Monthly Archives: November 2017

UNE changes approach and wins 121-113 shootout vs Gordon

(Biddeford ME) What a game!

The front-runner for Coach-of-the-Year in the Commonwealth Coast Conference has got to be Ed Silva of the University of New England.

A team content to nurse every possession down to the last few seconds in years past transformed itself into a run-and-gun club in the nine-month offseason.

Gordon ran into the new-and-improved Nor’easters tonight, and despite a second-half rally, lost 121-113 on Wednesday in the CCC opener for both teams.

I had seen the stats from UNE’s first five games and had seen a team that was putting up 3’s and forcing mistakes on the opposition.  Gordon (1-2) fell victim to both categories in the first half.  While UNE made nine 3’s in the first half the Scots committed an unremarkable EIGHTEEN turnovers in that same half.  Wicked bad combo!

Trailing 60-44 at the half, and the way UNE was playing, I had a sense that a serious blowout was about to happen.  That sense was nonsense as GC began to look for answers off the bench and found some.  The Nor’easters weren’t giving any ground but at least GC was better taking care of the ball.

Down twenty-four points (97-71) with seven minutes left the Scots put together the best combo of scoring and defense I may have ever seen for the next six minutes.  UNE’s quick shot approach turned sour as they cooled off and Gordon made appropriate passes and a steady flow of shots and got the lead down to five, 114-109, in the last minute.  That’s thirty-eight points in six minutes!

But it was too little too late.  UNE, and I credit Coach Ed Silva for this, changed the tempo to a more controlled approach.  He used his timeouts to rest his players and organize them.  It interested me that previously he called timeouts just to substitute players and then cut the timeouts short.  It was a whole new approach.

Anyhow, in the closing minutes the Nor’easters took advantage of GC’s need to overplay the UNE perimeter shooters and drove against single defenders.  That approach drew fouls and on this evening those foul shots dropped and the home team had a CCC win.

Gavin Dibble put up the big numbers for UNE with twenty-five points.  Just to get an idea of the style of play, UNE had FIFTEEN different players score in the first half!  They were coming in in waves with the green light shining for anyone with an opening.

One casualty in this game was the Efficiency Chart.  I usually put the top five in the game and normally there are at least two from each team unless the game was one-sided.

Gavin Dibble 32

Garrisson Duvivier 31 (19 pts, 16 reb, 4 assts)

Eric Demers 28 (29 pts, 8 reb)

Josh Ribeiro 16 (4 assts,3 blk, 2 stls) Birthday today

Jaren Yang 13 (6 assts, 8-for-8 FTs)

That’s the top five and you would want to think that Gordon dominated the game.  But UNE countered the GC top four with fifteen contributors.   Gordon finished with a remarkable 133 on the Efficiency chart while UNE earned only a 94.  Maybe that Efficiency stat isn’t as great as I think it is?

It certainly didn’t hurt the home team that they got hot in the first half and turned a 12-8 deficit into a comfortable 43-23 spread in eleven minutes.  That 31-15 segment (included six successful UNE 3’s) may have been the worst GC basketball I have seen in a while.

But it was that kind of game with plenty of good and also plenty of not so good.

One of the struggles GC had in the first half was finishing breaks.  When the Scots broke through the UNE’s backcourt pressure there were some glittering opportunities for layups.  Not all of them were made.

UNE (2-4) was picked by the coaches to finish 8th (out of ten teams) in the CCC.  I wonder where those same coaches would place UNE now?

Teams that rely on a few players playing long minutes to give them most of their points will be in trouble against the UNE style.  The team from Biddeford (ME) prevents teams from controlling the tempo and if their long shots are dropping, good luck.

You couldn’t help but be distracted by the three UNE students under the basket GC was shooting at.  Why they hadn’t painted UNE on the front of them was obviously an oversight.  My theory, based on the website visuals, was that this was the before part of the before-and-after weight-loss program they were starting.  Coming to the basketball court instead of the food court would be the key piece in the transition they would be undertaking.  Their calisthenics showed not only promise but plenty of loose baggage.  Changing their physiques from trunk to carry-on will take time but I, for one, admire their intensity.

