Sunday, January 19, 2014

This Week in Wrenball: Scorcher

Three games into the conference schedule, and that number sure looks like it'll be determinative this season.

In wins over James Madison and Drexel, the Wrens shot a combined 15 for 27 (55.6%) from behind the arc to roll to huge halftime advantages and coast to easy wins. And in a loss to CAA-leading Delaware, W&M went 9 for 26 from deep, losing a tight roadie by five points. Though it's early, the Tribe leads the CAA in shooting percentage and trails only the College of Charleston in three-point accuracy.

It's a simple game for W&M this year: you shoot the ball, a lot from outside, and when they go in, you win. When they don't, you don't. You won't be turning opponents over a great deal, and you won't be playing much shutdown defense. (And I don't expect you to maintain a +6 rebounding margin, though it'd be fantastic if you did.) So let's hope the jumpshots travel.

Yesterday's 78-56 win over JMU was W&M's first twenty-point drubbing of the Dukes since February 2005. It was basically over after the Tribe shot 71.8% from the field in the first half on the way to a 42-24 lead. Marcus Thornton paced the victors with 20, with Tim Rusthoven adding 17 points and 7 boards. Though he only scored four points, Terry Tarpey played another complete game for W&M, grabbing nine rebounds and dropping five dimes.

For all the accolades Thornton, Rusthoven, and freshman Omar Prewitt deservedly receive, it's the sophomore Tarpey who's rapidly becoming one of the keys to the Tribe's success. Though only 6'5", Tarpey paces W&M with 6.8 rebounds a game (good for 10th in the CAA), swipes 1.6 steals per contest (4th in the league), and rounds out a full stat sheet with 5.9 points and 2.0 assists. He's upped his game in CAA play, recording a double-double in the loss at Delaware, and averaging 9.7 boards in league games. He's the kind of hard-nosed, rugged player that's vital to a team of skilled but not always physical athletes. To steal from ourselves, he may be the redass we've been seeking.

This week takes the Tribe on the road for a pair of critical early-season contests. W&M travels to Long Island to take on Hofstra on Wednesday. The Pride are 2-1 in league play after a disappointing 4-10 out of conference start. One of the few bright spots for Hofstra during last year's dismal campaign was a 70-59 home win over the Wrens, who returned the favor in Williamsburg. If W&M is who we think they might be, they need to show us with a win over an improving but not terribly good Hofstra squad.

On Saturday, the Teej and I will travel with the Tribe to Philadelphia as the Green and Gold plays Drexel. Though the Tribe handled the Dragons fairly easily in the conference opener, Drexel boasts a win over Alabama this season, and led #1 Arizona by 19 before falling in early-season action. Bruiser Flint's team was extremely banged up in the two teams' first matchup, and if they're healthy, pose a very difficult road test for W&M.

Team G:TB's road trip to Philly will also include a stop at LaSalle to see the Explorers host VCU. It's a veritable hoopstravanganza for the good guys. If you're in the area, stop by and say hello. We'll be the tall, pale, balding dude and the short, bespectacled handsome fella - and we'll both be wearing tri-cornered hats and no pants.

74 comments:

T.J. said...

needs more hashtags - will rectify

TR said...

I need more hash too. God I miss Jamaica.

Marls said...

Motion of Helium Atoms in an Excited State?

zman said...

Keep an eye out for Drex Drago.

Marls said...

That guy is a dick...

TR said...

I love you Hannah Storm.

mayhugh said...

They're always talking about how well Tribe fans travel...

I think we'll know in today's Denver-Pats tilt within Peyton's first couple of dropbacks which Peyton we're getting. I'm fully expecting happy-feet Manning to make an appearance, though I really hope not.

zman said...

I really want Brady to go to the line of scrimmage and yell "Framingham! Framingham!"

rob said...

marls! that's exactly the allusion i was going for there.

mayhugh said...

And if anybody missed the HBO title fight last night between two French-Canadians, well, you can probably picture how it went down...

T.J. said...

two dudes giving up at the same time than chugging maple syrup?

rob said...

marls, you trekking to hempstead on wednesday?

rob said...

pulling for manning today because his performance this season deserves a capper in the big game. and so the media will shut up about his postseason shortcomings.

mayhugh said...

I'm also pulling for Manning, basically for the same reasons. I'm on 15 minute delay so the action just started over here. Great defense on the three and out Patriots drive. The Defense is going to have to bring it.

Manning down early could be ugly.

Mark said...

I'm rooting for my wallet. New England +5.5.

mayhugh said...

I'm up to where Denver scored a TD. I really like the gameplan and ball control. They've made it as easy on Pey Pey as possible early on.

mayhugh said...

Part of me wants Denver to win by 30 (sorry Marls) just to see what Simmons' angle will be in his next column.

mayhugh said...

Or Mark... I can't read.

zman said...

I'm rooting for NE for the opposite reasons rob is rooting for Denver. I have irrational disdain for Peyton manning.

rob said...

zman hates foreheads!

mayhugh said...

Seriously, what is the fascination with spinning the football after a catch? I want a study done on how many minutes this adds to the average game.

Mark said...

New England losing Talib early is this game was enormous. He was probably their best defensive player going in to the game and certainly the most crucial in defending Denver's passing attack.

mayhugh said...

Huge 4th down stand. I thought that was a completely wasted timeout as I thought there was no way Brady wasn't getting 2 yards.

T.J. said...

just opened a Young's Double Chocolate Stout. holy shit this beer is good

Mark said...

You may get your wish, Mayhugh. I'm guessing the column from Simmons will focus on how depleted this Pats team is and how remarkable it is that they even made it this far with him heaping praise on Belichick/Brady. Then he'll talk about Brady being on the back end of his career and how awful it is that the Pats don't spend $ and high draft picks on getting him weapons (Which is false. They spent $ on Hernandez/Gronkowski and Amendola as well as early picks on WRs this year and RBs two years ago).

mayhugh said...

