Monday, January 02, 2012
W&M has earned every bit of their wince-inducing record, trailing their opponents in every offensive and defensive statistic except for free-throw percentage. Opposing teams outshoot, outrebound, outsteal, outblock, and outscore the Tribe. I'd go tempo-free on you, but a) the results would be just as ugly, and b) I forgot the G:TB kenpom.com password and I can't get in touch with the Teej to get it. Only two of the Wrens' 11 losses were by fewer than 10 points, while four of their losses were by more than 25. Tom Schalk and Andew Pavloff are the only Tribesmen making more than 50% of their field goals, and they've made a total of 22 buckets on the year. It's not a pretty picture.
As you can see, we've got 'em right where we want 'em as conference play begins in earnest. Shaver told caahoops.com's Michael Litos, "Our attitude and effort have been constant, and the fact that we’re starting to get a little healthier will help us get through a very difficult early season for us. I feel very good." So do we, Coach. So do we. We'll feel better if the Tribe can ratchet up its defensive efforts, though, as they're one of the least defensively efficient teams in the country - don't need stats to tell us that.
After today's game at Mason, the Tribe heads home to play much-improved James Madison on Wednesday and Delaware on Saturday. Quinn McDowell seems finally to be getting his legs back after an injury-filled offseason, scoring 18 and 20 in W&M's last two games. Tim Rusthoven missed the first six games of the season, but is averaging 10.3 points and a team-leading 6.6 boards in the last seven. Frosh Marcus Thornton has had some rookie moments, but he's the Wrens' most explosive player by a longshot, averaging 10.4 points despite an Iversonian 38.1% shooting stroke.
The Possum/Wrens are stretching as we write this, ready to...do whatever it is possums do after they wake. Just remember where you heard it first.