C2 | MACE & CROWN | wednesday 01/26/11
Timeliness vs. inconsistency Stat sheets don’t show everything Matthew McCracken Assistant Sports Editor
Consistency may look good on paper, but big plays are what change the course of a game. Does it matter if this big play happens in the first minute or the ending of the second half? You bet it does. Old Dominion University Monarchs hosted the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams Saturday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. A rivalry filled with hatred became a game of physicality and big plays that ended in the favor of the antagonists. The Rams beat the Monarchs 5950 in their own house. It wasn’t their sub-par field goal percentage, average three-pointers, or full-court press that won the game for the Rams. It was the timeliness of their big time plays and the inconsistency of Monarch play. The Rams started off the game on a 9-2 run accredited to their pressure and hustle, and the panicking of the Monarchs. Turning over the ball early three times and a total of 14 times in the game, the Rams were able to score off these Monarch mishaps totaling in 15 points. Aside from turnovers, the inconsistent transition of play from the first to second half was the Achilles heel of the Monarchs. Shooting five of 10 from beyond the arc in the first half kept them in the game while shooting one for nine in the second
half shot them in the foot. Shooting 45.8% from the field in the first half didn’t keep them far from the Rams, but shooting 33.3% in the second half gave the Rams breathing room. Not giving up an offensive rebound in the second half was expected from the Monarchs, but giving up 10 in the first half was too much of a deficit to fix. The Rams weren’t at their best, but their big plays were picture-perfect. The Monarchs made their runs off alley-oops to junior forward Chris Cooper or numerous three-point shots by junior guard Trian Iliadis, but the timing wasn’t right. The Rams made their runs at the beginning of the game, and the end of the second half. Stat sheets may be accurate, but they do not account for the effect of a particular shot. A stat sheet doesn’t show how Rams senior guard Joey Rodriguez’s only three of the game took the breath out of every Monarch fan. How about how freshman forward Juvonte Reddic’s only two buckets were late in the second half with the shot-clock winding down. Talk about a dagger into the back of Monarch players. Good defense isn’t rewarded when up against a better shot. ODU inconsistency was the cold of the Monarchs. Even when one player gets over the sickness, the virus spreads to another. Just ask Trian Iliadis and Chris Cooper. With Cooper not scoring a basket in the first half, Iliadis scored eight with six being from three-point shots. Iliadis was not to be found in the second half having a big goose egg in the scoring column. Cooper, on
Milestone win for Hall of Fame coach the other hand, scored eight. Don’t believe in the virus yet? Look at Monarch’s senior guard Darius James. Scoring only two points in the first half, James scored seven in the second half including a big time three that gave the Monarchs their first lead since the beginning of the game. Sometimes, it isn’t how you score but when you score. The Rams and Monarchs are almost identical in field goal percentage, but the Rams scored in bunches late in the game, and held onto the ball. “Big time players make big time plays,” VCU head coach Shaka Smart says. Big time plays change the course of a game. In the case of the Monarchs, their big time plays may have came just a little too early while the Rams held their composure to make big time plays in the later part of the second half. Yes, consistency does bring success, but timeliness brings a “W” in the game column. The Rams simply hit shots when they needed to be hit while the Monarchs made shots to keep up with VCU. They weren’t outplayed at all times during the game. There were points in the game where the Monarchs were unstoppable. The beginning of the second half started as a 9-3 run in ODU’s favor. Their inconsistency to keep attacking, rebounding, and stay aggressive hurt them while VCU’s timeliness for big shots won the game. The timeliness of the Rams brought out the inconsistency of the Monarchs, delivering them their third loss in the CAA this year.
Christian Ernst Mace & Crown Aside from turnovers, the inconsistent transition of play from the first to second half was the Achilles heel of the Monarchs.
Rachel Chasin Mace & Crown Larry added this to her many accomplishments Jan. 23 as the Lady Monarchs toppled the Lady Tigers of Towson University, 71-43.
Wendy Larry reaches 600 by
Christian Ernst News Editor
Pat Summitt. C. Vivian Stringer. Geno Auriemma. Kay Yow. Now you can add Wendy Larry to this famous list of coaches with 600 wins as a head basketball coach of a women’s NCAA basketball team. But she played it off like nothing much had happened. She opened her postgame press conference not with a comment about 600 wins, but that her team’s defense had created breaks and made baskets off of them, a crucial part of the win. Larry added this to her many accomplishments Jan. 23 as the Lady Monarchs toppled the Lady Tigers of Towson University, 71-43. Larry capitalized on the opportunity to get her 600th win on the second chance, after the Lady Monarchs lost to VCU Jan. 20. 600 wins isn’t an everyday accomplishment in the NCAA, either. Only 20 coaches, 12 active, have made it to that point. But Larry said it felt like an obituary, turning around at the end of the game to see her assistant coaches wearing t-shirts with the years 1978-2010 on it, as well as a picture of herself on it, the years she has been coaching. Larry has been with ODU since 1987. “It’s got a starting date and an ending date on it,” said Larry. “It’s hard to reflect right now, because I’m just happy we won this game.” Larry was excited about how well the girls played as well. They dominated the inside of the court and shot well from three point range. “We’re fun,” said Larry. “I’d buy a ticket to see us.” She kept looking forward though, as Larry just saw it as an obstacle more than a milestone. “Now what I think about is chasing a championship. Now we can move forward and try to get better every day,” Larry said. And no one could be surprised by this sentiment. Larry is a no joke coach with a no joke personality, always looking towards the future of the team. Sure, Larry isn’t afraid to tell a joke every once in a while, and is a fan favorite among the student section, butshe always has her eye on the championship, like every good coach should. And coaches respect her. Even Towson’s coach, Joe Matthews, had something to say about Larry. “What she’s done for women’s basketball, not only the CAA, is monumental,” Mathews said. “(She’s) a Hall of Famer. There’s a lot of coaches and players who should be indebted to her. Without people like her, I couldn’t have a chance to follow my dreams.” And Larry has not gone unnoticed. She has 17 CAA championships, eight CAA Coach of the Year awards, as well as WBCA District III, RCA, Sporting News, and United States Women’s Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Coach of the Year awards. She has been part of two National Championships. She is still looking for her national title as a head coach, reaching the game once in 1997.
Jan 26, 2011