Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Pre-Season NIT: A Final Analysis

November 28, 2011 Columns No Comments

NEW YORK – Syracuse captured the Pre-Season NIT title with a thrilling 69-63 victory over Stanford. A few notes on the consolation/championship doubleheader…

1. Tempo Free gives us a better look. Following the victory over Stanford, Jim Boeheim said his Syracuse team played 35 minutes of “horrendous offense” and five (in the stretch) of good. A tempo free look shows the Orange had 72 possessions and a 96 offensive efficiency (points per possession times 100). The 96 is a bit below average. Boeheim lamented that his offense needed work and thankfully the defense was good both days.

Against Virginia Tech in the semifinals, a 69-58 Syracuse victory, the Orange had 61 possessions for a 113 offensive efficiency, which is quite impressive.  So the offense for the two games could be considered a bit above average overall – excellent against Virignia Tech and and subpar in the Stanford game. Those first 35 minutes of the championship game were on the Syracuse coaching staff’s concern while tempo free numbers tell us the Orange did not have that poor a showing looking at their two contests at the Garden. The two games combined saw Syracuse with 138 points over 133 possessions, a 104 offensive efficiency. Over 100 is considered above average.

2. The defense was good. Syracuse held Virginia Tech to a 95 efficiency and Stanford a 91. Both marks are considered well above average defensive efficiencies. Boeheim was right on the money praising his defense as solid both days. Tempo free numbers bear him out on this.

3. The consolation game was fun. Exciting and down to the final possession. Virginia Tech edged Oklahoma State 59-57. The Cowboys got out to a fast 8-0 lead over the game’s opening four minutes. Virginia Tech did not panic and rebounded, literally and figuratively. The Hokies pounded the glass, getting second chance opportunities which spelled conversions and/or frequent trips to the charity stripe. Sophomore guard Markel Brown, a game-high 19 point scorer, provided an offensive spark for Oklahoma State.  But it was not enough. As coach Travis Ford pointed out, his Oklahoma state club allowing 21 offensive rebounds and 30 free throw attempts was too much to overcome.

4. Melo was a stuffer and other tempo free items . This had nothing to do with leftovers from Thursday’s feast. Fab Melo, Syracuse’s seven-foot sophomore center, had a “stat stuffing” game against Stanford. Melo scored six points on 3 of 6 shooting. He added nine rebounds while blocking three shots and coming up with three steals. His Manley efficiency number was 16, the game’s second-highest only trailing MOP  Kris Joseph. Melo did not get All-Tournament honors but his play drew the praise of Boeheim and his Syracuse teammates.

Notes

  • A big factor in Virginia Tech’s consolation win was dictating pace. Oklahoma State entered the game a speedy 72 possession per game team. Virginia Tech forced them into a pedestrian 56 possession tempo. In addition, the Cowboys scored only two transition points. Another factor was freshman forward Dorian Finney-Smith’s 10-point, 14-rebound (8 offensive) performance.
  • Stanford had an outstanding 50% offensive rebound percentage in the final. Syracuse, though, was on their heels with a 47% mark. Both rates are outstanding. Melo (5) and Joseph (4) combined for nine of Syracuse’s 16 offensive boards.
  • Syracuse actually had an eFG percentage of 51% in the final. The sore spot which brought Boeheim’s concerns of offensive improvement was an alarmingly high 29% TO rate on 21 turnovers. Stanford, thanks to a solid Syracuse defense, was actually worse at 35% (24 turnovers). Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins made reference to how long the Syracuse defenders are and how they disrupt the passing lanes , thus creating turnovers.
  • Preparing for Syracuse’s zone, especially if you never faced it is tough. You can break it down on tape but simulating it in practice is very difficult. It’s an active zone with, as Dawkins noted, long defenders that take away options and shots usually available in other 2-3 alignments.
  • Stanford shot almost as well from three 7 of 18 (39%) as from two point range 17-38 (45%).
  • The Cardinal were also hurt by Josh Owens, a double-digit scorer, putting up only 4 points on 2 of 7 shooting.

The Honors:

Most Outstanding Player: Kris Joseph, Syracuse

All-Tournament:

C.J. Fair, Syracuse

Dion Waiters, Syracuse

Aaron Bright, Stanford

Erick Green, Virginia Tech.

Comment on this Article:







Advertisement

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Your Phil of Hoops

Young UNLV team grows in Brooklyn

November 23, 2014 by

unlv

Teams often grow from early season tournaments, and that appears to be what UNLV did in Brooklyn. The young Runnin’ Rebels need the experience.

Simply put, Syracuse needs to improve offensively

November 22, 2014 by

syracuse

Jim Boeheim didn’t have many things to say about his team’s offense, but that said it all. It’s at that end of the floor that Syracuse’s fate this season will be determined.

Growing pains are here for talented Brown team

November 20, 2014 by

brown

Brown has good talent and should be a factor in the Ivy League, but with three sophomores starting on the perimeter, growing pains are in the foreseeable future

Hoopville Archives

Reader Poll

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 17/11/2014 12:00:00
end_date 22/11/2014 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Which conference will be the best one in 2014-15?

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

New England Prep Schools 2014-15: looking back and looking ahead

November 3, 2014 by

nepsac

With a series of prep school open gym visits in the book and the season not far away, here’s a look back at open gyms and a look forward to the season in the New England prep school ranks.

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

marianapolis

Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

New Vermont Academy coach has put together a contender

October 17, 2014 by

vermontacademy

Vermont Academy has a new coach for the second year in a row, but they shouldn’t skip a beat. They have enough talent to win a lot of games and make a deep run in NEPSAC Class AA.

The Master’s School has good students and talent

October 15, 2014 by

mastersschool

The Master’s School has a number of good students, and they will continue to head to college later. This time around, they also have some talent on the hardwood and should win a few more games.

Rivers will try to build on a breakthrough season

October 13, 2014 by

riversschool

The Rivers School had a breakthrough season last year, winning the Independent School League. They will try to build on that with a team that loses a lot but also returns a lot from last season’s team.