Over at the great blog “College Chalktalk”, Ray Floriani goes over some pace numbers for the BIG EAST, and speculates how fast teams with new coaches coming in will be (Rutgers, SHU, St. John’s, DePaul). He uses Keno Davis as example of a coach who came in and produced different possession numbers than their previous gigs.
Providence’s rather brisk pace is notable. In his one year at Drake, PC mentor Keno Davis finished 28-5. His club was 15-3 in the Missouri Valley that year but his possession numbers were quite different than his first two seasons at Providence.
Year: 2007-08; Pace: 62; Offensive Efficiency: 114
Davis’ Bulldogs favored a pedestrian pace but you can’t argue with the results. Judging by the record and an off-the-charts offensive efficiency (points per possession multiplied by 100) of 114. At Providence, Davis evidently believes the best opportunities are not in a half court game but extending the floor and number of possessions.
Coaching changes often bring about a question of philosophy. Will the new coach employ the same tactics as he utilized at his former school? Very often, the Keno Davis exception aside, that is the rule.
The question of the Friars’ pace heading into this season could be as interesting as those teams with new coaches. After what transpired last season, one would think that Coach Davis would think twice about his run-and-gun style and how it affects the defense. However, based on interviews I’ve seen this off season, Keno is going to stick to his (run and) guns and hopefully get a complete 180 on defensive effort. Keno said it last season controversially as things were crumbling, and again on BIG EAST Media Day — he thought he didn’t have the right personnel to be successful last season. The young team might still be a year or two away, but I think it’s safe to say we are in for another season of 70+ possessions (the Friars had 73 in Keno’s first two seasons of BIG EAST play). That style of play is enticing to recruits, and Keno needs to keep slowly upgrading the talent over the next few years to translate his philosophy into W’s.