Georgetown took fewer field goal attempts, made fewer field goal attempts, pulled down fewer rebounds and committed more turnovers. So why did Temple lose?
WASHINGTON - If you followed my live blog, you know that I was pretty well convinced that Ramone Moore should have taken the ball to the basket in the game's final minute instead of trying to dribble off some clock.
I thought that even more after the postgame press conferences. Barker Davis of the Washington Times noted that the only guy who could have stopped Moore from getting to the basket was Chris Wright, who had four fouls.
There was no way that Wright would have been able to get in position and set his feet, so it would almost certainly have been a blocking foul had there been contact.
You can certainly make a good case for dribbling off the clock. And it's not fair to argue with the benefit of hindsight, knowing that Moore only took off four seconds or so before being fouled.
Had Moore made the free throws, it would have been a three-point lead. But he missed the front end of the one-and-one, and that was it. Georgetown went the other way and Greg Monroe hit the game-winning layup with 6.5 seconds left.
Was there enough time for the Owls to run a different play than having Luis Guzman run into a double-team? Sure. But I'd argue that Moore's play was of greater significance.
Let me make clear something that I've said a number of times on here before: I've never played (or coached) organized basketball before. And I don't want to pile on Moore, because he's a sophomore and you know the next time he goes down the floor he'll make a better-informed decision.
But I was discussing the game at a bar in the neighborhood where I grew up with a guy who did play collegiately, and he said that there are some plays where the evidence is clear.
And as you'll see in the video below, Fran Dunphy didn't exactly give the endgame sequence a ringing endorsement.
The one good thing about the way the game ended is that it distracted us from a dreadful first 25 or so minutes. There was a brief stretch midway through the second half or so when both teams were moving the ball well, and you could see the tactical clash between Fran Dunphy's motion and John Thompson's interpretation of the Princeton offense.
I particularly remember a stretch of three or four Temple passes around the arc involving Ryan Brooks, Ramon Moore and I believe Craig Williams, and a play at the other end where Vaughn was running a classic high-post pass-out play with his back to the basket. But that was about it.
For the game, Temple shot 32.1% from the field (18-56), including 13.0% from three-point range (3-23) and 15-33 from two-point range (45.5%), and 46.2% from the free throw line (6-13). They pulled down 11 offensive and 26 defensive rebounds and tallied 12 assists, 10 turnovers, no blocks, seven steals and 15 fouls.
That adds up to 59 possessions and 0.757 points per possession.
Twelve assists on 18 made baskets isn't a bad ratio, but 18 made baskets speaks for itself.
Georgetown shot 35.7% from the field (15-42) including 16.7% from three-point range (3-18) and an even 50.0% from two-point range (12.24), and 13-19 from the free throw line (68.4%). The Hoyas pulled down five offensive and 31 defensive rebounds and tallied seven assists, 16 turnovers, one block, three steals and 18 fouls.
That adds up to 60 possessions and 0.754 points per possession.
In other words, the Hoyas took fewer field goal attempts, made fewer field goal attempts, pulled down fewer rebounds and committed more turnovers.
So why did Temple lose? I heard the answer on Twitter all afternoon: free throws. Georgetown got to the line more often and missed as many attempts from there as the Owls made.
It's not really worth giving out a Line of the Game from this thing. But it's noteworthy that Lavoy Alllen had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Greg Monroe had 11 points and nine rebounds. Chris Wright led all scorers with 15 points, six of which came from the free throw line.
The complete box score is here.
Longer excerpts of the postgame press conferences are in the audio player. I had some trouble with my recorder so I missed a few bits, but just about everything is there.
One piece that did not make the cut on the audio is Luis Guzman's explanation of the final play of the game, because there was a lot of feedback while he was talking. Here's a transcript:
He told me to push the ball, to push the ball down and if I'm open, just to go to the basket. I looked to my right and there was nobody aroud so I thought I had the chance to go straight to the basket. The guy was there before I got there.
I'll put up the week's Football Crunchy Numbers post at some point tomorrow, but after that I'm going dark for a few days. The last few days have been a lot of fun, but also pretty crazy.
I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I have.