Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Xavier triumphs and Robert Morris survives: Notes, numbers and quotes

February 28, 2014 Columns No Comments
author_floriani

TEANECK, N.J. – Early in the week Xavier ventured into Madison Square Garden and posted a 65-53 victory over St. John’s. It was a huge win for the Musketeers coming off a thorough defeat at Georgetown a few days earlier. For the home standing Red Storm, meanwhile, it was a second straight loss with the clock ticking on NCAA possibilities.

The possession numbers:

Possessions Offensive Efficiency
Xavier 66 99
St. John’s 66 80

The offense, as the numbers show, was subpar, but St. John’s (8-8 Big East) problems were decidedly on the defensive end. They allowed Xavier, who advanced to 9-6 in conference, too many good looks at the rim. The defense, or lack of it, had an effect on the Red Storm offense.

“We did not get the stops necessary to  generate our offense on the fast break,” said St. John’s coach Steve Lavin. Related to that concept of transition, that was as point of emphasis on the part of Xavier coach Chris Mack. “We wanted to limit their transition opportunities,” Mack noted. “We also wanted to keep them off the offensive boards, as best we could.”

Shot selection was a sore point for St. John’s. Shot-making was virtually the same as the Red Storm struggled from the field. Once again it was largely due to Xavier’s game plan. “They are gap-oriented,” Mack said. “We did not want them to go one-on-one against us. We wanted them to have to take contested twos.” Overall St. John’s shot 37 percent. Their mark from two point range was better at  20 of 44 for 46 percent. From long range, 2 of 16, and 13 percent.

Practice made for closer to perfect. This time of season teams are staying sharp with shorter fine-tuning practices. Following Saturday’s Georgetown game Mack got his team back to basics. They spent three hours on Sunday followed by another good session on Monday. They were competitive practices. “Doing things we want to do, competitive drills,” Mack said. With the accent on competing and playing hard. Judging by Tuesday night, it worked.

jalen_reynolds

Xavier players address the media after winning at St. John’s (Ray Floriani photo)

Getting the call. With Matt Stainbrook in foul trouble, Xavier redshirt freshman Jalen Reynolds got his chance. Normally a ten minute per game player , the 6-9 forward logged 29 minutes with 17 points and 16 rebounds (both career and game highs). What better place to enjoy an introductory breakout night than Madison Square Garden. “Reynolds is going to be a star in the Big East,” Mack predicted. Doubt if anyone who witnessed his performance would disagree.

Jakarr Sampson paced St. John’s with 14 points. Sampson, however, shot 7 of 17 from the field. It was that type of night for St. John’s.

 

On Thursday Robert Morris defeated FDU 64-59 at the Rothman Center. For most of the evening it appeared FDU’s Senior Night festivities would finish on a positive note. With eight minutes to play the Knights held a 12-point lead and appeared in control. Over the course of those final minutes, Robert Morris went on a 19-2 run to overtake the Knights and claim the victory.

It was not a frantic full-court press that did the trick for the Colonials. Rather it was systematic, almost methodical, possession by possession approach. “When we are sidetracked we lose focus,” said Robert Morris coach Andy Toole. “I don’t know why that happened, but those last eight minutes we regained our focus. It wasn’t so much scoring points that got us back but the little things, the details. Things as making the extra pass, helping out on defense to get the needed stop.”

Toole felt no urgency even with the clock ticking. “Eight minutes, down twelve points,” he said. “Eight minutes is a lot of time in a college game.”

It proved ample time for the Colonials to raise their NEC leading record to 14-1. The possession numbers:

Possessions Offensive Efficiency
Robert Morris 67 103
FDU 69 93

The excellent defensive numbers by Robert Morris were fueled largely by those last eight minutes. Robert Morris’ zone afforded perimeter looks. The Knights took advantage early, but the second half percentages caught up as they hit just one trey the final twenty minutes. They finished 8 of 28 for a 29 percent mark.

Karvel Anderson of Robert Morris paced all with 22 points while Scooter Gillette led FDU with 14.  The Colonials, as noted, improved to 14-1. FDU fell to 6-9, but there is consolation. Recent seasons have seen an end after the final regular season contest. Now, there is postseason. The Knights may have missed the mark of hosting a first round game, but being back in it is rewarding for an excellent job by Greg Herenda and co. in his first year at the school.

Notes

  • Sanders on this game : “It shows how far the program has come but it also shows we need work in learning how to close out a game.”
  • Toole on the NEC playoffs: “Five or six teams have a shot at winning this thing. That is how balanced the league is. In the quarterfinals alone anyone in those four games will have the ability to advance. Almost all the games this year have been closely contested.”
  • John Cahill was at Madison Square Garden for the Xavier-St. John’s game. After three decades of college officiating, Cahill stepped down to become Big East Supervisor of Officials. “I miss officiating,” Cahill admitted, “but I’m enjoying this (supervision) and it allows me to stay active in the game.”
  • Freshman guard Kavon Stewart of Robert Morris had quite a group on hand to see him play on Thursday. The Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, NJ) product had head coach Nick Mariniello and his staff plus family and former teammates. Stewart played 28 minutes, hitting two free throws late that ultimately gave Robert Morris the lead they maintained. Stewart stays in touch, texting and talking, to former Hudson teammate Reggie Cameron of Georgetown.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday Notes – December 3, 2016

December 4, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

The first big Saturday of the college basketball season gave us all we could hope for, and it started right away. We have notes from a number of the day’s games right here.

Thanks to a big backcourt boost, Gonzaga should be even better this season

November 7, 2016 by

gonzaga

Gonzaga might have needed the West Coast Conference title they won in Las Vegas last year in order to be in the NCAA Tournament. With better guards, there should be no doubt about that this time around.

For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

October 21, 2016 by

big12

The Big 12 has been on a great run to be the top conference in recent years, including last year. This year will be a challenge due to a big loss of experience throughout the conference.

Hoopville Archives

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

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.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

hoopguy-yellow

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.