Thursday, December 24, 2009

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: At FDU vs Iona

by Ray Floriani

TEANECK, NJ - FDU hosted Iona in their last non-conference encounter before NEC play heats up. FDU entered the game 1-11 so it was worth taking a look at what ailed them. Pre-game calculation showed they played at a 69 possession pace with an offensive efficiency of 81, on the low side. On the other end the figure almost jumped off the page. The defensive efficiency is 110 with gave the Knights a -29 margin (offense efficiency - defensive efficiency) . Tonight the efficiency margin ultimately was a -34 for FDU as Iona defeated the Knights 82-60 at Stratis Arena. The Gaels improved to 98-4 as FDU fell to 1-12.

One of the many helpful things FDU media coordinator Sara Nagar does, besides getting Dominos pizza for the press room, is distributing stats every media timeout. The media time outs occur at the first dead ball after each four minute interval. I kept a breakdown of time (of the media time out), score and efficiency marks to show how the game progressed.

11:4019-13 Iona106-77 Iona
7:5029-13 Iona116-54 Iona
3:5537-23 Iona119-77 Iona
Half44-29 Iona122-78 Iona
Second Half
15:2049-39 Iona109-87 Iona
11:2752-39 Iona104-75 Iona
7:5664-43 Iona112-74 Iona
2:4478-54 Iona118-81 Iona
Final82-60 Iona117-83 Iona

Final possession totals - FDU 72, Iona 70.

The four factors:


Defense again an FDU sore spot. Iona’s great eFG mark largely due to 12 of 26 from three as the Knights lost shooters off screens, failed to close out and contest and gave too many open looks.

FDU interim coach Greg Vetrone feels the half court defense is improving. Transition defense is another matter, Turnovers also hurt the offense and lead to opposing transition opportunities as Iona had a 17-1 edge the first half on points off turnovers. FDU entered the game with a 24% TO rate. The optimist can say they improved with a 22. Truthfully 20 or more is too high. Especially when the opponent has a 17-1 advantage at the half and 21-11 for the game.

Iona had five players in double figures and was paced by Milan Prodanovic with 15. The senior guard was 5 of 8 with every shot coming from beyond the arc. Junior guard Mike Scott led FDU with 15 points. FDU missed 19 free throws in a 83-68 loss to St.Peter’s on Saturday. Tonight they were 16 of 28. That’s a dozen misses. As Vetrone said it probably wouldn’t been a factor tonight but shooting 57% from the line certainly doesn’t help one’s cause.

Disparity in free throw production was largely due to Iona not getting fouled. Gaels committed 23 personals FDU 14. Simply, Iona had those aforementioned opportunities from turnovers and a number of open looks in the half court set.

“We are playing six freshmen. But they play hard and are very confident in what we are trying to do.” - Iona coach Kevin Willard.

“We will put this aside. The NEC is coming. The road and injuries took a toll on us. Now we have a New Year and opportunity starting with three straight conference home games “ - FDU interim coach Greg Vetrone

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