Friday, August 12, 2011

World University Games 2011 -- New Century Exhibition Game

USA 88 New Century 61
Near the end of a tug-of-war first quarter that saw each team grab leads complements of runs, New Century engineered a 13-0 run that secured the lead as the time wound down. Team USA was on the short end of a 23-17 score. Vanderbilt's rising senior guard John Jenkins hit three treys that fueled a 14-0 Team USA run which put the USA on top with a stunning 22-7 second quarter. The Americans took a 39-30 lead into the intermission and never looked back. "I think more or less, it was about not getting discouraged. We went through a couple of stretches in the first half when we shot poorly. John (Jenkins) got going in the first half to push the lead to nine at the half. We just tried to be positive with our guys, and it wasn't as much about adjustments. We stayed positive and stayed with it..." offered Coach Matt Painter, when asked about half-time adjustments.

Jenkins logged a game-high 24 points on a scintillating 8-12 (8-10, 0-2) effort from the court, yielding an eye-popping 100.0 eFG%. Jenkins was the only American to post double-digit points, though three teammates, UC Santa Barbara's Orlando Johnson, Yale's forward Greg Mangano and Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe recorded nine points apiece. Horace Wormely (Vanguard University in the NAIA) paced New Century with 13 points. Two other New Century players, Qui Biao and Gavin Edwards (Connecticut) notched 10 points apiece. Kentucky wing Darius Miller grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. The possession-based breakdown...

Team USA73.21.2054.715.040.033.856.71.11
New Century0.8337.316.424.440.725.00.87

73 possessions is towards the high-end for a Division 1 program, but a little low for a professional (NBA-level) team, but the stat that jumps out is the defense. Team USA held New Century to a paltry 0.87 points per possession (ppp) through a combination of strong shot defense (New Century converted 20-59 from the field, hitting 4-21 from three point range), turnovers (New Century committed 12 turnovers, losing 16.4% of their possessions and defensive board domination, limiting New Century to nabbing 24.4% of their missed field goal attempts. New Century could not convert from the field, and when they missed they did not get a second chance. The score by quarters...

Team USA1722232688
New Century237121961

"...We simply wore them down..." -- Matt Painter
Though Scoop Jardine, Marcus Denmon, Draymond Green, JaMychal Green and Tim Abromaitis started for Team USA they only combined for 40.5% of the playing time. Coach Painter used all 12 members of the squad, allocating exactly 17 minutes (Abromaitis excepted) to every player in the rotation. Or to put Jenkins' production into context, the Vanderbilt forward scored 24 points in 17 minutes of play. "...We have a lot of guys, and we tried to stay fresh..." -- Matt Painter.

Other observations about the game....
1. Jenkins took a Jordan-like 41.5% of the shots while he was in the game. Denmon, a 6-2 guard out of Missouri was the second option on offense, unfortunately he was less effective, scoring three points on 1-8 (1-4, 0-4) shooting from the field. The trio composed of guards Ashton Gibbs and Orlando Johnson and forward Greg Mangano formed an more effective "third option" on offense, taking 20.8% of the shots when they were playing. Johnson and Mangano scored nine points apiece while Gibbs scored six points on 3-6 (0-1, 3-5) shooting.
2. Kentucky guard Darius Miller scored seven points on 2-4 (0-2, 2-2) shooting from the field and 3-6 from the line, which translates into a 50.0% eFG% and 1.02 points per weighted shot (PPWS).
3. Team USA owned the glass, outrebounding New Century 47-34. They grabbed 40.0% of their misses, and 75.6% of New Century's misses. Mbakwe led the way with a 23.5% rebounding rate on the offensive boards. Johnson (17.6%) and
4. The NBA lockout has benefited a number of foreign professional leagues, as NBA professionals look to overseas play (and contracts) to pay the bills until the league and player's union hammer out an agreement. New Century is a franchise in the CBA League, one of two professional leagues operating in Mainland China, and they appear to have three Americans under contract (or at least on their roster) for the exhibition game. Gavin Edwards, a 2010 graduate of UConn who spent part of last season in the NBDL's Springfield franchise (along with Villanova's Scottie Reynolds), along with Horace Wormley, a 5-7 point guard, who logged time with LA D-Fenders after a stint with Landshut in the German League. A 2011 Montana State graduate, 6-6 forward Danny Piepoli, apparently signed on with New Century in the last two months.

Team USA returns to Shenzhen for the Opening Ceremonies of the World University Games. They meet Mexico 6:00 am (Eastern Time) on Saturday.

Further Reading
USA Basketball posted a game recap on their website.
They also posted the official box score.

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