Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A few thoughts, including "Whoops"

Mixing up ETSU and SIUE: A Homer Simpson, head-slapping moment for sure.

First of all, I really screwed up late Monday when I wrote the Flying Dutchmen beat Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Sunday. That, of course, is not true, they beat East Tennessee State. No idea at all what I was thinking there, maybe I saw the four-letter acronym and just assumed it was SIU-Edwardsville and wanted to break out my cute acronym. Or I had Western Michigan, which lost to Hofstra Saturday and SIU-Edwardsville Sunday, on the mind.

Regardless, it was an embarrassing mistake, and while I’ve made the corrections in the blog, I’d be disingenuous to pretend it never happened. I humbly apologize and promise to be more vigilant in the future.

And now for a few carefully researched and proofread thoughts about last weekend—and a request to check back later today for my CAA predictions, which I made last week but haven’t had a chance to post yet.

—Michael Litos sees a lot of Loren Stokes in Charles Jenkins, who displayed a Stokes-like ability to take over the game late in the 76-75 win over ETSU Sunday. I’ll go one step further and add that Jenkins exhibited a lot of Stokes’ trademark toughness during his star-making turn at the Charleston Classic. If you were like me, you briefly looked ahead to 2009-10 when Jenkins went down writhing in pain in the second half against Clemson—and fretted about an 0-3 weekend when Jenkins limped throughout the rest of the 29-point loss to the Tigers. The Flying Dutchmen are deeper and better than a year ago, but any hopes for playing beyond the first weekend in March begin and end with Jenkins.

Hofstra men’s basketball SID Jeremy Kniffin noted before the season that Jenkins had the same number of points through 29 career games (436) as all-time scoring leader Antoine Agudio. Well, with 71 points at the Charleston Classic, Jenkins is now 30 points ahead of Agudio at the 32-game mark.

Another just-for-fun stat for Jenkins inspired equally by Kniffin and Litos: Stokes is the only player in Hofstra history to rank among the top 15 all-time in points, assists, steals and rebounding. Through 32 games, Jenkins is ahead of the pace set by Stokes in every category except assists. In Stokes’ defense, he only started 24 of his first 32 games while Jenkins has started every game thus far.

Charles Jenkins through 32 games: 507 points/149 rebounds/71 assists/51 steals
Loren Stokes through 32 games: 429 points/146 rebounds/93 assists/41 steals

—The Flying Dutchmen were as deep as advertised in Charleston, particularly in the front court. Arminas Urbutis pulled down 16 rebounds in 33 minutes Saturday against Western Michigan. A day later, Miklos Szabo returned from his NCAA suspension, played 30 minutes off the bench and grabbed 11 rebounds as Urbutis (who started) was limited to 10 minutes and two rebounds.

In addition, the Dutchmen picked up 96 rebounds in those two games even though Darren Townes, the leading rebounder from a year ago (6.7 boards per game), was limited to a total of 33 minutes and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Overall in the three games, Hofstra averaged 47.3 rebounds, 10 boards more than a year ago. The last time the Dutchmen averaged that many rebounds per game over a full season: 1970-71, when they grabbed 51.5 rebounds per game.

And counting Szabo, the Dutchmen had seven players average at least 18 minutes per game over the weekend. Hofstra hasn’t had seven players averaging 18 minutes or more since the 2004-05 season.

—Dane Johnson was the only returning big man to start all three games. Greg Washington picked up seven fouls and just two blocks in 24 minutes over the three games while Mike Davis-Saab seems to be the last man in the rotation after averaging four minutes in two contests and recording a DNP against ETSU.

—One really encouraging thing about the win over Western Michigan: The Dutchmen escaped despite a brutal shooting performance from transfer guards Tony Dennison and Cornelius Vines, who combined to make just seven of 36 shots in the overtime victory. They weren’t much better Friday, when the duo was a combined 6-for-22. (In Vines’ defense, he was likely hampered by a sprained thumb suffered last week)

Vines, in particular, displayed the unconsciousness of Antoine Agudio by taking all but one of his attempts from 3-point land Friday (4-for-11) and missing all eight of his 3-point attempts during a 2-for-18 effort Saturday.

The positive (and quite possibly accurate) spin on Dennison and Vines: You’ve got to be pretty good to take that many shots. And the two were markedly better on Sunday, when they combined to make 10 of 22 shots.

—Identifying Nathaniel Lester as someone who could quickly get lost in the mix at guard looked astute after Lester played decently Friday (six points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and two turnovers in 10 minutes) yet played just 15 minutes total in the next two games. But perhaps we should have identified Greg Johnson as someone who could find himself on the endangered list as well.

Johnson didn’t play at all Saturday and Sunday—the first DNPs of his career—after a rough Friday in which he had two assists, three rebounds, four turnovers, two fouls and missed all four shots from the field and both free throw attempts in 16 minutes. Pecora will almost surely have less patience with Johnson, a senior whose game is pretty well-established, than the sophomore Lester.

—The same goes for Zygis Sestokas, who had a weird weekend. The famously hot-and-cold outside shooter seemed to find his form Friday, when he shot 4-of-9 from the new 3-point line and finished second on the Dutchmen with 14 points. Yet he attempted just one shot in 24 minutes Saturday and got the dreaded “0-plus” (i.e. less than one minute of playing time) treatment Sunday.

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1 comment:

MLB1974 said...

18 minutes, 35 seconds (1:25 on the clock) on a three pointer.