"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pitt - It Was The Offense

It was the offense that let things down. It was also the defense. But it was more the offense.

It was the defense

The interior defense was horrible. As in an email that I received this morning, it seemed like a second-half dunkfest. Pitt was able to seemingly get buckets at will, and this resulted in an eFG% for the game of 59.5%. Let's put that in context a bit. It was the third worst defensive eFG% allowed by Marquette for the year. It was also the third best eFG% that Pitt had the entire year. That's bad.

However, Marquette did a pretty good job everywhere else on the defensive end. Pitt coughed the ball up on over 26% of possessions, only got 23% offensive rebounds on missed shots, and only got a free throw rate of 28%. All of these areas were notably worse than Pitt's season averages.

When you add it all up, Pitt only got 0.96 points per possession last night. From an overall defense perspective, that's pretty solid. In fact, against quality teams, that is one of the better defensive outings of the year.

It was the offense

Marquette has an eFG% average of almost 53%. Last night? Marquette had their worst eFG% of the year at... 39.2%. And while Pitt, who typically holds opponents to an eFG% of 43.5%, can be credited, this was still worse than should be expected. In addition, while the overall turnover percentage last night was not bad at 17%, it was still too many turnovers against a team that almost never forces turnovers!

Marquette's final offensive efficiency for the game was 0.85 points per possession. That's horrid, especially considering that Marquette averages 1.13 points per possession. There is almost no chance of beating Sister Mary of the Poor, let alone any Big EAST team with an offensive efficiency that bad.

How much of this do we credit to Pitt? Obviously, we have to credit Pitt because they are a good defensive team. However, Marquette has gone against better defensive teams, or teams that are just as good, and done much better offensively. At West Virginia, Marquette was at 1.07 ppp. At UConn, 1.09 ppp. (Let's just not talk about facing elite defenses like Florida State and Syracuse)

In summary, while the defense was part of the problem (and parts of it were very bad), in the end it was the breakdown of the offense.

That's about all I want to talk about Pitt. Time to get ready for the Cincinnati game.

1 comment:

constructsteve said...

While I understand the concept of "draw contact first" on a layup, too often it comes at the expense of missing the shot. I recall last week Jimmy going nuts the time he finally made the layup after getting fouled. With his hot/cold free throw shooting, I'd like to see him make the layup first.

But he wasn't the only one missing layups.

And the other bummer about the game was the lack of inside-out shooting. We weren't creating open looks like we usually do.