If You Could See What I See

I’m not altogether sure what Blaine Taylor said in the Old Dominion locker room last night, but I’m pretty sure what it was not. Taylor isn’t a blowhard; there was no torrent of f-bombs, chairs may have been rearranged in a hostile manner but not thrown. He may have needed a new white board pen. (Side note: he is a white board junkie.) You can bet he had the attention of his team. I am nice.

Who would blame him? At the half, ODU trailed William & Mary by 13, in a football-like 27-14 game. ODU had six field goals and five turnovers. Shot on the south end of 20%. At home.

But they scored the first 14 points of the second half and ended up cruising home 59-44.

And now it appears ODU beat reporter Rich Radford has solved the mystery as to why ODU was so horrid one half, and so good the next. Ditto for Shaverthatmoustache. The teams combined to go 2-26 from threeland at the south goal in the Ted Constant Center and Radford smelled a rat.

Radford brought his own tape measure and found that the north end basket at the Constant Center is exactly 10 feet high. Check. The south basket? 10 feet and 3/4 inches high.

Now I see Taylor’s speech clearly: “don’t worry guys, we’re shooting at the good basket this half.”

And to think my rant last year was that they spent $59 million on the building and didn’t outfit it with wireless.

***

Down at the beach, I completely misread how the Drexel/The Dub game was going to go, even though Drexel did win 66-50. I blame it on Benny Moss. See, Moss didn’t tell me he was going to go all Chris Mooney on me and start three freshmen.

Bruiser didn’t bother to tell me Chaz Crawford was sitting down, either.

Here’s what I can’t figure out: The Dub sat down My Man Vladie Kools, who played just 12 minutes. They at times had five guards on the floor; truly an inventive approach. And here’s the rub: they outrebounded Drexel 41-35. I promise I’m going to figure that one out, but part of it may be the long rebounds caused by the combined performance of two of those freshmen, Montez Downey and Darryl Felder. The duo combined to go 1-19 from the field (including a bagel for 10 from beyond the arc).

I need to chat with my favorite official, Sean Hull. Poor guy was exposed to that massacre.

***

The other biggie was VCU running past George Mason 75-62. Not much to take from the stats here: VCU shot 60% from three point land and Mason made just nine of 21 free throws. (Insert that scene from The White Shadow where a not-grossly-overweight Ken Howard implores Coolidge to make his: “It’s free, Cool. That’s why they call it a free throw.”)

This one though, was indeed about matchups. Jordan Carter is a serviceable point guard, but he is too small and not confident enough to match up well against VCUs bigger and more athletic players. Plus, when VCU would double on Will Thomas, Mason had no alternative but to have the off-wing jack a three. Having a guy athletic enough to dribble-drive the lane would’ve resulted in more Thomas layups and fewer long rebounds. (VCU point guard Eric Maynor had 10 rebounds.)

No matter, the other telling thing is that Mason is the conference’s best team defense and VCU scored 75 points. Win, lose, or draw, that is a notable stat.

***

We’ve reached the halfway point. Your standings:

Team CAA Overall
VCU 9-0 17-3
Hofstra 8-1 15-5
Drexel 7-2 15-4
Old Dominion 6-3 13-7
George Mason 5-4 11-8
Towson 4-5 10-10
Northeastern 4-5 6-14
William & Mary 3-6 10-9
Georgia State 3-6 7-12
James Madison 3-6 6-13
UNC Wilmington 1-8 4-14
Delaware 1-8 3-17

Note to file away: it was at this time last year that Loren Stokes hit 15 of 24 shots and scored a career-high 32 points in Hofstra’s loss to Nor’Easter. I made the comment then that Stokes is “rounding into form.”

Seems to me the same thing is happening this year.

***

Tomorrow: weekend preview as I need to gas up the car for Philly and the John H. Daskasckaskiaskasckasklis Center.

How could the schedule-maker have known?

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~ by mglitos on January 25, 2007.

2 Responses to “If You Could See What I See”

  1. I think one thing you have wrong is the athletic ability of Jordan Carter. He’s very athletic and probably more athletic than the VCU guards. The difference, as you stated though, is height. VCU could put a jumper over him because they had a height advantage.

  2. Oh, and the Will Thomas comment has been the same all year. You should have noted that after the first game. Their offense this year has been “Dump to Thomas, if available, take shot, if not, dump out for a three.” It’s nothing new, and nothing that VCU created. Thomas played to the same ability that he did every other game. Thomas wasn’t the key, it was John Vaughan not making 1 point and Mason shooting only 29% from three-land. Three pointers are what win the games for Mason; if they can’t hit them, they tend to lose.

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