by Ray Floriani
NEW YORK CITY - Day one in the books. Already a surprise of note.
Interesting how the opener and nightcap left little drama. The middle games held the most excitement. Decided to focus on a game of the day. At press row as Seton Hall-Rutgers was being played out I was certain this was it. A few hours later the opinion might have been altered. At any rate I will stay with that as greyCat will probably ring in and do a more thorough analysis of the latest Villanova setback.
Game of the Day -- Rutgers & Seton Hall
The pace and efficiency:
Both teams scored one field goal in overtime. Rutgers got to the line and capitalized. Defensively they also were able to get key stops. The OT efficiency and pace. Score was tied at 64 after regulation.
The Four Factors:
The offensive rebounding rates were close. The other factor getting you to the line is points in the paint. Seton Hall held a 32-26 edge there. The free throw disparity can be traced to Seton Hall trailing in OT and fouling late to extend the game. The other sign was 43% of the Hall attempts were from three point range. Rutgers took 32% of their FGAs beyond the arc.
Other stats were rather close. Even two point shooting, Rutgers checked in at 50% and the Hall was 47%. Probably the only separation was an intangible of toughness. Not saying the Hall did not have it but Rutgers weathered some adversity to regroup and get back in it. Rutgers trailed by 8 late the first half. Scarlet Knights also saw the pirates Jeremy Hazell hit a potentially momentum changing trey that tied the score just before the buzzer.
Hazell, led all scorers with 27 points. Rutgers’ Jonathan Mitchell paced his club with 25. Game saw three Seton Hall players and one from Rutgers foul out.
Recurring theme seen in the Dayton, Richmond and a few other contests : the Hall had a lead of significance but couldn’t build or sustain. And eventually lost the lead and the game.
Rutgers improved to 15-16 while the Hall finished 13-18.
UConn imposed its will getting an 81 possession game against DePaul. Huskies held a significant 121-88 offensive efficiency advantage. Thy also did a job inside holding DePaul to 33% two point shooting.
Villanova-South Florida was a mid fifty possession affair. My calculations had the Wildcats with a 128-123 OE gain. As noted it is rare to ‘win’ and OE and lose the game. Twice I have seen Villanova do that this season. Coincidence or just rotten luck?
In a low seventies possession nightcap, Marquette was all over PC with in OE, 116-93. Both teams did have outstanding TO rates as the Friars were 14% and Marquette 16%. Buzz Williams’ club got off to a great start and never looked back. Providence’s efficiency the first four minutes? Zero. They did not score until over five minutes were gone and Marquette had a double digit lead. And counting...