Thursday, December 8, 2011

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani -- The Jimmy V Classic

by Ray Floriani

New York City – The annual Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden gave us two interesting games. In the opener, Missouri had a little too much of everything in defeating Villanova 81-71.

Pre-game national anthem

The pace and efficiency:


The Four Factors:


Jay Wright makes a point

Villanova coach Jay Wright watched all seven of Missouri’s previous games on tape. What he saw was a well coached, veteran team that defends and simply was a challenging task for his young Wildcats. “We were hoping to grind it out, keep it close near the end and possibly steal one,” Wright said.

Villanova trailed by double digits most of the second half but did close late to get it to a one possession game. Each time Villanova was unable to get any closer. The culprit was turnovers, untimely turnovers.

The Wildcats entered the game with a commendable 19% TO rate. Missouri, which exerts pressure in a half court setting forced Villanova into a 22% rate. That proved significant as Villanova shot well, got to the line and hit the boards hard. Transition points were crucial also as the Big Twelve representatives owned a 24-8 edge in fast break points.

Wildcats placed five players in double figures. Their points and Manley totals are as follows:

Maalik Wayns1413
Darrun Hilliard138
Dom Cheek1214
Mouphtaou Yarou1114
JayVaughn Pinkston1012

Maalik Wayns canned three treys in the stretch. He added 9 assists but did commit five turnovers. Yarou is a nice player inside but needs help. Pinkston did some fine work in the lane. He is still coming around as Wright noted “he (Pinkston) is rusty.” The Villanova mentor noted Pinkston not only sat out suspended last year but worked nine hours a day and was able to get little gym time for himself. Hilliard is a freshman with a nice shooting stroke. Cheek does a good job in the open floor.

Marcus Denmon led all scorers with 28 points. The Missouri guard was 6 of 10 from the floor. Kim English added 15 while Ricardo Ratliffe scored 17 points while grabbing 11 boards. Ratliffe proved it’s quality not quantity. He is Missouri’s only legitimate big man but the 6-8 senior forward is very effective.

Learning experience. Wright and several of his Villanova players echoed that sentiment following the game. “we’ll learn from this,” Cheek said. “We’ll watch the tape, get back to practice and just get better.”

View of court from
upper press box

• Spent the first half recording possessions longhand. Came up with 34 per team, the same as the formula yielded off the box score. Missouri led 42-29 at the break with a noticeable 125-85 advantage in offensive efficiency.

• Missouri is 8-0. Villanova is now 5-3 with a Saturday game at Temple next on tap.

Marquette vs. Washington
The night cap of the V saw Marquette edge Washington 79-77 in a game settled on the last possession. The pace and efficiency:


One of those rare occurrences, Washington won the efficiency battle but not the won-lost ‘war’. Huskies had a 46-28% lead in offensive rebounding percentage. Interestingly, Marquette had the edge 31-7% in free throw rate. Usually teams ‘owning’ the glass get to the line more.

A reason Marquette visited the line (27 to 10 in free throw attempts) more was their ability to attack the basket. They led 10-0 in fast break points and penetrated well.

The scoreboard tells the story of game two

Marquette coach Buzz Williams is a tempo free advocate who discussed Washington’s efficiency in the post game press conference. Williams is a stickler in preaching the value and numerical meaning of a possession to his players. Little surprise that Marquette had an outstanding 14% TO rate, as opposed to the 23% of the Huskies.

Jae Crowder (18 points) hit one three all night. It was the deciding basket for Marquette as a Washington attempt pon the next possession missed at the buzzer.

The leading scorers and Manley numbers:

Darius Johnson-Odom (MU)2317
Terrence Ross (WU)1924

• Marquette’s Jae Crowder had a Manley Efficiency of 17 along with his 18 points.

Chris Otule of Marqueete went out with a knee injury after the first two minutes. The 6-11 junior averages just over 5 p[oints per game but Williams felt his loss was significant in Marquette’s defending Washington’s ball screens.

• Marquette is 8-0, Washington is now 4-3.

• Huskies are spending a few more days in New York. They will take in a movie, two plays then on Saturday face Duke back at Madison Square Garden.

Villanova was the only schol to bring cheerleaders.
Here Ray is enjoying the company

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