Friday, January 29, 2010

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: La Salle at Fordham

by Ray Floriani

BRONX, NY - They are getting closer. With just over a minute to go it was a one possession game. Fordham never could draw even and laSalle hit their free throws to seal an 80-73 victory at Rose Hill.

The efficiency and factors in a 74 possession game.


Key stats not in the box score:

La SalleFordham
Fast Break Points186
Points in the Paint4034

Points in the paint and fast break points are closely related. Simply because you want to finish your transition opportunities by going to the basket. Interestingly when Joe Bryant (Kobe’s dad) played for the La Salle in the mid Seventies, the 6-9 dynamo aka ‘jelly bean’ would often finish a fast break with a 25 footer (and there was no three point shot in college during that time). Back then ‘jelly bean’ had the benefit of the proverbial green light but that’s another story and era.

La Salle did their best to pound it inside. For the most part the Explorers were in an attack the basket mode. They attempted only 7 threes (hit three) out of their 55 field goal attempts. A main reason their eFG% percentage was extremely high.

Rebounding, a La Salle strong point, saw the Rams as the victors. Rebounding is the result of hard work and hustle, further evidence of how hard Jared Grasso has his team playing even during a long season. Another factor in the rebounding (Rams had a 13-7 offensive edge) was the play of Chris Gaston. The Fordham freshman added 15 rebounds (8 offensive) to his team high 21 points.

In a showcase of outstanding young talent, La Salle’s outstanding freshman Aaric Murray led all scorers with 24 points while adding 7 rebounds and blocking four shots. The efficiency numbers of two of the conference’s brightest first year stars. (Efficiency adds points, rebounds, blocks, steals and assists while subtracting turnovers and all missed shots).

OffensePer Min

Gaston was a perfect 7 of 7 from the line while Murray had a similar percentage , going 3 of 3. Gaston logged 30 minutes before fouling out but another Fordham first year player , Fahro Alihodzic added 12 points to help the Rams’ inside game.

Brenton Butler scored 12 for Fordham but was 3 of 15 (1 of 8 from three point range) from the field. Rodney Green, LaSalle’s outstanding senior guard had an interesting line. Green added 16 points, 5 assists and tied Murray for the team rebound lead with 7.

LaSalle is now 11-9, 3-3 in the Atlantic Ten while Fordham drops to 2-17, 0-7.

“He is a beast inside. He does everything he can to help his team. He doesn’t take a night off.” - LaSalle coach John Giannini on Chris Gaston of Fordham.

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