Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ireland 2010 -- Panthers Down South Region All-Stars, 92-52

The Panthers Mix it Up
The University of Pittsburgh swept the games in their Neptune Stadium stand with a 92-52 win over the South Regional All-Star (SRAS), a collection of star players from the South Conference of the Irish Super League, before 857 fans in Cork. The Pittsburgh basketball site has the official boxscore (again with no player minutes...) and game recap/story. For those following the team, the recap gives some detail on individual player performances. The scoring by quarters...

South Region All-Stars1211131652

Having established a 14 point lead going into half-time, Pitt opened the third quarter with a 10-2 run to push the SRAS at something farther than an arm's length. Holding a 33 point lead going into the fourth quarter, the Panthers eased off a bit and cruised home. Unlike the exhibition-paced game against the Irish National Team, this one featured a more deliberate 64.9 possessions, much closer to the tempo preferred by the Panthers teams developed by Coach Dixon. The efficiencies and Oliver's four factors:

South Region All-Stars78.141.224.634.033.0

Pitt's offensive efficiency, again over 130.0 (very, very strong) shows a healthy differential from their defensive efficiency (SRAS' offensive efficiency) of 78.0. If their shot conversion efficiency (eFG% 54.4) was not in the high 50's/low 60's, the Panthers limited their turnovers (18.0) and grabbed an astounding 69.8% of their own misses. Their low FTA/FGA (unusual for a team that plays as physically as Pitt) was probably a result of their offenisve shift to the outside in the last two quarters. Pitt perimeter scorers launched 11 3FGAs in the third and fourth quarters. Offense tends to draw fan (and media) attention, but defense wins games, especially the tight ones. The Panthers pressured the ball (TO% of 33.0) and contested shots (eFG% at 41.2), two crucial elements to their traditional approach to defense.

1. The rotation went 14 deep for this game, a good indication Pitt was not pressured at any point in the game.
2. Freshman JJ Moore, rising sophomore Talib Zanna and rising senior Gilbert Brown had particularly efficient outings. Each scored double digit points (Zanna logged a double-double) while posting eFGs >75.0.
3. A rules quirk, freshmen are not allowed to play before classes convene, kept the freshmen out of game 1. All four of Pitt's entering class saw action on Sunday. Aron Nwankwo, J.J. Moore and Cameron Wright logged minutes versus the SRAS, with Moore posting a game-high 14 points, an eFG% of 77.8%, on 6-9 (2-3,4-6) and 0-0 shooting.

The Panthers travel to Dublin, where they will stay Monday through Thursday. After a day of sightseeing, they will have a second game, at Dublin City University, on Tuesday evening.

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