Monday, April 8, 2013

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: At the NIT Final

by Ray Floriani

New York City - The key to the game was defense. Baylor defeated Iowa 74-54 to win the National Invitation Tournament title at Madison Square Garden. While Baylor posted a glowing offensive efficiency, the foundation and framework for this championship originated on the defensive end.


As impressive as the Baylor frontcourt performed during their New York stay, on both nights the Bears were defeated in offensive rebounding percentage. In fact Baylor coach Scott Drew was hard pressed to recall a time his team gave up 20 offensive boards, as they did in the finals, yet won by 20.

The rebounding deficit of Baylor was more than compensated by the outstanding job they did challenging, blocking and defending Iowa field goal attempts. Even after grabbing offensive boards the Hawkeyes struggled to finish, a testament to the Baylor frontcourt effectively guarding the rim.

Possessions vs. Plays: The old method used extensively by Dean Smith, calculated possessions by not subtracting an offensive rebound. In Smith's formula an offensive rebound started a new possession. Today that formula still has a usefullness as the calculation of Smith's gives us plays, rather than possessions. The formula:

FGA + (FTA * .475) + TO = Plays

The 'play' result:


Naturally, Iowa's 20-5 offensive rebounding edge provided more plays. Not converting on those added chances severely limited their 'play' efficiency. On the other hand, Baylor still put an impressive offensive efficiency for their plays.


The Baylor defense and an offense that got on track in the second half. Bears were 22 of 33 (67%) from two point range on the evening. Iowa took 24 of their 69 attempts from three, hitting just five for a 20.8 percentage that reflects their eFG struggles.

For Baylor the celebration
began just after the final buzzer.

The individual honors:

Most Outstanding Player: Pierre Jackson, Baylor


Alex Len, Maryland
Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa
Cory Jefferson, Baylor
Isaiah Austin, Baylor

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