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Know Your (Temporary) Rival: Old Dominion Monarchs

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A beneficiary of the fact that there are now roughly 26 post-season tournaments in college basketball, Old Dominion rode a hot finish to their regular season (they finished winning 10 of 12) to a berth in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, defeating The Citadel, Belmont, James Madison, and Bradley on the way to the crown.  The Monarchs finished 25-10 last year and are both big and experienced in 2009-10.  They've played nothing but chumps so far (we know the feeling), but they have been untouched in rolling to a 4-0 start.

Old Dominion: 4-0

ODU Opp
Points Per Minute
1.94 1.25
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.21 0.78
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.32 0.97
2-PT FG% 51.9% 43.2%
3-PT FG% 44.2% 22.0%
FT% 69.9% 60.0%
True Shooting % 58.0% 43.3%
ODU Opp
Assists/Gm 18.3 8.3
Steals/Gm 7.3 6.3
Turnovers/Gm 13.3 14.5
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.92 1.00
ODU Opp
Expected Offensive Rebounds 46 50
Offensive Rebounds 55 37
Difference +9 -13
  • ODU's season thus far:

    ODU 69, Bethune-Cookman 38
    ODU 98, Longwood 59
    ODU 73, Liberty 41
    ODU 70, Marshall 62
  • Where the Monarchs are solid:  They shoot well, they pass well, and they rebound very well.
  • Where the Monarchs are less than solid: Considering their pace, they probably turn the ball over a bit too much, and in a small sample size, they aren't a great free throw shooting team.  Otherwise, though, they've been very well-rounded, albeit against iffy competition.

Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min Line
Gerald Lee (6'10, 250, Sr.) 13.1 0.49 26.5 MPG, 13.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.0 APG
Kent Bazemore (6'5, 190, So.) 11.4 0.51 22.5 MPG, 9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.5 SPG
Ben Finney (6'5, 220, Jr.) 9.6 0.40 23.8 MPG, 9.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.5 APG
Frank Hassell (6'8, 245, Jr.) 8.9 0.48 18.8 MPG, 7.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG
Marsharee Neely (6'2, 190, Sr.) 7.8 0.36 21.8 MPG, 9.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.5 APG
Keyon Carter (6'8, 218, Jr.) 6.7 0.33 20.0 MPG, 7.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG
Chris Cooper (6'9, 215, So.) 5.8 0.53 11.0 MPG, 6.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG
Trian Iliadis (6'3, 185, So.) 5.8 0.47 12.3 MPG, 5.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG
Darius James (6'1, 170, Jr.) 3.6 0.14 25.5 MPG, 4.8 PPG, 4.8 APG, 1.3 RPG, 2.5 TOPG
Nick Wright (6'8, 205, Fr.) 3.1 0.41 7.7 MPG, 4.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG
Marquel De Lancey (6'0, 190, So.) 2.5 0.20 12.3 MPG, 2.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.8 APG

* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds.  It redistributes a team's points based not only on points scored, but also by giving credit for assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls.  It is a stat intended to determine who had the biggest overall impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.

  • This team represents another nice challenge for Mizzou.  They've got size and depth.  Frank Hassell was the CollegeInsider.com Tourney MVP last year, but the most dangerous big man is Gerald Lee.  He doesn't rebound amazingly well for his size, but he is pretty well-rounded overall.
  • Marsharee Neely and Trian Iliadis are the 3-point specialists.  They have combined to take 26 of ODU's 52 3-pointers, making 12 of them.
  • Meanwhile, I assume Darius James is a tremendous defender and solid overall quarterback, as his minutes are nearly empty statistically.  He's a decent assist man but a terrible shooter.
  • In all, this team goes at least ten deep, with ten players averaging at least 11 minutes per game.  They also play a slow brand of basketball, averaging just 64 possessions per game, below the national average.  As means of comparison, Mizzou has averaged about 77 possessions per game so far.

Keys to the Game

  1. Pace.  This is one of those games where you'll probably be able to tell who one simply by how many possessions the game had.  If it's closer to ODU's preferred 64, they're in good shape.  If Mizzou speeds them up and gets into the mid-70s, they have to like their chances.

  2. Rebounds.  ODU has been dominant on the boards so far; they will be a very good test for Mizzou's long, lean big men.  At 250 and 245, Gerald Lee and Frank Hassell are bigger than anybody Mizzou will throw at them, sans Steve Moore of course.  Unless Mizzou is making 3's at the rate they were making them against Chattanooga, they'll need to have at least some presence on the glass, and ODU might be able to dictate the action there.

  3. Zaire Taylor.  ODU's stats suggest a pretty stiff defensive team, so it will be up to the point man, Mr. Coffee, to make sure Mizzou's offense responds to its toughest defensive challenge so far.  A good night from Mr. Coffee means a berth in the finals.

Prediction

This a pretty tough matchup for Mizzou, but if they play their game better than ODU plays theirs, they'll win.  We'll say the pace eventually overtakes the Monarchs, and Mizzou wins 79-66.