Boom Goes the Dynamite: 02.28.09 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on February 28th, 2009

dynamite1

Welcome back to Boom Goes the Dynamite.  It’s Noon eastern and it’s Saturday, so that means we’re affixed to the couch for the rest of the weekend.  The day gets off to a little bit of a slow start, but keep in mind that RTC Live will be coming to you from Gampel Pavilion at UConn at 2pm, and we’ll be here for the rest of the action today (all 135 games).  Let’s get it going…

12:17pm. We’ve got Villanova – Georgetown on ESPN and Cleveland St. – Butler on ESPN2 right now.  UNC – Georgia Tech is on CBS, and if you’re really misogynistic, Depaul – St. John’s is on ESPN 360.  Here at the RTC compound we’re going to keep an eye on Butler right now because they don’t get much air time, tracking the others.

12:22pm. Has anyone else noticed that we’re only a week until the end of the regular season, but several of these “national” games are complete garbage?  Who’s making these schedules?  There’s no way UNC – Georgia Tech should be a CBS game on Feb. 28 this year.  Later we get the thrilling Oklahoma – Texas Tech game.  Oh well, at least Blake Griffin is due to return today.

12:27pm. So far it’s a brickfest in Philly at the Georgetown-Nova game, while the UNC-Ga Tech game is (shockingly) lacking defense.  Cleveland St. is giving Butler all they want so far – love the Hinkle Fieldhouse.  Where are Coach Dale, Shooter and Jimmy Chitwood?

12:43pm. Yes, Bucky, it is definitely a whiteout there.  Speaking of white, could Gordon Hayward be the second coming of Adam Morrison (w/o the floppy hair and needle injections during games)?  They both have similar builds and games (from our viewpoint), but Hayward has the superior numbers as a frosh (GH: 14/6 on 48%/83%/46% vs. AM: 11/4 on 53%/73%/30%).  Granted AM played 20 mpg his freshman season versus Hayward’s 32 mpg, but still.  Butler takes a six-pt lead into the half.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Checking in on the… Summit League

Posted by rtmsf on February 27th, 2009

Ryan Pravato of College Fast Break is the RTC correspondent for the Summit League.

NDSU 22-6 (15-2)

Everybody’s favorite to be the league rep in the Big Dance.  Now the only question is what seed they will be pegged. Many bracketologists (I use that term oh so liberally) have the Bison as a 14th seed, some a 15th, no one else to my knowledge has them as anything different. With such a dynamite record, is a 13th seed really that much to ask?  Back on the 21st the Bison tangoed with the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers in a scintillating BracketBuster match up for the ages. Check that, the only BracketBuster game anybody gave a flying squirrel about was Butler versus Davidson, and that game stunk. Do these one bid league teams really need to play an out of conference game during, uh, the conference season? I don’t think so. Plus, some of the BracketBuster match ups were a total waste of time, definitely not all created with equality in mind.  But back to the task on hand, NDSU senior guard Mike Nelson tied a season high with 22 points. Senior point guard Ben Woodside was two rebounds short of a triple-double. NDSU concludes the regular season at 2nd place Oral Roberts on Feb.28th .

Update- NDSU clinched at least a share of the regular season title with a road victory over Centenary on Thursday (Feb. 26). Woodside and Winkleman combined for 66 points.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Checking in on the… MAAC

Posted by rtmsf on February 27th, 2009

Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the MAAC and NEC Conferences.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The MAAC regular season winds up on Sunday. The conference tournament will begin the latter part of next week in Albany and there is no drama or speculation on the top two seeds, even with Siena visiting Niagara this evening.

We are taking the tempo free look at the MAAC. Only conference games are figured and the EM (efficiency margin) is the vital difference between offensive and defensive points per possession.

maac-022709

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Checking in on the… SWAC & MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on February 27th, 2009

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the SWAC and MEAC Conferences. With the end of the regular season imminent, both conference wrap-ups are below this week.

SWAC Wrap-Up

And so it is nearly finished. A final act for the SWAC conference that is low on team talent, but with a few programs that have a legitimate shot of scoring more than 29 points against the number one seed in the national tournament.

Alabama State paces the conference, and is poised to eclipse 19 wins for the second-consecutive season. On their heels is Jackson State, with just two conference losses on the year and one courtesy of Alabama State.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Checking in on the… Horizon League

Posted by nvr1983 on February 27th, 2009

Damon Lewis, a reporter and play-by-play announcer for the Horizon League Network, is RTC’s Horizon League correspondent.

