Saturday, February 13, 2016

Princeton scores final 12 points in overtime to sink Columbia

Devin Cannady led all scorers with 23 points, including two threes in final seconds of regulation, as Princeton picked up 88-83 road win over Columbia. (Photo courtesy of the Ivy League Digital Network)

NEW YORK -- The only thing missing from an Ivy League matchup straight out of "The Wizard Of Oz" was a bear.

After all, Columbia and Princeton provided the respective Lions and Tigers, and the ending to their Saturday night showdown produced several moments where the legendary Dick Enberg would have broken into his signature call of "oh, my!"

Down eight points at the four-minute media timeout in the second half, Princeton (16-5, 6-1 Ivy League) got eight points from freshman guard Devin Cannady in the final 25 seconds to send Columbia to overtime. Then, after spotting them a 7-0 head start in the extra session, the Tigers scored the final twelve markers of the night to leave Levien Gymnasium with an 88-83 victory over a Columbia (17-8, 6-2 Ivy) team that entered the evening with realistic NCAA Tournament aspirations, only trailing first-place Yale by one game at tipoff.

"What ran through my mind was a replay of the Penn game," said Cannady, who led all scorers with 23 points. "We were down 11 with not so much time left, and our leaders got us together. We persevered and started playing better on defense, and that really helped us."

Having led for all but three minutes on their home floor in front of a near-capacity crowd, Columbia looked every bit the aggressor and played a fundamentally sound first half, not committing a single turnover. Late in the second half, however, the Tigers started to press the Lions, which flustered them enough to lose their grip on a two-possession lead.

"They went small, and we were having trouble guarding (Alex) Rosenberg," said Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson of switching to the press. "I thought it was smarter for us to go a little bit smaller, and it paid off for us. We were able to get a couple of key turnovers."

Trailing 74-70, Cannady's first of two threes came from the right corner with 10.2 seconds left, bringing the Tigers within one. On the ensuing possession, Princeton elected not to foul Columbia, who got a breakaway layup from Maodo Lo to make it a three-point game. Cannady proved lethal again, draining an NBA-range triple from the right wing shortly before the buzzer to tie the score at 76 apiece. Columbia's desperation heave was errant, sending the game to an extra five minutes.

"We were just trying to get to the bucket," Cannady said as he recounted his heroics. "I think Columbia knew that, so they backed off. I shot my shot, and it went in."

The Lions struck first in overtime, opening the extra frame on a 7-0 run behind six points from Grant Mullins, who recorded 19 points and 12 rebounds for the evening. However, they were held scoreless for the final 2:12, as a floater by Cannady started Princeton's deciding run.

"We wanted it bad," a succinct Kyle Smith stated as his Lions now entertain Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend as they continue their four-game homestand. "We just didn't get it done tonight."

Nico Clareth developing into one of MAAC's more complete freshmen

After 20-point game against Iona, Nico Clareth is more than just your token freshman sensation. (Photo courtesy of Vincent Simone via Big Apple Buckets)

Not very often do you see a freshman who makes enough of an impact in his rookie season to where he is in consideration for not one, but two, conference awards.

Then again, Nico Clareth is not your typical freshman.

With 20 points in Saturday's win at Iona, the Baltimore native has put together a remarkable campaign for Siena, averaging over 13 points per game to be the fourth-leading scorer on an 18-win outfit that has designs on crashing the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference postseason party and earning its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2010, when the trio of Ronald Moore, Alex Franklin, and Edwin Ubiles last brought the Saints dancing.

"Nico's been the same guy," said head coach Jimmy Patsos when assessing how much Clareth has progressed since his first game in November. "I'm not going to rein him in. He was fantastic in the fall practices and had some great exhibition games, but I thought what's summed up Nico Clareth's career so far is that he's always been a team guy. Our walk-on, Nick Cunningham, got a few points at the end of the game at Canisius, and he (Clareth) was the first one off the bench to run and hug him. He's from Calvert Hall, one of the great programs in the country, and Calvert Hall is a school that's based on teamwork and family. They have great tradition."