And some of those are legitimate points. They are lacking athleticism and escapability at the skill positions which is evident today. Guys don't look very open and nobody is shaking tackles. Brady has not been perfect, with two big overthrows (one in each half).

Denver has basically taken the blueprint to beating Manning and applied it against the Pats. And it has been executed at a very high level. It feels like Manning has thrown about 3 incomplete passes.

mayhugh said...

And every time I see Champ Bailey playing at a high level into his mid 30's, it makes me hate that trade a little bit more.

Mark said...

Terrence Knighton's nickname is Pot Roast. That's great.

Brady's been pretty inaccurate today.

Mark said...

I agree that the Pats lack difference makers on the outside but other than going after a high profile free agent WR like Vincent Jackson or Mike Wallace there isn't much they could've done to help that over the last couple of years.

Mark said...

In between game viewing of some Euroleague basketball on NBAtv. Carlos Arroyo and Marcus Williams are heavily involved.

rob said...

rooting for the hawks in this one, because steven haushka went to middlebury college, my ancestral home, and a great friend/former colleague of mine is a huge seattle fan.

Mark said...

I've been looking forward to this game. Hopefully it lives up to my expectations.

Mark said...

Seattle's DC, Dan Quinn, was Florida's DC last year. He's terrific. Should be an NFL Head Coach sooner rather than later.

TR said...

I realized that I hate Jim Harbaugh more than I like anybody else in this game, so I'm rooting for the Seahawks.

Mark said...

Harbaugh is a maniac. A cartoon character with his body language. I find him highly entertaining.

Mark said...

This game is fun.

T.J. said...

Much excitement in this house on that TD pass to the chez whitey

T.J. said...

This game has gone to plaid.

T.J. said...

That replay. Um, no. Knees don't do that.

Clarence said...

Horrible injury. Horrible call.

zman said...

Ten years ago that injury would end a career. Now it sidelines you for ten months.

T.J. said...

You get a fumble, and you get a fumble...

rob said...

i love the 'ball don't lie' meme

T.J. said...

This game

TR said...

This is a major league slugfest indeed.

Would be fun to see Seattle's D against Peyton.

rob said...

san fran's d ain't chopped liver. though without bowman, they might be minced liver.

zman said...

Kaepenick might be the best righty QB I've ever seen at throwing while rolling left.

zman said...

That was an ugly sentence.

zman said...

Sweet Jesus.

T.J. said...

Was sure that was a TD

rob said...

manning versus that defense will be cool to watch

Clarence said...

Wow, Richard Sherman made a great play and then showed some of the shittiest lack of sportsmanship in a big game that you'll see. He was lucky someone didn't kick him in the kneecap and let him watch the Super Bowl from the sideline.

zman said...

Richard Sherman is an angry man.

rob said...

i'm willing to cut sherman some 'heat of the moment' slack. because he loves, loves, loves asia.

T.J. said...

Richard Sherman outchea cutting wrestling promos.

zman said...

I hope they replay Sharapova/Cibulkova. That's a ... compelling matchup.

rob said...

was not familiar with cibulkova's...work. she's quite talented. but i confess that sharapova really doesn't do much for me.

TR said...

I'm with you on Sharapova, Robbie. Definitely striking, but I don't find her sexy.

As the great RL Burnside sang: I don't want no skinny woman. Meat don't shake.

zman said...

You've not seen her in person I gather.

rob said...

that's some well-played notveryhumblebraggery right there, z.

zman said...

It was a humble incident. I saw her at the US Open when zfather literally walked into her entourage as they walked passed us. He was flustered for a good fifteen minutes. She is remarkably pretty.

TR said...

Chris Berman looks like a real fatty boombalattie these days. He's a shell of the guy who was throwing spirals with Darius Rucker.

rob said...

she's as tall as she is comely, no, z?

TR said...

Haven't looked at the spread yet, but I'm guessing Denver's giving 1.5.

Thx for the extra Whale's Tail, Zman. They are all in my svelte belly.

rob said...

i'd guess seattle +3.

zman said...

A fair exchange for chicken park.

Yes, she's very tall. Definitely over six feet.

zman said...

The best offense ever vs. the best pass defense since the merger seems like a pick 'em to me but that also seems like an unlikely spread. I would happily take Seattle and any points in the Meadowlands in February. Seems like Denver should be getting the points IMHO, around 2.

rob said...

the line's about getting the bets right, though. all the cognoscenti were talking about pre-championship weekend was about how the nfc champ would be big faves over the afc. i think pick 'em sounds good, given the variables (weather, peyton in the cold, wilson on a huge stage, injuries, carroll chasing skirts pre-game, etc.), but i'm guessing vegas thinks early money will be on denver, so they'll give us a line that will maximize the value to them of that trend.

rob said...

69. gheorghies, hello.

TR said...

Hi Rob. I am drunkenly doing research on Colorado. I have a boondoggle work trip there at Beaver Creek next week. This whole dispensary thing is no joke. Could spell trouble.

In other news, Man U shat the bed today. Their best hope is to squeak into the Champions League next year. Chelsea crushed them today. Bummer

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Marls said...

I think Jhon meant to post on Grace Jones: The Blog.

What up Gheorghies?

mayhugh said...

I would see justification for any line that is either a pick 'em or either team by 1.5 or less.

It is amazing to me that over several years and 2 teams, Peyton has rarely hit the ground. That offensive line was awesome yesterday. I would love nothing more than to have that line give a repeat performance and have Manning carve up the most unsportsmanlike secondary ever assembled.

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