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The Bills over Iona by 7


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Chance to Dance
 
The Bills....57%...up
Dav............54%...up
VCU...........45%...unch
 
Well, I didn't want to jinx us,  so I waited till the Iona plane took off.
This is a good replacement game... Iona is led by HOF coach Rick Pitino.  They have a well balanced scoring attack.  In addition they feature their big guy Joseph...6'9" 240..Rebs and blks. 
 
I have seen some on the board talking about how we will be out coached.  Even if that is true ,  there will be some offsetting factors.
1...Short preparation time...Pitino teams are very well coached and prepared.  In this case, there was no time to prepare for us. That evens things out a bit.
2...Better team...The Bills (A- ) are better than Iona (B )...a decided advantage
3...Home team ...Bills are ready and rested and waiting.
4...Travel...A difficult trip...Bad weather in NY plus Covid protocols and a rushed trip.
 
They have 2 losses...Kan and Belmont....They seemed  to be over matched against Belmont.  Nobody would say we were over matched by Bel.  Good losses for them....Their signature win...15th rated Alabama....Bama is a good team but not as good as Auburn. 
 
So few people are familiar with Iona.. So I asked the computer what team in the A-10 was most similar to Iona competitively. ( Not style of play)  The answer came back RI.
 
Need more info....Let's take a look at the report card....
 
....................SLU....................Iona..........................SLU.........................Iona

.................................OFF..........................................................DEF.............

PPG...............A.........................B..............................C..............................D+

FG%...............B+......................C..............................C..............................C

3Pt%.............B+.......................C-.............................B-.............................A+ 17th ITN

FT%...............B+......................C+.................................................................

Reb...............B+.......................B-..............................B+.............................C

 OFF Rebs  = total rebs...DEF Rebs = opp reb

UP....Off....none.....Def....FG%

Down....Off...PPG...3P%.....Def...Reb

Team FTs... Top 10 Teams ITN

FTM/gm....The Bills...2nd...unch

FTA/gm....The Bills....3rd....unch

FTM / 100 possessions...The Bills...2nd...unch

FTA / Offensive play...The Bills........5th...unch

Top 100 ITN (In The Nation)/ gm

SLU

Assts...Collins...1st...unch...you can't do better than best

Stls......Collins....23rd....dn

Dou Dou...Collins...87th 

FT%...Jimerson...83rd 

Iona

Reb....Joseph...46th

Blks....Joseph....41st

Dou Dou...Joseph...17th

Injury....Linssen...Ques/Prob...Ankle...Game time decision

Keys to the Game...

We have the better team...both on offense and defense...with 1 big exception...3P defense...Iona has one of the better 3P defenses ITN. This means we won't get many good looks.   If they are able to shut us down from the arc, this will be a very close game.  If though, we can make some 3s,  then the problem becomes Iona's and it could be a double digit win for The Bills.  Another issue is Joesph...we need to control him on the boards and also not let him swat away shots.

WWN2D2W

We need to shoot well this game. ...This won't be easy with their good 3D and shot blocking...We need good shot selection....47/37/75...They turn the ball over about the same as we do BUT we are better at forcing TOs...Iona 2+ TOs more than The Bills.... We need to out  rebound the Gaels...how do we do that? ...hold Joseph to 7 or less rebounds (which also means no double double).... only 1 blk for him.  They have a number of people who can score...hold their top 3 to 29 pts.

Bottom line

We need to make shots .  No rushed off balanced 3s and no shooting over the big guy. I am hoping we have corrected the Reb problem from last game. If we play like we did against Rich with some better rebounding,  we will win....Let's nail the Gael.

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24 minutes ago, wgstl said:

How short is their guard who will likely guard yuri? That’s been a steady trend on the outcome so far 

They play 3 guards at once... in a 5 guard rotation....6'4...6'4...6'3... 6'2...6'0...Jolly is their main guy plus 2 others ....all 5 get heavy minutes.....3 of the 5 guards are transfer ins.

Point of information...Iona has only played 1 game in the last 18 days... 4 games in 5 weeks.  And with short notice and being away,  they should not be on the top of their game.

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As per TR the Vegas line favors SLU by 4 pts. I think we are fairly evenly matched, but given the fact that the Vegas line tends to underestimate SLU, I think we should win this one over the Vegas line.

