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Author: [College Basketball] Topic: Tuesday Hoops
nropp11
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#1
Posted: 2/28/2012 1:59:25 PM
November: 46-38, +5.20
November Leans: 39-38
December: 65-70, -9.45
December Leans: 67-79
January: 52-39, +15.80
January Leans: 40-37
February: 55-41, +51.10
February Leans: 52-45


A few weeks ago while listening to a Depaul radio broadcast prior to the Louisville game, I was able to catch a quote from Coach Oliver Purnell with his feelings not only on that game, but the season as a whole. He was quick to the point – Louisville was a big game, always is at home, and he was excited to take the court with what would be a home game, but a crowd dominated by Louisville faithful who packed over 50+ busses to make the trip. He was excited, and wanted that game rather badly. He ultimately failed in OT. Since that contest, they’ve gone on the road and had a home game against two teams that mirror their style of play in just about every aspect of the game (speed, pressure, guard play), and they’ve failed in those two games against the bottom feeders in the conference. They just lost to Providence; that was the first Big East road victory for Providence in 775 days. Prior to that, they failed to cover a small line at St. John’s, a game that if St. John’s would have put on the press, the margin would have been even wider than the 7 points. It’s been a rough week for Depaul, not only did they lose the game they wanted, they’ve failed against some bottom competition in the exact style they want to play. Back to the Purnell quotes in that pregame. As he talked about the season, he went on and on about being young, and getting better, and switching lineups and trying to find the right lineup, and yadda yadda yadda. But what he ended with caused me to dig deeper. And I quote: “Until next year, we are going to struggle immensely against teams that have size. We can’t run our sets for Melvin, we’re forced to push in transition more, and quite frankly, we don’t want to settle for long jump shots, but we almost have to do so. We have a few games coming up that are winnable, before we end a few against some taller teams, so we’ll see what happens.” End quote. What he said seemed to make sense. This is a Depaul team that lacks consistent scoring, and relies heavily on Melvin putting the ball in the bucket. So, I went to the stats to try and find a reason why. First, Depaul doesn’t get to the foul line. They’re the fourth worst in the country, the only teams that frequent the line less are Seattle, Longwood, and Troy. They give up an insane amount of offensive rebounds, they allow teams to shoot an insane amount of three’s out of their zone, and they can’t defend inside the arc as they are the worst BCS school in the country at defending two-pointers. Coincidentally, West Virginia is the only other team in the Big East that allows opponents to shoot above 50% in regards to two-pointers, and I will expand on that in a bit. Back to the quote and back to the digging, here are the top half teams in the Big East in terms of size:

Syracuse
Uconn
Depaul
Georgetown
South Florida
Villanova
Seton Hall
West Virginia

Here are the margins of defeat against these opponents: 8, 21, 26, 16, 16, 21. 

Pretty mind-boggling. Even worse, the only team they’ve played with size in this current 8 game losing streak was at Uconn. They’re playing the competition they want (teams with no size), and they’re still not getting the job done. Taking a closer look, the only game margin that came outside of today’s listed line of +13 was the 8 point loss at home against Georgetown. I’m OK with that. Georgetown was sort of without Markel Starks, a pivotal part of their ball-handling in a game that featured a full court press by Depaul and 18 Georgetown turnovers with the absence of Starks (and also a whopping five possession that Georgetown failed to get the ball across halfcourt that led to a Depaul 10-0 run). Now, lets take a look at what Depaul has done against the bottom half teams in the Big East in terms of size:

Loss by 17
Loss by 8
Loss by 2
Loss by 8
Loss by 7
Loss by 6
Loss by 13
Loss by 8
Win by 3
Win by 5

Only one of those games fell outside the listed line of +13 for today’s game. Maybe Purnell really does make sense at times. They do struggle with size and the numbers prove it. One last thing about the stats before I get into the actual game itself, is rebounding. I’m not a big fan of rebounding stats, but it’s almost impossible for me to ignore here. Here’s the rebounding advantages for the top half teams with size in the Big East against Depaul this year (team, rebounding margin):

