Author Topic: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin  (Read 6604716 times)

Offline AndOne

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49605 on: January 10, 2019, 07:12:34 pm »
An above post seems to suggest the NCC Cardinals are not a “vertically challenged” team overall, except in the center position. That may well be true, and I won’t argue too vociferously. But, strong center position play can provide an exceptionally valuable asset to a team’s overall success. Guys with size and/or skill can sure provide offensive firepower and/or a strong defensive presence. NCC’s 6’8” Jack Bronec, their only true “big,” was neither a scoring machine nor a defensive wizard. However, at the time of his season ending injury he was the Cardinal’s third leading rebounder, and was hitting on 58% of his shots. He was certainly a team asset and was providing a very positive contribution to overall team success. His hustle was also infectious and provided a nice model for all of his teammates to emulate. Without him the Cardinals have had to make several adjustments on both ends of the floor. In large part, thanks both to Todd Raridon’s experience and creativity, and the players’ desire and efforts, they have been successful in these endeavors. However, things certainly would be easier all around with more options if Jack was still available. There is no question that his absence has left the Cardinals vertically challenged. Maybe not on an overall basis, but at a very important spot in the middle on both ends of the floor.
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Offline iwu70

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49606 on: January 10, 2019, 08:58:40 pm »
AO, I agree with much of your analysis, esp. about O'Neil and the lack of touches, interest of the IWU perimeter players getting him the ball in a good position to be effective.  And, yes, Jason Gregoire had a very poor game.  No doubt.  I think given the run of losses by the Titans, it may be time for Coach Rose to shake things up a bit and try some new starting combinations.  Wallen and Wolfe may deserve that shot.  In fact, in recent games, Baker has provided more production than O'Neil.  Just a thought.

The TITANS need to suck it up and go on whatever kind of winning run they can the rest of the way -- likely benefiting from the expanded size of the CCIW tournament this year.  They still have a shot at making that and surprising everyone with a good tournament.  Of course, Augie and others playing better now.  9-6 and 2-4 won't get you much -- though I'm still hoping the TITANS make the CCIW tournament.  The talent is there, but the execution in the final few minutes of games has not been there.

Greg, even Ron Rose in the Pgraph piece admitted, suggested the Titans played poor perimeter D on the trey in the second half of the game vs. NCC.  Koth was lost a number of times.   

NCC played well, smart . . . and surely made the shots when they had to in their comeback from 8 down with about 2 minutes to go.  Congrats to them, putting together now a top 25 resume in the coming poll, I would think.

IWU'70

Offline Mr. Ypsi

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49607 on: January 10, 2019, 09:31:56 pm »
I doubt that NCC will be IN the top 25 this coming week, but they certainly will finally get some votes.  Jumping all the way from zero to into the top 25 just doesn't tend to happen unless you beat a team in the top half of the poll - and IWU (and Carthage, if NCC wins tomorrow) don't qualify as that sort of a win.

With their sixth loss, I'm wondering if IWU will retain ANY votes.  With very close losses to very good teams, they've retained some voter respect, but that only goes so far.

Offline AndOne

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49608 on: January 10, 2019, 09:58:46 pm »
NCC is off this weekend. They play Carthage in Naperville next Wed., 1/16.
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Offline iwu70

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49609 on: January 10, 2019, 11:05:04 pm »
Ypsi, I think our Titans' season is pretty well lost in terms of the CCIW race and likely poll voting or post-season options.  Only way back now is to get into the CCIW tournament field of six, and shock the world by winning the AQ.  It could happen, but not likely.  IWU perimeter defense and tenacity in finishing out close games, preventing lapses etc. just not there in this run of close games.  Key to that NCC loss in my view was when the Titans led by 13 and then went into the half only leading by 5.  Very key swing, for which the Titans paid later.   To me, Augie, of course, and NCC playing the best in the league now . . . though EC the surprise. 

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Offline Mr. Ypsi

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49610 on: January 10, 2019, 11:08:03 pm »
NCC is off this weekend. They play Carthage in Naperville next Wed., 1/16.

Oops, I misread the schedule.  While I think NCC probably ought to be top 25, they ain't gonna jump from zero votes all the way into the top 25 by just edging rapidly-falling IWU.  But they will get off the schneid on votes.

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49611 on: January 10, 2019, 11:24:03 pm »
As far as NCC getting poll votes, I’m certainly not advocating any upper tier type positioning. However, considering what they’ve accomplished, especially lately, despite the season ending loss of two senior starters, it does seem something in the range of 18-22 shouldn’t be a pipe dream.

