Big Ten Wonk
Sunday, March 19, 2006
The name of this blog is now "Buckeye Wonk"
For Ohio State and the Big Ten have become synonymous, at least as far as post-season prospects. One comment....

Last night I watched teams from the state of Washington enjoy an 80-17 advantage in FTAs over the Big Ten. I cite these numbers not to rail against the officials but to file a request with the Big Ten's coaches. Give me more players like Ron Lewis of Ohio State, non-bigs who nevertheless have a knack for getting fouled. A Ron Lewis in an Illinois uniform last night changes the outcome. Coaches tirelessly preach pass-over-dribble and rightfully so. But we may be at the point where we've taken this healthy practice to an unhealthy extreme. There comes a time in any season where what's needed is an "I'm going to score or get fouled" drive to the tin. With the possible exception of Roderick Wilmont when the mood strikes him, neither Illinois nor Indiana has such a player. And that was a fatal flaw last night....

(5) Washington 67, (4) Illinois 64
With just seven additional free throws, the Huskies would have had more FTAs than FGAs. And that's not the statement of a conspiracy theorist, mind you, merely the observation of someone who would have preferred that the game have some other characteristic as the most prominent feature. This was kind of like a frustratingly choppy Little League game where walks determine the outcome. But Illinois most certainly helped this result along. (This game wasn't called the way I'd like, it's true. But it was clear from the game's early moments that this was indeed how it was going to be called. It's up to the team to adjust.) The Illini were up 11 with ten minutes left but for some reason stopped going to James Augustine, who was looking unstoppable. Possession after possession ended with threes being flung up as the shot clock neared zero. Oh for just one Jamar Smith make instead of five misses. Or if we could just subtract Justin Dentmon's four-point play. (When Dentmon-- a freshman shooting 27 percent on his threes for the season--jacked this one up from outside the arc before the first pass of the possession, this Illini fan was initially very happy. Until I saw the result.) But there it is: congratulations to the Huskies, a team with the length and talent (see Brandon Roy) to at least give some Connecticut some Albany moments. (Had the historic 1-16 upset actually been pulled off Friday night, an Illinois loss last night would have been much much more devastating to me.) More, congratulations--and thanks--to Augustine and Dee Brown, possessors of the most glittering Illinois careers in the program's history. (Box score.)

(3) Gonzaga 90, (6) Indiana 80
Good grief the Zags looked good--and without Adam Morrison looking good. Where did this come from? Someone correct me but I was under the impression that in Gonzaga's last three games they had: 1) needed OT to beat San Diego on the Zags' home floor; 2) beaten Loyola Marymount by one on the Zags' home floor; and 3) trailed for most of the game against a seriously undermanned Xavier team. Now this: 1.25 points per possession. Sure the FTAs helped. But the FTAs were the direct result of a savvy team using Morrison as a glorified decoy: while IU chased the long-locked one all over the floor, relative who-dat Zags were attacking the tin relentlessly. Gonzaga had six players in double-figures. The foul-plagued Marco Killingsworth played just 22 minutes and watched his team shoot 36 threes. (Cause-and-effect. Granted. Still....) The Hoosiers made a robust 44 percent of said threes. And lost by ten to a team that made just two threes. As noted above, I think last night can and should serve as something of a stylistic epiphany for my beloved Big Ten. (Box score.)

In today's less Wonk-ish venues....
One game, our last best hope. Outside shooting woes or no, if the Buckeyes, playing in Dayton for goodness sake, can't take care of a very young and very callow looking 7-seed, the Big Ten will deserve the resulting abuse....

(2) Ohio State vs. (7) Georgetown, Dayton (4:50pm ET)
Wonk 360: Ohio State in Dayton

Wonk back!
Don't just mutter ineffectually; email me!

<< Home

wonk back!
email me

a very special wonk
the blog's final days

me, simmons, and 150 million other american males
the four dullest topics for a hoops blog
drama, magnitude, and finality
2007 "power"-conference velocity report
special report: in tedium's path
stop DAD: defensive attention deficit
consistency, threes, and stereotypes
they shoot free throws, don't they?
every rebound needs an adjective
fouls: call fewer or allow more
was norman dale wrong?
what's PPWS?
POT: perimeter-oriented team
symphony of altruists
mammalian theory of extreme home-court advantage
law of november weight change
scoring and preventing points: how to

tempo-free aerials
(conf. games only)
big east
big ten
big XII

geek chorus
intro to tempo-free stats
2007 big ten team tempo-free stats
2006 big ten team tempo-free stats
2005 big ten team tempo-free stats
state of the stats, april '06

canonical bloggers
yoni cohen
ken pomeroy
kyle whelliston
ryan kobliska
chris west
brian cook

November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
August 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
August 2006
September 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
October 2007