A Few Data Points…

Just some things to kick around while you’re getting dressed for tonight’s Christmas party…

Yes, recruiting is huge. But perhaps no other recruting haul was more important than the entire CAA in 2001. Credit athletic directors for Blaine Taylor, Tom Pecora, and Bruiser Flint for coming into the league that season.

That would be, in order, Jim Jarrett, Jack Hayes Harry Royle(thanks Dutch), and Eric Zillmer.

 ***

VCU coach Anthony Grant continually talks about possessions when asked about his pressure defense. He calmly glides past the same questions about 10-second violations and passes into the third row. He certainly doesn’t hate those. But he always, instructively, talks about the value of the basketball and the extra possessions they create. It’s about turnover differential and getting additional opportunities.

Generally those points are skipped over by those that follow the conference. They aren’t as sexy as traps and pressing all over the floor. Here’s your chunk to chew: VCU is averaging 68.6 possessions per game, up from 67.0 in its championship year. Its defensive points-per-possession is currently 0.87, better than last year’s 0.97.

The clip-and-save for the league: the VCU defense is probably better than last year’s version.

Side note: Credit to Kyle. I’m telling you…one hour with Basketball State will bring a lot into focus.

***

In my best Bill the Cat: “Ack !!!!!”

That’s all that comes to mind when I consider tonight’s ODU at Winthrop matchup. There’s no use in trying to figure out the Monarchs, though I will say this…I’ve never seen a team so dependent upon shooting the ball well in my life. Now that seems to be an odd statement, but it is reality.

And Mason’s matchup against Florida International? If college hoops is played in June, this game is never scheduled. That’s all I’ve got to say about that. Enjoy Disney.

***

Finally, tomorrow (Saturday for those of you that are late…) is a huge day for the CAA. Normally I’m not one for overexaggeration, but opportunity is all over the place:

VCU at Bradley–road win and a quality opponent and a statement game

Nor’Easter at BC–you’d better believe this will turn heads. People will begin using terms like “depth” in reference to the CAA.

Bucknell at Drexel–a better name win than actual helper, but Bruiser could use this one.

JMU at Seton Hall–there’s validation, vindication, and see the Nor’Easter game.

Hofstra at Rhode Island–another quality roadie at Rhody. The cold CAA team beating the hot A10 will rejuvenate a few things…

Montreat at William & Mary–just kidding.

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~ by mglitos on December 21, 2007.

5 Responses to “A Few Data Points…”

  1. Good choice on leaving out the predictions this time! 😉 Go CAA!

  2. What about Delaware vs. BU?

  3. Great blog, but just one correction: Jack Hayes was not the Hofstra AD in 2001. It was Harry Royle, who was “nudged” upstairs to make room for Jack.

  4. Don’t count the UMES,Longwood,Elon,W&M,and UR games and see if those stats don’t change dramatically. Of course you probably played them last year.LOL

  5. Michael –
    Delaware has now won two games in a row, granted they were to old America East opponents, but things do seem to be improving. The two transfers, Ledsome and Egerson have had a great impact on the team. They now have three games under their belts and are looking better every day. They seem to be jelling quite well. UD was up by almost 30 tonight and ended up winning by 18… not bad

    I hope that we’ll get more coverage as the season continues..

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