2008 NCAA Tournament Capsule: UMBC
Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers
America East (24-8, 13-3)
Big Wins: 11/17 at Richmond (70-68), 11/29 Morgan State (84-76), 12/1 at American (83-68)
Bad Losses: 12/11 at Central Connecticut State (54-58), 1/12 Maine (74-77), 1/19 at Binghamton (59-62)
Last NCAA Appearance: none
Coach: Randy Monroe (First NCAA appearance)
Jay Greene, Junior, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 7.3 apg
Ray Barbosa, Senior, Guard, 16.9 ppg, 2.1 apg, 4.1 rpg
Matt Spadafora, Sophomore, Guard, 6.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Darryl Proctor, Junior, Forward, 15.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg
Justin Fry, Sophomore, Forward, 4.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Brian Hodges, Senior, Guard, 14.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Cavell Johnson, Senior, Forward, 13.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Much of UMBC’s success can be attributed to one simple number. The Retrievers commit just 9.5 turnovers per game. Of course everybody must contribute to keep the turnovers that low, but it all starts with point guard Jay Greene. The junior dishes out 7.3 assists and only turns it over 2.0 times per game. That is one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios in the nation. As long as that remains the case in March, UMBC will at least hang around even in games against much more talented competition.
Greene will not score too much, although he does average nearly nine points per game, but most of the scoring out of the backcourt will be done by Ray Barbosa and Brian Hodges. The wings average about five long balls per game between the two of them and will consistently score over 30 points per game.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Most of the time UMBC will get outrebounded by their opponents. At 6-4, Darryl Proctor is an undersized forward, but he does his part by grabbing 8.4 rebounds and adding 15.1 points per contest. Justin Fry, a 6-9 forward, may start at the five spot, but senior Cavell Johnson sees more minutes than Fry. Johnson can be an explosive scorer off the bench when he is not starting. He is also a solid rebounder. With no other frontcourt options, it is difficult to blame Proctor, Johnson or Fry for the rebounding concerns. As a team, the Retrievers will just have to want the ball more than an opponent who will likely have much more height than them.
Who To Watch:
If rebounding becomes a major problem, 6-5 wing Matt Spadafora might find himself on the floor a little more than his usual 24 minutes per game. The team would need him to add another rebounding threat on the wing, but he does play at the four as well. However, that would do little to help in the rebounding department. Spadafora is not a great scorer, but he can knock down the long ball and his importance doing the dirty work cannot be underestimated.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.9 (68th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.6 (162, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (131, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 7.5 (92, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (92, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.0 (28, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.0 (60, 2)
Rebound Margin: -1.2 (220, 6)
Assists Per Game: 15.4 (50, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.5 (1, 1)
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