Friday, February 19, 2016

William and Mary - Away - Pregame

Saturday February 20th is senior night in Williamsburg.  The fans of the Pantsless Griffins will be honoring Sean Sheldon and Terry Tarpey for their significant contributions to William and Mary athletics.  These two have been part of a core that has brought William and Mary from a conference cellar dweller to perennial twenty game winners.  Every season they have played at W&M has been a double digit win season, the first class of teammates to achieve that accomplishment since the 1978 graduates.  These two joined Tony Shaver and Marcus Thornton to help bring this program to the next level and deserve all of the accolades given to them on Saturday.  Marcus Thornton's senior night was Saturday, February 28, 2015.

The story of Tony Shaver at William and Mary is told through offensive metrics.  The Tribe is currently 12th in the country in effective field goal percentage.  They were 6th the year before, 6th the year prior to that and 23rd when the current class of seniors were freshman.  They are not elite for the CAA, they are elite nationally.  They have finished better than Michigan State, Villanova and Kentucky in that category every year for the last four years. Doing that at an academics first institution in the CAA?  That's a hell of a basketball program.

There's a flip side to all that goodness that the Tribe staff and writers won't tell you about though:  Tony Shaver made one big, bad mistake.

There was a high school student just up the road in Richmond.  A top tier player, a high character person that would have fit in in Williamsburg, he's the son of a Pastor.  And when his mom shows up to a game, look out.  Just look out.  Coach Shaver didn't bring Rodney to William and Mary, but being that close to home, Rodney brings his mom there.  And in 62 minutes of game time in Williamsburg, Rodney has 27 points, 13 rebounds and just 1 turnover.  And for the second senior night in a row, Rodney Williams will be in attendance in Dragon Blue and Gold.

Prediction:  William and Mary 72, Drexel 66
Vegas Line:  William and Mary -15.5

Alan Bostons's Take:

There will be no obscure song references. Sadly, there will also not be much original thought. It is hard to know what to say when a desperate Drexel team loses at home to what was likely a less than enthused Elon bunch. Perhaps with the heat off, Elon relaxed and hit every shot. Or perhaps Drexel does not defend quite like they once did. So I write this brief preview, feeling a bit lost.

Perhaps the most shocking score of last year, was a beat up Drexel team going to Williamsburg on senior night and beating first place William & Mary. Once again, Drexel goes to William & Mary on their senior night. I do not expect them to pull the upset, but senior nights can be hard on the home team. I have found that big favorites often struggle on senior night, the emotion overtakes the focus for a game that deep down they know they will win. Drexel also catches William & Mary off a huge effort in their easy win over first place UNCW.  Although the setting is right for the upset, the team attempting must be capable. Well, Drexel has shown flashes of brilliance. They do seem capable. William & Mary handled Drexel rather easily in Philly.  This time, it may be different. Either way, enjoy watching the Tribe run their offense. Tony Shaver is one of the top ten coaches in the COUNTRY.

Wm+Mary 78 Drexel 72

No comments:

Post a Comment