It is that unselfishness that counteracts the killer instinct with which Clareth plays. Already proficient in the ability to make clutch shots, he is already trending in the direction of becoming a surefire MAAC Player of the Year contender by the time his four years in Loudonville are up. Having only started four games this season, he is eligible for Sixth Man of the Year honors as well, and should challenge Manhattan's Rich Williams for that distinction in much the same way he will impact the Rookie of the Year race. But hardware, at least of the individual variety, is not so much his objective as much as his doing whatever is needed to help his team.

"He just keeps getting better," Patsos gushed in the wake of Saturday's win. "He's a student of the game. It's not all jazz hands and jokes, he really takes the game seriously. It's All-Star weekend, and we talked about Kobe Bryant playing defense, and how he can't just be a scorer. I think that's seeped into Nico, and we want that."

Siena 81, Iona 78: Final Thoughts

With 19 points and 13 rebounds, Brett Bisping was critical to Siena's victory at Iona Saturday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Vincent Simone)

A 17-4 run midway through the second half helped Siena overcome a 12-point deficit and gain a much-needed road victory against Iona, moving the Saints within a half-game of second place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings. Here are a few takeaways from the afternoon in New Rochelle, spanning both sides:

  • Brett Bisping is starting to look like a lock for first team all-MAAC honors.
    The redshirt junior's latest double-double, racking up 19 points and 13 rebounds to get it, cemented his status as one of the five best players in the MAAC. On the year, he is averaging nearly 16 points and over nine boards per game, the latter number leading the conference. Even more remarkable about his effort today was his inability to practice this week, which he admitted to flu-like symptoms. "Brett Bisping continues to be an amazing guy to coach," said head coach Jimmy Patsos, who also revealed that New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman; his former college roommate who was in attendance today, told him Bisping was an "unbelievable player."

    "I think Brett has led this team with his energy," Patsos elaborated. "What he has done, to not practice at all this week, to not practice yesterday and have two fantastic games, rebound, dirty work, take charges, it rubs off on all of us. Brett Bisping's the reason we won this game."

  • Siena did what very few teams in the MAAC have been able to do this year.
    Jordan Washington, Iona's explosive forward who causes matchup problems for whomever he faces, was held to just three points while committing seven turnovers and four fouls. When his Manhattan team faced the Gaels two weeks ago, head coach Steve Masiello admitted his strategy to defending Washington was to simply get him in foul trouble. The Saints did that throughout the afternoon, producing a final stat line that head coach Tim Cluess attributed to the flow of the game being counterproductive to Washington's game. "There was no flow at all," said Cluess, "and they were smart. They extended out on us and made us go to him. He can't sit there, and Jordan's averaging 15, 16 points a game. We have to give him a chance. We figured if he was going to get going at all, we have to give him the ball and give him a chance to score a little bit."

  • The road to the No. 2 seed in the MAAC Tournament could still go either way.
    With Iona still needing to play Monmouth, Siena, and Manhattan all on the road in the next two weeks, the Saints have favorable matchups on paper against Rider and Quinnipiac, plus a game in hand with two weeks left in the regular season. Regardless of where both teams finish, each will be a force to be reckoned with in the MAAC Tournament, which Patsos reaffirmed was not a home court advantage. "It's at a neutral site in Albany, which we happen to play our home games at," Patsos emphatically shot back when a reporter led a postgame question by referencing the tournament would be played on Siena's home floor. "There's a floor that says 'The MAAC,' not 'Siena.' They branded it for the MAAC."

Siena comes back from 12-point deficit to score critical road win at Iona

Nico Clareth's 20 points included several clutch shots as Siena came back from down 12 points to defeat Iona. (Photo courtesy of Vincent Simone)

NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- With less than 12 minutes remaining and his Siena team down 12 points against Iona, Jimmy Patsos and his players had an epiphany.

"We had a huddle with 12 minutes to go," the Saints' head coach revealed after Siena (18-9, 11-5 MAAC) used a 17-4 run to retake the lead and hold on for an 81-78 victory against Iona (14-10, 11-4 MAAC) at a sold-out Hynes Athletics Center. "Everybody was just upset, because we know we're better than that, and I think that's a sign of a team coming together. Everybody cared. Nobody was mad at each other, we were just upset that we weren't playing better."

