Tempo-free scrimmage analysis

Basketball got rolling this weekend and people were actually allowed to watch. Exhibitions at Long Island, Manhattan and Hofstra gave fans a glimpse of the future. Adelphi was very game against LIU and Manhattan, on back-to-back nights nonetheless, and Queens College gave Hofstra a fight before falling. All the box scores are available here, here and here. What you really want though is the tempo-free analysis after the jump.

Let’s commend Adelphi for playing two nights in a row at breakneck pace. The Panthers’ game against the Blackbirds was 77 possessions. The next night they played an even faster game against the Jaspers at 80 possessions. In two nights Chris Ranglin played 132 possessions. It’s a wonder he was even standing afterwards.

Here are the free throw rates for the six teams that played in the three exhibitions: 23.7%, 74.5%, 39.7%, 82.1%, 19.3%, 42.6%. Guess which ones are the Division I teams playing at home. Yeah, I thought so. Though Hofstra’s 42.6% is only slightly better than Adelphi’s 39.7% against Manhattan. The Jaspers need to learn to not foul so much when they get beat in the press.

Also notable was that the Pride were the only team to go over the point-per-possession threshold in the three scrimmages at 1.04 ppp. They did it thanks to a 50.9% effective field goal percentage, which came from strong work inside the arc (23-39, 60.0%) by the entire team.

Good defensive efforts keyed both Long Island and Manhattan’s victories over Adelphi. For LIU the defense came down to rebounding and preventing free throws. The Blackbirds held the Panthers to just seven offensive boards. Julian Boyd grabbed eight defensive rebounds as part of his 12-board night. The Jaspers took advantage of tired legs and held Adelphi to a 38.9% effective field goal percentage. Oddly it was Manhattan’s interior defense, including Rhamel Brown’s 10 blocks, that set the tone, as the Panthers shot 9-26 (34.6%) from three.

Overall, there wasn’t a ton to be gleamed from the statistics. It’s good to see Steve Masiello’s comments about wanting to play Rick Pitino’s Louisville style come to pass. The pace in this first scrimmage though was even faster than Pitino, whose teams have typically sat between 65 and 68 possessions per game. Maybe Adelphi likes to play fast? Maybe Masiello wants to kick it up a notch? If Manhattan really wants to play that tempo it should be a fun season.

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