Saturday, September 4, 2010

Oh Canada! Cincinnati - McGill Post Game

Found a Servicable Boxscore...Let's Get Down to Business
The official boxscore has surfaced over at the McGill website as part of a game recap, but take it with a grain of salt. I have converted the Bearcat individual stats to possession-based efficiency ratings below. I pretty much trust what was recorded for the Bearcats, as much of it is confirmed via other postings, both at the Cincinnati website and by eyewitnesses. The Redmen numbers are suspect, particularly the "unknown player". I massaged their totals a bit -- field goals made and attempted particularly and rebounding -- to arrive at place where I can run the numbers for possessions and rebounding rates, and feel comfortable I am close to an accurate account. The totals by quarters first...


Trailing coming out of the first quarter, the Bearcats managed to tie the game at the 4:00 minute mark of the second quarter, then put on an eight point burst to take (and hold) the lead, 42-34, going into the half. Several recaps note the Cincinnati, taking note of the eight second back court rule, began to press earlier in the possession to force McGill to dribble/pass through pressure. The scoring differential through the last three quarters (also noted in most recaps) was a striking 73-38 margin. CIS blogger Mark Wacyk noted in his recap, that McGill shooting in the first quarter was especially accurate and effective. The efficiencies and Oliver's four factors:


63 possessions in an exhibition game, particularly where there is a gap in the scoring/athleticism/skill (note the Offensive Efficiency of each team and the 31 point scoring differential), is unusually low. That rate is more consistent with Northwestern (Princeton Offense), St. Louis (Coach Majerus' deliberate 4-out 1-in motion) and Pittsburgh, and lower, by about three-to-four possessions, than Cincinnati played to last season. The Bearcats, having lost Deonta Vaughn and Lance Stephenson, are, according to pre-tour interviews with Coach Cronin, intent on using the tour to develop a instinct for offense and develop a few basic ideas of how to score when they have the ball. In that context (looking for scorers and shooters), the lower possession rate makes sense. If the offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) is a dazzling 141.2, it is not predictive of great things coming in the 2011 season. It does suggest however, that there are offensive weapons on the roster...players who can score (at least against lower-level competition).

Cashmere Wright32.541.641.359.925.00.500.0
Eddie Tyree7.
Dion Dixon55.024.018.398.666.71.1666.7
Alex Eppenseine7.
Larry Davis35.017.914.4105.533.31.0366.7
Darnell Wilks57.512.28.8133.183.31.8066.7
Rashad Bishop47.521.621.2153.275.01.5516.7
Sean Kilpatrick57.523.426.3153.477.81.560.0
Kelvin Gaines15.026.711.2209.7100.02.13200.0
Mugg McBride2.563.367.
Anthony McClain32.515.310.3113.750.01.04100.0
Ibrahima Thomas42.520.07.9189.975.01.90250.0
Yancy Gates40.025.625.2127.266.71.3133.3
Jaquon Parker62.532.132.299.658.31.1616.7

While it very premature to draw broad conclusions based on a single exhibition game (or a three game tour for that matter), possession and shot rates suggest that the staff may use this tour as an audition for the next wave of Bearcat scorers and playmakers. The rotation went 15 deep, in part no doubt, due to the 31 point scoring margin, but possibly because the staff wanted to see a variety of player combinations as well. Jaquon Parker, Darnell Wilks, Dion Dixon and red shirt freshman Sean Kilpatrick appear (from the time allocation) to have gotten a very long look from the staff. Wilks remained invisible (note his 8.8% shot rate -- he was the 5th option on offense when he was on the floor), while Dixon pretty much played to where he has in the offense over the past two seasons, somewhere between a high-end "Role Player" (about 18-19% of the possessions and shots...possibly the 3rd option on offense) and a "Significant Contributor" (about 20-23% of the possessions and shots...possibly a 2nd option on offense if a more dominant offensive player is not on the court). Kilpatrick, a 6-4, 215 pound off guard, had a very good outing against McGill. Premature to be sure, but Kilpatrick, if he continues to score both efficiently and prolifically, may be one of the pieces for the team's offensive nucleus in 2011. A look at the assist rates and rebounding...

Cashmere Wright11.011.822.
Eddie Tyree0.
Dion Dixon6.
Alex Eppenseine0.
Larry Davis9.
Darnell Wilks0.
Rashad Bishop8.
Sean Kilpatrick8.06.718.
Kelvin Gaines0.
Mugg McBride0.
Anthony McClain0.011.811.
Ibrahima Thomas14.918.
Yancy Gates10.
Jaquon Parker0.

The board domination is led by rising sophomores Dante Taylor and Talib Zanna, two front court players who had less impact than many expected their first year out. I will be interested to see how Coach Dixon works them into the rotation.

Notes and Observations...
1. Rashad Bishop is back on the roster, an unexpected development as Bishop ran afoul of the Coach at the end of the 2010 season and was suspended for some part of the spring and summer. His re-instatement was accomplished with no fanfare/announcement. His offensive capabilities are at a premium this season. Hopefully he will embrace this opportunity to elevate the team's offense.
2. Jaquon Parker was identified as the "point guard", but the sophomore had no assists. Parker, who showed an ability to score efficiently as a freshman, may be more of a pg in the Deonte Vaughn mold, a scorer who seems more comfortable scoring off the bounce. He took a very large share of the possessions and shots (over 32%, comparable to a Luke Harangody, even more than Jordan Crawford...) when he was on the floor. Given his team-high 16 points, and that he logged the largest share of the minutes, suggests he may be auditioning for Vaughn's role in the Bearcat offense for 2011.
3. I was interested to see how Ibby Thomas does. This first game is mixed showing. When he took the ball McGill seemed content to foul and put him on the line, where he was 5-5. But in 20 minutes of action he took only two FGAs, virtually invisible in the offense, he functioned as the #5 option on offense. Not a good sign if Gates is going to be effective as a #1/#2 option on offense. His progress on this tour may be one of the early indicators on where the Bearcat offense will come from this season.

Cincinnati will play the Carleton University Ravens at the Scotiabank Place Arena in downtown Ottawa on Saturday night, 6:00pm. The game will be streamed live.

Carleton University has been to the CIS (Canada's counterpart to the NCAA) what Kentucky and North Carolina have been to the NCAA. The Ravins normally go into the CIS basketball season as the presumptive favorites to take the CIS Championship. Comparing teams from the two organizations is a challenge, but generally the Canadian teams would probably perform comfortably in mid/low-level NCAA D1 conference, like the MAC, NEC and Southern Conferences. Carleton will most likely provide the Bearcats with their sternest test on the tour.

No comments: