Ch-Ch-Ch Changes

Hofstra coach Tom Pecora once told me: “One thing I’ve learned about coaching that I love is its unpredictability. It’s going to be that way and you can’t let it bother you. I love the adjustments. You have to have a little fun with it.”

This was likely never more true than Pecora’s adjustments at the half of Hofstra’s win last night against St. John’s at Carnesecca Arena.

The boxscore will show that the Pride overcame a 40-27 deficit, on the road at a Big East team, to win going away 64-51. And the first thing that will pop out at you is that yes, the Johnnies scored a whopping 11 points in the second half. Yes, 11 points. In fact, the Red Storm scored last with just over eight minutes to play on a rebound basket by Lamont Hamilton that gave St. John’s a 51-50 lead. Hofstra closed the game on a 14-0 run.

But the absolutely stunning subpoint to this comeback is that Tom Pecora played his starting five the entire second half. That’s ZERO substitutions. For the record, the Furious Five: Loren Stokes, Antoine Agudio, Adrian Uter, Carlos Rivera, and Aurimas Kieza. (And yes, that makes Tom Pecora Grandmaster Flash.) In fact, the bench played just 22 total minutes, took three shots (making zero), made two free throws, and committed eight fouls.

You would figure the guys got tired and committed a lazy foul SOMEWHERE. But they did not.

Some other interesting numbers that shows Pecora made some phenomenal adjustments in an unpredictable game: the Johnnies were 14-15 from the free throw line in the first half and didn’t even attempt a free throw in the second half. Hofstra held the Red Storm to only 17.2 percent shooting (5-29) in the second half, including 1-16 from three-point territory.

(Keep hoisting them, boys. Some are bound to fall. I’ll tell you, though, if I want to see a bunch of guys run down the court and miss 19-foot jump shots, I’ll head down to the local YMCA, or flip over to an NBA game.)

I’m sure that Pecora will adjust his minutes distribution as his talented freshman begin to get the hang of the college game.

I’m also sure that if Tom Pecora was telling me the truth about loving unpredictability and adjustments, he had a blast last night.

***

It’s way too early to start looking at RPI numbers, but I will point out that the CAA in its OOC play is currently 31-18 (.633) before tonight’s games.

***

I will also point out, mainly because I have the luxury of looking ahead, that the conference season REALLY gets underway Saturday when VCU visits UNCW. And three days later, on December 7, Hofstra visits VCU.

***

And finally…CAA commissioner Tom Yeager will be a guest on The Drive, with Greg Burton. This is the ESPN radio affiliate in Richmond. Check out You can follow the link from there to listen over the Internet.

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~ by mglitos on November 30, 2005.

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