"We wanted it bad," added Brett Bisping, who contributed 19 points and 13 rebounds to the Saints' winning cause. "We knew we hadn't beaten them here, and we wanted it more today."

Trailing 63-51 with 11:27 on the clock, the Saints gradually chipped away at their deficit until a three-pointer by Ryan Oliver on the right wing with 5:18 remaining in regulation gave Siena a 68-67 lead against Iona, and the Gaels were unable to regain the advantage the rest of the way, which ended a seven-game Saints losing streak that dated back to January 23, 2012, when Iona saw a 21-2 run to start the game evaporate in a 65-62 loss at the Times Union Center. A.J. English led the home team with 31 points and eight assists, but the Gaels' lack of success from beyond the arc played a major role in the outcome.

"We knew what we had to do to win the game, and 8-for-30 (from three-point range) is not in that recipe," said Tim Cluess as Iona suffered just the ninth home loss of his six-year tenure at the helm. "I just thought we had a four or five-minute stretch where we didn't play as hard as we've been playing the last few games."

After Siena gained the lead for good, Javion Ogunyemi (19 points) and Isaiah Williams (20 points) traded layups before Nico Clareth drove in for a layup to extend the lead to three. After Jordan Washington made one of two free throws, a three-pointer by Bisping made it a two-possession affair, with Clareth's stepback jumper from the left elbow putting the Saints up seven with 2:17 to play.

"He might be the best freshman in this conference," Cluess said of Clareth, who posted 20 points off the bench as he furthers his case for both Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year honors. "He's terrific."

Iona would once again draw within one, and after Siena missed free throws in the final seconds, the door was still open for the Gaels to tie in the final seconds. However, English's halfcourt heave at the buzzer grazed the backboard and bounced off, allowing Siena to escape with a crucial win heading into another pivotal road game on Friday against Rider.

"This is a great win for us," Bisping said before cutting to the chase. "But we have to get ready for the next one."

Pink Whistle: Hoop Heaven Tournament


Waldwick, NJ -­ Games chronicled here were actually one week ago. They do bear mention. The Hoop Heaven tournament features boys and girls games from fourth to eighth grade. Each one is two twenty-minute running time halves, with dead ball stoppage the last two minutes of the game. Two games were on tap on the first night, a Friday evening.

Tiger Sharks 31, Uptown Stars 18

A sixth-grade girls game where pressing was allowed (mistake). Let us say it was less than an artistic beauty to begin. Both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm, though the Tiger Sharks had size and as the half wore down, were starting to jell. Both coaches from Uptown commented on every call or no-call. In officiating, we are taught to just deal with head coaches. The late Edgar Cartotto used to say, “deal with five-star generals, not buck privates.” During a timeout, I ask the one coach if she is the head coach. She replied that she was. “Then your assistant does not talk to us,” I answered. She told the assistant to cease commenting and we moved on.

In the second half, the Tiger Sharks established a lead and were able to pull away. Uptown was constantly reaching in, bumping ball handlers and playing poor defense. My partner then commented to me, “isn’t it always the case, the coaches complaining the most are the worst teachers of the game.” Good point, and unfortunately true.

Tiger Sharks 29, Game Time 24

My final game was a seventh-grade contest. Thought the Game Time coach looked familiar, and I later found out I was right. The game is close from the early minutes, as both teams go on mini runs of four or six unanswered points. Neither can pull away. The Tiger Sharks have a girl over six feet, a respectable player, good in close and emphasizes the axiom, ‘you can’t teach height.’

Unlike game one, both coaches are a pleasure to work for. Listening to the Game Time coach, it is evident she knows the game very well and played at a high level. At the half, I asked where she played. ‘Iona College,” was the reply. Then the memory came back. Jenny Jurevich, graduated from Iona in 2007 and played for Tony Bozzella. I worked for her before and enjoyed it immensely.

