by Ray Floriani
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - A look and analysis of the other three quarterfinal games at Boardwalk Hall.
Story of Richmond and Rhode Island was defense. A 58 possession game, neither team hit 100 offensive efficiency. That is good defense, In this case Richmond's was better. Rhode Island posted an offensive efficiency of 78 while the victorious Spiders were 97.
Richmond didn't do it by forcing turnovers. Both clubs had solid TO rates (URI 17%, Richmond 11%). Rather it was the lockdown variety forcing URI into a 40% eFG showing. Richmond also avoided fouling as the Rams attempted only 8 field goals.
Kevin Anderson, Richmond's outstanding senior guard, led the way with 21 points. He shot only 5 of 15 from the floor but did hit a late trey that basically sealed the verdict. Anderson was also 8 of 9 from the line. The vintage Anderson performance we virtually take for granted.
The Spiders' Kevin Smith did not score. The senior forward took only two shots. In the course of his 34 minutes, Smith's presence was felt with contributions -- 7 rebounds, 4 assists, a block and two steals. Valuable contributions in a hard fought victory.
La Salle's problems were turnovers and defense. The Explorers had an abysmal 29% TO rate on the offensive end. Defensively, they couldn't force much as Temple had only 6 TOs remarkable 8% rate. Staying with the defensive topic, La Salle gave up a too generous 60% eFG percentage to the Owls. Temple actually shot a slight percentage point better from three than two. They were 10 of 19 (53%) beyond the arc and 25 for 48 (52%) from two point range. Fran Dunphy's club simply shot the ball from all over with five players in double figures.
In a 75 possession game the efficiencies:
As noted I'm sure many times in the past, 101 offensive efficiency can win games for you. Winning with a defense of 130? Almost impossible.
Ramone Moore led the way with 23 points due to his versatility on the perimeter and inside. Lavoy Allen had 14 points while adding a dozen rebounds. Dunphy praised the ability of Allen to get the ball inside and find open teammates against a collapsing defense. In this game, Allen was very effective in that capacity with a team leading 6 assists and only one turnover, which came on an offensive foul.
On La Salle's behalf, note they did shoot a 60% eFG percentage. And they did get individual performances of note from Aaric Murray (22 points) and Ruben Guillandeaux (17 points). But those turnovers, which Guillandeaux unfortunately led in that category with 6, and that (lack of) defense….
The previously mentioned Richmond-Rhody game was more deliberate. Duquesne-St.Joseph's was quite the opposite. The ending also featured a lower seed holding on for an overtime victory. The St.Joseph's guards Langston Galloway and Carl Jones combined for 38% of the Hawks field goal attempts. It was not all perimeter by any stretch as Ronald Robert (19 points) and Idris Hilliard (18 points) were vital contributors.
In the 80 possession game, St.Joseph's had the edge in offensive efficiency:
The Four Factors were relatively even. The Hawks did have a slight advantage in EFG percentage. They shot 59% to Duquesne's 56%. Credit that to a better showing from beyond the arc. The Hawks were 8 of 16 (50%) to Duquesne's 9 of 21 (43%).
Freshman guard T.J. McConnell missed a last second shot which could have forced a second OT. He scored 15, hitting 6 of 10 from the field. McConnell paced the Dukes with four turnovers but on a bright note, also led the team with 5 steals.
Carl Jones of St.Joseph's led all scorers with 28 points. Jones also had the TO 'bug' setting the game standard with half a dozen.
Despite these two extreme examples of individual turnover extravagance, the TO rates in this one were not that bad.
Duquesne's Damian Saunders tied Bill Clark for the team scoring lead with 21 points. Saunders also tied Lavoy Allen of Temple with the best Manley efficiency rating of the day, at 31. When overtime is a factor though, there is another consideration regarding the Manley. More on that next time.