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if iona plays tight 3 point defense, it would seem to me that means drives to the basket by emerging billiken nesbitt seems in order.  no time like now for a huge breakout game jordan

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2 hours ago, billiken_roy said:

if iona plays tight 3 point defense, it would seem to me that means drives to the basket by emerging billiken nesbitt seems in order.  no time like now for a huge breakout game jordan

I agree...or feed the ball to a driving to the basket Jimerson.    The one thing I didn't discuss in the opening post of this thread is something that Master coaches do as part of their game plan. ...Disruption... Something different that allows lesser teams to win or stay in the game. . . A baseball analogy is having 2 right fielders when Matt Carpenter is batting and because he can't adjust he drops from a 300 hitter to  below 200 .  It is something that Majerus did and Pitino does.    It is why Alabama (10th ranked at the time) lost to Iona....They couldn't adjust and lost.  As I mentioned above Iona is a B team  just like Boise , Belmont and UAB were.  But there is a difference between Iona and those other B teams....Iona has C team talent and plays at a B level. Part of their success is to max out team talent by doing something different.

It is not just that Iona starts 3 guards They will play 3 guards the whole game trying to wear teams down. Jolly will play most of of the game with the other 4 guards in a round robin.  In our case, they will  try to double team Yuri the whole game....  Disruption...The one thing the computer  or any other handicapper can't do is measure how a team deals with it and adjusts to it.  Belmont dealt with it and won ....Alabama didn't and lost.  I didn't mention Kansas (Iona's other loss) because they have so much talent that Iona couldn't disrupt them.

Maybe we will get hot from 3 ...DJ comes in to help from 3 and starts hitting a few....but if we get shut down from the arc , we need to find other ways to score....Adjust and win...It is what good coaches do when disrupted.

 

 

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3 hours ago, billiken_roy said:

if iona plays tight 3 point defense, it would seem to me that means drives to the basket by emerging billiken nesbitt seems in order.  no time like now for a huge breakout game jordan

And a lot of teams that play great 3 pt D, tend to maybe overplay it a bit. GJim has been really good with the back door cuts which should help to keep them honest. I'd like to see Nesbit get better at recognizing when he has that opportunity also. This could also put their big in some foul trouble if we go right at him rather than try and avoid getting our shot blocked. 

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Tonight the pupil bested the teacher as Ford beat his mentor ...Pitino. The team, though,  learned what Ford already knew ...that Pitino was going to throw a suffocating defense on us. You can hear about it but until you actually see it  and experience it,  you don't realize the full affect. ...think Havoc / VCU / Smart.   I think the tidal wave washed over us and knocked us back on our heels the 1st quarter.  And then we settled in.  And again, for the 2nd time in a row we closed out a tough game.  Do you remember  before Richmond...the talk was the Bills aren't going anywhere ...they can't close out games.   We have shown we can close out games.  Or before this game...Ford is not an in game Coach...Can't adjust...Will get out strategized by Pitino.  Well tonight in a seesaw battle down the stretch, he beat the Master.

Let's see what happened.

Bolded statements are from my original post.

47/37/75...obviously didn't happen because of the great Iona D...looks like a fail on the surface but as it turned out it didn't matter because The Bills stepped up and had great D too. . Let's look at the slashes ....Iona.....35.5%/ 18.2 / 73.1

......................................................................................................The Bills..34.5%/ 21.4 /96.2....The difference in the game was FT shooting....25/26 and 10 straight down the stretch. For those with short memories ...we led the league in the last few years as the worst FT shooting team in D1.  For more info ...check the FT table in the original post of this thread. What a difference a year makes.

 If they are able to shut us down from the arc, this will be a very close game....Yes and yes

hold Joseph to 7 or less rebounds (which also means no double double)... Yes and Yes...6 rebs and no DD...this was important.

only 1 blk for him(Joseph)...He had 4... at first glance , this looks like a fail, too.  But again, it didn't matter as Okoro stepped up and had a great effort of 4 blks cancelling out Joseph's play.

