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David Lewis said,

December 15, 2007 @ 2:03 pm

Penn State 26 Denver 10 at the half. This sounds very familiar. This isn't even a good Penn State team. They probably will not win 6 games in the Big Ten and lost to Rider - that's right Rider - by ten points a few weeks ago. Is it a lack talent or has the rest of college basketball learned how to guard the Princeton offense? Just a few years ago Joe Scott was being heralded as an offensive mastermind. He even sold tapes on the internet. If the Princeton offense is so great why are Denver, Princeton, Northwestern and Richmond the lowest scoring D-I offenses in the country? For those who will say that it's not about scoring it's about efficiency, how come these teams don't shoot the ball at a high percentage either? Don't get me wrong, I loved the Princeton offense until a few years ago. That offense makes Princeton interesting and without it they are just another Ivy League basketball team. Just wondering if it's something deeper than a talent drop off.

Jon Solomon said,

December 15, 2007 @ 2:18 pm

David,

I put the PSU game on just in time to catch the start of the second half. 29-12 at this point.

While I agree Penn State isn't a great team, they're undefeated at home (where they beat decent opposition in Virginia Tech, Seton Hall) and winless on the road/neutral (0-4). There wasn't a huge crowd to provide a home court advantage on Wednesday, so I wonder what the difference is.

Denver has an Effective FG% of 54.1%. Northwestern is even higher at 56.3% (#24 in the nation). Georgetown is #9 in the country.

It is only Princeton and Richmond that are in the bottom third of Division I in this category.

Jon

David Lewis said,

December 15, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

Jon,
That efficiency percentage for Northwestern and Denver is a little misleading. Northwestern scored 95 points against Benedictine and 88 against Arkansas State, Denver had its highest point total against a team called North Central. Georgetown doesn't count, they have great athletes and some of the most highly recruited players in the country. It just seems that opponents are better at guarding the system than in the past. For many years, even the great Princeton teams struggled to score in the Ivy League and got very few back door baskets because the Ivy teams had experience defending Princeton's offense. Now it seems that because the system is used by so many more teams nationally non-conference teams are much better prepared to play Princeton than in the past.

Jon Solomon said,

December 15, 2007 @ 4:04 pm

Fair points (though I disagree about writing off Georgetown - made shots are made shots and Arkansas State is a DI team from Denver's conference). Will be curious to re-examine these numbers as the pre-conference schedules have larger sample sizes. I'll be doing some detailed number crunching during the Tigers' exam break.

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