Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Looking Foolish

Yesterday seemed to be all about me looking a little foolish. First, I was informed that both my mathematical computation and basketball acumen were, shall we say, a little off. My assist rate numbers have been artificially depressed because I neglected to account for the simple fact that you can't assist yourself. In more detail (probably more than you need), my formula was Assists/(Team made field goals X %minutes played), and it has now been updated to the proper formula: Assists/((Team made field goals X %minutes played) - player made field goals). This actually does matter, and is not mere nit-pickery - it changed the makeup of the ACC leaderboard (though admittedly not dramatically), and Sean Singletary will be your new league leader in A/B%. The changes have all been made in the spreadsheets, and the numbers will be updated after tonight's games.

Also, Sean Marshall, who has been (as recently as Monday) and will continue to be called out on this site for taking way more shots than he should, capped off an 8-for-14 day with a game winning three at the buzzer to propel BC to 6-1. The Eagles won with good shooting from the field (.594 EFG%) and frequent shooting from the line (31 free throw attempts, good for a 58.5 FT Rate, which increases their already league leading number). It looks like BC is content to play 3 on 5 on offense for the rest of the year - Oates, Haynes, Spears, and Blair combined for 11 shots, which is fewer than Marshall (14), Rice (14), and Dudley (15). For the record, as long as Dudley gets an equal or greater share of shots as Marshall and Rice, Marshall can shoot as much as he wants - that just hasn't been the case yet this year (nor was it yesterday - Marshall's 14 shots came in 28 minutes, while Dudley took his 15 playing his usual 40). As for Florida State, what a frustrating loss. They shot well from the field (.550 EFG%) and exceptionally well at the line (16 of 17), and posted a terrific 10.4 turnover %. But their defense came back to bite them. Like the Clemson game to open conference play, it was just another oh-so-close loss for the Noles.

In other ACC news, VT jumped on Miami early, and then had to hold on at the end. Zabian Dowdell has been the anti-DJ Strawberry - his play has significantly elevated since the start of conference play, and he's shouldering a whole lot of the Hokies' success. He's in the top 4 in the ACC in scoring %, and his shooting, while not among the league leaders, has shown marked improvement in ACC play. Deron Washington also had a very effective game for the Hokies, putting up a 23-10 double double in 30 minutes of play. It wasn't a virtuoso performance from Tech, but they took care of business on the road against an inferior team, which they haven't been able to do with consistency at all this year (see, Marshall).

Tonight's slate features UNC at Wake in a pick your margin kind of game, UVA at NC State (like the Hokies, the Cavaliers really need to show they're capable of winning a game on the road against a weaker opponent), and the "marquee" matchup of Georgia Tech at Maryland - both teams desperately need/want the win after disappointing weekend performances.

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