Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Five halftime thoughts: Iona

1.) If Iona doesn’t win the MAAC, I’ll eat my hat. And my hat is filthy. The Gaels were clearly prepared for the Dutchmen to focus on Mike Glover—who even in a fairly quiet half, has 11 points and six rebounds—and are red-hot from everywhere else on the floor. Iona is shooting 58.3 percent (14-of-24), including 4-of-9 from 3-point land, and is on pace for its usual 80 points, which has to be difficult for defense-first coach Mo Cassara to stomach. Expect to see some Yves Jules—the Dutchmen’s Mariano Rivera—in the second half as the Dutchmen try to contain the Gaels enough to mount a comeback.

2.) This was one game in which the Dutchmen couldn’t afford another first half funk, but it happened: It was 13-13 shortly after the under-12 timeout, which is the type of pace the Dutchmen needed to play to win, but Iona went on a 15-2 run in the blink of an eye. Nothing they can do about it now, but expect Cassara and Co. to spend a lot of time figuring out how to avoid this type of slump next week against Drexel and George Mason.

3.) Mike Moore is a really, really good player when viewed from press row. He looks pretty good from the seats, too, but he has been by far the Dutchmen’s best player tonight, displaying both an outside shooting touch and a lightning-fast first step when he dashes into the lane for a layup. This one would be over without Moore’s contributions (a team-high 11 points, on 4-of-10 shooting, as well as a team-high five boards).

4.) Their Jenkins has scored as many points as our Jenkins (five). Obviously that can’t continue. Look for Charles Jenkins to take control, and fast, after a rough first half in which he took just four shots. The Dutchmen will need Jenkins and Moore to mimic their performance against Binghamton three weeks ago tonight to have a shot.

5.) The Dutchmen are in decent shape in terms of foul trouble: Only David Imes and Stephen Nwaukoni have two fouls. The bigs have also contributed offensively: Imes has four points on 2-of-3 shooting and Greg Washington has six points on 3-of-5 shooting. But defense—from everyone—will determine whether or not the Dutchmen come back and head home with the win.

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