Again, though, Mark, the word "despite" works against your argument. Let me reiterate: The Top 25 poll is a graded estimate of the relative strength of the top teams in the nation. If an injury or injuries hampers a team's effectiveness, then that team will be downgraded by the pollsters, and rightly so. You may see that as an injustice, but the poll isn't about sentiment. It's supposed to be a cold and objective look (inasmuch as such a thing is possible) at who is better than whom. You don't get extra credit for how your team looked before the injury, or how it might've looked if it was still intact.

If NCC gets ranked -- and I've already gone on record as saying that the Cards ought to be ranked in the next poll, although I agree with Chuck that it's unlikely -- it's because of how they look and are playing now. "Despite" doesn't enter into it.

Also, as I believe Ryan Scott has indicated, the voters like Ws and NCC has 13 of them. And I’m the first one to say yes, many of those Ws have come against less than stellar competition. But if Ws, in and of themselves, are the eye candy pollsters like,

They aren't, though. Ask Lancaster Bible how that whole "eye candy" thing worked out for the Chargers in 2016. Yes, there's some "upward creep" involved in the poll, but, by and large, the pollsters understand that the intention of the poll is not to rank teams based upon record. Not all wins carry the same value, and not all losses do, either.

Greg, even Ron Rose in the Pgraph piece admitted, suggested the Titans played poor perimeter D on the trey in the second half of the game vs. NCC.  Koth was lost a number of times.

The coach was likely just trying to send a message to his team. I watched the game, and I don't think that the Titans played all that poorly on defense in the second half. Heck, there's no comparison to how they looked on the occasions when they've truly been shredded on the perimeter this season (e.g., the Whitman game).

Tonight I re-watched the big baskets that NCC made in the second half. With regard to the three Koth treys that he hit in the span of 68 seconds a third of the way through the second stanza, it was indeed poor defense -- but it was poor defense by Alex O'Neill. Yes, that's right, it was IWU's 6'9, 245 center who was guarding Koth, or attempting to guard him, on all three shots. Again, why was O'Neill even out there in the first place? The answer is that he provided an offensive mismatch, and, indeed, it was within that 68-second sequence that O'Neill scored his lone basket of the game. But he gave up nine points in that 68-second stretch to Koth, and the cause for that is not really poor perimeter D. That's a coach telling an elephant to go chase a gazelle across the savanna.

It's even worse than that. O'Neill checked in at 15:30, and on NCC's first possession thereafter he was guarding Koth ... or he was supposed to be guarding Koth. Instead, he followed Raridon on a drive inside, leaving Koth all alone on the perimeter. Peter Lambesis saw Koth wide open and left Matt Cappelletti to go guard Koth, leaving Cappelletti wide open. So Raridon, naturally, kicked it out to Cappelletti, who knocked down a trey.

All told, in the two and a half minutes that O'Neill was in the game before Ron Rose called a timeout following the third Koth trey and sat O'Neill (for good, as it turned out), NCC outscored IWU 12-7 and turned a tie game into a five-point Cardinals lead. And all 12 Cardinals points were directly attributable to O'Neill's inability to guard anybody more than five feet away from the basket.

Why did Ron Rose put O'Neill on Koth? There was a timeout at 14:43, right before the 68-second sequence, and timeouts are typically where defensive assignments are made. Somebody assigned O'Neill to guard Koth when the big man was sent into the game. Neither during the timeout nor at any point in the 2 1/2-minute stint that O'Neill spent on the floor did anyone on the IWU bench direct O'Neill to switch to another man (presumably Raridon or Cappelletti; he's not really set up to guard either of them, but it's less of a glaring mismatch than assigning him to cover a shooting guard). When O'Neill came over to the bench for the timeout after the third Koth trey, the camera caught Colin Bonnett talking to O'Neill -- whether he was encouraging him or giving him an earful is impossible to tell -- while the poor big man just stood there like he'd lost his puppy and was now being called in for dinner. I felt badly for the kid. What the heck did everybody on the IWU bench expect was going to happen when O'Neill was given the task of guarding Tommy Koth?

Don't misunderstand me; I have a world of respect for Ron Rose, whom I think is one of the elite coaches in D3. But that whole stretch in the second half when NCC went bombs away is on him, because he put one of his men into a situation in which he was bound to fail.