Syracuse +5
Uconn +25
Georgetown +25
USF +14
Villanova +18
Seton Hall +2 

The real stat that matters in terms to rebounding margin in my opinion is the offensive glass. West Virginia currently ranks 8th in the country in crashing the glass. When you get those extra opportunities to score, you have extra opportunities to cover the line. In regards to the game itself, I think it’s pretty clear that Depaul is at a big disadvantage in regards to the match-up. They won’t be able to utilize Melvin on the inside, and he’ll be forced to go to the outside for his scoring along with the rest of the team. Simply put, with Depaul’s inability to get to the foul line, they’re one of the easiest teams in the country to defend, and I’ll take my chances going against it. I doubt Depaul would look past this one, and into immediate revenge from a 20+ point home loss to Seton Hall, but it’s possible...
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#2
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:00:04 PM
...It’s also possible that Depaul just tanks, as they have nothing to play for prior to the conference tournament whereas West Virginia’s not only playing for an at-large bid, but a chance to avoid playing in day 1 of the Big East Tournament (teams 9-16 play in Day 1). Motivation for West Virginia? Playing for a bid, Truck & Jones senior night in a fast pace that they thrive in (majority of WVU’s February schedule have come against snails), Jones clinching the Big East scoring and rebounding titles, and last regular season Big East home game, ever for WVU (as they leave for the B-12). Concern for West Virginia? As I alluded to early, the fact that they give up a FG% north of 50 inside the arc is certainly alarming, but if the opponent isn't even going to look to score there, why's it matter? Bob Huggins against Depaul’s hectic in recent years? 85 Points in just 66 possessions, 82 Points in just 65 possessions, 62 Points in just 57 possessions, and 82 Points in just 64 possessions. This one should be faster, no reason for WVU to slow the game coming off a bunch of snails in a game they should be able to put up a ton of points against the conference’s worst defense. Huggins ran earlier in the year, this was a top 100 pace team prior to the onslaught of snails and having no other choice but to slow it down come February. Tonight, he gets back to running, and should get an inspired effort from the Mountaineers.

5* West Virginia -13
3* Depaul/West Virginia Over 147.5

Other Notes: Wright State hits the road for its fourth (and probably final) straight roady without possibly its best interior defender in Battle into a place they have lost nine straight times in Hinkle Fieldhouse. I know Butler is down this year, but do you want to go against Brad Stevens in the third meeting of the season? Michigan State probably in a bad spot with look ahead to Ohio State, but I have concern with Indiana bouncing back after an emotional revenge game at Minnesota where every ball bounced their way. You could tell they wanted it Sunday, and you would think they want this one tonight, just a weeee bit concerned on short rest bouncing back. How does Arkansas rebound from finally winning a road game? Same for Providence? Wisconsin Green Bay going to the road for the third straight within a week, but also take in a five game winning streak that coincidentally started with a victory against Youngstown. First home opening conference game for Youngstown in years, so should be some added motivation. If you take out the victory over Youngstown where GB had revenge (and won every chance at revenge in a home setting this year), the other four games GB won were against some pitiful offenses (and yes, Cleveland State’s offense is pitiful without Brown). Wins came against #320, #291, and #271. I see a bit of value in Youngstown, enough to lean. I would put more value on Green Bay in terms of what I thought before the season started, but a few key injuries have negated that. Youngstown’s gonna shoot the three, and Green Bay’s help defense will allow it, just hope they aren’t too jacked up. Hunch play on the Memphis total pointing over. UCF wants to play slow, but they haven’t dictated tempo on the road at all against teams that want to run. These two played a faster paced 1H the first meeting, but slowed down in the 2H b/c of a close game and valuable possessions for both teams. With Memphis having revenge here, I don’t think this one will be as close as the first meeting was, and if I think that way and I think Memphis builds a lead, UCF’s going to have no choice but to run if they get down. Two defenses are good, but so are the offenses, and they’re familiar enough with one another and if UCF uses the zone, then Memphis will shoot more three’s than normal which isn’t a bad thing for the home team. I like Florida, not impressed with Vanderbilt defending anyone. I think Florida misses Yeguete in terms of depth, but more minutes for the efficiency guys and better defenders isn’t a bad thing. Just not worth trusting back end of roady with UK coming in Sunday. I’m leaning STL, and I think I’m getting a few more points of value after the horrific letdown at Rhode Island. This was the one game STL circled prior to the season, and said they had to win the home meeting with Xavier if they wanted to make noise. Hence, the letdown. Xavier’s road victories in the conference? Fordham, Charlotte, and George Washington (three of the bottom four teams in the conference). I think the revenge angle with Xavier is present within the season, but I also think STL has some revenge for Xavier walking in last year and winning on this court. Xavier’s lack of depth is just a big concern against a tough, physical St. Louis defense. Why the lean? For some odd reason, Majerus hasn’t won his final home game of the year since he’s arrived at St. Louis. Still value the motivation a bit more. I like Montana with revenge. Defense wins championships. Just a lean, I need to get away from all this chalk. Probably interested in a day game tomorrow. Done for the night.