Butler: 14-3; 24-4
Green Bay: 13-4; 22-8
Cleveland State: 12-5; 21-9
Wright State: 11-6; 17-12
Milwaukee: 10-7; 15-13
Youngstown State: 7-10; 11-17
UIC: 6-11; 14-14
Loyola: 6-11; 14-16
Valparaiso: 4-13; 8-21
Detroit: 2-15; 7-21

With the final day of the regular season taking place on Saturday, we’re going to utilize the “bullet point” method this week. There are only a few items of importance that will be sorted out on Saturday…all of that having to do with seeding for the Horizon League Tournament, which gets underway on Tuesday, March 3rd. I’ll be providing a preview of the HL Tourney in the coming days…in which we’ll discuss the match-ups and recap the post-season awards. No more stalling…here we go! Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

02.27.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by nvr1983 on February 27th, 2009

Share this story

Statistical Proof Iman Shumpert is a Gunner

Posted by rtmsf on February 27th, 2009

What really gets us all juiced and lathered up are statistics that appear self-evident only after someone shows you how to figure them.  You know, the kind of thing where we say, “wow, that makes a lot of sense,” and yet, we never thought of it ourselves.  Forest for the trees and all that.

So it was with particular interest that we were alerted to a post made earlier this week by our friends at the Virginia athletics blog, Dear Old UVa.  This post attempted to get to the bottom of the question about whether UVa coach Dave Leitao was properly utilizing his players on the offensive end of the court.  So how would you measure such a thing?  With the help of KenPom’s statistical treasure trove, they were able to cross-tab players’ offensive efficiencies with their percentage of team’s possessions used.  This produced a relatively simple graphical representation of every player in the ACC which quickly shows which players are being utilized properly or improperly (see below).

acc-players-off-efficiency

On the above graph, you can easily see that Jeff Teague and Ish Smith, for example, are being properly used by Wake Forest head coach Dino Gaudio.  Teague has a very high percentage of possessions used and his offensive efficiency is relatively high.  Smith has a low efficiency and therefore is being used more sparingly on the offensive end.  The graph can also tell you when a player might be over- or under-used.  As an example, Georgia Tech’s Iman Shumpert has an efficiency in the same ballpark as Ish Smith, yet he uses significantly more possessions for the Jackets – an example of a player who is overused given his skill set at this time.  The converse of course is true for players with high efficiencies but low possession utilization.

We love this stuff, so we’ll try to find some more of this kind of thing as we get closer and closer to the NCAA Tournament.  The data is as rich as it will get this season, so hopefully we’ll be able to do so.

Share this story

ATB: How Much to Rent Their Gym Out?

Posted by rtmsf on February 27th, 2009

afterbuzzer1

We Think We Played This Team in Church League Ball One Year.  Seriously, our Google machine is broken… can anyone explain what this is?  Southwest Assemblies of God????

church-ball

Left Coast Hoops.  There were three really good games in the Pac-10 tonight.

  • Washington 73, Arizona St. 70 (OT).  UW got a big win over its nearest competitor for the Pac-10 crown behind Jon Brockman’s 21/11 and Quincy Pondexter’s 10/12.  ASU came back from 13 down in the first half and appeared to have the momentum when the Sun Devils stole the ball from Justin Dentmon for a dunk to tie the game with 0:21 left.  Once both James Harden and James Pendergraph fouled out in the extra period, however, it was clear ASU didn’t have enough to pull off the upset.  ASU now sits in a three-way tie with Cal and UCLA in second place at 10-5 in the Pac-10.
  • UCLA 76, Stanford 71.  For much of this game, it appeared that the UCLA swoon of the past few weeks on the road would continue.  Josh Shipp made sure that wasn’t going to happen, though, going for 24/7/4 assts to keep the Bruins alive for another regular season Pac-10 title should Washington falter.  It’s clear that UCLA’s stalwart defense just isn’t what it used to be – Stanford hit 49% from the field and 50% from three in this one (can you believe the Bruins rank #254 nationally in FG% defense?).
  • California 81, USC 78 (OT).  USC went on a 14-4 run in the final six minutes to tie this game and send it to overtime, but Cal would not be denied its tenth Pac-10 win behind Patrick Christopher’s 29 pts.  USC really is the classic bubble team – #47 RPI, 16-11 overall, 7-8 Pac-10, key wins over Cal, Arizona, Arizona St., and we’re not sure how this team is even on the bubble, but they are.  The Trojans could really use a win over Stanford on Saturday.