In the endgame, Pollack's trey at 1:52 came off of a perfect dish-and-screen from Raridon with a nice semi-curl from Pollack -- nothing that Bonnett could've done about it. The tip-in plus the and-one by Koth at 1:21 was just a phenomenal hustle play by Koth, who swooped in from the left corner at full speed and timed his leap perfectly while still moving laterally. (That, plus the steal and circus-play behind-the-back save by Cappelletti that started that NCC possession are exactly what I was talking about when I said that the Cardinals deserve credit for playing some tremendous basketball in the last two minutes last night. The Cards really went well above and beyond the level that they'd played at in the first 38 minutes.) The biggest shot of the game -- Pollack's triple at 00:18 that put NCC ahead for good at 83-82 -- was essentially the same play as Koth's trey at 1:52; Raridon got the ball at the top of the key, waited for the shooter to come around from his left, and dished the ball to him as he came to the far side of the screen. The difference here is that Pollack was a good 23 feet away from the basket when he released it. Again, Bonnett was unable to go above the screen, and the reason was because the player who had delivered the ball to Raridon (Jones) was moving past Raridon to the right, head-on towards Bonnett. Bonnett had to slide around Jones in order to avoid a collision, rendering him unable to get above Raridon's screen. It was just textbook timing and picture-perfect offense by Jones, Raridon, and Pollack, that's all.

It's not always about what your team did or didn't do, Mark. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other team for playing outstanding basketball.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 11:45:43 pm by Gregory Sager »
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Offline kiko

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49612 on: January 11, 2019, 12:55:33 am »
Why did Ron Rose put O'Neill on Koth?

A hypothesis, which I fully admit is pure conjecture: the five Cardinals on the floor at that point were Raridon, Cappelletti, Meredith, Jones, and Koth.  If you have to hide a player who has limited mobility and is something of a defensive liability, Koth actually makes some sense.

The other four have all proven consistently adept at driving and beating their man to the hole off the dribble.  Koth is more of a spot up jump shooter, and, the past fortnight notwithstanding, is probably the least potent offensive threat from that group based on his body of work over the past four years.  If you are not inclined to risk putting O'Neill on someone who can beat him off the dribble -- potentially turning a possession into a three point play. -- you might choose to assign him a player who typically doesn't create their own shot and then simply dare that player to beat you.  You're picking your poison if you want to keep O'Neill in the game defensively, and you can make a case that Koth is the most attractive option.

Koth had 18 and was having a career night at that point, so the bet was essentially whether he could carry that through for another 15 minutes.  Obviously, the bet did not pay off.  Credit Koth and the Sons of Warden for taking advantage of the mismatch.

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49613 on: January 11, 2019, 01:50:43 am »
In theory, you're right. In spite of the fact that he had already been lighting up the Titans, Koth was one of two Cardinals out there who didn't have a track record as a big scorer -- and Jones, the other one, could dribble past O'Neill without even trying. But Koth is going to spend all of his time out on the perimeter, no questions asked, where he was a .448 shooter from downtown coming into the game and had already hit his first two long-range attempts before O'Neill entered at 15:30 of the second half. It's really a matter of geometry -- put the least mobile defender in a place where he'll have to cover the least amount of distance. Put him on Cappelletti, say, and, while you know that Cappelletti will step outside and shoot the trey, he's also going to spend quite a bit of time inside the arc, where Point A is a lot closer to Point B than it is outside. Put him on Raridon, who also goes inside a lot, and, while Raridon would have the opportunity to be even more creative than he already is, at least you'd know that you were putting your heavy-legged center on a guy who isn't a very good shooter from midrange on out.

But the added dimension here is that Koth is a senior. He knows the offense backwards and forwards, and knows how to use his teammates to find himself open spots on the floor -- and Raridon knows how to get him the ball. Koth was dancing around from one side of the floor to the other and making O'Neill look foolish, but he was dancing with a purpose. O'Neill was nowhere near him each time he released the ball -- just as O'Neill was nowhere near Koth when Lambesis covered for him by switching from Cappelletti over to Koth, leaving Cappelletti wide open for the first of the four consecutive treys that NCC hit during O'Neill's brief stretch on the floor.

Utimately, you're exactly right that it was a pick-your-poison situation. But Koth made a bad situation worse. I don't think that O'Neill should've been out there in the first place. Eric Stock even chuckled and made a wisecrack on the air at 1:18:00 about how the Titans weren't using O'Neill on offense. He was a total liability out there.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline AndOne

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49614 on: January 11, 2019, 02:32:13 am »
Greg,

If you are correct in your assertion that the pollsters “understand that the intention of the poll is not to rank teams based upon record,” and that “if NCC gets ranked it’s because of how they look and are playing now,” then it should be a virtual certainly that the Cardinals get ranked in the next poll.
All you have to do to know that NCC both looks, and is playing like a Top 25 team right now is watch last night's game vs. IWU in the Shirk Center on demand. Hopefully some of the pollsters will take a look.

