Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rutgers Post Game: The Iron Triangle

The Homecoming
The three Catholic preparatory schools located on the western side of the water that separates New Jersey from New York City, St. Anthony's in Jersey City, St. Benedict's in Newark and St. Patrick's in Elizabeth, produced four of the 23 players who logged time last night in Piscataway. Villanova beat Rutgers, 94-68, and those four scored a combined 51 points, over 31% of the total points scored in the game. Three of the four were former New Jersey POYs; three of the four were McDonald's All Americans, but if you checked the jerseys, three of the four wore blue & white, only one was in scarlet. When the Villanova student section chanted "This is OUR HOUSE!" at the end of the game (in stark contrast to the mood two seasons ago when the Scarlet Knights beat another Jersey-laden Villanova squad), one would be hard pressed to fault their confusion. Three of the four highest scorers on the floor were from New Jersey, and not one of them played for The State University of New Jersey. Fittingly, each of Villanova's New Jersey standouts came from a different member of the state's vaunted "Iron Triangle" schools. Corey Fisher graduated from St. Patrick's, the southern angle of the triangle. He followed another St. Patrick's graduate (and NJ POY), Michael Nardi, to the Mainline. Corey Stokes graduated high school the same year as Corey Fisher, but from the school that anchors the western angle, St. Benedict's. Dominic Cheek, the freshman who logged his career best, and Villanova team-high, 17 points, graduated from St. Anthony's, the eastern angle. Villanova's three Jersey Boys produced 48 of the team's 94 points, just over 50% of the point production on a night when the 'Cats won by 26. Whose house indeed.

The Official website has an AP wire story, some post game notes and the box score. The breakdown by halves...

Offense Defense


The Wildcats took a 25 point lead into the locker room, large enough to render the 2nd half statistics suspect in detail. Those first half numbers were comparable to Villanova's first half against DePaul and the Wildcats' second half against Louisville. That they were able "to beat" the Knights in the 2nd half as well speaks only in general terms of the different levels at which the two squads are operating right now.

Ray Floriani, also at the game last night, was generous enough to share his thoughts on the two teams & the game...

by Ray Floriani
Villanova used a dominating first half to go on to a 94-68 rout of Rutgers at the RAC. This statistical breakdown will look at the efficiency grades from last night. The efficiency rating used by the NBA totals the points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks while subtracting turnovers and missed field goals and free throws. The efficiency per minute is simply the total divided by minutes.

The rundown of both teams of players with ten or more minutes playing time

C. Fisher2820.714
D. Cheek17181.06
C. Stokes2415.625
I. Armwood1513.867
A. Pena158.533
M. Yarou188.444
M. Wayns178.471
R. Redding197.368
S. Reynolds286.214
T. King125.417

D. Miller3630.833
H. Ndiaye2220.909
J. Beatty269.346
M. Coburn276.222
J. Mitchell324.125
A. Johnson221.046
M. Rosario26-1-.039

Notes and observations:
1. Corey Fisher led the way for ‘Nova with a strong 15 point, 6 rebound, 4 assist (no turnovers) showing. Dominic Cheek led the Wildcats in scoring with 17 points. Cheek added four rebounds and turned in his impressive performance in just 17 minutes to post the highest efficiency per minute total for both teams. Isaiah Armwood had a high efficiency for his 15 minutes of action. The freshman forward was a perfect 4-4 from the floor and 1-1 from the line with 9 points, 4 rebounds. Scottie Reynolds was rather quiet on the efficiency totals but coach Jay Wright noted that the Wildcat senior played hard and made his presence felt.

2. Rutgers was paced by freshman Dane Miller with a game high 26 points. Miller added 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks and steals while committing only two turnovers. Before fouling out Rutgers inside threat Hamady Ndiaye had a strong 12 point, 6 rebound , 5 blocked shot effort. Ndiaye had the best efficiency per minute mark for the Scarlet Knights as he put up his numbers in 22 minutes before fouling out. Mike Coburn, 8 points and 5 assists was praised by Rutgers coach Fred Hill for his efforts. Mike Rosario, in the midst of a slump, had a game to forget. You can usually pencil the Rutgers soph in for double digit scoring. On this night the efficiency was in negative numbers. Rosario scored only three points and was 1 of 8 from the floor with no assists and three turnovers. Again, a night to forget and put behind you.

Quotable:“We had to wait until we got Reggie (Redding) back until we set out rotation. We are going with 11 guys that allows us to be the best team we can be” - Villanova coach Jay Wright

“We actually shot better the first half but the offensive rebounds we gave up and our turnovers made a big difference. “ - Rutgers coach Fred Hill

Epiphanny Prince sighting:
In attendance was one of the Scarlet Knights all time greats who finished her career with the women’s program last Spring. Got a chance to meet and chat with Epiphanny Prince. These days she is playing pro ball in Turkey. She joined a struggling franchise but fortunes improved once Prince and Courtney Paris (formerly of Oklahoma) came on board. While we touched on basketball both here and overseas, most of our conversation was about Istanbul, an intriguing city, bordering both Asia and Europe, that I have had the opportunity to visit on two occasions. Turns out yours truly and Prince both share a passion for Turkish coffee and mint tea.
Ray Floriani(l) with Epiphanny Prince (r)

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