Saturday, November 15, 2008

More on Falcon Victory

It was a nice way to start the season. We did some things well that we needed to do, and obviously got huge plays to send the game to OT and then to win the game. I'm sure Georgia State feels like they had the game stolen from them, but that's the way things go. We actually did some things really well out there.

For example, in the preview, I mentioned that if Brian Moten could score, if we shot 3s better and if we could hit free throws more, we'd have a better shot at winning.

We did all those things, in fact. We were 11-21 from beyond the NCAA's new and improved arc, and made 14 out of our 17 free throws. We lost the overall free throw battle by five, but we won the FG battle 63-57. And without those things, we wouldn't be winning the game. In fact, we only made 15 2 point field goals, which is kind of expected given that we were compensating for not having Miller and Knight on the court.

I also said that it would be a key to have Erik Marschall come back and contribute on the offensive end of the floor, and we certainly got that as well. He had 17 points and 9 rebounds in 38 minutes of play....all very good signs. I hope he isn't too sore today.

Joe Jakubowski had an incredible game. I can't find it anywhere, but it has to be a career high. He scored 24 points with six 3 and added 6 assists over 1 turnover on the ball handling side. Great game. Some of these 3s were clutch, too, including the one that won the game. I don't know what to say about this guy, but he looks like a ballplayer.

Brian Moten played 43 minutes and had 19 points, a similarly productive game.

Finally, Daryl Clements had a very solid game. 7 points and 7 assists (2 turnovers) in 38 minutes.

We got out first look at Dee Thomas, and he seemed to do some things well, from what I could hear. Scott Thomas played 3 minutes.

A couple things. We did get wiped out on the boards again, which is something that has to improve. We were missing a couple of our best rebounders, but even so, we struggled on the glass. Neither Polk nor Larson was especially productive.

We shot the exact same percentage as Georgia State did, (I mean, we were both 26 of 59 from the field, can you believe that), but, as noted in a post from last year, that's a little misleading because BG was shooting more 3s. Although, BG actually shot 3s better than 2s, which I suspect is unusual.

For example:

BG 2FG: 15 for 38 39.4%
BG 3FG: 11 out of 21 52.4%

The people at basketball prospectus like to do a thing called effective field goal %, where you give extra credit for sinking a three, which only makes good sense. So...

BG 2 FG: 15
BG 3 FG: 11X1.5=16.5
Adjusted total FGS: 31.5
FG Attempts: 59
Effective FG%: 53.3

We can do the same for Georgia State:

GST 2 FG: 21
GST 3 FG: 5X1.5=7.5
Adjusted total FGS: 28.5
FG Attempts: 59
Effective FG%: 48.3%

OK, a couple more things. On the whole, we didn't go great with turnovers, with 15. We only had 5 in the second half, however, and Georgia State made 17. We had seven steals, which I suspect is an improvement. We also committed 21 fouls.

Finally, I think we have to avoid something we are all to prone to in sports, which is to project this victory too much. I am hopeful about this team, and more hopeful than I was 24 hours ago. But, there may well be some setbacks, too, so let's try to keep it in perspective. The key is the conference season and playing well in Cleveland.

Our guys played a ton of minutes last night, and we're playing a Big 10 team tonight. Three games in a row will be a tough test for them. (Note, the Big 10 network is streaming the game, if you are interested)

But, for now, as always, savor the win, and look forward to the possibilities.

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