The Rest of Your Thursday Night.

  • Gonzaga 81, Santa Clara 73.  Gonzaga got 29/9 from Josh Heytvelt to go to 13-0 in the WCC, one win away from another undefeated conference season.  This was a tight game throughout, and SC’s fans cost the home team at least four pts with their decisions to throw debris on the court protesting foul calls down the stretch.
  • Illinois 52, Minnesota 41.  With six minutes to go, the score was 42-41; Minnesota never scored again.  Another fugly Big Ten game.  Minnesota needs wins, as they’ve now lost five of their last seven games.  The Gophers get Wisconsin and Michigan at home in their final two.
  • Butler 78, Youngstown St. 57.  Butler rolled to its third straight Horizon League championship behind Matt Howard’s 25/10.
  • Cincinnati 65, West Virginia 61.  Bob Huggins visited his old stomping grounds tonight, but it was UC with the win in the battle of two Big East bubble teams.  The computers love WVU this year for some reason, but both teams currently sit at 8-7 in the conference, and this win helped Cincy a lot more than it hurt WVU.
  • Xavier 68, St. Joseph’s 54.  After having lost three straight road games, XU got its mojo back behind 18/10 from Derrick Brown.  The XU-Dayton game next Thursday night could be for all the A10 marbles.
  • Wake Forest 85, NC State 78.  Wake got back on track tonight with a tougher-than-expected home win over NC State.  James Johnson answered the bell with 28/18 for the Deacs.
  • Miami (FL) 62, Virginia 55.  The Hurricanes struggled in this one but managed to hang on and have a good chance to get to 8-8 in the ACC with games at Georgia Tech and home against NC State remaining.
  • Michigan 87, Purdue 78. Michigan ripped apart the Purdue defense to the tune of 63% shooting behind DeShawn Sims (29/5) and Manny Harris (27/8/4 assts), further contributing to the mess that is known as the middle of the Big Ten (five teams with eight wins).
  • Washington St. 69, Arizona 53.  Wazzu continued surging with another impressive win after beating UCLA over the weekend, but it’s probably too little, too late.  Arizona is ok for now, but they’d do themselves well to get another Pac-10 win out of their last three to get to 9-9 in the conference.
  • St. Mary’s 62, Pepperdine 49.  Diamon Simpson put up another dub-dub (13/14) as SMC moved into a tie with Portland for second place in the WCC, which will come down to this weekend’s games for the seedings in next week’s WCC Tourney.
  • Memphis 71, UAB 60. John Calipari’s Tigers continue to mow down Conference USA, winning its 55th straight conference game and 19th consecutive overall game in the process.  Even more interestingly, Memphis held UAB’s best player, Robert Vaden, to 0-17 shooting.  That’s ZERO FOR SEVENTEEN, which is John Starks-esque in level of bricklaying (see below).

robert-vaden-uab

Share this story

More shots from Providence’s “Rush the Court”

Posted by nvr1983 on February 26th, 2009

These photos are courtesy of Aimee at Providence following the Friars big win over #1 Pittsburgh. If you were at the game and have any more pictures, send them into rushthecourt@gmail.com and we will post them here. These shots are interesting because they offer a point-of-view perspective of a fan who is actually rushing the court after a huge win. I’m going to leave out any captions because the sequence is essentially a time lapse gallery of the scene.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Checking in on the… Pac-10

Posted by nvr1983 on February 26th, 2009

Michael Hurley is the RTC correspondent for the Pac-10 Conference.

News & Notes

  • Lute Olson compiled a 43-6 record against Arizona State. Since he took a leave of absence last year, Arizona is 0-4 against the Sun Devils.
  • Against ASU, Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, and Nic Wise all logged 40 minutes. For the year the three are each averaging over 35 minutes a game. They are the only team in the Pac-10 with three players averaging over 35 minutes a game. Come Pac-10 tournament time these three horses have to be tiring.
  • Oregon State swept the season series against Cal for the first time since the 1994-95 season.
  • Jerome Randle has 59 three-pointers this season putting him 9 shy of the school season record 68 set by Ryan Drew in 1990. With four games left and Randle averaging over two a game he stands a fighting chance at overtaking Drew.
  • Washington State’s win at UCLA last week was only their second win in their 53 games at Pauley Pavilion.
  • The battle for coach of the year in the Pac-10 has four solid candidates. With the jobs Mike Montgomery, Russ Pennell, Craig Robinson, and Lorenzo Romar have done, there is an excess of candidates to choose from.
  • Pennell is the front-runner right now in my mind. He turned this Arizona team around and has them at 8-6 in the Pac-10 and 18-9 overall. He was the second choice for interim coach in late October. Last year he did color commentary for Arizona State radio network.
  • Jon Brockman is the only mid-season candidate for the Naismith trophy from the Pac-10.

