Monday, November 16, 2009

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Report from the Rutgers - Marist Game

by Ray Floriani

PISCATAWAY, NJ- Rutgers posted a very workman like 74-67 victory in their season opener against Marist. Exactly a year to the day removed from a narrow win over this same Marist club. Well actually different as Red Foxes mentor Chucky Martin has virtually an entire new cast on board. The numbers in a 71 possession contest:


Notes and Observations:
Rutgers wanted a faster paced contest and Marist was a willing opponent with their DDM offense. Thought Marist turnover rate was not that bad given new personnel and a opener on the road against Big East competition. Rutgers had an excellent TO rate which went a long way toward getting the win in this contest. Rejecting nine shots and negating the Marist inside game was also huge.

Equal opportunity -- A year ago Mike Rosario utilized 27% of Rutgers’ possessions. On virtually every night he had to. Against Marist, Rosario used 25% of the possessions and led the way fo the Scarlet Knights with 17 points. The scintillating soph, though, had help. Patrick Jackson, a 6-6 sophomore forward, who scored all of 10 points last year added 15 points. Gregory Echenique used his size advantage to add 13 points. Even Rosario commented that having adding consistent scoring threats makes Rutgers more dangerous and gives himself more freedom to roam.

Closing Out -- Rutgers still must put people away given the opportunity. The Scarlet Knights made a nice late first half run to go up 9. Marist cut it to four before a Rosario baseline drive at the buzzer gave Rutgers a 41-35 lead at intermission. In the second half Rutgers led by 16 before Marist came back to make it a three possession contest.

Game Management -- I liked an early time out by Rutgers coach Fred Hill. Marist led 12-9 (in 7 possessions) largely due to some lax defense by Rutgers. Hill called time out to address the situation and lack of defensive intensity over those first four minutes.

Senior Experience -- I loved the energy Hamady Ndiaye brought today. The 7 foot Rutgers senior came off the bench and made an immediate impact by blocking 6 shots. Echenique added 3 as for the 9 Rutgers rejections on the afternoon.

Rebuilding -- As noted Marist has a lot of new faces for second year coach Chucky Martin. One to especially keep an eye on is 6-7 freshman swingman Rob Johnson (effective outside -- 2-4 -- and in the paint -- 4-7) who finished with a game high 18 points while adding 6 boards. Marist did have balance with 4 players in double figures.

Attendance was 4,828.

Stat of note -- Seventy per cent of Rutgers’ field goals were assisted. They had 27 FGM, 19 assists. That added with a great TO rate spells outstanding ball movement.

Quotes: "I have to give Rutgers credit. They’re a good team and much improved from a year ago." - Marist coach Chucky Martin

"I don’t think the difference was any one person. The difference was our team. We got out and pushed the ball and controlled tempo." - Rutgers coach Fred Hill

1 comment:

greyCat said...

Ray's note about assists caught my eye. That is a stat that was missing last season, and one I intended to watch with Mike Rosario this season. James Beatty, the Miami-Dade transfer promised to bring passing to the Rutgers attack. Mike Coburn started and dished 7 assists during his 22 minute run. Beatty added 4 more during his 18 minutes on the floor. That means the Scarlet Knights drew 11 assists from the point guard position for this game. That is the kind of number that will increase Rosario's effectiveness this season.