On the Gary Neal Scoring Experience
After reading one of the 82games.com guys on the correlation between one NBA player shooting with no conscience and team success, I was sort of curious about this Gary Neal fella's performances in Towson wins vs. Towson losses. (Yeah, I'm excited for tonight's Local 11 showdown between No. 3 G'town and No. 11 Towson. G'town has even given me a seat on the court, with the other actual journalists.)
Official G'town beat writer Camille Powell noted in today's paper that Neal's shooting percentage is dramatically better in Towson victories, so I figured Neal would gun away more in losses, and would be more restrained in wins. I also figured his teammates might pick up more of the slack in wins.
See, I was going off the assumption that one big scorer might not lead to great team success. Sure, Morrison and Redick were 1-2 in scoring last year, and Gonzaga and Duke did just fine, but look at the teams that went to the Elite Eight. Only one of those teams had a player in the top 50 nationally in scoring: Villanova's Randy Foye. (By the way, trying to refresh my memory on the Elite Eight, I went to the NCAA's site, which told me that Wichita State went to the Elite Eight and Texas went to the Final Four. Thanks, NCAA.)
But anyhow, my assumption was no good. Gary Neal is averaging 19.2 shots in Towson wins, and 16.3 shots in losses. He's averaging 28 points in wins, and 15 points in losses. He provides 38 percent of Towson's shots in wins, and 29 percent of the Tigers' shots in losses. And he provides 41 percent of the scoring in wins, and 24 percent of the scoring in losses. So I guess if you're a Tigers fan, or a Hoyas foe, you want to see the man chucking with abandon tonight. Make Kobe proud, Mr. Neal.
(Also, if you, like me, figured the teams with the highest scorers would be mostly wretched, you would be wrong. Of the top 12 scorers in the nation , all but VMI's Reggie Williams play for teams that are either within one game of .500 or over .500. Three play for teams that are 8-2. And incidentally, three of the top 10 scorers are from our area: No. 4 Williams, No. 6 Gerald Brown (Loyola) and Neal at No. 10.)
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