Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This Week in Wrenball

We heaped a great deal of praise on Tribe frosh Marcus Thornton in the last TWiW. The dynamic youngster rewarded us with the worst week of his college career, averaging 5 points and 4 turnovers (and oddly, only taking a total of 7 shots in 52 minutes) as W&M (4-14, 2-4) split with Towson and Northeastern. Though the scientific method isn't our strong suit, we're pretty sure that these results are conclusive: we've got some serious jinx power.

We intend to put it to better use this week.

The Wrens head to a sold out Siegel Center to take on a very talented VCU squad in a nationally televised game on Thursday (7:00 on ESPNU). For our money, the Rams are the CAA's best team (ignore, if you will, our ballot in the weekly CAA Bloggers Poll - the whole poll thing is new to us), deep, athletic, and battle tested. Perhaps you've heard of them.

VCU (13-5, 4-2) stumbled twice two weeks ago, losing tight games to Georgia State and Drexel, but bounced back to hammer James Madison and beat Delaware comfortably. The Rams lead the league in offensive efficiency (1.06 points/possession) while holding opponents to 0.89 ppp in conference play. (The Wrens, on the other hand, get a mediocre 0.90 ppp on offense and yield 1.03 ppp.) Shaka Smart's balanced offense is led by 6'6" senior wing Bradford Burgess, who averages 14.2 points per game. Six other Rams average between 6.3 and 9.9 ppg, making them a matchup nightmare.

The Rams' vaunted Havoc defense is designed to force opponents to start their offense from uncomfortable spots on the court - a recipe for trouble for a team like the Tribe that depends on discipline and spacing. Freshman guard Brionte Weber leads the nation in steal percentage, recording a swipe 7.35% of the time he's on the court.

We could go on. The Tribe heads into the raucous Siegel Center on the wrong end of just about every statistical measure, hoping to avoid a nationally broadcast thrashing. Keep it close, boys.

Tomorrow's game begins a 5-game-in-10-day gauntlet for Tony Shaver's squad, with a roadie against ODU pairing with the VCU trip as the bread around a UNCW, Drexel, and @JMU sandwich. (And that sentence standing alone as a pained metaphor.) Hoping for 2-3, worried about 0-5, and wondering where the Wrens will find the depth to make it through.

(I hope you see how we wielded our new power there.)

39 comments:

Igor said...

Oh yeah? Well, VCU's Havoc defense is going to have to face the Tribe's HVAC offense!

(It blows.)

zman said...

Regarding the upcoming season of Mad Men, Matthew Weiner said "You like chocolate ice cream? I can’t make RICHER chocolate ice cream. I’m going to make orange sherbet this year. And if you don’t like it, you don’t like chocolate ice cream. It’s still ice cream.”

Sounds an awful lot like GFK's red velvet cake metaphor.

Dave said...

i'm not sure if reverse meta-jinxing actually works . . . if you are aware of the jinx power then i think you neutralize it.

Jerry said...

Here's what I learned last night:

If a penalty that warrants a penalty shot is committed by a team with an empty net, an automatic goal is awarded. The puck never has to go into the goal. First time I've ever seen that.

Also if Mike Miller makes all 6 of his 3 pointers every game the Heat are going to win a lot of games.

Jerry said...

Also nice use of steal percentage. The denominator is gaining steam in basketball discussion, which is a positive development.

rob said...

dave, i think you're fishing a bit with that analysis.

zman said...

Shane Battier's nickname should be The Denominator.

rob said...

not necessarily the tweet of a kid who is exactly comfortable in williamsburg:

@MarcusWM3 People look at me on my bike like i'm Deebo from Friday riding around lookin' to steal people jewelry..

Igor said...

Bartender just informed me that the kitchen is out of catfish today. He then asked why that was amusing.

Dave, we need you down here!

Dave said...

steal percentage? how do they determine if you "attempted" a steal and failed? did you have to foul the person? when it comes to steals, i am all denominator . . .

rob said...

percentage of the possessions you're on the floor that result in a steal by you.

rob said...

weber steals the ball once in every 14 defensive possessions he's on the floor. pretty good.

Jerry said...

Steal Percentage (available since the 1973-74 season in the NBA); the formula is 100 * (STL * (Tm MP / 5)) / (MP * Opp Poss). Steal Percentage is an estimate of the percentage of opponent possessions that end with a steal by the player while he was on the floor.

Danimal said...

thanks cliffy

Dave said...

thanks! that's a cool statistic. tonight is my pick-up basketball night, so i am going to compute this for myself and report back tomorrow.

Danimal said...

so paula deen and the die-a-betus heh?
a few weeks ago began reading "the china study" - anyone else read that? it's appropos given recent "cleansing" talks and new year resolutions, or so i think. i look at vegetarians differently and will even consider conversing with them now.

T.J. said...

I bet danimal got done reading that book and wanted to read it again an hour later.

Danimal said...

haven't "got done" yet teejus but what if? why you gotta hate?

T.J. said...

I will not make jokes about Chinese food any more, danimal.

T.J. said...

In other news, courtesy of Shlara I will be attending the Wiz/Thunder game tonight. Wiz will lose by 40+ probably. But Shlara is psyched to see her guy Kevin Durant.

zman said...

I thought Jay Wright was her guy? How many guys does Shlara have? Strong pimp hand on her.

Igor said...

To be fair, Teej, they don't have Chinese food in Winchester, VA. It was a pretty big deal there when the McDonald's started offering the breakfast burrito.

Danimal said...

April 5th 1994. awesome day. got wrecked.

rob said...

shlara's midrange is solid

rob said...

when does our sofa protest start?

zman said...

rob! Puns! Crosspromotion! You win the internet today.

Shlara said...

Kevin Durant is my favorite NBA player.

Jay Wright is on my list, along wtih hot hot Adam Scott the golfer, Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor from FNL) and Danny Ferry for old time's sake.

There's a difference.

Dave said...

i don't know why you guys doubt my fishing prowess. you've seen me reel'em in for 18 years now at the obft.

Jerry said...

Wiz tied with 10 minutes to go. Less than 5% chance they win this game.

Jerry said...

If his name is J. Crawford...he's shooting it.

Jerry said...

Come on Wiz! Keep making terrible shot. A Crawford pass? I'm starting to believe.

Jerry said...

Are they going to storm the court at Verizon?

rob said...

i think the wiz will need to keep getting the teej and shlara to games

Jerry said...

It's about the same price as staying home.

4 point lead still looking slim with the recent FT woes.

Jerry said...

Yeah!!! Suck it Durant!

Jerry said...

Crawford at the line for the 2 most important FTs of his life (you know Buckhantz wants to say it)

TR said...

How did JGL not make her list?

Mark said...

Jerry's right. Joey Crawford is a notorious gunner in NBA referee offseason games.

Shlara said...

TR, I love JGL, but not like that. But I'm totally going to try to find him when I'm in Park City this weekend.

And, in re-thinking my list, I want retire Danny Ferry and replace him with Sam Presti. And name Ed Burns as an alternate.