Friday, February 18, 2011

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Robert Morris at FDU

by Ray Floriani

TEANECK, NJ - Defending Northeast Conference champion Robert Morris began their Garden State road swing (they are at Monmouth on Saturday) with a convincing 74-50 victory over FDU at the Rothman Center.

The Rothman Center
FDU-Teaneck Campus

The efficiencies:

Robert Morris64116
Fairleigh Dickinson6478

The Four Factors:

Robert Morris5130286
Fairleigh Dickinson41202927

The turnover rate for the Colonials is not a misprint. Robert Morris did a great job on their possessions and committed only 4 turnovers the entire night. FDU on the other hand was forced into a 17 turnover situation. Credit the Robert Morris defense as the Colonials also limited the Knights to an eFG mark of 41%.

The Colonials were actually under 50% shooting from two point range. They were 21 of 45 for 47% from two. The three point percentage, 5 of 11 (46%) was enough to raise the eFG mark over 50%.

Colonials were effective inside with 6-7 sophomore center Lijah Thompson scoring 16 points (6 of 9 shooting all from two point range) and grabbing 7 rebounds. Sophomore guard Karon Abraham added a dozen points for the Robert Morris who had nine players log 17 or more minutes on the night.

FDU, simply struggled. Facing a consistent double digit deficit (they trailed 28-18 at the half) the final 20 minutes, the Knights took to three point shooting. They attempted 13 of their 19 treys after intermission. That was not the answer. On the game, FDU shot 6 of 19 for a 32% mark. Senior forward Kamil Svrdlik, was a bright spot with a 12 point 8 rebound effort for FDU.

Game action FDU-Robert Morris

Pace Can Deceive
That is why tempo-free is so important. Watching Robert Morris on offense it’s evident they get out and like to push the ball up the floor. A quick calculation of their NEC games showed they average 65 ;possessions which translates to a slow to moderate tempo. As noted above the pace of this contest was 64 possessions.

Colonial coach Andy Toole had the explanation. “We are always in an attack mode,’ Toole said. “We want to push the ball up the floor, get in transition and attack the basket. If that opportunity is not there we will go into our half court sets and run the offense. We will not force things on offense.” So as they play starts with a fast paced sprint up the floor, possessions can settle down and turn into a half court execution of the offense. Thus the 65 possession average. And another reason tempo-free is so useful in careful analysis.

FDU is now 4-22 (2-13 in the NEC). Robert Morris is 13-13 overall and 9-6 in conference play. Former FDU coach Tom Green and son Brad were both in attendance. Both are currently scouting for NBA teams. Noted prep evaluator Tom Konchalski was also on hand. The youthful Toole, aged 30, has quite a background. He assisted Mike Rice before getting the Robert Morris job when Rice went to Rutgers last Spring. Toole also played for Temple’s Fran Dunphy during his undergrad days at Penn.

The banners remind of recent success
that now seems more distant
than five years ago

No comments: