Monday, December 31, 2007

Post Game: La Salle

As usual, both Let's Go Nova and I Bleed Blue and White provide good narratives and descriptions of the game and players, so I will just look over the box score and point out one or two things. The numbers by half:

OpponentLa Salle 
Offense Defense
FirstSecondTotal FirstSecondTotal

The offensive collapse between the first and second half is obvious (and disappointing). Is it possible the team lost interest? Or did Dr. G make the necessary adjustments? The jump in the assist (and FTRate), coupled with much better rebounding from the Explorers, suggest that Dr. Giannini made half-time adjustments and the 'Cats had some difficulty responding to them. Nevertheless, Villanova's half-to-half defensive effort was very much in evidence in the stats. La Salle's second half eFG% declined from their first half eFG%. Villanova was able to maintain the same level of turnovers while keeping the Explorers off the line. Aside from rebounding the 'Cats appear to have maintained their defensive pressure over the course of the game. I would have been happy with an 84.0 defensive rating for the entire game (Villanova has typically been in the 95-100 range so far this season), but to rachet La Salle down to 75.0 is very encouraging. Observers have suggested that La Salle missed open looks, but the TO% and FTRate (above) suggest there was effort on the defensive side of the ball...

Odds and Ends...
Dante Cunningham turned in his 3rd double-double of the seaon, the second in three games. He will need a good game against DePaul on Thursday as Drummond will not be available. Dante and another frontcourt player will have to contend with 5th senior Wes Green and super freshman Mac Koshwal.
Dwayne Anderson went 2-4 in 18 minutes of play. Ordinarily that would be a very decent outing, but for Anderson, who had not missed a shot in 4 previous games, it would have to be considered "substandard". Congratulatins to Dwayne for going 8-10 so far. His only 3 point shot was a miss, so his 2FGM is 0.899. Not bad. The 18 run was Anderson's longest so far this season. His PPWS is 1.43, an excellent shooting average.
Five Wildcats scored in double digits, 9 in all scored at least 3 points. Nine Wildcats also recorded assists (they are getting it...) in probably the best indication that the Take 'em Offense is giving way to set plays and offensive schemes. The pace however, at 76+ suggests these guys are not slowing down.
Casiem Drummond, as reported by Let's Go Nova Sunday, has been sidelined with a stress fracture in his ankle. This is terrible news for Drummond, as he has been rounding into great shape this season, and seems ready to breakout. Hopefully the Nova Nation will see him back in action, with the proper rehabilitation, soon. Injuries of this type are becoming far too common for many teams in D1 basketball to continue to go uncommented on. Hopefully the NCAA will complete it's study of athlete injuries and come up with recommendations.

No comments: