by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, March 31, 2006
When UCLA has the ball (national rank listed):
UCLA O LSU D AdjEff 23 4 eFG 22 32 TO% 223 184 OR% 50 30 FTs 94 4
This game is being featured as a defensive showdown, but it deserves pointing out that the offenses aren’t too shabby. You don’t get this far without being able to do a few things right offensively. Remember that on paper, GMU/UConn should have been a game in the 60s or low 70s and it became a shootout.
UCLA’s 50-45 win over Memphis got panned due to the freakishly low score. But UCLA went 20-of-39 from the line. With ten more made free throws - not an unrealistic assumption - UCLA’s offensive efficiency works out to about 91. While that doesn’t wow you, it’s a lot better that than the 76 they really had, and it’s against a team whose defense is its calling…
by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, March 30, 2006
When the Gators have the ball (national rank listed):
Fla O GMU D AdjEff 6 15 eFG 3 7 TO% 144 220 OR% 91 68 FTs 19 15
Florida has a unique combination of a high ranking in both shooting stats (eFG% and FTRate), with Duke as the only other team in the top 20 of both. But GMU brings an equally lofty status on the defensive side, with UConn and Iowa as the only others possessing top 20 defenses in the shooting categories.
While previous Mason opponents had a clearly identifiable offensive weakness on the individual level, Florida really doesn’t. Yes, Lee Humphrey and Taurean Green are much more dangerous behind the arc than inside it. But that doesn’t matter when you have Florida’s frontline. Al Horford and Joakim Noah both shoot 60+%, but Horford gets his points further from the hoop on average.
by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Is the week in lines:Tuesday
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts Renaldo Balkman 42 4-9 0-1 0-1 6-13 3 4 5 1 1 8 Result: Win. South Carolina 69, Florida State 68. (OT)
Ah, what the hell. I’ll give Renaldo my first ever Defender of the Year Award. Just to be different.
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts Isaiah Hunter 33 10-19 4-9 5-7 0-6 3 0 0 1 0 29 Result: Win. Old Dominion 61, Hofstra 51.
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts LaMarcus Aldridge 37 11-15 0-0 4-8 7-13 2 2 0 1 0 26 Result: Win. Texas 74, West Virginia 71.
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A…
by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, March 27, 2006
[Note to self: use spell checker on your entry titles from now on]
George Mason 86, Connecticut 84 [69, OT] - The game that will forever be held up as the inspiration for mid-majors. You had to think the Patriots would get their share of shots, what with them not being turnover-prone and UConn not being in the business of forcing them. The Patriots did get their shots, and as necessary they shot lights out - 50% on 2s and 50% on 3s. That might not be lights out to you, but against UConn it was. The Huskies defense ranked 5th in the country in each of those categories coming in. No team had shot at least 40% simultaneously in both departments, let alone 50%, against UConn this season. The other thing that nobody could have predicted was that GMU would outrebound UConn. This allowed the Patriots to be ordinary…
by Ken Pomeroy on Sunday, March 26, 2006
LSU 70, Texas 60 [73, OT] - Texas goes 11 of 40 on twos as LSU’s frontline dominates again. LaMarcus Aldridge 2-of-14 in 44 minutes? I must have imagined that. Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas combine to go 21-for-33. It was pretty amazing that Texas was able to force overtime, but the better team eventually won.
UCLA 50, Memphis 45  - Memphis probably (anybody want to check that?) had the worst offensive half of the tournament with 21 points in 35 first half possessions for an ugly efficiency of 60. They were fortunate to be down by 7 as UCLA missed 11 of their 17 first half FTAs. (The Bruins also missed their first 4 FTAs in the second half before getting their act together.) The Tigers, though, went 0-for-10 on 3s in the half, and it wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill 0-for-10. It seemed like the majority of…
by Ken Pomeroy on Saturday, March 25, 2006
George Mason 63, Wichita State 55 [63 possessions] - George Mason wins with 15 fewer offensive rebounds than the Shockers. They do it again with great shooting (54.5% eFG) and perimeter defense (Wichita went 3 of 24 on 3s). The Patriots jumped out to a 9-0 lead on three trifectas and never were threatened after that.
Villanova 60, Boston College 59 [66, OT] - If you had told me this game goes 66 possessions and BC only scores 59, I would have figured an easy win for ‘Nova. But the Cats couldn’t hit the three (4-19) and haven’t been very effective from two all season (45.1%, 273rd). So while Randy Foye and Allan Ray could penetrate whenever they wanted, being able to finish was problematic against BC’s frontline.
Florida 57, Georgetown 53  - Clark Kellogg informed viewers last night that Georgetown prefers to play at a “moderate pace.”…
by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, March 24, 2006
Thanks to all who participated in yesterday’s contest. Answers were submitted for Adam Morrison, Keydren Clark, and Brion Rush. But most people had the correct answer - Eastern Washington’s Rodney Stuckey had the highest point total in a regulation game with 45 against Northern Arizona on January 5. Erik Kreutner submitted his e-mail first, so he gets the game, which is a small consolation for his Blue Devils being eliminated from the tournament.
Now here are a few disjointed tidbits about last night’s games.
LSU 62, Duke 54 [71 possessions] - We got a look at a great offense at its worst here. Credit Tyrus Thomas for shutting down the middle and Garrett Temple for shutting down J.J. Redick. Luke Winn did a nice statistical preview before the game. LSU is much like Florida State offensively, a team that doesn’t much care for the 3, and thus is…
by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, March 23, 2006
Before I get to the preview, the folks at Grey Dog Software have given me a copy of their new college hoops simulation, Total College Basketball, to give away. This game is a simulation, so you’re not going to be doing 360 dunks or anything like that. You’re the coach and you manage all aspects of your program (recruiting, scheduling, practices, and yes, games).