We Talk All the Time…

Politics, schmolitics. There are more important issues to consider, and this is one of those issues. It is also the reason why I’ll never be a threat to society, and when the end of the world comes you will find me in Trask, drubbing Brett Blizzard in a three point shooting contest.

***

As you know by now, Hofstra is the team I’m having the most trouble trying to figure out. I’m stumped by the potential Ewing Effect (or Ewing Theory) first coined by Bill Simmons. In short, it poses the conundrum of whether or not a team is better playing without its star. It began when the Knicks won a few playoff games when their star, Patrick Ewing, was out with an injury.

For us, that is the Agudio Effect. Will Hofstra be a better basketball team now that its star, Antoine Agudio, has graduated?

I say yes–there is talent on that team and Agudio, while a great player, was a one-dimensional player.  The thought that Agudio was severely lacking in triple-doubles, in my mind, meant he wasn’t impacting the game or getting his teammates involved like he should.

Jerry Beach, who runs this site dedicated to Hofstra sports, thinks I may be in error. So I emailed him to find out what he thought. You see, I know a lot, but I don’t know everything. Here’s a transcript of our “conversation,” so you can decide:

RTU: I wonder about Hofstra this year and their ability to succeed. First, I want to thank you for doing the legwork on the double-doubles with Agudio/Stokes/Rivera that I was too lazy to look up. But it underscores my point.

While Agudio was a fantastic scorer I don’t know if Hofstra wouldn’t have been better served had he not shot as much. Agudio missed time and still led the conference in percentage of his team’s shots. I agree that they may not have won as many games without him shooting, but I think they are going to be better this year because Charles Jenkins won’t take 29% of the shots. Teams will have to guard several players.

DEF DUTCH: No problem on the double-double stats. My wife is just glad the media guides I have stacked up around the living room came in handy for something.

I agree that the optimal team doesn’t have a single player taking 29% of the shots, but given the personnel Hofstra had last year, I’m not sure the Flying Dutchmen had much of a choice. Of the five players who collected the most minutes last year, three were newcomers to the program (Dane Johnson, Jenkins and Townes) and a fourth (Greg Johnson) shot 37% in his first two years…and 31.2% last year.

That left Agudio as the main weapon in a program traditionally built around guard play. Now that said, I agree the Dutchmen have evolved to the point where they’re much more versatile than they were even two or three years ago. But I think Hofstra improving the year after Agudio departs are events independent of one another.

RTU: OK, I’ll give you “not much choice,” because I doubt anybody will confuse Play Johnson with Speedy Claxton. But Townes and Dane Johnson aren’t exactly stiffs. And none of that has anything to do with defense or rebounding. I admit I looked this up, but Agudio had FIVE offensive rebounds in 19 conference games last year. I’m really starting to believe Charles Jenkins was more valuable.

DEF DUTCH: Seven offensive boards in 18 conference games looks bad, but again, Agudio’s game wasn’t about driving the lane. I’d be more concerned if he was a non-factor on the defensive boards, but he had 66 rebounds there, so he was doing more than just hoisting shots. Plus, Jenkins only had 20 more offensive rebounds in conference games than Agudio, barely more than one per game.

As for Townes and Dane Johnson, I agree they aren’t stiffs on offense. But one-or both-players earned four or five fouls in 15 of the Dutchmen’s 19 conference games, making it doubly difficult to devise a game plan around them.

***

First, a clarification: Jerry looked up that Agudio grabbed two offensive rebounds in the Pride’s CAA tournament loss to Towson. I didn’t have that in my stats; thus the difference in five and seven rebounds.

Still–and I get the last word because this is my space, tune in to his site for his last word–getting one offensive rebound every three games is, for lack of a better word, bad. My 11-year daughter could run around the court for 38 minutes and every three games one rebound would come off the iron and hit her in the head. Hofstra is going to better this year.

What do you think?

***

Side note: I kind of like the different opinion thing. Maybe we’ll do it again sometime.

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~ by mglitos on November 10, 2008.

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