The second half sees the Tiger Sharks bringing the ball up. We are behind the time line, no pressure, so I softly ask Jenny if Marissa Flagg (Seton Hall Director of Basketball Operations) was a teammate. She said, “yes.” At that split second, a Game Time defender came out of nowhere to try for a steal. She bodied her opponent and I had the foul no sooner than our two-sentence exchange ended.

Game Time drops a close one. Coach Jurevich reminds her team they have a 5 p.m. game tomorrow here in this same tournament. She goes over a few things and leaves the girls on a note of encouragement. In these days where good coaching, especially on these lower levels, is vital yet hard to come by, the Game Time girls are so fortunate to call Jenny ‘coach.’

It was the last game of the night. Jenny has no time for an interview, but is interested for a future date. We briefly discuss the Iona days and I tell her as a former Iona Gael, she would be happy to hear I gave up the opportunity to cover a Marist game to officiate her contest. She enjoyed hearing that. Last thing I said, “change the name of your press offense from St. John’s, what would coach Tony (Bozzella) say if he heard that.” That brought a good laugh and exclamation of agreement.

Game Time coach Jenny Jurevich, who played for Tony Bozzella at Iona:

Final call of Monmouth's win over Rider

Courtesy of Monmouth University Athletics and The Shore Sports Network, here is the final call of the Hawks' come-from-behind 79-78 victory over Rider Friday night, where Justin Robinson's three-pointer with 3.8 seconds remaining erased the remnants of a 14-point deficit, as called by Eddy Occhipinti and Steve Bazaz:

Friday, February 12, 2016

St. Bonaventure 76, Fordham 72: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

Bronx, NY -­ The coaches tell us, especially after an early season setback, the season is a marathon, not a sprint. The conference portion of the season, moving from the athletic analogy, is like an extensive book with a number of chapters. Each week is similar to a new chapter, as the conference games are filled with surprises, upsets, injuries etc. All you can pack in roughly eight or so weeks.

On Wednesday, St. Bonaventure traveled to Rose Hill Gym to face Fordham. The Bonnies came in with a 7-­3 Atlantic 10 record. The improved Rams were still below .500 in conference battles, with a 3-­7 mark.

Coach Mark Schmidt expected his Bonnies to be in a battle. Fordham, in that regard, did not disappoint. The Rams fell behind by ten in the second half. They fought back to take a late lead, but were unable to finish the job. The game necessitated an extra session. Overtime can sometimes border on annoyance. Not on this night. Two teams putting it all on the floor in a fast moving game.

The extra session saw the Bonnies utilize a late run to earn a hard-fought 76­-72 victory. While the teams were several games separated in the win-­loss column, no one expected an easy game for the visitors. A team looking to take the next step and playing in front of their home crowd would be no ‘easy out.’ In the end, Schmidt could take satisfaction in the “bottom line,” a road victory. Fordham mentor Jeff Neubauer was pleased his club competed with what he terms “an elite club.” Neubauer reiterated the Rams would not settle for getting close. They need to finish these off, and more work is ahead.

On the wintry, cold night at Rose Hill, another storyline is entered in the Atlantic 10 season. All part of another chapter in the conference’s comprehensive work.

Backcourt play as St. Bonaventure battles Fordham at Rose Hill:
A Ram fan with a message for head coach Jeff Neubauer:
Fordham's outstanding dance team entertains during a timeout:
St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt studies the action:
The Bonnies inbounding against the Fordham defense:
Officials Paul Faia, Rob Riley, and Jamie Luckie huddle late in the game:
Jeff Neubauer meets the media after a tough overtime loss:

Manhattan 84, Quinnipiac 77: 5 Observations

A handful of takeaways that span both sides after Manhattan erased a 13-point deficit with a 22-5 run spanning the end of the first half and beginning of the second half, coming from behind to defeat Quinnipiac.

