Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tipping My Hat

Calvin 78, Finlandia 70 (box score)

It wasn't what we wanted. We wanted to see Calvin pound the Finlandia Lions into the hardwood, but that didn't happen today. Calvin seemed to lead most of the game by four to six points, but they never could extend it much past that. I wouldn't say they were ever in danger of losing, but they couldn't put the game away.

The key for Finlandia was their ridiculous three point shooting. Coming into the game, they had only connected on about 25% of their attempts, but tonight they were 14-31 for 45% (at one point late in the game, they were still over 50% at 14-27). Part of that was the Knights failing to effectively close out on their man, but part of it was simply tough shots falling. Calvin even showed a bit of zone defense in the second half, something they rarely do, to try to mix things up a bit, but Finlandia kept hitting.

I'll chalk most of the defensive 'woes' up to it being "one of those days" for Finlandia and not ding the Knights too much. A "reasonable" percentage (say, around 35%) for the Lions would have (or could have) brought the final margin in the 15 to 17 range. Let's tip our hats to the Lions and move on.

Unfortunately, Calvin again didn't shoot very well -- just 40% from the floor overall and 29% from downtown -- but they did end up with their best offensive efficiency rating of the year (my quick math says it was in the 113 range). The credit for the effective scoring goes to the killer rebounding margin (the Knights grabbed 21 offensive boards, and only allowed Finlandia 17 defensive rebounds), and their good team free throw rate (they shot 29 free throws, and made 23).

Turnovers were 'fine'. I would have liked that to be a plus in this game (with 13 or fewer), but they ended up at 14 which was about 20% of their possessions. That's a league average rate, so whatever.

Some quick player bullets:
  • Brian Haverdink started quite cold from the field (I think he was zero for his first three three-point attempts), but he came on in the second half to tally (an efficient) 13 points (all in the second half).
  • Tyler Kruis was a man on the inside. Finlandia couldn't match up with him; they allowed Tyler to collect six offensive rebounds and 19 points. The Knights need to establish Tyler in the post early and often (and Tyler needs to keep working on getting in good position close to the hoop).
  • Tom Snikkers doesn't need to be jacking up threes as part of the normal offense. (I'm really not trying to pick on you this year Tom, really and truly I'm not). He's too good of a scorer when he's making moves toward the basket to settle for the long range jump shots.
  • It was good to see Jordan Mast work hard on defense. Not that he doesn't usually, but he stood out to me today as putting forth an excellent effort on that end of the floor tonight.

Regional win. Woot.

Stats-And-More to come.

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