Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Error 404: Ball Control Not Found

Davenport 88, Calvin 79

I was planning on expressing my disappointment with the Calvin defense, and I will, after all 88 points is a lot to give up, but after looking through the stat sheet, I'm convinced that team defense wasn't the only culprit tonight.

To me, the biggest alarm-sounding red flag of the game was the 21 turnovers that Calvin coughed up. That's way too many. Like double.

That's like handing the ball to your opponent once every four times down the floor. Slightly worse, actually. Calvin's turnover rate for the game was 27.6%. It felt like it too.

You just can't win a close game, and this game was closer than 9 points, if you give the opposition that many extra chances. It's not going to happen. But that's what you get when nearly 60% of your team's minutes are logged by underclassmen. Lots of mistakes.

Obviously not having Trent Salo available makes a difference here.

If we leave the turnovers aside (but really, how can we?), the offense was quite good. I guess they'd have to be to turn the ball over that often and still score 79 points. Here's the offensive chart:


Game ball to Brian Haverdink. He made the shots he took, feed the ball to his teammates, and he DIDN'T TURN THE BALL OVER.

A lot of really nice numbers on this chart, though. As a team, the Knights 59.8% (eFG%) from the field. That contributed to an outstanding 1.23 team points per weighted shot. I can imagine how the game might have ended had they not carelessly given, say, nine or ten of those possessions away to the Panthers.

There's no denying it. The defense wasn't good, but I'm willing to give them a little slack at this point. Defense chart:


Frankly, I expected this to look worse. The eFG% is on the wrong side of .500, and a 1.08 PPWS is higher than ideal, but you see 88 points on the scoreboard and you expect to see a train wreck. I think it's more of everything leaning on the wrong side of manageable. You can get by with some give and take, but it can't be all give (not a turnover crack, I swear).

Allowed a little bit too high of a field goal percentage, a few too many offensive rebounds, and a few too many trips to the line. The total impact can be seen in the defensive efficiency rating. 115 is far too high. You'd like to see this near 100. Hopefully below 100.

Gut feeling
Honestly, I think I was a little bit encouraged after the game. My fear was that they would walk into their first game against a very good Davenport team and get run out of the gym. That didn't happen at all. They trailed early, rallied to take a lead, held the lead for a long time, and didn't give up when Davenport reclaimed the lead. They didn't have enough to find the win in the end, but they showed us that they are indeed what we thought they were: a young team with lots of raw talent.

As Coach said in his post game interview: "we're going to take our lumps early on... 10 games and 25 practices from now we'll be a good team, but you can't rush the process." (Hat tip: Dark Knight).
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