Sunday, January 16, 2011

University of Maryland Post Game: Pressure Cooking

Bookbinder's Philadelphia Snapper Soup...
From the web containing this liner note...
"Pilfered this recipe from recipe gold mine. Can't wait to try it..."
 1. Place terrapin in stock pot with 1 1/2 quarts water. Bring to a boil. Skim during cooking. Simmer for 2 hours or until meat is tender.
 2. Strain meat from stock. Dice meat into 1/4 inch pieces. Set both aside.
 3. Cook vegetables in butter until onions are translucent. Add beef stock.
 4. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup water into paprika and flour until smooth. Add tomato purée and spices.
 5. Stir into stock until well blended. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
 6. Strain soup.
 7. Place vegetables into food processor or blender and purée.
 8. Mix cornstarch with remaining water and blend until smooth. Add to soup and cook 15 minutes, stirring, until stock is thickened.
 9. Add meat and vegetable purée.
10. Remove from direct heat. Add sherry right before serving.

While Bookbinders used a low heat, slow-cook method and about four and a half hours to break down the meat and connective tissue, Villanova employed a time honored and faster technique to cook their terrapins Saturday afternoon -- heat and pressure and lots of them. The Wildcats cut about fours hours and 23 minutes off the cooking time, but produced a dish many in the Nova Nation will savor for the next day or so (until the team gets back to conference play at Storrs on Monday).

At the 9:27 mark of the second half bfc Jordan Williams scored points 21 and 22 of his 25 point, game-high total, on a lay-up that stretched out Maryland's lead to 12 points for the second time in just over a minute. The Wildcats, losing by three at the half were headed in the wrong direction when seniors Antonio Pena and Corey Fisher, along with sophomores Maalik Wayns and Mouphtaou Yarou decided they had had enough. On the next three possessions Pena collected two rebounds and hit a jumper on a feed from Fisher. Maalik Wayns followed with a pair of free throws on a Sean Mosley foul. A defensive board by Mouphtaou Yarou ended the next Terrapin possession while Fisher hit a three to finish the Wildcats' possession. Those three possessions brought eight points on two field goals off two assists, two free throws and three rebounds, but at least as importantly those three possessions brought the 17,477 fans in attendance at the Wells Fargo Center onto their feet and back into the game. During that 6:13 sequence that followed Williams' layup, the Wildcats shot 6-11 (54.5%) from the field and 5-5 from the line. They grabbed nine rebounds (2-7-9), lost one turnover and scored 19 points in 11 possessions for an efficiency of 1.73 points per possession. But it did not stop there as the 'Cats closed the loop by harassing the Terrapin back court and clamping down on defense. Maryland's 11 possessions through that stretch of the game produced zero points. Not a typo -- Maryland's efficiency rating was 0.00 points per possession for over six minutes. Maryland shot 0-8 from the field, and 0-2 from the charity stripe (no charity there). Their front court grabbed 3 rebounds (2-1-3) even as the team committed three fouls and two turnovers. The pressure, loud fans, poor performance and perhaps the memory of similar collapses at Illinois, Temple and Duke rattled Maryland as the team's offense shifted after two Williams misses early in the drought from team play feeding the post and making back door passes to quick outside jumpers and one-on-one breakdown plays, all out of the the back court or the wing. Maryland's four rotating guards, Pe'Shon Howard, Adrian Bowie, Terrell Stoglin and Cliff Tucker split the remaining six shots during the sequence, and like Williams, missing them all. The connective tissue that characterized the Terp teamwork through the first 30 minutes of the game broke down under the pressure. The drought (ironically) ended on another Williams layup, and while there may have been only a two possession gap in the team's scores, with over two minutes still left to settle it, the Terps at that point were all but done.

The Nova/Philadelphia Blogoshere has three (relatively) early returns, the Nova Blog posted a and linked to an SB Nation affiliate, The Testudo Times for some in game banter with Maryland fans. posted a recap with more polling to grade the player's performance. All sites are worth a look if you have the time. The site ran a recap with links to the audio of the post game pressers. The Athletic Department website posted the official boxscore and the AP wire story, "Wildcats Rally Past Maryland", led off with Corey's scoring spree. The breakdown by halves...

Opponent:University of Maryland 
 Offense Defense

The green highlighting is good news to the Villanova faithful, while the red highlighting is the "not good" news. The table today has that bipolar "bad half"/"good half" look. The Wildcats' offense started very slow, while Maryland's offense was in it from the opening tip, but suffered that inexplicable lapse about 30 minutes into the game. appeared to be a pronounced drop off in efficiencies the second half.

The pace by halves was consistent -- and low, about four possessions lower than anticipated. Surprising, though Villanova used an eight man rotation for the game, and lost Dominic Cheek relatively early, Coach Wright did not dig deeper into his bench to find a replacement.

Notes & Observations
1. On a day when the usual suspects for scoring struggled, sophomore Maalik Wayns stepped up to lead the 'Cats. The point guard did it efficiently, scoring 22 points on a 75% eFG%. He shot 7-10 overall (1-4, 6-6) and 7-9 from the stripe, yielding a 1.54 PPWS. Fisher chipped in 17 on a volume shooting performance. The senior recorded a 56.7% eFG% on 7-15 overall (3-6, 4-9) shooting and 0-0 from the line. Fish's PPWS computes to 1.13. Pena played 39 minutes and scored 14 points on 7-12 (0-0, 7-12) and 0-0 from the line. His eFG% is 58.3%; his PPWS computes to an even 2.00.
2. Pena put together another quiet but efficient outing. The senior's numbers are up this season, but because his minutes are also (way) up, the possesion-based stats, estimated by the amount of playing time, tend to understate his impact on play. Pena logged his second double-double of the season when he added 10 rebounds to his 14 point scored.
3. Coach Wright cited all four members of the front court contingent. Though Yarou had little impact scoring, he did manage a few rebounds during the Wildcats' 19-0 run. Coach Wright cited Bell and Armwood for their contributions as well.
4. A breakdown of that 19-0 run...


If the shooting numbers are stark, consider the rebounding...


The numbers support what the fans saw -- Villanova's front court completely took over the boards.

Roster Notes
1. Maurice Sutton was benched for the game. Coach Wright confirmed in the post game that it was indeed a gesture made in the midst of an exciting sequence in the Louisville game that he felt a disciplinary action was warranted. Sutton should be available for Connecticut on Monday.
2. Dominic Cheek was injured during the game. Coach Wright (same post game conference) indicated the wing's left knee was "tweaked" during play. He did not know the extent of the injury.

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