Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Temple Post Game: Big 5 Champs

The game was not a thing of beauty. It was an ugly defensive struggle that Villanova had to gut out in the second half. Chris over at the IBBW Blog posted first with a recap and a handful of bullets like:
1. Villanova took it's 3rd Big 5 title in the last 4 years.
2. The 'Cats were down 3 at the half. Given the 17 point margin of victory, that means the Wildcats out scored the Owls by 20 in the last 20 minutes.
3. Corey Fisher has a breakout 2nd half, scoring 19 of his 23 points in that span.
4. Nova held Temple to 20 second half points. Sounds like a terrific defensive effort.
And a promise that Mark, who was at the Pavilion, would post his story later. The Official website has the usual AP wire story, Mike Sheridan's post game notes. And of course, the box score.

The breakdown by halves...

 Offense Defense

Two Good Halves...
Villanova hit their defensive rating in the first half, yet went into the locker room down by 3 -- it was that kind of night. Had the 'Cats hit their offensive rating for that half they would have been up by 6 at the mid point. The 'Cats held the Owls below their eFG% (45.5 vs 51.8), kept Temple from second chance points and kept the Owls off the line (14.3 vs 18.7 -- low to begin with...). their own offensive production however was well below expectations. Stan's comment posted to my preview suggested the 'Cats had yet to put 2 good halves (both sides of the ball) together this season. This was no exception as the 1st half offensive production was well below expectations. The half time adjustments worked for both sides of the ball. 59.7 is not the best defensive half the 'Cats have had this season, but it is the best they have had against a team with an RPI rank of #300 or worse. The overall defensive rating, 72.7 was however, the best effort this season. The 'Cats recovered their shooting touch in the second half (Fisher led the way, going 6-6, 3-3 and 5-6 from the line to log 19 points while Reynolds and Anderson went 3-4), posting an eFG% of 63.6 for the half. The Wildcat's turnover rate increased, but the combined effect of improved FTRate, eFG% and offensive rebounding rate (OR%) more than offset the turnovers and pushed Nova's offensive rating to 119.4, one of the better performances this season.

1. Corey Fisher logged an eye-popping offensive rating of 204.5 for this game. Fisher's PPWS (2.03) and eFG% (112.5) hint at his outstanding offensive performance. Fisher chipped in 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. In scoring 23 points in 28 minutes, Fisher posted one of the best all around performances for a Wildcat this season.
2. Antonio Pena had some very efficient scoring numbers too (eFG% -- 100.0), but without the production offered by Fisher. Pena did however own the defensive boards against Temple, grabbing 9 rebounds total, 6 under the Temple basket. On a night when neither team shined, Pena grabbed 19.4% of the available O boards, and 35.3% of the available D boards, very impressive numbers. This is the second consecutive impressive rebounding effort from Pena. As Dante has emerged as a scorer he has been less effective on the boards. Pena has assumed a good deal of that responsibility.
3. Based on Shot%, Cunningham appears to have been the 1st scoring option, with Reynolds taking seconds. Fisher, not Stokes however, stood in as the 3rd option. Reynolds and Redding between them had 5 assists, but none were to Fisher. The kid scored on his own.
4. Villanova has completed it's Big 5 slate, running the table even before any of the other 4 teams have managed to even play each other. Is this the quickest the Big 5 champion has been decided?

Ref Notes
Each member of the crew, Jim Burr, Bob Donato and Reggie Greenwood was working his 2nd Nova game of the season. And for each it was the second win. This was another loosely called game (not counting the 'T' hung on Coach Wright -- he must have said something really bad to get this crew fired up...), with Temple getting whistled for 17 fouls total, about 2.5 below the average for visitors this season. Nova went to the line 17 times, about 7 below average for the Pavilion (but within the standard deviation). This was the second technical of the season called on Villanova.

1 comment:

VUhoops.com said...

I was watching the game knowing that Fisher was doing something statistically and efficiently special.

Great recap, as usual.