A win is a win is a win is a win.
It may not have been the prettiest win, but at the end of the day the "W" is all that matters. At the end of the year, people will forget the blown lead and remember the game as justing being a win. Reality is all about perspective. Did the Hoyas collapse against an inferior team and almost lose the game or did the Hoyas persevere against an underrated opponent with a player who went crazy on us, and do just enough to get the win?
Providence is not a push over. Marshon Brooks is clearly a special player and they've knocked of some pretty impressive teams including Villanova, Louisville, SEC leader Alabama, while pushing Cuse, Pitt, and St. Johns to the end as well.
The Hoyas were phenomenal on offense in the first half posting an ORtg of 140.8 and eFG% of 63.6% a TO% of 9.2% a 50% 2pt FG% and a 53.3 3pt FG%. All while limiting the Friars to 41.9% eFG%
We did a little worse in the second half, but there were several positives from this half as well. We kept up our low TO%, but upped our work on the offensive boards grabbing 44% of our misses on the offensive end. We ended up out rebounding the Friars 43-42 and 41% vs. 40% on the offensive glass. The Hoyas also shot 61.9% from 2pt range in the second half
"When we look at each half, frankly the 8/15 3FG shooting performance in the first half is actually less of a statistical fluke than the 0/11 3FG effort in the second, especially when you consider that none of those shots were desperation heaves (as far as I can recall). In the end, I think you just have to shrug about the second half shooting struggles and hope the team comes back strong the next game." -- HoyaProspectus.
The statistically improbably bad shooting in the second half coupled with some questionable refereeing that seem determined to make this a competitive game gave us exactly that.The call on Clark for the and 1 four point play was horrible especially considering Chris Wright got clobbered on a 3 in the first half with no call. The way Providence came back was mostly luck that we missed some open shots and providence got the benefit of the whistle. We weren't playing poorly we were taking good shots, but they weren't falling. The Hoyas had moved the lead back to 8 and had the momentum back with 3 minutes to go, but then the bogus 4pt play drew the friars within 4 and swung the momentum their way.
Hoyas technically did a better job on Brooks in the second half holding him to 5 less points than in the second half and 7-14 shooting opposed to 10-14 in the first half. We also held him scoreless for the first 10:48 of the half. But the second half of the second half less so.
For those complaining about JTIII taking the time out with 9 seconds to go. I believe it's been shown, if not most coaches agree a time out in that situation benefits the defense more than the offense. The terrible foul call on Chris Wright in the back court made this come down to the final possession. As for Chris Wright signaling for a time out. Re-watching it on slow motion he does not make the signal until time had already expired. He makes two time out signals before realizing his mistake and throwing his arms out.
The Hoyas did a great job of not turning the ball over setting a season low for turnovers. We only had a 12.9% turnover rate.
Another positive for this game was the crowd. They were there in much larger numbers than expected and were loud from start to finish. The non student fans were very well as good. Overall great showing by the Verizon Center crowd. Over 16,000 is pretty darn impressive for a game against Providence.
I am not that concerned about this game; if we were hitting our FTs, layups, and 3pters at our normal rate we win by double digits.
Chris Wright: I was really impressed by his drives today. He made some spectacular moves that made the providence defenders look completely foolish. His hesitation move was dirty. He was nasty 16pts 5 assists with 3 rebounds and a steal which was that game winning play.
Jason Clark: Shot 4-4 from the 3 in the first half and ended the game with an epic 185 ORtg. Clark ended up with 18 points on 50% shooting 3 rebounds a steal 2 assists and 0 turnovers. He did a very good job getting to the rim in the second half when his shot wasn't falling. Clark was not tasked with slowing down brooks this game but he did a good job on Vincent council 3pt 0-10 from the field and Coleman 3-13 from the field, 7 points.
Austin Freeman: Made a great move on the break not to charge and under control and takes a little jumper in the lane. His mid range jumper was again sweet. He scored 23 points on 9-15 shooting. Ended the game with a 144.7 ORtg had 4 rebounds 2 assists and a steal.
Nate Lubick: Had a nice post move but was called fro a crap blocking foul with 10 to go in the first that was his second after an also questionable over the back call early in the game. This resulted in him only playing 16 minutes this game. He did a good job on the offensive glass, but had trouble finishing. His 5 offensive boards and 9 total were very impressive though. He also chipped in 5 points an assist and no turnovers.
Julian Vaughn: Ranked #2 in the big east in FG%. Oh and Freeman is #3 and Hollis is #4. Vaughn was a beast in this game. Dunking the ball both times with authority. He ended up with 14pts and 11 rebounds 10 and 6 of which came in the second half as Vaughn is clutch down the stretch.Vaughn also had 4 assists second on the team along with a block and a steal.
Hollis Thompson: Didn't have a great shooting night, but scored 3 points grabbed 4 rebounds and recorded a steal.
Markel Starks: Saw minutes of time. He was able to grab two rebounds and make an assist without turning the ball over.
Henry Sims: Saw limited action, but had 2 points 3 rebounds a block and assist so they were very much quality minutes.
Jerrelle Benimon: Actually played really well in the first half played great defense on Brooks. his length bothered Brooks and got 2 of his 3 blocks on him and challenged his shots well making him shoot up over the top of his out stretched arms. made a nice post move for the up and under but failed to convert. Had a nice offensive rebound in the second half and should've had an assist but Clark botched the finish but got his own rebound. Then on the same possession Henry found Jerrelle on the back door for a nice lay up. Both of his turnovers were offensive fouls so double whamies. So I don't really get the hate for Benimon who played well defensively and only made at worst 3 bad plays( if you consider his 3 which rimmed out) to counter act his 3 blocks 2 rebounds 2 points and team best defensive rating. He was a net plus in this game.
Vee Sanford: Only played 1 minute. Came in fouled on the defensive end and was pulled. Didn't seem to be slowing Brooks down when he was in, but i wish he had been given more of a chance. That being said our big 3 guards were playing so well I can't really blame coach too much since he clearly decided to let brooks get his. So defense wasn't coaches priority and again the big 3 was dynamite on offense.
At the end of the day the Hoyas won over a tough opponent despite not playing their best game. Now we take our 6 game win streak into the Dome - a place we have not won under JTIII. The Syracuse zone has looked vulnerable at times this year mostly due to lack of effort by the top of the zone and poor rotation by the freshman big men. Unfortunately in a rivalry game you can be sure that Syracuse will be playing as hard as possible. The Hoyas won't see the easy open looks that Seton Hall got. The Hoyas will have to work hard for their points. In the past two meetings with Syracuse the Hoyas have seemed to finally figure out the vaunted zone. Hopefully the Hoyas will not have forgotten what they learned as having our hated rival end our win streak would be unbearable. It is actually the offense that has taken the bigger step back for the Orange down from 8th last year to 19th this year. The Orange aren't particularly good from 3 with Kris Joseph leading the charge with 38%. Jackson is a load down low. They're a great shot blocking team currently leading the nation in blk%. This is going to be a tough game, but the Hoyas can pull it off with their efficient patient offense and if they bring the intensity on the defensive end we saw in the St. Johns, Nova, and Louisville games.