by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, November 30, 2005
The biggest upset of last night? Army was beating UConn heading into the final media time out of the first half. The Huskies went on a game-ending run on both sides of halftime, and won an ugly 68-54 decision. UConn has been somewhat sluggish on offense without point-guard Marcus Williams this season.
Opponent Pts Tempo Off. Eff. Pepperdine 75 72.7 103.1 Arkansas 77 76.4 100.7 Arizona 79 69.5 113.6 Gonzaga 65 62.9 103.4 Army 68 64.5 105.4
(Tempo is calculated game possessions, and offensive efficiency is points per 100 possessions.)
There are going to be a few opportunities to measure just how important certain key players taking extended absences, like Marcus Williams, are to their teams this season. UConn has five more games before Williams comes back. Rudy Gay and Josh Boone are having surprising troubles scoring on their own and the Maui version of Denham Brown didn’t show…
by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Before I drop some lines on you, what is up with Larry Eustachy’s Southern Miss team? For the second time in three games they failed to make the 35-point mark. Last night, they fell at home to Samford 52-33.
It was the lowest point total in a non-conference home game in (at least) the last 10 seasons. In fairness, Samford plays the Princeton style and the game had only 49 possessions. But even with that in mind, it’s still a dismal offensive showing. Not to pile on any further, but even Toccoa Falls posted 37 points against Division I opposition last night.
Now the week that was…Last Tuesday
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts Adam Morrison 52 14-28 4-8 11-12 2-7 4 2 2 2 0 43 Result: Win. Gonzaga 109, Michigan St. 106 (3OT)
Gonzaga has gotten…
by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, November 28, 2005
The question might seem moot now, what with Drexel falling to Penn on Saturday (although Drexel was playing on very short rest). But the Dragons created some buzz with their run in the NIT Season Tip-Off. Drexel got to MSG on the strength of a win at Princeton and then against a Sam Houston State team that themselves had just won at Missouri. While in NYC, Drexel made #1 Duke uncomfy for about 39 minutes, and had #16 UCLA beaten before deciding to get charitable in the last 15 seconds.
Anyone seeing those two games in the Garden certainly had to believe Drexel was a solid team, and that if they truly were the seventh-best team in the CAA as the conference’s media forecasted, then the Colonial was on par with the ACC. This is where we learn about the danger of sample size. Remember the team that produced the…
by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Some nearly useless comments on a few of last night’s games…
Texas 76, West Virginia 75. It’s not often you see a team miss three front ends of the one-and-one in the final minute these days. And that’s exactly what WVU did to give Texas a chance to win the game. It was like a flashback to the ‘80s. Also, Pittsnogle is a funny name and all, but can we stop obsessing about him? Mike Gansey is the heart and soul of that team. He’s a good shooter, passer, rebounder and defender. Pittsnogle is one of those things. (And really, who was the scout that told Pittsnogle he’d be a second round pick in the NBA? Does that guy still have a job?)
Iowa 67, Kentucky 63. 6’-2” Rajon Rondo: 19 boards, 2 offensive, 1 block in 33 minutes. Trio of Kentucky seven-footers: 2 boards, 1 offensive, no blocks in…
by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, November 21, 2005
Which of these events over the weekend should you put the least stock in…
a) Stanford loses at home to a UC Irvine team picked to finish sixth in the Big West.
b) Gonzaga struggles at home to an Idaho team picked to finish last in the WAC.
c) Michigan State gets pounded at Hawaii.
My answer is (c), mainly because weird things happen on the islands.
Over the summer, I did a crude study on home court advantage and concluded that home court advantage has as much to do with the hassles of traveling as the fervor of the fans. Going to Hawaii maximizes the non-crowd factors an opposing team deals with. The long flight and possible jet lag can have an impact, as can the distraction of a vacation-like atmosphere, and if those things don’t get you, the tropical climate will wear you out during…
by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, November 18, 2005
It’s nice to have a little context to support the stats-obsessed nature of this space. With that in mind, I present another conversation with Longwood head coach Mike Gillian. Why Longwood, you might be wondering. Well, this site and Longwood basketball got notoriety at the same time and we’re growing up together in this crazy Division I world. Also, Mike is extremely accommodating, and offers more than just cliches in response to my cliche-begging questions. That, and he gratuitously plugs the stats on my site in his responses. So I can’t help but root for the Lancers, even though the path to establishing a Division I program is not a glamorous one.
Longwood begins its second season against Division I competition tonight at Nebraska. You can learn more about Longwood basketball at mikegillian.com and at the Longwood Athletics web site, which honestly looks better, is easier to navigate…
by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, November 17, 2005
Before the season gets going in earnest - just about every school that has yet to play a game will play one Friday or Saturday - I have to get a couple of other sleepers on the record. Earlier in the week I mentioned Creighton and Xavier. Earlier in the off-season I gushed about Utah State. A couple more to watch: Vanderbilt and Georgetown.
Last season, Vandy was 43rd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 31st defensively. That put them 29th in adjusted pythagorean winning percentage, the highest ranked team to miss the tournament. They do suffer some losses, with the departures of three of their top six in terms of minutes played last season. The Commodores still have a nice one-two offensive punch in point guard Mario Moore and wing Shan Foster. Virginia transfer Derrick Byars gives them a shooting threat at the two.
Georgetown has been getting a…
by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Today’s post is dedicated to the Mountain West Conference. The conference whose beat writers and coaches think so little of that each group voted San Diego State - a team that was somewhere around 130th to 150th best in the nation last season - the pick to win the league.
One of the many MWC mysteries is how first-year coach Jeff Bzdelik will handle his Air Force team. Last night they played Washington in a 71-possession game, losing 85-74. Last season, the fastest-paced game the Falcons played was a 66-possession contest in the MWC tourney against San Diego State.
It needs to be mentioned that Washington was the 15th fastest team last season, so the Huskies had something to do with the pace of last night’s game. And there was some late fouling which artificially inflated the tempo number. Monday’s win against Miami of Florida has alleviated some of…
by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Last night, Missouri kicked off its season with a 80-77 home loss to Sam Houston State in the first round of the Preseason NIT. You may be familiar with game theory, which has little application to college basketball. If not, don’t worry about it, because what matters to this contest is “one game theory”. That’s the idea that one shouldn’t base a judgment on a player or team on just one game because anything can happen in that small of a sample.
For instance, on December 30, 1999, a Wright State team that would eventually finish 13-18 beat Michigan State, who would win the national championship later that season.
And on November 19, 2004, Santa Clara, who finished 15-16, beat North Carolina, who would also win a title at season’s end.
Never mind that MSU played Wright State without Mateen Cleaves and UNC played Santa Clara without Ray…
by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, November 14, 2005
This weekend’s lines are chosen to give the youngsters out there some inspiration. You don’t have to be big to play big.
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts Aaron Fitzgerald 25 3-6 1-2 1-1 0-1 14 1 3 1 0 8 Result: Win. UC Irvine 94, Mississippi Valley St. 40
The 6-3 Anteater point guard served up 14 assists in only 25 minutes. In fairness, it was against the Delta Devils, whom I now ban from future appearances as an opponent of the Line o’ the Night honoree.
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts Mike Gansey 33 10-14 2-5 0-3 7-14 1 3 2 0 0 22 Result: Win. West Virginia 88, Louisiana Monroe 69
The 6-4 small forward not only had a nice evening shooting the…