We’re 2-6 on the road this year. The NBE is proving to be very home-team friendly in general. However, our home-away stats are startlingly different and much more skewed than most other NCAA teams:
We score about 6 points per game less on the road than home, and allow about 11 points per game more, making for a huge point differential difference. Our road performance for shooting %, fouls, shooting defense etc are all much worse. It’s hard to win games this way, and we’ve only beat Butler and DePaul on the road this year. In other words, no quality away wins the entire season.
The above excludes the neutral site games, in which we’re 3-2 (Oregon, Northeastern, KS, VCU, MSU).
Here’s a quick recap of the away games:
Kansas: full-team, over-matched, played well for awhile but game got away from us, lost poise after Jabril incident and Joshua foul
Providence: first game without Joshua, no time to prepare, their bigs outplayed ours
Xavier: without J & J, had big lead but lost it, they had a huge run and ran us out of the gym in the 2nd half, heavily outscored at foul-line
Creighton: without J & J, they got a 10+ point lead mid-way through the first half, and never lost it, never really in the game, we played good defense but heavily outscored at foul-line
Butler: won, without J & J, the "Last Survivor" game, one of the season highlights, we won with good scoring from Markel, DSR and Aaron, played good defense, the refs kept them in the game, we were heavily outscored at foul-line
DePaul: won, without J & J, we gutted out a tough game and won going away by playing keep-away and letting them foul us, Markel and DSR scored well especially at the foul-line
St. John’s: with Jabril, they jumped on our throats from the beginning and were up 15-0, we came back in the 2nd half with a good run from Jabril & Aaron, had it down to 7 before Jabril fouled out with the technical, then we folded up shop, basically didn’t show up for the first 5 minutes and last 6 minutes of the game
Seton Hall: with Jabril, not sure if this was a "trap game" that we overlooked getting ready for Xavier, but we played terribly, no energy and bad defense.
The personnel changes throughout the season obscure patterns, but here goes:
- Our bigs are out-matched against good front-courts, and very foul-prone
- We often start out well with a solid game plan, then the other team makes adjustments, we lose focus etc.
- We can’t win on the road without an "Eye of the Tiger" attitude, the St John’s and Seton Hall game attitudes are not going to do it, time to re-watch the movie "300"
- Have to keep the crowd out of the game, call multiple time-outs, change the pace etc. Several games got away from us with big runs
- We foul way too much, can’t afford 27 fouls per game on the road, have to avoid the bonus foul situation
- Jabril is the team’s emotional barometer, when he loses his cool, the team falls off the cliff, he has to play under control
- We’re not shooting 3’s well in general, and have had success penetrating
- In the away games we won, we rebounded well, kept the turnovers down, shot free-throws well and played good, hard defense.
I believe that the Seton Hall lack of energy was an exception, and we’ll go back to playing hard.
Please comment and add! We have 2 away games left against Marquette and Villanova, and need to win at least 1 of them.