Monday, November 06, 2006

Exhibition Game 2: St. Augustine's

This could be...interesting. St. Augustine's returns the top three scorers in the CIAA, all of whom are on the pre-season all-conference first team. The Falcons are experienced, up-tempo, and by Div-II standards, at least, a very good offensive team. With an offense centered around three efficient scorers, it's no surprise that they put up a lot of points. Let's take a look at the trio (numbers from 05-06 season):

    Player  /  %Poss  /  O Rtg

1) Antonio Fitzgerald / 25.9 / 115
2) Nicholas King / 25.3 / 115.3
3) Claude Neeley / 23.3 / 115.9

No other St. Aug's regular used more than 17% of the team's possessions while on the court.

     Player  /  %Shots

1) King / 27.4
2) Neeley / 26.5
3) Fitzgerald / 26.2

Needless to say, these are the guys who are going to be doing most of the shooting against the Pack on Tuesday. They combined to take 63% of the team's shots against Carolina last week, and that was with King only logging 12 minutes. Fitzgerald took 22 shots and Neeley took 15.

What makes them efficient, other than the fact that they shoot well, is their ball security. Fitzgerald's TO% was 18.7% last year, impressive for a point guard; King and Neeley were right around 15%.

Antonio Fitzgerald (6-1, 180) -- Averaged 22.2 points per game last year to lead the CIAA. Good free throw shooter (as is the team in general) and shoots well from behind the arc (53-158, .379). Scored 27 points against the Heels. His FTA/FGA of .40 is excellent for a guard, so I'm sure he isn't lacking for quickness.

Nicholas King (6-7, 195) -- Hit 43% (82-190) of his threes--and only 41% of his twos. Has decent defensive rebounding numbers, but his offensive rebounding suffers from all those three-point attempts.

Claude Neeley (6-3, 180) -- I'm trying to figure this out... despite his height/weight, he averaged almost 9 rebounds a game and was the team's best offensive rebounder. In addition to 19 pts/game. He won't take many shots from outside and he doesn't get to the line as often as the other two guys.

One other guy to keep an eye on: Barry Jones (6-2, 190), who scored 18 points on the Heels and looks to be a great three-point shooter.

A brief tempo-free stats service announcement as it relates to the St. Aug's/UNC game: behold the perils of failing to account for pace! A recent Pack Pride thread suggested that the Heels defense was in trouble because St. Aug's scored 79 points. However, both the Falcons and the Tar Heels like to push it, which resulted in a seriously up-tempo contest with almost 90 possessions.

79 points allowed divided by 90 possessions = a defensive efficiency of 88. That's good defense.