Iona 2+ TOs more than The Bills... And yet this too looks like a fail...we had 19 TOs  (too many) to Iona's 9....while 19 is a bad number number most of those happened in the 1st quarter... we settled down in the 2nd qtr and coming down the stretch neck and neck with Iona....no TOs in the final 4min 48s and only 1 in the final 6 m 48 s.  And that is the secret to closing out a game.  Don't turn the ball over. The 3 blown games were all the result of us giving the opponent the ball.  If we keep the TOs down in the beginning of the game, we will have many more wins.

They have a number of people who can score...hold their top 3 to 29 pts. ....Again not looking good on the surface... top 3 scored 41  but yet again it didn't matter as our top 3 scored 41pts. We have a number of people who can score too.

We need to out  rebound the Gaels...I am hoping we have corrected the Reb problem from last game......And did we ever....48-34...This kept us in the game. Outstanding effort.

Bottom line...We won this game on FTs , Rebs and steady play down the stretch (no TOs). In areas where we came up short,  we matched them....That's what good teams do.  We are growing and maturing as a team. This bodes well for the future.

 

 

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5 hours ago, The Wiz said:

Tonight the pupil bested the teacher as Ford beat his mentor ...Pitino. The team, though,  learned what Ford already knew ...that Pitino was going to throw a suffocating defense on us. You can hear about it but until you actually see it  and experience it,  you don't realize the full affect. ...think Havoc / VCU / Smart.   I think the tidal wave washed over us and knocked us back on our heels the 1st quarter.  And then we settled in.  And again, for the 2nd time in a row we closed out a tough game.  Do you remember  before Richmond...the talk was the Bills aren't going anywhere ...they can't close out games.   We have shown we can close out games.  Or before this game...Ford is not an in game Coach...Can't adjust...Will get out strategized by Pitino.  Well tonight in a seesaw battle down the stretch, he beat the Master.

Let's see what happened.

Bolded statements are from my original post.

47/37/75...obviously didn't happen because of the great Iona D...looks like a fail on the surface but as it turned out it didn't matter because The Bills stepped up and had great D too. . Let's look at the slashes ....Iona.....35.5%/ 18.2 / 73.1

......................................................................................................The Bills..34.5%/ 21.4 /96.2....The difference in the game was FT shooting....25/26 and 10 straight down the stretch. For those with short memories ...we led the league in the last few years as the worst FT shooting team in D1.  For more info ...check the FT table in the original post of this thread. What a difference a year makes.

 If they are able to shut us down from the arc, this will be a very close game....Yes and yes

hold Joseph to 7 or less rebounds (which also means no double double)... Yes and Yes...6 rebs and no DD...this was important.

only 1 blk for him(Joseph)...He had 4... at first glance , this looks like a fail, too.  But again, it didn't matter as Okoro stepped up and had a great effort of 4 blks cancelling out Joseph's play.

Iona 2+ TOs more than The Bills... And yet this too looks like a fail...we had 19 TOs  (too many) to Iona's 9....while 19 is a bad number number most of those happened in the 1st quarter... we settled down in the 2nd qtr and coming down the stretch neck and neck with Iona....no TOs in the final 4min 48s and only 1 in the final 6 m 48 s.  And that is the secret to closing out a game.  Don't turn the ball over. The 3 blown games were all the result of us giving the opponent the ball.  If we keep the TOs down in the beginning of the game, we will have many more wins.

They have a number of people who can score...hold their top 3 to 29 pts. ....Again not looking good on the surface... top 3 scored 41  but yet again it didn't matter as our top 3 scored 41pts. We have a number of people who can score too.

We need to out  rebound the Gaels...I am hoping we have corrected the Reb problem from last game......And did we ever....48-34...This kept us in the game. Outstanding effort.

Bottom line...We won this game on FTs , Rebs and steady play down the stretch (no TOs). In areas where we came up short,  we matched them....That's what good teams do.  We are growing and maturing as a team. This bodes well for the future.

 

 

I always appreciate all the work that goes into your analysis of the upcoming games and the results.

Okoro and Nesbitt’s steady improvement is really impressive.

Okoro’s numbers last night came going against good bigs. Okoro looks confident out there and does not worry about making a mistake.  He did get pulled for a talking to early in the game and was fine after that.  The rebound and put back at such a critical time to go up by 4 was huge.  Playing well with 4 fouls for the last 5 minutes down the stretch was impressive.

 

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2 hours ago, CBFan said:

I always appreciate all the work that goes into your analysis of the upcoming games and the results.