Gordon gets Nichols next.  That may not be pretty.  Nichols blasted Endicott tonight.  The Scots will have to find ways to match up with some very good one-on-one players in Dudley (MA) on Saturday to win this one.

Box Score


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Gordon loses 79-77 to Salem State on questionable last-second shot

(Newtown CT) At the end of this game I wasn’t sure whether I should believe the three officials or my lying eyes!

Generally, I would go with the officials on the scene but as I looked back on the Salem State website at the way this game ended it was my lying eyes that got this one right.

Gordon picked up a 79-77 loss to Salem State on Tuesday night at Salem State.

This was an entertaining game to watch.  Both sides wanted to run and neither was shy attempting three’s.

The Scots (1-1) were down and then back up on numerous occasions.  The final “back up” occurred after GC trailed by eight (77-69) with 2:46 remaining.  Jaren Yang collected the tying three after great hustle by Jake Haar and Matt Valles kept GC’s final play alive.

Now we’re back to the so-called game-winning shot by Tyreik McCauley.  There was only ONE second left.  The pass from the baseline traveled ¾ of the court.  (I know, the clock doesn’t start until someone touches the ball inbounds.)  Viewing the buffered replay on the SS site clearly showed Garrisson Duvivier deflecting the long pass.  The clock is SUPPOSED to start on contact.  It didn’t.  The ball then hit the floor.  We’re talking ONE second here.  Tyreik had to pick up the ball and heave a shot toward the basket.  If the ball had deflected straight to Tyreik and he instantly took the shot that ONE second may not have been used up. But for the ball to be deflected, bounce on the floor, and then be shot?  You’re kidding me that anyone could get that done in a second.  But four people, including one employed by Salem State, missed the deflection and the bounce and allowed the shot to beat the final buzzer.  Travesty for sure.

Gordon still could have lost in overtime but we’ll never know.

That being said, I spent one Gordon basketball season operating the clock when the games were played at Rhodes Gymnasium, and those late-game situations aren’t always easy.  The time keeper could well have been screened but it’s the referee’s job to signal the starting of the clock.  Enough of this.

Nine players contributed points for the Scots.  Players came off the bench and helped keep Gordon in the game.

Neither team took great care of the ball and there were nineteen turnovers for both teams.  A shock to me was the fact that the Scots turned the Vikings’ miscues into twenty-eight points.  This team has some quickness in transition.

Uneven performances by two of Gordon’s key players, Eric Demers and Garrisson Duvivier.  Eric poured in fifteen points in the first half to carry the Scots but then cooled off entirely in the second half.  Garrisson, despite a double/double, picked up a technical foul and had seven turnovers.  But on this day, others stepped up and brought this one down to a questionable last-second basket.

Players that caught my eye?  Parker Omslaer, Josh Ribeiro, and Graham Tienhaara.  Parker came into the game in the first half and turned no-one-can-guard-him Drew Healey into the invisible man.  Parker had two blocks.  Maybe that comes with his volleyball background?  Josh and Graham were relentless on both ends of the court like the graduated Sam Johnson was.

I knew that Salem State was flirting with trouble in the last five minutes of the game when they changed their run-and-gun style into a deliberate one-on-one style.  In their attempt to hold onto a lead they gave up their flow and Gordon was able to erase the Vikings’ lead.

Gordon has now lost five straight to Salem State.

The visuals from the Salem State website were excellent.  The audio, however, lasted for about five minutes for me before I had to mute the two announcers.  Too shrill and too one-sided for my enjoyment. Kind of like the reaction of a non-Gordonite reading this blog!

The Efficiency Stat confirms how close this game was with both teams earning a 90.  Notice also that Salem State claimed four of the five top individual spots and yet Gordon made a game of it by having multiple contributors beyond the top five individuals.

