Weakened Preview coming later this afternoon.
Nor’easter’s win over Mason brought five CAA teams to 3-1 on the season. Important nuggets from the game, in my mind:
- Mason took four free throws (NU was 16-17). In the Huskies previous win over VCU, the Rams only took four free throws. Defend without fouling folks. The key to winning basketball.
- Don’t sweat the 71-46 margin, Mason fans. Remember our new rule: the blowout loss stinks in the moment, but long term is far less painful than the one-point loss. Take the road drubbing and move on.
- NU with 19 assists on 23 field goals.
- Chase Allen hit six threes and scored 20 points, NkemO with his bankable 8/7, and Matt Janning with 10 shots and 31 minutes. Allen playing with fire and Bill Coen managing Janning’s minutes is critical.
- Of note, Kauri Black suited up for the first time all season, scoring six points in five minutes of action. Here’s the importance: Black is Eugene Spates-ish, in that he is 6-7 with perimeter skills. Nice midseason offensive pick up for a team just starting to roll.
And speaking of numbers…that’s really what we’re after, isn’t it? It can be wins, RPI, conference record, points per possession–but give me a number.
Brian Mull’s most excellent post discussed numbers; specifically conference record. His thoughts had me skittering to BBState and reaching for a pen. Perspective, you know, can be found in the numbers.
The most interesting thing I found wasn’t even what I was searching for: since 2005-06, when Georgia State and Nor’easter came aboard and necessitated the whole “Friday Bye” phenomenon, there’s never been a tie for fourth place.
I repeat: we’ve never needed a tiebreaker to decide whether or not you play on Friday.
Only once has a team finished 7-11, whatever that is worth.
Now, a number really becomes important, no? Check it out:
|1st to 4th||15, 15, 14, 13||16, 15, 14, 13||15, 12, 12, 11||14, 13, 12, 12|
|9th to 12th||2, 3, 3, 4||3, 4, 4, 5||5, 5, 5, 7||3, 5, 5, 6|
|Win 7, 8, or 9||two teams (8)||four teams (8/9)||four teams||two teams|
What does that mean? First, that Mull is likely correct in that 12 wins gets you a bye this season. It’s been that way the past two seasons, and the two seasons before that the bottom of the conference was terrible.
You won’t find one person on the exit side of an asylum that would say the bottom of this year’s conference is terrible. In fact, we may be looking at a repeat of 2007-08, which would be great for competition. It would also be bad for an at large. We need the separation you saw in the at large years, with four great teams and four bad teams.
And as we roll towards Saturday we have five 3-1 teams and the twice-defending conference champs at 1-3. As we move through the next 33% of the season keep an eye on the separation–it can be half and half.