Okoro and Nesbitt’s steady improvement is really impressive.

Okoro’s numbers last night came going against good bigs. Okoro looks confident out there and does not worry about making a mistake.  He did get pulled for a talking to early in the game and was fine after that.  The rebound and put back at such a critical time to go up by 4 was huge.  Playing well with 4 fouls for the last 5 minutes down the stretch was impressive.

 

Coming into this year Okoro  had almost  a 2 yr layoff.  I agree with you he has had steady improvement.  Every good player has a breakthrough game....A game where they arrive... Last night was Okoro's.  In the next game analysis write up (Dayton),  you will see him listed in the Top 100 ITN in Blks (86th).  What you won't see is that he is on the edge in 2 other categories...Rebs (needs 0.4 rpg  more)...and FG% (less than 3% away).  He has exceeded all his stats in his last season at Ore (29 games) even though he has only played a half season at SLU  (14games)

Breakthrough game...where a player is never the same after that game...Okoro will never be the same going forward...in a good way.

As I said in the post game analysis above, we are growing and maturing as a team...and that bodes well for the future.

 

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No, it was not a superb game by the Bills, but they hung in and competed once they closed out the 1st half and got back in the game. Iona has a good team and can compete with the big boys as their win over Alabama showed. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this game from the comfort of my Florida home. Now let's go beat Dayton in their gym!

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You are correct Schasz, Iona can and does play against the top teams, hold their own and, at least once against AL, beat them. We are showing that we can play at the same level Iona plays, this is good. This was a tough game and we won. Forget the NET and the margin of winning, we won.

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14 minutes ago, Old guy said:

You are correct Schasz, Iona can and does play against the top teams, hold their own and, at least once against AL, beat them. We are showing that we can play at the same level Iona plays, this is good. This was a tough game and we won. Forget the NET and the margin of winning, we won.

Well not to throw water on this idea but Missouri beat AL last night.  I do agree that Iona is no slouch.

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20 minutes ago, billiken_roy said:

it bothers me that so many are saying the billikens didnt play well if not the whole game part of the game last night.   imo, it wasnt the billikens playing bad it was just how tough iona was.   imo, the billikens should be tremendously commended for taking the punches they did, hand on and come out on top.   i am very encouraged by the game last night.  show heart doesnt even come close to describing the billikens last night. 

Roy, a lot of the members of this board are like my ex wife, nothing is ever enough for them or their expectations. Best thing to do is to ignore them and let them live their unhappy unfulfilled lives on their own, this is the way I look at my divorce.

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I have been critical about Fords in game abilities especially after the few games we could not close out.  Last night someone mentioned Okoro might’ve had the worst 90 second start to a basketball game in Billiken history.  Ford promptly got him out of there for Traore and calmed him down.  From there on out he was the best big man on the floor.  Credit to Ford for this sequence, might’ve won the game.

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18 minutes ago, billiken_roy said:

it bothers me that so many are saying the billikens didnt play well if not the whole game part of the game last night.   imo, it wasnt the billikens playing bad it was just how tough iona was.   imo, the billikens should be tremendously commended for taking the punches they did, hand on and come out on top.   i am very encouraged by the game last night.  show heart doesnt even come close to describing the billikens last night. 

I agree it was a very good win....Iona is not the best team we will play this year ...not even in the top few teams....BUT they are the best defensive  team we will face this year.  As good as they are on D,  they played over their heads according to the numbers.  Imagine a great defensive team that has a great night (well above average). That's what you saw last night.  They just kept coming at us and we didn't fold.   And that 's what made it a great win.

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55 minutes ago, billiken_roy said:

it bothers me that so many are saying the billikens didnt play well if not the whole game part of the game last night.   imo, it wasnt the billikens playing bad it was just how tough iona was.   imo, the billikens should be tremendously commended for taking the punches they did, hand on and come out on top.   i am very encouraged by the game last night.  show heart doesnt even come close to describing the billikens last night. 

11000+ we have seen so many times we start even,then the superior teams jump out double digit lead. we stop the bleeding but stay d0zen behind for the rest of the game. we sure were headed that way 12 minutes in. great effort to get back in this one. 2 of our favorite stats were limbo low (no mmms, 3 assists for soon to be career leader Yuri.

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