Friday, March 06, 2015

Morning News: Bubble Watch, Davidson Destroys VCU, Stanford Loses To Arizona State, And Kendall Gray's 30/30

Shaq McKissic had the shot of the night.

Bubble Watch Arkansas became the 18th team locked into the Tournament, and Davidson pulled themselves off the bubble, which is down to just 14 teams for 9 spots. The whole bubble is at the link.

Davidson Destroys VCU Davidson is the precise type of opponent VCU doesn't want to play. VCU needs to turn opponents over to get stops and scores, yet Davidson is third in the nation with a turnover rate of only 14.4%. They committed turnovers on just 17% of possessions here. This season, VCU is 0-6 when forcing turnovers on fewer than 20% of possessions, compared to 21-3 when forcing turnovers on more than 20% of possessions. Of course, that doesn't explain why this wasn't just a loss for VCU but a 27 point rout. The reason for that was 1-for-15 three-point shooting for VCU compared to 11-for-26 for Davidson.

Davidson has lost five of their last eight games, though this is the only one of those five losses decided by more than four points in regulation. In other words, VCU isn't playing as well as they did with Briante Weber, but their death is being exaggerated. This was a bad performance, of course, but it's their only truly bad performance with Treveon Graham in the lineup. Count them out of the Atlantic Ten tournament at your peril.

Davidson is moving closer to an NCAA Tournament bid, powered by an offense rated by Pomeroy as one of the ten best in the nation (their 1.13 PPP in conference play is easily tops in the Atlantic Ten). They are now 13-4 in Atlantic Ten play and up to 32nd in RPI, with two RPI Top 50 wins (the other came over Dayton). It's a resume that, if the season ended now, would definitely put them in the NCAA Tournament. To stay in they need to avoid a bad loss in their season finale at Duquesne, and probably just one more win in the A-10 tournament. Of course, they have a real chance to earn the 1 seed in that tournament.

Stanford Loses To Arizona State Stanford has faded badly down the stretch, losing six of their last nine, including three that will be considered "bad" losses for bubble teams. They've had all sorts of problems, from offense to defense to everything in between. Here they committed 17 turnovers and also could not defend Shaq McKissic, who was 7-for-9 on two-pointers and led all players with 23 points.

Stanford is just 9-8 in Pac-12 play and 11-11 against the RPI Top 200 with an RPI that has slipped out of the Top 60. With zero big scalps, Stanford would definitely be in the NIT if the season ended now. They could get right back in by winning at Arizona on Saturday, but that's obviously extremely unlikely. With a loss there, Stanford might have to get all the way to the Pac-12 tournament title game to avoid the NIT.

Kendall Gray Goes For A 30-30 Amere Gray scored 40 points for Delaware State in a game that didn't go overtime, yet somehow he's a footnote, because his teammate Kendall Gray went for 33 points and 30 rebounds. How incredible is that? Well, Gray is only the fourth Division I player since 1980 to have 30 rebounds in a game. The 30/30 game? I honestly can't even figure out the most recent example, but it certainly hasn't happened since 1980 and you might have to go back to the days of Wilt Chamberlain, which aren't even really comparable to modern basketball. Both of these two teams now head off to the MEAC tournament, where they will play in the first round early next week.


nuclearbdgr said...

Did Dr. J ever have a 30/30 game? He racked up some incredible rebounding numbers.

Jeff said...

Good guess! I looked it up and Dr. J did it twice. A 36/32 vs Syracuse on 2/22/71 and a 33/30 vs St. Michael's on 12/29/70.