Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday Festival: Ray Floriani's Tempo-Free Analysis

Emmy Andujar and head coach Steve Masiello meet the media after Manhattan opened Holiday Festival against Rutgers at Madison Square Garden. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)

NEW YORK CITY – Rutgers defeated Manhattan in the Holiday Festival opener at Madison Square Garden. A key factor in the contest was the second half. As Manhattan made a run, they could not take a lead nor draw even. Rutgers stayed ahead and closed it out from the free throw line.

Possessions: 63 (pedestrian pace)

Offensive Efficiency:

Rutgers 100

Manhattan 87

Four Factors:

eFG: Rutgers 49, Manhattan 40
FT Rate: Rutgers 61, Manhattan 49
OREB Pct: Rutgers 48, Manhattan 31
TO Rate: Rutgers 33, Manhattan 22

Manhattan enjoyed a 34­-26 lead in points in the paint, not a surprise. Shot charts revealed that in the second half. Manhattan scored 10 field goals, with the longest being a fifteen-footer. Rutgers was held to six second half field goals, four by Kadeem Jack. Free throw rate was a bit inflated on Rutgers' side as Manhattan was in a late game ‘fouling’ mode to extend the contest.

Rutgers turned the ball over one of every three possessions. Coach Eddie Jordan addressed that as the Scarlet Knights’ offense is still struggling while the defense is acceptable. Jordan pointed to holding Manhattan to a low field goal percentage and forcing turnovers. The defensive efficiency of the Scarlet Knights was outstanding as well.

Jack, a 6-­9 senior, led all with 24 points and an outstanding efficiency of 34. Jordan pointed out the need for Jack to be effective, as Rutgers hopes to do the same. He came through in a big way. The Jaspers were paced by Emmy Andujar, with 21 points and an efficiency of 23. Rutgers improved to 6­-4 while Manhattan is now 2­-6.

The second game saw St. John’s handily defeat Fordham 74-­53. The pace was in the moderate mid-sixties.

Possessions: Fordham 65, St. John’s 64

Offensive Efficiency:

St. John’s 116

Fordham 82

Four Factors:

eFG: St. John's 54, Fordham 44
FT Rate: St. John's 36, Fordham 35
OREB Pct: Fordham 35, St. John's 30 
TO Rate: Fordham 31, St. John's 13

With 3:48 to go in the first half, Chris Obekpa was finished for the afternoon after being assessed a second technical foul. When the 6­-10 junior center went to the bench, St. John’s led 28­-25. From that vantage point, the game changed drastically as the Red Storm exploded on the offensive end. The effective field goal rate and scarcity of turnovers (8 on the game) illustrate the efficiency of an offense checking in at 116.

Offense was fueled also by an outstanding defense. The Rams not only had a high 31% turnover rate, but 28 St. John’s points (a 28-­4 edge) came off Fordham turnovers.

Rysheed Jordan led all scorers with 24 points. The St. John’s sophomore guard also checked in with an efficiency of 28. While praising the play of Jordan, St. John’s coach Steve Lavin also spoke highly of the performance given by Jamal Branch. The senior guard scored only two points, but contributed seven assists against no turnovers in 25 minutes.

Eric Paschall led Fordham with 14 points and an efficiency of 12. Mandell Thomas’ efficiency was 11. The Ram junior guard scored 11 points and had 7 steals. Offsetting those numbers was 4-of-11 shooting from the field and 3-for-9 from the line.

St. John’s is now 8­-1, the only loss being to Gonzaga in the Pre­-Season NIT final. Fordham dropped to 3­-5.

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