2* UCF/Memphis Over 132

Lean: Youngstown State -2.5
Lean: St. Louis -7
Lean: Montana -4.5

GL
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#3
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:06:14 PM

Unreal work.  I can appreciate a true capper.  Nice....no amazing write-up.  I now must add.  GL to us both!

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#4
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:17:02 PM
GL NROPP 
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#5
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:17:37 PM
well done
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#6
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:21:49 PM
West virgina
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#7
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:25:16 PM

You're planning for a blowout and the over to hit.  Doesn't the over normally build in some points for the FT frenzy @ the end of the game?  That's why the 1H o/u is 69.5 while the FG is 147.5 (implying 2H o/u is 78).

I guess in blowout games, isn't the under normally the play?

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#8
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:39:30 PM
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#9
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:43:17 PM
good stuff nropp . gluck tonite
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#10
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:44:21 PM
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#11
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:47:12 PM
great writeup nropp, always a good read brotha
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nropp11
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#12
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:47:39 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by composite:

You're planning for a blowout and the over to hit.  Doesn't the over normally build in some points for the FT frenzy @ the end of the game?  That's why the 1H o/u is 69.5 while the FG is 147.5 (implying 2H o/u is 78).

I guess in blowout games, isn't the under normally the play?


I have no statistical analysis that shows a game pointing to the under if foul shots aren't present at the end of a game. 
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#13
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:49:50 PM
Win or lose, your capping is unbelievable

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#14
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:52:25 PM
Going to need a little more info on the WV game to convince me................kidding of course. Nice work.
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#15
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:58:14 PM
SLU has more motivation than X?
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#16
Posted: 2/28/2012 2:59:14 PM

Thoughts on the following if you have time my man:

Mich St./Indiana
Ole Miss/ Arkansas
Uconn/Providence
Xavier/StL
TCU?Wyoming

Thanks very much. Cheers.

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#17
Posted: 2/28/2012 3:15:50 PM

BOL tonight to all of us who tail you nropp11!!!

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nropp11
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#18
Posted: 2/28/2012 3:21:17 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by TRAIN69:

SLU has more motivation than X?

Very possible.
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#19
Posted: 2/28/2012 3:21:51 PM
  
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nropp11
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#20
Posted: 2/28/2012 3:24:01 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by ReadBtWtheLines:

Thoughts on the following if you have time my man:

Mich St./Indiana
Ole Miss/ Arkansas
Uconn/Providence
Xavier/StL
TCU?Wyoming

Thanks very much. Cheers.


Only game I didn't hit in the notes was TCU/Wyoming. TCU's only road victory within the conference is Air Force. Amazing how they are in contention with just one conference road win. If TCU can penetrate and create their own shot, they'll have a chance for an outright win. If they settle for jumpshots, they'll lose by 20.

GL
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#21
Posted: 2/28/2012 3:30:43 PM
Central Florida?
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#22
Posted: 2/28/2012 3:32:16 PM
Love West Virginia tonight also. Very nice job as always.   Really like Butler tonight too as Wright State couldn't score 55 if you left the basket uncovered. GL Everybody
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nropp11
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#23
Posted: 2/28/2012 3:34:17 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by tuck321:

Central Florida?

Probably some value, but assuming they aren't able to control tempo, I have no interest in backing them in an up and down game having to outscore Memphis.

GL
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#24
Posted: 2/28/2012 3:42:56 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by nropp11:


Only game I didn't hit in the notes was TCU/Wyoming. TCU's only road victory within the conference is Air Force. Amazing how they are in contention with just one conference road win. If TCU can penetrate and create their own shot, they'll have a chance for an outright win. If they settle for jumpshots, they'll lose by 20.

GL


Not so amazing, NR. That league has been home team heaven all season. Froggies are sure hot, so maybe they reverse that trend here. But personally, I can see them bouncing off the New Mexico game.

Dynamite stuff on DePaul-WVU. You sold me!

Good luck tonight!
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#25
Posted: 2/28/2012 3:47:28 PM
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