Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ireland 2010 -- Pitt Rolls, 110-61, Over Team Ireland

Twice in Three Days
The University of Pittsburgh met the Irish National Team for the second time, this time on the court at Dublin City University, and swept their series with Team Ireland with a convincing 110-61 score. This brings the Panthers' Irish Tour record to 3-0. The Pittsburgh basketball site has the official boxscore (they included player minutes this time) and a game recap/story. The recap includes some of the action, and identifies a few elements to the Panther win. The scoring by quarters...

Team Ireland1516111961

Pittsburgh has controlled every game from virtually the opening tip to the final buzzer. Rolling out to a 19 point lead at the end of the half (second quarter), Pittsburgh decisively won the third quarter 36-11 to put the game out of reach. They then put on cruise control for the fourth quarter, and run out the time. The pattern has been the same -- a spurt in the second quarter puts the Panthers in control going into the half, and a furious third quarter puts the game out of reach. It will be interesting to see if the pattern holds against Division 1 opponents come the regular season (BEWARE THE FIRST 10 MINUTES OF THE SECOND HALF!). Consistent with their first game with the Irish National Team, the game was played for over 70 possessions (), very much out of character for the deliberate and disciplined pace shown by Jamie Dixon-coached teams. The efficiencies and Oliver's four factors:

Team Ireland80.134.913.117.649.20.79

Pitt's offensive efficiency, 144.5 shows a healthy differential from their defensive efficiency of 80.1, even better than their first game differential with Team Ireland. Their shot conversion efficiency (eFG%) was the best on the tour so far. The Panthers were for the most part, in character -- they dominated the boards (OR% of 74.2 vs 17.6), limited turnovers (15.8) and developed a high yield for their shots, scoring 1.25 points for every FGA they took. About the only out of character element was free throws. The Panthers got to the charity stripe about once for every field goal attempts, well below their Division rate (about 3 times for every 10 field goal attempts). Extremely large scoring margins combined with a very large rotation most likely explain the lack of low post physical play and lane penetration by the guards.

1. The rotation went 14 deep, and while the recap suggests the minutes were distributed evenly (more or less), the PT ranged from Dante Taylor's team-high 21 minutes to three minutes for one of the freshmen. The starters, Gilbert Brown (who started at the #2), Ashton Gibbs, J.J. Moore, Gary McGhee and J.J. Richardson had 43.9% of the playing time.
2. Four of the starters, JJ Moore, Gilbert Brown, JJ Richardson and Ashton Gibbs, along with rising junior Nasir Robinson scored double-digit points. Moore was the high scorer for the second straight game, this time notching 14 points on 6-12 (1-2, 5-10) and 1-2 shooting.
3. Gibbs, Brown, Robinson and JJ Richardson had particularly efficient outings, combining volume scoring with efficient shooting. Each scored double digit points while posting eFGs >57.0.
4. Brown dished a team-high five assists to go with his 12 points.
5. While the Panthers crushed the Irish National Team on the boards, only rising sophomore Dante Taylor grabbed, who grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, gathered more than eight boards. This was truly a team effort, as all 14 players had at least one defensive board, and 13 of 14 players grabbed at least one offensive board.

Pittsburgh will play one more game in Dublin, again at Dublin City University, tomorrow, when they face the Dart Killester Club Team. Dart Killester won the North Conference of the Ireland Super League (the premier league in Ireland), 13-5.

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