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Sunday, February 22, 2009

State 72, UVa 67

AP recap

The high points:
  • State's underclassmen stepped up huge, particularly C.J. Williams and Dennis Horner, who finished with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Williams was particularly efficient, scoring his 16 in just 17 minutes of action.

  • Courtney Fells was clutch at the end, sinking four key FTs and executing the end-of-game fouling strategy to perfection.

  • The Pack played well defensively and offensively at times, jumping out to 18 and 17-point leads twice in the game.

  • Virginia's primary weapon, Sylven Landesberg, was held relatively in check. He finished the game with 16--two below his average--on four of 14 shooting (28%).

The low points:
  • The Pack gave back both leads at the end of both halves. The Cavaliers cut the first half margin down to two right before Degand's half-ending drive and bucket. They also erased the Pack's 17-point lead down to three before Fells iced the game at the line. Different game, same story.

  • Javier Gonzalez finished the game with zero assists and seven turnovers. (He was perfect from the field, however. 4-4.)

  • State once again was out-rebounded and turned over more by an opponent.


Hey, a win is a win. Virginia came in red-hot after wins against Clemson and Virginia Tech and showed plenty of fight. Most teams, when down nearly 20, usually pack it in when on the road. That they didn't is a testament to the improvement of the Hoos this year.

It's also indicative of State's M.O. this year. Get up big and coast. I'm not sure what the root of it all is, or what Sid can say (or should not be saying) to right this trend. I can't fathom that Sid is purposefully "taking the air out of the ball," but the net effect is the same. There's something in this team that, when standing at the crossroads of a double-digit lead, refuses to go down the path of increasing said lead and instead meanders down the road of "Hey, let's make this thing close!"

There's a lot of ballyhoo on the monkey message boards about Sidney's end-of-game fouling strategy. I'll be honest, I've neither coached nor played organized ball long enough to know what the percentages are in that situation. It worked out this time, but the meltdown that would've occurred had it blown up in Sid's face--on top of surrendering the huge second-half lead--would've been epic in proportion. I'm inclined the agree with this line of thinking, from the post-game thread:
I really liked the second foul with 3.7 seconds. Excellent strategy.

But, the first foul was waaaaay tooooo early. Too many bad things can happen. Cannot inbounds the ball. Turn it over on the inbounds. Miss the free throws and allow the other team with win with a two or a three. Just too much can go wrong with that much time to play.

But, with 3.7 .... that's a great time to do it.........
It's an interesting strategy, for sure, and something taken straight from the V playbook.

On to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem.


  1. the intentional fouling to prevent a three point shot back fired on dave odum and wake against unc in the acc tournament sometime in the 90's. wake was up by three and a unc player was intentionally fouled. the unc player hit the first, missed the second, unc got the rebound, made a two to tie and won in overtime. sbas2

  2. the fouling situation is as simple as this. Force the other team to complete three actions (make one free-throw; rebound the next miss; and make another shot) rather than just one (make a three pointer).

    I don't know why our boards would be up in arms about this, but if they are and if it is statefans especially, then I don't get them. It was a smart move by Sid, and I hope to see more like it. I prefer aggressiveness vs. passiveness any day.