game are considered yields these numbers (for rebounding, blocks and steals) for the past season:

Dante Cunningham78.69.317.338.34.82.2
Dwayne Anderson53.29.716.726.02.13.5
Shane Clark46.

The green are top 500 stats; the yellow highlighted stats are top 400 numbers; the blue highlight are top 300 stats; the red are top 200 stats. This group was outstanding at rebounding, outrebounding teams in 28 of their 38 games (28-8-2), more than a few had larger/longer front court players.

What Others Are Saying...
The Villanovan ran a good four page interview with the seniors that included a few off beat questions about the staff and college life. An interesting read for those who want a bit more insight to the individual players.
Publisher over at Villanova Viewpoint is running a series, Class of 2009 Senior Villanova Wildcats Farewells, that takes a look or two or three at the graduating seniors.
The Villanovan Sports Blog tips their hat at the winning class in Nova history, and speculates about the possibilities that either of the next two classes will better that record.

No comments: