Game #9-516: Winthrop Eagles at Coastal Carolina ChanticleersFebruary 27, 2013 7:00 pm
After two days off from my last game at Charlotte
, I was glad to be back at a basketball game at Coastal Carolina on Wednesday. It was a game I was really looking forward to, and not because it was Senior Night for Coastal Carolina. Nor was the reason for my interest in this game being because Winthrop and Coastal have had a rivalry that often got heated back during the Gregg Marshall era. And it was not because this was "Superhero Night" at Coastal either. The main reason for my excitement was that I would get to a major milestone in my recordkeeping of basketball games, a number that we celebrated last season for our collective accomplishments. This game between Coastal Carolina and Winthrop was the 800th basketball game I have attended since the start of the 2007-08 season, Season 4 on this website and my senior year at High Point. In six seasons, I have seen as many basketball games at all levels as there were college games covered on this website last year.
And as all TMM9 readers know, I am not the only person on here who has gone to an insane number of games. Raymond Curren has now gone to more Division I men's college basketball games this season than possibly anybody ever. Of course, we have no real way of knowing that, or where I rank in number of sporting events attended. As Ray said of himself when he made it to his 100th game earlier, "I'm not in it for the attention, I'm just having fun". That perfectly describes what I have been doing here. I am not looking for attention, and the few people who would take my number of games as being noteworthy would look at me like the guy in the bar who looked at Matt Cayuela funny for going to Campbell. Or another example would be when Kyle prior to starting this website told others about how he drove through a snowstorm to go from the CAA final to make it to the Atlantic 10 first round games, and nobody cared. This really is just all for fun. And often times it is trying to make the best of things as well, as I have mentioned before my efforts to move upward and start a new life with fewer games. But for now, each game is a new experience in life. And the numbers associated with them build a relationship of each very different game with one another, just as Kyle's 100 Games Project did or the 800 Games Project did last year. The numbers are fun to count, and I always mention the season count of games on my first tweet leading up to a game (this would be the 146th game of the season, labeled Basketball 2013). But the numbers aren't important unless I am doing something with them. So that is why I mentioned when I was at my 500th game early on in the 800 Games Project (yes, I have been to 300 basketball games since, which has only been 15 months) that I have a statistical database of all sporting events I have attended. And the time has finally come to share my big project.
So here it is what I simply call "The Database". The first tab that will come up will be my list of baseball games; the basketball games I have been to is the next tab to the right of it on the bottom. The baseball database is a bit harder to explain, so I will leave that to when I get a new blog going and talk about it during the peak of baseball season. Since we are talking basketball here, I will just try to explain what is covered in the basketball portion of The Database. I was going to do a full breakdown of the columns, but that would be overkill. I will instead just mention the columns that might cause the most confusion.
Column F: Name of team who won the game. The home team is listed in CAPS. A team is always considered at home if they are playing in their regular home venue, even if the game is part of a neutrally governed tournament in which the host is even occasionally the designated visitors (Example: College of Charleston in the Charleston Classic). An exception would be if two teams are playing that share the venue, in which case the designated home team is in CAPS. College teams that get what I can label a palpable home advantage playing near their home fan base but not at their normal home site are also labeled the home team in CAPS. High school teams playing at a neutral site in their attendance zone are also considered the home team in CAPS. If it is a completely neutral site, neither team is listed in CAPS. Same for losing team in Column P.
Column H: Points per possession multiplied by 100, which is the efficiency model used by Ken Pomeroy. Same for the team that lost the game in Column R.
Column Z: Game tempo, or the number of possessions on average over 40 minutes. For a regulation college game, this number is simply the average number of possessions per team in the game. For a regulation high school game, the average number of possessions would be minute-adjusted by multiplying by 1.25. Likewise for a regulation NBA game, the tempo would be minute-adjusted by 0.83.
Column AF: What I call the "Game Over" point (first recorded in 2008-09 season). Inspired by Bill James' advanced calculation at the end of the 2007-08 season, this Game Over point is simply determined by a simple set of rules. The first rule is that Game Over can never be declared unless the leading team has the ball. At which point, the game is declared "over" if the team with the ball is leading in one of the following scenarios:
A. Up by two possessions (at least four points) with less than ten seconds left.
B. Up by three possessions (at least seven points) with less than 30 seconds left.
C. Up by ten points with less than a minute left.
D. Up by 12 points with less than two minutes left, and then keep increasing that threshold by two points for each extra minute (i.e., up by 18 points with less than five minutes left).
Game over is then recorded in number of seconds left. No team has ever comeback after being behind past this game over threshold, but it doesn't stop them from fouling. If the buzzer sounds before the winning team takes possession with what is deemed a safe lead, "Game Over" is recorded as 0.