  • Manhattan's rebounding efforts were exceptional, all things considered.
    Very few teams are able to get the better of Quinnipiac on the boards, a testament to how aggressive the Bobcats' style is, emphasizing the need to attack the glass. For Manhattan, just four days removed from a lackluster showing in the rebound department against Fairfield, their minus-1 margin could be described for all intents and purposes as a win. "Give Fairfield credit for taking it to us on the glass," Steve Masiello prefaced his remarks on the Jasper rebounding by saying, "and then we play one of the best rebounding teams in the country, especially offensively, and we play them to only one rebound. When you know what your opponent's going to do to you, and you can come back at them with that, that's a great sign for you."

    "Rebound, rebound, rebound," Calvin Crawford recounted when addressing his preparation for Quinnipiac's style. "This team is crazy on the glass, so that's all I was saying to myself. Good things happened from there."

  • Despite Quinnipiac bottling up Shane Richards, the senior still made an impact.
    In Manhattan's last three games against the Bobcats, Richards has been held to just 4-for-31 shooting, including an 0-for-11 night last year and a 1-for-12 struggle Thursday night. However, the senior found a different way to beat Quinnipiac, showcasing his floor game to the tune of a career-high seven assists. "We knew that coming into the game, they were going to take Shane away, and give them credit for that," Masiello said of Tom Moore's defensive strategy. "The thing I was more proud about with Shane is that he goes and gets seven assists with one turnover. I thought he facilitated from the point forward spot." But for Quinnipiac's plan to minimize Richards, the Bobcats did not account for Manhattan's supporting cast stepping up.

    "Obviously, we focused a ton of effort and attention on Shane Richards, and got the result we wanted," Tom Moore said, "but we didn't really play with as much attention, focus, or determination against (Zane) Waterman, (Rich) Williams, and Calvin Crawford. I just don't think we, individually, got the point across that these guys were playing really well."

  • On the bright side for the Bobcats...
    (...and in an unrelated note, Manhattan's pep band debuted an excellent rendition of The Killers' 2004 hit "Mr. Brightside" during the second half)

    Quinnipiac moved the ball extremely well against Manhattan's pressure defense, recording 20 assists on 26 made field goals for a 76.9 percent assist rate. "I'm proud of our guards, I really am," Moore proclaimed. "I thought they listened to the scouting report, I thought they paid attention really well. I thought our guards were courageous, I really did. There were a lot of good performances offensively by our guards. I thought they did a good job."

  • The Bobcats' two junior college transfers have grown more than expected.
    Playing off the bench, Donovan Smith amassed nine points, seven rebounds, and four blocked shots in 18 minutes, while Daniel Harris' 16 points were a team high, bolstered by a perfect 5-for-5 showing from three-point range. "He's been great, he really has," Moore said of Smith. "I love his hands, his touch, his skill set. He's got good timing, he wants you to affect your shot. He's come a long, long way for a junior college kid, real quickly. I'm really excited to see how he ends this season, and what he can do next year."

    Of Harris, who ended the night with five assists to supplement his 16 points, Moore described his outing as simply "terrific." "We asked him to do some things that are out of his comfort zone again tonight, and he was solid with it. He took really good shots, and the five assists are just as impressive as the 5-for-5 from three. He moved the ball, made the extra pass right to the very end. He's got a good feel and a good sense for what we're trying to do."

  • Road warriors?
    Manhattan's next four games will be played away from Draddy Gymnasium, beginning on Saturday against a Marist team that used a late run to steal a win from the Jaspers in December. From there, the scene shifts to two pivotal matchups against a pair of teams in the top half of the MAAC standings in Monmouth and Saint Peter's, respectively, before a rematch with this same Quinnipiac team one week from Sunday. Manhattan has just two road wins this season, a non-conference victory against Morgan State and a 94-86 triumph over Canisius that was highlighted by 32 points from Richards in a shootout with the Golden Griffins. While Masiello praised his team's efforts on their home floor, he pulled no punches with the second part of the equation for success in February and March. "Good teams win on the road," he bluntly stated, "and we've got to figure out how to win on the road."

