Monday, February 22, 2010

Pittsburgh Post Game: In the Name of Peter(son)

The Peterson Event Center
Taking to the road after their home loss to Connecticut Monday night, the Wildcats looked for a bounce back game in the Peterson Event Center on the Pittsburgh campus on Sunday afternoon. Wrong place, wrong day. Opened in November 2002, the Peterson Center has become as inhospitable a road venue as the Fitzgeral Field House forboding as the Fitzgerald Fieldhouse it replaced in 2002. The 'Cats finished their Fitzgerald stint with an 0-4 run. So far (counting yesterday), they have an 0-3 record. The next time they win at Peterson will be the first time they win at Peterson.

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

 Offense Defense

Half-time Adjustments
The pace of the first half (about 30 possessions per team), is the lowest possession half this season. As for the game, 62.9 (call it 63...) possessions is the lowest since the Temple game (62.2 -- 62 possessions) in December. For the second consecutive game Villanova overcame a poor first half offensive effort. But consistent with the Connecticut game, they also negated that progress with a poor second half defensive showing. Some have suggested this was the best half of defense this season, and looking over the defensive stats (Defensive eFG% -- 34.5, TORate -- 26.9, FTA/FGA -- 31.0), it seems only the offensive rebounding, a very disappointing 55.6 undermined a terrific defensive effort. Offensive rebounding (orange highlight) for both teams was an anomaly. Rarely is one team dominant on their offensive boards only to be eclipsed on their defensive boards. The 'Cats only slightly improved (>40% of the Panther misses translated into second chance opportunities) in the second half. The 'Cats went to the locker room at the half down by six largely on the strength of Pitt's perfect half at the line (and those 10 points Pitt scored off of second chance opportunities).

Notes & Observations
1. Fisher and Reynolds continue to be the engines offensively. Both had eFG% >= 50.0%, while taking > 30% of the shots, but Fisher logged only 22 minutes (about 55% of the available time), due in part to first half fouls. The second wave on offense (Stokes, Wayns and Pena), Stokes excepted, were unable to efficiently convert shooting opportunities into points. King had a good day from the field, a close in layup early in the second half seemed to get him on track, but he did not shoot much, 3 FGAs total in 18 minutes of play (all in the 13 minutes he logged in the second half), which translates into a 12.6% shot rate (he took about 1 in 8 shots when he was on the court).
2. Scottie Reynolds passed the 2,100 point mark, logging a total of 2,113 points in his four year career at Villanova. Reynolds is now ranked #3 on the list of all-time scorers, and only one of three players (Kerry Kittles, 2243 points & Keith Herron, 2170 points) in the history of the men's program to score more than 2,100 points in his career. At the current pace (about 19 ppg), Scottie will need another seven games to challenge Kerry Kittles' all-time scoring record.
3. The staff used 11 players total, keeping the starters in for 73% of the time, the most since the Temple game back in December. Pace and difficulty getting transition baskets most likely playing a large role in determining the time allocation. One starter (Redding) and a bench player (King) fouled out.

Ref Notes
Jamie Luckie, Michael Stephens and Michael Stuart comprised the referee crew at the Peterson. For Luckie and Stuart, this was their first Villanova game this season (though each has ref'ed multiple games in earlier seasons). Stephens has ran five earlier games including the Louisville and second Georgetown games (anyone see a trend?). Villanova's record this season when Stephens has a whistle, is 3-3.

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