Sunday, March 08, 2009

Final Weekend Update

The Maryland Terrapins really hurt their cause on Saturday, dropping a road game to the worst team in the conference and watching Mamadi Diane go off for more than a third of his total points in the ACC this season (more on that later). They put up almost identically poor offensive performances in the two games this week - against Wake, it was a 91.37 offensive rating, .442 efg%, 26.19 ORB%, and a 2.90 FT Rate (just 2 FTAs in the game); against Virginia, those numbers go 92.85, .4467, 26.32, and 9.09 (just 6 FTAs). Maryland never took advantage of its good free throw shooting this year - yes, they don't have a big guy to throw it to down low, but they have a variety of good slashers on the perimeter who should have been driving the ball and getting themselves to the line all year long. There's simply no reason for Grievis Vasquez to be averaging just 3 FTAs a game in conference play - he should be getting himself twice that number, particularly for how often he has the ball in his hands. Now the Terps will need to do a lot of work in the ACCT to put themselves in a position to receive an at large.

For Virginia, Mamadi Diane's senior season is emblematic of Dave Leitao's poor player management. I firmly believe that he has absolutely no plan for what rotation he's going to play at the start of every game. He throws guys out there, figures out who "looks" good, and then mixes and matches semingly at random. That he never let a guy like Diane, with career numbers as good as they were, try to play through his struggles and get back into a good flow (particularly on a team with so little experienced leadership) is just the most egregious example. Take Solomon Tat - he was a starter in 8 games this season, but played fewer than 10 minutes in 6 of those games. No one except Landesberg and Scott (and to a certain extent, Baker) had any idea how big of a role they would be asked to play in any given game. Lack of stability in the rotation was obviously not the only reason UVA struggled this year - they had a big talent deficit and a lot of youth - but it certainly didn't help anyone.

Georgia Tech almost did a perfect job of playing spoiler this week, but Rakim Sanders bailed the Eagles out with their biggest shot of the season. Over the last six games, BC's best player has been Sanders, and not Rice. He's had 95 points and 33 rebounds and posted a 121 offensive rating over that span. BC sits at 9-7 in the league despite being outscored by 23 points on the season.

Miami clung to their faint NCAA hopes thanks to Jack McClinton's performance at the line (memo to Maryland - this is what happens when you get free throws). On a day when he couldn't hit a thing from the field, he went 16-16 from the line to lead Miami to the win. For NC State, it's another frustrating season - they led the conference in shooting, but thanks to no offensive rebounds and too many turnovers had just average efficiency, and thanks to terrible defense ended up with a deserved 6-10.

No comments: