Friday, January 8, 2010

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: At FDU vs Bryant

by Ray Floriani

TEANECK, NJ - Undefeated for the decade. FDU overcame an early 10-1 deficit to post their second consecutive victory of the new year. The Knights defeated Bryant 66-50 at the Rothman Center on Thursday evening.

In a 71 possession game, the Efficiency and Factors:



Bryant, in its second year of Division I, is now 0-15. Tim O’Shea’s club is not eligible for NEC championship play but as a member does have a full conference slate. The Bulldogs had a murderous pre-conference card with the likes of Boston College, St.John’s, Providence, Indiana and an improved Army club. They did play two Ivy schools. No break here as the two were Harvard and Cornell.

Entering the game Bryant was playing at a 66 possession pace while FDU checked in at 70. The 71 possession tempo saw the advantage go to FDU in that category.

Tough luck. Things weren’t bad enough for Bryant. Recently they lost their leading scorer with a season ending injury.

Cecil Gresham, a senior guard, averaged 14.5 PPG before his season, and career ended in late December. The leading active scorer is freshman guard Raphael Jordan (7.1 PPG) who was scoreless in fifteen minutes of action.

The pre-game efficiency margins were considerably less than outstanding:



You can’t measure this or compute it with a tidy formula on a calculator. But a big reason behind the FDU win was confidence. Down 22 to Sacred Heart with 12 minutes to play on Saturday, the Knights rallied to win. Bryant took an early 10-1 lead and the Knights still kept their composure and remained upbeat.

Getting 6-8 Alvin Mofunanya back in the lineup was a key factor for FDU. The senior forward/center had missed several games with an injury and returned for the Sacred Heart game. Mofunanya was one of four FDU players in double figures with 11 points. He did have eight turnovers but interim coach Greg Vetrone was not too concerned. “He (Mofunanya gets doubled or tripled teams then walks,” Vetrone said. “We have to work on him passing out of the double team.”

FDU shot 19 of 30 from the line. Credit the inside game and junior guard Mike Scott’s penetrations as largely responsible for getting the Knights to the line so frequently.

Sean Baptiste had another strong outing leading FDU with 18 points. John Galvin had a big effort off the bench as the 6-8 junior added 11 point 5 rebounds. Scott, the point guard has been on fire. He had 16 points but the last two games has a combined total of 18 assists zero turnovers in 70 minutes. FDU had seven second half field goals. Six by either Scott or Baptiste. Vlad Kondratyev, a freshman forward, led Bryant with 16 points.

FDU is now 3-12 but 2-1 in the NEC with another home game with Central Connecticut on Saturday.

“We weren’t ready for some of our early opponents. We have a new coach, new system and new point guard. It takes time but it’s (momentum) definitely coming.” - FDU interim coach Greg Vetrone

Rothman Center, Fairleigh Dickinson University

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