Thursday, January 28, 2010

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Breaking Down Two Seton Hall Games

by Ray Floriani

NEWARK, NJ - In the space of four days Seton Hall came up with two note worthy Big East wins at the Prudential Center.
First the Louisville game won by the Hall 80-77 on Thursday : In a 68 possession (Louisville 69 SHU 66) possession game, the Efficiency and Factors:


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Both teams had a high efficiency on the offensive end. Louisville has had some problems on the defensive end. The effort defense wise, was not a stellar effort by the Hall but they did do a nice job limiting post threat Samardo Samuels to just nine points. Edgar Sosa led the Cardinals with 15 points.

Both teams attempted 25 free throws and the Hall had the higher FT rate hitting 17 to the 14 of Louisville. Again the charity stripe is another sore spot for the Cards per coach Rick Pitino.

Hall had a balanced effort with five players in double figures and was led by Jeremy Hazell with 25 points. Hazell played a strong all around game as he added 5 rebounds and defended well.

Hall led by 13 with just under five minutes to play and barely held off the visitors as they closed strong taking advantage of several late Pirate turnovers.

Not a vintage Louisville team that is expected to play deep into March but a nice win over a Rick Pitino team, “that fights to the end,” per Gonzalez.

Seton Hall vs Pitt
On Sunday afternoon, Seton Hall defeated ninth ranked Pitt 64-61.

The factors and efficiency in a 66 possession (Pitt 66 SHU 65) game.


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Interesting that Gonzalez felt this was a slower game than the Louisville one. It was by about two possessions. The difference was more perception as Louisville and the Hall got out on occasion and ran. The Pitt game was a classic ‘grind it out’ half court affair.

Hall eventually beat Pitt at their own game with solid defense. It’s evident in the effective field goal mark and TO rate. Panthers had 20 TOs despite the Hall not full court pressing.

Ashton Gibbs of Pitt led all scorers with 23 points. Gibbs was 14 of 14 from the line and only 4 of 15 from the field.

Herb Pope was a huge factor inside. He had the touches shooting 8 of 12 finishing with a team high 19 points 9 boards.

Panthers, to no surprise, were tough on the boards. Raw figures saw a 39-25 rebounding edge, 16-8 on the offensive glass. Their board work was a major factor that kept them in and allowed them to battle back from an eleven point first half and eight point second half deficit.

Jeremy Hazell was limited to 16 minutes with foul trouble. He finished with 9 points and made a few big plays in the stretch.

Win was first over a top ten team during Gonzalez’s tenure. It capped a big momentum sweep as the Hall now faces South Florida, Villanova and Pitt their next three games, all on the road.

Pitt is 15-4 (5-2). Seton Hall improved to 12-6 (3-4).

The first minute:
A cue regarding tempo and interestingly, what was to transpire.

1. Hazell missed shot.
2. Pitt turnover
3. Theodore 10 foot jumper.
4. Foul Hazel… (possession continued)
2-0 SHU

“We need a better understanding of how to play. We are trying to get better but still have improvements to make.” - Pitt coach Jamie Dixon

“This is a great win. What Jamie Dixon ha done at Pitt is off the charts. I really think our West Virginia and Syracuse games earlier helped us win this game.” - Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez

Music Trivia.
Yours truly is pretty good on 60s and 70s songs. In the Hall they had an area where you guess the song and win. The song listened to was an easy one, ‘Moondance’ by Van Morrison. The prize, a small box of valentine candy.
Name That Tune

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