Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quick Thoughts From Wednesday's Games

Jack Eggleston buried his fourth three of the night out of the under eight media timeout to give the Quakers a 54-42 lead, and Penn was well on its way to its second victory in as many tries.

Then things went horribly wrong.

Rob Belcore turned the ball over. Then Tyler Bernardini hoisted a shot way too quickly. Then freshman Fran Dougherty blew a too-early-in-the-shot-clock-anyway layup. A couple more turnovers and three missed three later, the Quakers limped into the final media timeout up just 54-51 on host Manhattan.

While there were a couple key mistakes down the stretch - Conor Turley missing both free throws after being fouled on what was Penn's only non-three-point attempt down the stretch - it was that sequence which doomed the Quakers to inevitable defeat.

The Jaspers finished the game on a 17-0 run, as Penn failed to score over the final 7:46. The loss highlighted everything that could still be wrong with the Quakers: no consistent wing scoring threats, no complementary post player to Eggleston and a general lack of defensive tenacity, leading to more fouls and fewer forced turnovers.

The game against Davidson showed that Penn can get there, but the one versus Manhattan indicated that the Quakers aren't quite there yet.


Harvard 72, Holy Cross 49

  • With Keith Wright scoring 18 points, including a few nifty jumpers, and freshman Ugo Okam looking impressive (three blocks, six points) in his mere nine minutes of run, the frontcourt could wind up being a strength for the Crimson, not a weakness. When Casey returns, if he and Wright can log 55 minutes a game, and Okam finds the legs to go 15-20, that's 70-75 minutes of the 80 you would need out of a frontcourt rotation.
  • Freshman Laurent Rivard is still struggling (2-for-19 on the season), but he's still looking for and taking his shot. That's good news for Harvard, indicating a level of confidence not usually seen in a rookie.
  • Guards Brandyn Curry, Christian Webster and Oliver McNally all showed up last night. Curry had 12 assists, 10 points and seven rebounds while Webster and McNally had 12 and 10, respectively.
  • It's only been two games, but Harvard's defense has looked stellar. Offensive ratings for the Crimson's first two opponents have been 90 for George Mason and 76 for Holy Cross.
Cornell 75, Delaware 61
  • Chris Wroblewski returned, and though he didn't post eye-popping numbers, he looked like a leader at tenuous points in the second half, making important shots and free throws that kept the Big Red ahead as the Blue Hens crept closer.
  • Max Groebe had another nice game with 13 points and six rebounds. After struggling against Seton Hall, he pretty much duplicated his strong Albany stat line.
  • Aaron Osgood finished with his first bad performance of the season, forcing up 12 shots and making just four, while grabbing just three rebounds on the game. Against the better teams on Cornell's schedule, the Big Red won't be able to get away with such a flop out of Osgood.
St. John's 79, Columbia 66
  • It's becoming painfully obvious how much the Lions need a reliable interior scoring threat. Forwards Asenso Ampim and Brian Grimes took 20 shots and made just five. Max Craig and Mark Cisco combined to take one shot in 16 minutes. Ampim and Grimes have proven to be amazingly productive on the offensive boards, but Columbia needs scoring, not just rebounding.
  • The lack of an interior threat makes the Lions overly reliant on the temperature of its perimeter players. It's a simple concept, and it was the difference between a four-point lead for Columbia at the half (8-for-15 from three in the first) and a 13-point loss (2-for-7 from three and 6-for-24 from the floor after the break).
  • The Lions have been impressive over the first three games of the season, but it's hard to be sold on their ability to be competitive over 14 games just yet. Columbia needs to prove that its more than a chuck and chase team before it can really be included with the league's big boys.

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