Thursday, August 12, 2010

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: An All-Star Night at Hamilton Park

by Ray Floriani

JERSEY CITY, NJ - On Monday the Hamilton Park all stars defeated the Dukes basketball club of the Netherlands 68-63 in the Hamilton Park Summer All Star Classic.

Women's college official Nick Borwn and Brian O'Connell
huddle before the tip-off to review a few final points

The game was four ten minutes quarters stopping the last two minutes of each half on whistles. The only other stoppages were on free throw attempts. The numbers...

Scoring by quarter...
U20 Dukes138231963
HP All-Stars2212171768

A building block for possession-based analysis.

Possessions by quarter...
U20 Dukes1715182070
HP All-Stars1716181970

The Dukes (on the right) exchange gifts with the Hamilton Park All-Stars
before the contest.

Final Points Per Possession (PPP)
U20 Dukes0.90
HP All-Stars0.97

The Dukes basketball club is a strong contingent of U20 players from the Netherlands. After the loss here the Dukes faced St. Anthony’s the next night and lost a very competitive contest. They finished 1-5 on their tour of the New York area but were in every game.

I thought the Hamilton Park team ran a lot of nice offense featuring screening, good movement and the willingness to make the extra pass. Surprised to hear from coach Ben Gamble (St. Anthony’s assistant who ran the team) that the All-Stars did not have a single practice together. In fact Gamble attributed to slow starts in the third and fourth quarter when the Dukes made their runs, as attributed to "...running too many set plays and not just letting them get out and play.".

The Dukes coach Weird Goedee said prior to the game that his club saw a lot of zone defenses on the trip and did not have great success against them. Little surprised given that European teams are known for their skilled perimeter shooters. On the flip side teams from ‘across the pond’ are known for their effective ball screening so the zones were used to combat that. Provided no one was on fire from beyond the arc.

Goedee also noted his team was having trouble playing outdoors. No excuse but in the Netherlands he observed, "...all of our practices and games are indoors.". The Dukes coach said that in the three (of the first four) games outside his team struggled offensively. Probably from not being used to the greater depth perception in shooting from the perimeter on an outdoor court.

The Dukes’ Kadeem Pantophet, a 6-7 forward, paced all scorers with 18 points. Max Franken, a 6-0 guard added 13. Lucky Jones, a St.Anthony’s forward led Hamilton Park with 15 points while Marist guard Marvin Williams contributed 13.

The Dukes showed a lot of poise. Despite being down double digit’s the first half they didn’t panic, continued to execute their game plan and took a lead late in the contest. Hamilton Park then regrouped to seal the verdict. Hamilton Park was effective penetrating and using their quickness to force turnovers on the defensive end. "We threw the ball in the ocean," was the way Goedee termed his club’s turnover troubles. The Dukes, beside their aforementioned poise, did hit a few timely perimeter shots and were effective screening as Hamilton Park stayed man to man.

Cutting turnovers was key to the Dukes comeback. The first 11 possessions of the third quarter they did not turn the ball over and trimmed a 13 point deficit to a one possession (down 3) game. For the game the Dukes had 16 turnovers but ten came prior to the half. Hamilton Park had 11. The TO rates:

U20 Dukes23.0
HP All-Stars16.0

As noted many times (here on VBTN and elsewhere) a TO rate under 20% is very good. Hamilton Park’s mark was outstanding given they did not get a chance to practice and all star games tend to be a little more uptempo.

Faces in the Crowd
Among those in attendance was Sean Couch, a former Columbia standout and assistant who is an editor for Bounce Magazine. Also, a familiar face and former Hamilton Park All-Star, Dominic Cheek of Villanova, stopped by to catch the action.

The top notch scoring table of Regina (l) and Randy
work on the post game report.

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