Jaspers score 53 in second half to take down Quinnipiac

Zane Waterman led Manhattan with 19 points and 11 rebounds as Jaspers rebounded from loss to Fairfield to knock off Quinnipiac, 84-77. (Photo courtesy of Vincent Simone via Big Apple Buckets)

RIVERDALE, NY -- As his team prepared for a stretch of four games in seven days, Steve Masiello was admittedly intrigued to see how Manhattan would respond to the daunting quirk in the schedule.

One quarter of the way through their de facto gauntlet, the Jaspers passed their first test, albeit with a little difficulty to start.

Trailing by as many as 13 points late in the first half, Manhattan (10-12, 7-6 MAAC) stormed out of the locker room on an 18-5 run to begin the second half, a period in which they scored 53 points and shot a blistering 71 percent (17-for-24) from the floor, to defeat Quinnipiac (8-15, 5-9 MAAC) by the final of 84-77 at Draddy Gymnasium.

"I thought it was our best win of the year, for a variety of reasons," Masiello proclaimed. "I thought we trusted the process more than we ever have. I was so proud of this team because we didn't shoot it well in the first half, (but) grinded it out, made some adjustments at halftime, and we just kind of got into it."

Five Jaspers registered double-figure point totals, paced by Zane Waterman's 19, which; coupled with his 11 rebounds, gave the sophomore forward his second double-double of the season. Calvin Crawford and Rich Williams each tallied 18 points off the bench as Manhattan was able to combat an aggressive interior attack by outscoring Quinnipiac in the paint by a 32-22 margin.

"I'm just getting more comfortable playing with these guys," said Waterman, whose scoring average has ballooned to 11.2 points per game, third on the team. "I know my role better. Coach has emphasized me rebounding. The points will come."

"These guys are both good players," Masiello followed up, assessing Waterman and Crawford. "When they play hard and they don't worry about mistakes, they just worry about (the) next play, they're going to be fine. As long as you give an effort on defense and you're in your rotations, I don't worry about anything, and neither should you."

Trailing 40-27 with 1:27 to play before halftime after Quinnipiac took advantage of Manhattan's early shooting woes, the Jaspers scored 12 unanswered points between the end of the first half and beginning of the second, needing only 3:39 in which to do it. Layups by Waterman and RaShawn Stores, (15 points) the latter narrowly beat the buzzer to sound the intermission, brought the home team within single digits going into the locker room, at 40-31. Nine seconds removed from returning to action, a Crawford layup continued the run before Shane Richards (12 points, 7 assists) stole a Giovanni McLean pass and fed Stores for a three-pointer on the left wing. Following a Stores free throw, Richards would feed Williams for an alley-oop, electrifying the crowd and bringing Manhattan within one, before Williams struck again on a transition basket a minute later, prompting Bobcats coach Tom Moore to call timeout trailing 44-43.

"I was really upset with the last four possessions of the first half," Moore conceded. "We got trapped on the baseline, cowered and turned it over, we missed the front end of a one-and-one. We fell asleep in transition defense on the last play, and didn't box out on the play before that. Four straight trips, we made really bad plays, and took a 13-point lead with momentum and turned it into a nine-point lead. We just seemed to lose our edge and lose our toughness on the defensive end."

Next up for Quinnipiac is a home game with a Fairfield team the Bobcats beat on February 1, one that looms even larger considering a trip to the Hynes Athletics Center on Monday to face Iona appears next on the schedule after that.

"It's a big game," Moore said of the impending collision with Sydney Johnson and the Stags, who are firmly in the mix for a first-round bye in next month's conference tournament. "We felt good about ourselves after winning three in a row, now we lose two in a row. It becomes a big game but down the stretch, they're all going to be big."

All of Manhattan's next four contests are on the road, beginning with Marist on Saturday, but for the time being, the Jaspers will ride the high of Thursday's win before getting back to business to prepare for the Red Foxes.

"I just thought the team did a great job of really buying in and doing the things they needed to do to get a win," Masiello assessed. "A big part of that is these two guys (Crawford and Waterman). They're growing up before us."