Player of the week: Taylor Rochestie
Rochestie scored 24.5 points a game for Washington State this week. Rochestie also averaged five rebounds and four assists a game. Rochestie scored 33 points in WSU’s upset of UCLA. He shot 5-for-7 from three-point range and a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw stripe.

Honorable Mention: Darren Collison and Rihards Kuksiks
Collison scored 18.5 points and averaged 6.5 assists for UCLA this past week. Collison went a perfect 7-for-7 from the line in the two games. Kuksiks scored 17 points in Arizona State’s win this week. Kuksiks scored 15 of those on five three-pointers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Checking in on the… Sun Belt

Posted by rtmsf on February 26th, 2009

 

sbc-022609

It’s Down to the Wire

Inching closer to Tournament Time!  All but two teams have just two games remaining on their SBC schedule which will conclude tonight and this weekend.  Thankfully, the West has experienced some much needed separation except for the bottom of the pack who will be in a dog fight to avoid a first round road game.  In the East, the Toppers, having won against Troy in last weeks game of the week, are now seriously poised to nab the number one overall seed and possibly the whole enchilada given the next story.  Which is…

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Daily Bracketlet: 02.26.09

Posted by zhayes9 on February 26th, 2009

Zach Hayes is RTC’s  resident bracketologist.  He’ll regularly be out-scooping, out-thinking and out-shining Lunardi over the next three months.

What changed (just from Wednesday night)-

- Connecticut re-acquainted itself with the #1 overall seed by downing Marquette on the road last night. The way this season is going, that will last about a week. With the loss, Marquette drops to a #4 seed and allows Missouri to move up a line after their dismantling of Kansas State.

- Duke picked up a hard-fought road win at Maryland and stayed put as a #3 seed. Elsewhere in the ACC, Clemson’s shocking home loss to Virginia Tech does two things: drops Clemson to a #4 seed and pushes the suddenly alive Virginia Tech  to a #11 seed.

- South Carolina’s sound defeat of Kentucky puts the Gamecocks in a strong position as a #9 seed while Kentucky drops to a #11. They badly need to beat LSU on Saturday at home.

- Oklahoma State made the biggest jump since Tuesday, climbing from the Last Team Out to a #10 seed mostly due to plenty of bubble movement. Their 32 RPI and 15 SOS are certainly helping, but they need to pick up some quality wins down the stretch to feel safe.

- UNLV falls to Utah last night but stays as a #11 seed due to 4 wins against the RPI top 25, a number no other bubble team can come close to matching.

- Dayton‘s last second loss to Rhode Island drops the Flyers to 4th in the Atlantic 10. The wins against Marquette and Xavier are nice, but Dayton is now firmly on the bubble with Temple and Rhode Island making late runs for bids.

1 Seeds: Connecticut, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Oklahoma
2 Seeds: Memphis, Louisville, Kansas, Michigan State
3 Seeds: Duke, Villanova, Missouri, Wake Forest
4 Seeds: Marquette, Clemson, Washington, Purdue
5 Seeds: Xavier, LSU, Arizona State, Illinois
6 Seeds: West Virginia, California, UCLA, Florida State
7 Seeds: Syracuse, Utah, Texas, Gonzaga
8 Seeds: Arizona, Minnesota, Butler, Boston College
9 Seeds: Ohio State, BYU, South Carolina, Utah State
10 Seeds: Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Florida
11 Seeds: Siena, Kentucky, Dayton, UNLV
12 Seeds: Davidson, Creighton, Providence, Virginia Tech
13 Seeds: VCU, Western Kentucky, Penn State, Buffalo
14 Seeds: Weber State, North Dakota State, American, Binghamton
15 Seeds: Radford, Cornell, Robert Morris, Sam Houston State
16 Seeds: Jacksonville, Morgan State, Morehead State, Cal State Northridge, Alabama State

Last Four In:
Penn State, Providence, UNLV, Virginia Tech
Last Four Out: Saint Mary’s, San Diego State, Maryland, Miami (FL)
Next Four Out: Southern Cal, Kansas State, Michigan, Cincinnati
Also considered: Notre Dame, Temple, UAB, Rhode Island, Northern Iowa, Texas A&M

Share this story