Sunday, January 3, 2010

Penn State Box Score Observations

Opening Comments: UW did what they had to do – beat PSU on the road. All road games are hard, and this one must be cherished, however workmanlike it was. A 17 point road win in B10 play is a major accomplishment.

Summarizing the game in a few words: The defense never rests; UW took advantage of very poor PSU free throw shooting and smothered them on defense to score a beautiful 17 point win on the road.

Pace: The game was 57 possessions, tied for fewest of the year with the Milwaukee game. We are typically around 62 possessions.

Efficiency: Was it offense or defense? Equal doses of each.

UW scored at 1.10 PPP. That is below our average of 1.15, but not bad for a conference game, particularly on the road. It equals our output against OSU.

PSU scored at .81 PPP. We had been giving up .89 PPP, so that was an improvement on our already great defensive efforts for the year.

Shooting: If PSU shoots this poorly in their own building, what do they do on the road? PSU clanked them beyond the arc, inside the arc, and reallllllly clanked them at the line.

eFG%: PSU had an eFG% of 41%. That is below our opponent’s usual 44%. UW hummed along at 55%, slightly above our typically good 54%.

3 pt shooting: Both teams took 19 3pt FGA’s. PSU hit 5 for 26% and UW 8 for 42%. UW added 9 points from beyond the arc.

2pt shooting: UW took one extra try inside the arc – 30 to PSU’s 29 – and made 3 more, 15 to PSU’s 12. UW hit 50% to PSU’s 41%. UW picked up another 6 points inside.

1pt shooting: PSU launched 19 FTA’s to UW’s 12. What did they get for their extra 7 shots? -2 points. UW outscored them 9-7 from the line. What are the odds of the home team shooting 37% from the line? Our free throw defense has been abysmal this year, but we needed PSU’s fans to hex their own team.

By the way, UW lost another 10 in the “we make more free throws than our opponents attempt” scorecard. As of now, our Opponents have attempted 246, we have made 216 leaving us 30 behind. I think this can be put to bed.

Rebounding: UW did its typically great job on defense and had its worst offensive rebounding day of the year, but won by 17 anyway.

UW Defensive end: There were 38 rebounding opportunities and UW got 29 leaving PSU 9, or 24%. That is on our nation-leading average. So, UW did job #1: protect the defensive glass effectively.

UW Offensive End: There were 7 fewer rebounding opportunities – 31 – and UW grabbed but 5 or 16%. That was our lowest offensive rebounding percentage of the year. But, since we held them in check on the other end, it was a good day for UW.

Turnovers: UW won the TO battle.

UW had 3 fewer empty possessions. PSU had 10 TO’s (18%, our opponents average 19%) while UW had 7 (12%, our average is 16%). Three extra possessions is a big advantage, obviously.

Fouls: PSU had 15 and UW 17. Our opponents average 20 and we average 16, so we fouled a little more and they fouled less than average.

Playing time: Bo went 8 deep (10 or more minutes). Hughes played 37 and JBo 36. Jarmusz chipped in 32 and Keaton 31.

Taylor and Hughes played less than usual due to foul trouble. Leuer played 14 and Taylor 17. Wilson got 12.

Notable Performances: The story of this game was the Hughes versus Battle battle. Hughes scored 18 to Battle’s 15. Hughes needed fewer FGA (14 to 16), was better from deep (Hughes 3-5; Battle 2-7), and Hughes bettered him at the line (Hughes 4-5; Battle 1-2). Hughes grabbed 5 rebounds to Battles 4. Both had 5 turnovers – ugh. So, in the end, Hughes negated their star player and actually outperformed him, marginally. Trevon, long will the tales of your exploits be told around the campfires of my people (but we might conveniently forget about the 5 TO’s).

JBO had the deep shot working. He was 3-5 from long and scored 11 on 7 FGA’s. He chipped in 5 boards as well.

Keaton Nankivil scored 6 on 6 shots, and added 11 rebounds.

Ryan Evans had another nice day scoring 10 on 3-5 FGA’s, 4-6 from the line.

For PSU, besides Battle, the only other player of note was Jackson, who had a nice line going 4-7 from the floor, 1-1 from threeland, and 4-7 from the line.

Grading Shetown’s Predictions

1. Battle doesn’t reach 17. Hughes has always been able to bully him into a bad game. Hit. Battle got 15. Yeah, Trevon.

2. Leuer scores more than 19. Leuer is a dominant force in the paint. Miss. Leuer took the day off with 3 fouls and lots of bench time. But, the team went to other options and won anyway.

3. Badgers attempt more than 15 free throws. Wisconsin gets to the line a lot and PSU doesn’t send their opponents to the line. Something’s gotta give. Miss. UW only had 12, but hit 9.

4. Jason Bohannon lights up PSU, making more than 2 threes. Just cuz. Hit. He was 3-5.

My Prediction: The Badgers win their 6th straight, beating the kittens 69-58 in 62 possessions. Hit, but better than predicted. UW wins 63-46 in 57 possessions.

Closing Thoughts: Last year, the team took a step backwards defensively, IMHO. But, they were strong on the glass with Landry and Krabbenhoft protecting the glass like bulldogs badgers. This year, the defense is even better – so far – and the defensive rebounding is no longer my concern – in fact, it is an asset. Score another one for Bo and his teaching skills and system.

We will learn a lot about this team the next two games. So far, they have exceeded my expectations. Whether we win two, split, or lose two, try to keep a level head.

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