Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ireland 2010 -- Pitt Downs Dart Killister 88-62, Goes to 4-0

Dart Killister is Good
The University of Pittsburgh downed the Dart Killister Club Team, 88-62 at Dublin City University, as the Panthers closed out the Dublin leg of their three city Irish Tour. While Pittsburgh ran their record to 4-0, Dart Killister was the closest game of the tour so far. You can find the official boxscore (lacking player minutes again) and an AP-style game recap/story if you click on the links. The recap provides a good description of the scoring runs. Gilbert Brown (per the article) received the game ball for his performance (14 points). The scoring by quarters...

Dart Killister1614201262

The game was "off script" early as Dart Killister jumped out to a 14-9 lead early in the first quarter. The Panthers closed the quarter out with a 10-2 run, but Dart Killister kept it close throughout the second quarter, conceding only another six points before the half. Pitt was on the good side of a 39-30 score at the mid-point. That third quarter blitz which has become something of a tour staple in Pittsburgh's first three games, did not materialize. Worse, the 20-20 draw marked the first time through three games (and the first quarter of the fourth game -- 13 quarters) that Pitt did not "win" the quarter. Still holding a nine point lead (59-50) going into the fourth quarter Coach Dixon's squad put the pedal down and blew out a 29-12 scoring margin to put the game away, 88-62. This game was played for over just over 80 possessions (80.2), about 14 possessions higher than the pace shown by Jamie Dixon-coached teams. The efficiencies and Oliver's four factors:

Dart Killister77.347.229.919.437.71.00

Was the score close because of a breakdown on Pitts' offense or defense (or both)? The ORtg's (109.7 vs 77.3) say Pitt's offense had problems. The Panthers' eFG%, 49.3 -- the first time it was below 54.0 on the tour -- suggest their shots were not dropping. A quick check of the box score shows the first half (quarters 1 & 2) were especially brutal as the Panthers went 16-38 overall (and 0-3 on three pointers). Dart Killister had problems of their own, as suggested by their 77.3 ORtg. While their shooting, inefficient, but not significantly worse than Pittsburgh's (47.2 vs Pitts' 49.3), but they were largely limited to one field goal attempt (if they got it) per trip, as their offensive rebounding, 19.4, meant they would get a second chance on about one in five misses. While Pitt did not shoot much better, they had the benefit, by virtue of grabbing nearly 1 in 2 of their misses, of several tries before relinquishing the ball to a Dart Killister defender. Dart Killister's turnover rate, 29.9 further cut into their shooting opportunities. .

1. The rotation again went 14 deep, as the staff started freshmen Cameron Wright and Lamar Patterson along side veterans Nasir Robinson, Dante Taylor (who logged his second double-double of the tour) and Travon Woodall (who dished a team-high, tied with Brad Wannamaker) five assists to go with his four points.
2. Dart Killister's Jermaine Turner scored a game-high 27 points while two Panthers, Dante Taylor and Gilbert Brown tied for the team-high 14 points in leading Pittsburgh. Brown notched double digit points in both Dublin matches.
3. As the OR%s suggest, Pittsburgh crushed their Irish opponents for the fourth straight game. The raw numbers (21-29-50 vs 7-18-25) are telling. Nasir Robingson (3-2-5), Dante Taylor (6-4-10) and Talib Zanna (3-1-4) were particularly effective on the offensive boards.

Pittsburgh will take another day to see the sights, after a morning practice, and use early Friday to travel to Belfast for the last leg of their tour. The Panthers will play the Melbourne (Australia) Tigers at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast Friday night (8:30pm Ireland time). The Melbourne Tigers recently signed Eric Devendorf of Syracuse University, who completed his first season of pro ball in New Zealand in June in what promises to be an interesting reunion of sorts for the Big East players.

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