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tempo Thursday: February 11, 2016


Bronx, NY - Tempo-free, with the courtside edition. St. Bonaventure edged Fordham, 76-72, in overtime Wednesday night. Both teams matched offensive efficiencies at 106 in a 70-possession game. The big story, as noted here many times, was turnovers. Fordham nearly got the win by forcing the Bonnies into a high 24 percent turnover rate. The Rams did shoot 34.6 percent from three. Of greater significance, though, was forcing the turnovers and getting 10 steals against a very good Bonnie backcourt.

We mention usage and list the five leaders in that category every week. What is it and how is it calculated? Usage is the possessions and individual uses in a game. On Basketball State, they have the lists by season and game, but the formula is another story. For the St. Bonaventure-Fordham game, the usages of two of the scoring leaders (according to Basketball State) were as follows:

Marcus Posley, St. Bonaventure: 24.64 percent of team possessions
Ryan Rhoomes, Fordham: 15.64 percent

Their stat lines:
Posley: 6/16 FG, 4/6 FT, 0 O-REB, 6 TO
Rhoomes: 10/13 FG, 3/6 FT, 5 O-REB, 0 TO

Using the team possession formula of
 FGA + (.475 * FTA) + TO - OR
we get these numbers:

Posley: 24.85
Rhoomes: 14.16

Not exact, but extremely close. Basketball State may be using a different multiplier with free throw attempts. That will be looked into for a further discussion. As of now, the possession formula applied to individuals yields a very similar result and is great to utilize as a game is in progress.

Now, with the midpoint passed, the records and efficiency margins, courtesy of Basketball State:
1) Dayton (10-1, +14)
2) VCU (9-1, +13)
3) Rhode Island (6-5, +11)
4) Saint Joseph's (9-2, +10)
5) George Washington (7-4, +10)
6) St. Bonaventure (8-3, +8)
7) Richmond (5-6, +6)
8) Fordham (3-8, +6)
9) Duquesne (5-6, +5)
10) Davidson (6-5, +1)
11) UMass (2-8, -5)
12) George Mason (2-9, -8)
13) Saint Louis (3-8, -9)
14) La Salle (1-10, -18)

Richmond leads in offensive efficiency while showing a record two games below the break-even mark. As noted previously, it’s the defense. The Spiders' 111 offensive efficiency is a result of a conference-leading 55 percent eFG mark, coupled with a better than average 18 percent turnover rate. What coach Chris Mooney is trying to figure out is how to improve the 105 defensive efficiency, one of the poorest in conference.

Defensive liabilities:
1) La Salle (111)
2) Davidson (108)
3) Richmond (105)

On the other side, these are the most efficient (by numbers) offenses in the league:
1) Richmond (111)
2) Davidson (109)
3) George Washington (109)
4) St. Bonaventure (108)
5) VCU (107)
6) Dayton (107)

The fastest offenses from a possession standpoint:
1) Duquesne (74.9 possessions per game)
2) Davidson (74.2)
3) UMass (73.9)
4) VCU (72.5)
5) Saint Joseph's (71.7)

On the opposite end of the possession spectrum:
1) Rhode Island (66.3 possessions per game)
2) La Salle (67.8)
3) George Mason (68.6)
4) George Washington (69.2)
5) Dayton (69.4)

A word, or two, regarding possessions. Last year, the fastest team in conference was UMass, at 70.0 possessions per game. The most deliberate, Richmond,  with 60.7 possessions. To date, nine of the fourteen teams in the A-10 are at 70 or better in the possession category. A combination of factors at work here. The shot clock being reduced by five seconds undoubtedly has had an impact. The other idea can be linked to turnover rate. Every conference team is under 20 percent in turnover rate. The result sees possessions played through and the game maintaining a better flow.

The defensive leaders in efficiency:
1) Dayton (93)
2) Saint Joseph's (94)
3) Rhode Island (94)
4) George Washington (94)
5) Fordham (96)

Usage leaders:
1) Jack Gibbs, Davidson (34.27 percent of team possessions)
2) Jordan Price, La Salle (31.74)
3) Trey Davis, UMass (29.92)
4) Terry Allen, Richmond (28.31)
5) Melvin Johnson, VCU (27.87)