Thursday, December 24, 2009

Delaware Post Game -- Hen Pluckin'

Well, Pomeroy Said The 'Cats Were Favored by 29...
...and in an unusual development, the Wildcats actually exceeded the projected winning margin against this mid-major opponent, 97-63. Having won the tip, the Wildcats' Antonio Pena scored a layup at the 19:40 mark of the 1st half that broke a 0-0 tie. And it was downhill from there for the Blue Hens. The Official website posted an AP wire story and (of course) the box score. The breakdown by halves...

 Offense Defense

Only the George Mason, Drexel and Temple games saw the Wildcats get fewer possessions. Slowing it down appears to have worked well against the Hens as the Wildcat shooters had their most accurate night since Penn (note the gree highlighting in the table), and their most dominant night on the defensive boards since Fairleigh Dickinson (see green highlight above).

Half-time Adjustments
Though leading by 16 at the break, Villanova's shot defense was not working particularly well as Delaware managed to shoot 10-17 inside the arc (58.8% -- note the red highlight above). Note that while the Hen's were shooting well (from inside the arc anyway), their efficiency was not particularly good because they were turning the ball over (23%), not rebounding their misses (21.4%) and not getting to the line for additional scoring opportunities (18.5%). A rare case where good shot efficiency was completely negated by inefficiency in the other 3 areas of offense and defense. At the break the 'Cats figured out how to shut down the Hens' inside scoring. The Hens had to look outside for more shots. While Delaware improved their conversion rate (30% to 35.6%), the difference did not keep up with their 1st half 2 FGM numbers (35.6 for 3 FGMs is equivalent to a 53.6% conversion rate for 2 FGMs).

Notes & Observations
1. Scottie Reynolds moved 22 points closer to the 2000 point career mark, as he has logged 353 points so far this season, ahead of marks from his previous 3 seasons. His per game average to date, 17.3, is the best in his career, for this point in (12 games into) the season.
2. Taylor King broke out of a mild scoring slump, hitting 5-8 (1-3, 4-5) and 8-8 for 19 points. King also grabbed 12 rebounds (6-6-12), making this the 1st double-double of his collegiate career. And he did all of that in 23 minutes of play. King has to be an early favorite for a 6th man award, as he seems to be instant energy off the bench.
3. Corey Fisher had another mediocre night from the field, shooting 4-10. He did however, go 2-4 from beyond the arc, nail all 4 free throw attempts, grab 5 rebounds (love the rebounding guards...) and dish 4 assists with no turnovers. So it was not a bad night overall for the junior guard.
4. Reggie Redding is back. With a vengence. The swing man went 6-7 from the field, (1-2, 5-5) and nailed all 3 of his free throw attempts for a 16 point night. That translates to a 1.90 PPWS and a 92.9% eFG%. That's not a typo. Reggie grabbed 6 rebounds (love those rebounding guards), dished 2 assists (against a turnover) and had a steal to boot. Redding is not a 1st option on offense, but he seems to often be the 3rd choice. He logged 30 minutes of play.

Ref Notes
Bernard Clinton, Mike Kitts and (Coach Calhoun's favorite...) Wally Rutecki made up the referee crew. They must have been in the holiday spirit; they were restrained with their whistles. While the number of fouls called, 38, was on the low side, it was still within the "normal range" for Villanova home games. The number of free throw attempts (34) was, however (for both teams) lighter than expected for the number of fouls called. That accounts for Villanova's relatively low FTA/FGA rate for this game (see the half splits above). All three referees have worked Villanova games in prior seasons, but for Clinton and Kitts, this was their first Villanova game of the 2010 season. Wally Rutecki worked the Penn game back in November.

Roster Notes
1. Maurice Sutton was DNP with an upper respiratory problem. He should be ready for Marquette on January 2nd.

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