Column AL: Game score (first calculated in 2009-10), one of my definitions of what makes a good basketball game. Calculated as Average efficiency minus (Free throw attempts doubled) minus seconds left at Game Over.
Column AM: Another attempt at defining what makes a good basketball game also going back to 2009-10. It is the same as the previous column, but with more emphasis on offensive efficiency by doubling it.
So now that I have finally gotten around to sharing my experiences and the data on it, let's talk about what happened at Game 800 and Basketball 2013 Game 146. As mentioned before, it was Senior Day at Coastal Carolina. It would be the final time the seniors would ever play at home, at least until the conference tournament the next week (which is governed neutrally, as mentioned in my home team clarification above in talking about the Database). For the Chanticleers, this meant bench player Charles Ashford and seldom used Bisi Addey. But most importantly, it would be farewell to the CCU's two best players in Anthony Raffa and Kierre Greenwood.
And it would be these guys who would be motivated to lead Coastal to a big win tonight. Coastal still had an outside chance at a bye, but just winning and dominating at home is what they needed to do going into the conference tournament. And the Chanticleers started fast with Greenwood setting up the underclassmen for quick buckets that gave CCU an early 9-0 lead. Winthrop responded with a 7-2 run, and put together a couple nice stretches in the first half. But each time Coastal would respond much better. Sophomore Warren Gillis joined the seniors in having a big night, something Coastal coach Cliff Ellis I am sure was pleased to see for next year. Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey looked increasingly frustrated as he called timeout to try and turn things around.
But Greenwood and Gillis would remain strong throughout, and Coastal began to pull away before halftime. Even freshman Tristan Curtis off the bench made plays just before the half to give Coastal a 41-24 halftime lead. Kelsey had the Eagles playing a tempo similar to that of the preceding Marshall/Peele era, but could not get the same defense that Gregg Marshall's teams won with. Coastal had an outstanding efficiency of 1.46 points per possession in the first half and the Chanticleers dominated both inside and outside.
It was a rare performance for Coastal, getting production from everybody all over the floor. It was not just Raffa and Greenwood this time leading the way, and that is what you want on Senior Night. Coastal's hopes for next season appear to rest in Gillis, as well as the young forwards Badou Diagne and El Hadji Ndieguene. They all did well this game, as Raffa made the plays in the second half to keep Coastal's lead in double figures throughout the second half. The second half was not that interesting, as the students lost interest after the Superhero Competition (won by a student in a Wonder Woman outfit). Coastal was able to coast until Game Over was reached at 1:51, at which point things got even worse for Winthrop as an angry Pat Kelsey received a technical and the Chants got a dominating 73-54 win.
It might have not been the best game I have seen by any means. But it was nice to see Coastal dominate a rival that a few years prior had endlessly tortured them and the rest of the conference. And Coastal fans appreciated the effort, with one of the biggest crowds at the HTC Center of the season at 2,635. And with this game would be more stats on this game to be entered into the Database to be compared to other basketball games I have been to. All 800 games I have been to have a story behind them, which is the enjoyment I get in recording them in The Database.
at COASTAL CAROLINA 73, WINTHROP 54
WINTHROP 12-16 (5-10) -- A. Smith 1-8 1-2 3; J. Bourne 1-1 5-7 7; J. Jerome 6-10 4-7 16; G. Gamble 5-11 2-3 15; R. King 2-5 0-0 4; C. Farmer 1-8 0-0 2; S. Diop 0-0 0-0 0; S. Johnson 3-4 0-3 7. Totals 19-47 12-22 54.
COASTAL CAROLINA 14-13 (9-6) -- A. Raffa 6-13 4-6 18; E. Ndieguene 1-2 4-4 6; W. Gillis 6-13 3-5 16; K. Greenwood 6-17 4-4 16; M. Enanga 2-6 0-0 4; T. Curtis 1-2 2-2 4; B. Diagne 2-3 0-2 5; C. Ashford 0-0 2-2 2; U. Ljeskovic 0-0 0-0 0; B. Addey 1-1 0-0 2; J. Daniel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-57 19-25 73.
Three-point goals: WINT 4-20 (G. Gamble 3-7; R. King 0-2; J. Jerome 0-1; A. Smith 0-6; C. Farmer 0-3; S. Johnson 1-1), CCU 4-13 (A. Raffa 2-6; K. Greenwood 0-1; W. Gillis 1-3; B. Diagne 1-1; M. Enanga 0-2); Rebounds: WINT 22 (G. Gamble 5), CCU 41 (W. Gillis 10); Assists: WINT 10 (A. Smith 4), CCU 10 (K. Greenwood 5); Total Fouls -- WINT 19, CCU 18; Fouled Out: WINT-None; CCU-None.
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