Efficiency chart

Shaquan Murray 22

Tyreik McCauley 20

Garrisson Duvivier 18

Drew Healey 16

Alex Santos 14

Josh Ribeiro 14

Salem State 90

Gordon 90

Box Score

Next up for the Scots will be their first Commonwealth Coast Conference game in Biddeford (ME) at UNE next Wednesday night (7:30PM).  This game has must-see written all over it.  Why?  UNE is currently 1-3 and have little size, but that isn’t the attraction.  What is?  The Nor’Easters are putting up three’s at a remarkable rate.  For instance, in their game last night (Tuesday) in which they lost 120-93, UNE put up seventy-three (that’s no typo!) 3-point attempts!  Seventy-one percent of their shot attempts were from beyond the arc.  To compare styles, Gordon launched thirty-one percent of their shots, in the loss to Salem State, from long range.  Talk about a clash of styles.

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Gordon defeats Elms 85-66 with 17-point second half streak

Garrisson Duvivier in the lane. Garrison had a double/double against Elms

(Amesbury MA) Gordon ran seventeen unanswered points in the second half and that gained them permanent separation from Elms College (Chicopee MA) on Wednesday night.

The final was 85-66 in this non-league opener for both squads.

Junior Garrisson Duvivier started the season with a double/double scoring nineteen points with twelve rebounds.  Garrisson collected two of his baskets during the decisive run in the second half.

Eric Demers topped all scorers with 18 points

The top scorer was sophomore Eric Demers putting eighteen points together with four assists.  Eric had two 3’s and an assist during GC’s 17-point streak.

The Blazers (0-1) had enough rebounding and firepower to stay with the Scots.  If you could delete their 5 ½ minutes of shutout basketball the finish would have been very tight.  But when you miss twelve shots in a row, including three layups, bad things are bound to happen.

Elms has now dropped nine straight games.

The Scots (1-0) shot fifty percent relying on open three’s as well as attempts in the paint.

It was instantly evident that Gordon will need to find ways to replace the inside presence of graduated Sam Johnson.  Freshmen Matty Valles (6-6) and Parker Omslaer (6-11), however, showed promise rebounding and blocking shots.

Jake Haar shot 2-for-3 from long range versus Elms

I watch Jake Haar play and I immediately think of Brady Bajema of the 2009-10 Gordon title team.  Both absolutely refuse to shoot a low-percentage shot.  They seldom drive, being content to stay beyond the arc waiting for an open look.  When that look comes they generally cash it.  Jake was 6-for-8 from long range last year against Elms.  This year he was 2-for-3.

Gordon did a nice shot of sharing the ball.  The twenty assists they had tonight in western Massachusetts happened only four times last season.

Getting the ball to Garrisson Duvivier anywhere in the paint is a high-percentage way to get an assist.

Missed free throws did not cost the team from Wenham this game.  Better teams are ahead (Salem State Tuesday night), however, and those ten freebie misses tonight would be disastrous against them.

Yes, I still believe that the Efficiency Stat gives a pretty good picture of how players and teams performed.  How does it work?  You subtract the negative stats (turnovers, missed free throws, missed field goals) from the positive stats (rebounds, points, steals, blocks, assists, steals).

Efficiency Stat

Garrison Duvivier 27

Eric Demers 19

Keeshaun King 13 (11 points)

Parker Omlaer 13 (8 points, 3 blocks)

Pablo Ortiz 12

Gordon 107

Elms 59

The Scots did well against the Elms pressure.  Good passing.

Elms is in the New England Collegiate Conference.  The Blazers were 4-21 last season.

Biggest GC deficiency in my opinion is this game?  It had to be blocking out.  Too many extra shots for a smaller opponent.

My first actual look at this year’s team will be the home opener on December 5th.  I will be relying on the computer feeds in the next three games.  The Elms’ one was a good view for a while then it slipped into a freeze while Gordon put their game-deciding surge together.

Gordon was 15-11 last season.  Picked by the Commonwealth Coast Conference coaches to finish 2nd this season.

Any picture I use will be from a previous season until after I see the Curry game in December.

Box Score


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