On another point, you proposed that Ron Rose pulled a boner by assigning Alex O’Neill to attempt to defend Tommy Koth. I won’t argue. Additionally, one has to wonder if Rose couldn’t have been a bit more imaginative with regard to the last play of the first half. IWU, up by 5 at the time, rebounded a NCC miss with 30 seconds remaining. Brady Rose brought the ball up and paused a few feet past half court with about 25 seconds remaining. He just stood there, straight out from the basket, yo-yoing the ball back and forth while the clock wound down. There was absolutely no attempt to initiate any kind of offensive play. The other IWU players just basically stood there and watched Rose dribble. Then, with about 5 seconds left, Rose took a couple of quick dribbles straight at the basket and launched a 24-25 foot shot that clanked off the rim. The play to try to extend the halftime lead was Brady Rose against the world. The other 4 players might as well have just taken a seat on the bench once Brady received the outlet. It wasn’t like any thought of involving any of the 4 was ever even remotely considered. Considering the final score differential, I bet Ron Rose would have loved getting even a 2 pointer at the time.

Also, speaking of Brady Rose. While he had 24 points, Wesleyan’s fifth year undergraduate senior couldn’t spur his team to a home victory down the stretch. With 2:02 remaining, he missed a key FT that would have upped IWU’s advantage to 9. Then, with 1:26 left and up by 5, he committed a critical TO (one of his total of 5) that saw Cappelletti knock the ball away and make his sensational behind the back save, and which culminated in Tommy Koth’s fantastic tip in, and one. Subsequently,
with 48 seconds left and IWU still up by 2, he missed a short jumper. Finally, with just 7 seconds left and IWU behind by only 1 point, he missed a short runner in the lane that very likely could have won the game.
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Offline AndOne

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49615 on: January 11, 2019, 01:49:51 pm »
A couple of interesting asides to the NCC/IWU game;

* The IWU band shouting backboard backboard at NCC’s Blaise Meredith while he was shooting FTs. This of course stemming from Meredith’s recent encounter with a backboard at Augustana which has become a social media sensation. Blaise just smiled and calmly hit all 4 of his charity tosses.

* The IWU broadcasters commenting incredulously about how down/deflated all the Wesleyan players looked during a timeout with seven seconds left, and Wesleyan still with a chance to tie and send the game to OT.
You don't always have to win every game. You just have to win the right ones. 😏 (AndOne)

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You gotta lose 👎, to know how to win. 🏆 (Aerosmith)

So who's the hunter 🐅, .....and who's the game 🐃? (Scandal)

Offline WUPHF

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49616 on: January 11, 2019, 02:24:59 pm »
* The IWU band shouting backboard backboard at NCC’s Blaise Meredith while he was shooting FTs. This of course stemming from Meredith’s recent encounter with a backboard at Augustana which has become a social media sensation. Blaise just smiled and calmly hit all 4 of his charity tosses.

You always go with the obvious taunts...

Offline AndOne

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49617 on: January 11, 2019, 02:35:23 pm »
I don’t think Blaise takes it as a taunt or any form of criticism. Instead, he is proud he can jump that high. On the occasion he did so, there just happened to be a backboard in the way!  :D
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 02:39:34 pm by AndOne »
You don't always have to win every game. You just have to win the right ones. 😏 (AndOne)

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You gotta lose 👎, to know how to win. 🏆 (Aerosmith)

So who's the hunter 🐅, .....and who's the game 🐃? (Scandal)

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49618 on: January 11, 2019, 04:28:14 pm »
Massey sez:

Augustana 84, Carthage 60 (AC 98%, CC 2%)
Wheaton 80, Elmhurst 78 (WC 56%, EC 44%)
Carroll 72, North Park 62 (CU 83%, NPU 17%)
Illinois Wesleyan 84, Millikin 75 (IWU 79%, MU 21%)
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline iwu70

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Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #49619 on: January 11, 2019, 09:03:04 pm »
Greg, I do tip my hat to NCC on how well they played, esp. in the last part of the 1st half to get back in the game from 13 down to 5 down, and surely to catch up in the last two minutes.  The Titans made many errors, and AO is right about the last play of the 1st half.  No movement, only Rose taking that long trey.  Not playing smart, in my opinion.  If I were Coach Rose, I'd be starting Wallen and using Leritz more now.  Wolfe has become more productive, even finding his stroke to some degree from behind the arc.  Unless they find a better way to enter the ball to Bair and O'Neil, it seems their size advantage in some situation is basically nullified, by keeping most or all the offense on the perimeter with Rose, Bonnett, Lambesis and Gregoire.  It's producing offense at a pretty high level, but with the poor defense, it's not proving to be enough.  IWU got past 78 vs. NCC, but NCC got to 85.  Not the normal formula for IWU wins.  IWU needs wins now . . . down the stretch of the CCIW race, to get to the six team CCIW tournament.

'70