Phillin’ The Lane: St. Mary’s Settles in Top 25

Phillin’ The Lane: St. Mary’s Settles in Top 25

Basketball Australia’s US correspondent Phil Moskowitz wraps another week of Aussies in action in the US and Europe.

With a little less than half of the NCAA season remaining, the St. Mary’s Gaels have landed in the Top 25 ranking for the second consecutive week.

The Gaels are currently ranked 24th in the Nation and fell from a ranking of 21st after loosing to Vanderbilt last week.

St. Mary’s entered the clash with the Commodores with a 17-2 overall record and an 11-game winning streak.

Sophomore Matthew Dellavedova was superb in the game, going 7-for-15 from the field for 19 points, had four assists, a season-high four steals, and one rebound.

Despite his best efforts the Gaels fell to the power and grind of the SEC style game and were defeated 89-70.

The Gaels though, are in first place in the West Coast Conference with a perfect 5-0 record and will face a slightly underachieving Gonzaga squad who beat them twice last year.

Delly has been on his game as of late which is evidenced by his increase in free-throw attempts.

Over the last two games, he is 8-for-10 from the charity stripe after going 5-for-7 in the previous eight games.

The Gaels are a great team when Dellavedova is driving the lane and kicking it back to his mates because it opens up all kinds of offensive opportunities for them.

One of which is the option for Delly to continue to the basket, get fouled, and go to the line where he is an 87.5 per cent shooter this season.

Delly’s fellow countryman and former Vanderbilt Commodore, AJ Ogilvy, is playing about as well as he has ever played in Europe.

Ogilvy has had 10 consecutive double-digit scoring games, and 11 total in 16 Turkish League games.

This past week he scored a season-high 24 points hitting a blistering 11-of-14 shots while adding nine rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal in Besiktas’s 82-75 victory over Turk Telekom.

Also playing good ball in Europe is former-Minnesota Timberwolve Nathan Jawai who followed up an 18 point performance by scoring eight points, grabbing eight rebounds, blocking two shots, and dishing out one assist in Partizan’s Adriatic League victory (61-50 over Union Olimpija).

In the NBA last week, all three of the Aussies were on court- and that has been a rare occasion as of late.

David Andersen has struggled to see time as part of the New Orleans Hornets, who are currently 5th in the Western Conference with a mark of 30-16.

The Hornets were a perfect 5-and-0 this week and, over the course of those games, Andersen played 14 minutes. His first action in nearly a month when he saw five minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 29th.

His best game came against Atlanta where he scored seven points (3-for-3 FG) and added three rebounds in the 100-59 trouncing of the Hawks.

The seven points are Andersen’s most since November 19th when he scored nine against the Houston Rockets.

While Andersen saw a spike in paying time, Patty Mills has remained fairly consistent with his.

In Portland’s 4-and-1 week, Mills averaged 12.0 minutes while averaging 4.0 points and 2.2 assists per game.

Patty struggled shooting the ball, hitting only 7-of-23 shots (30.4 per cent); almost half of which were from behind the arc (3-for-9).

Let’s just chalk those numbers up to an off week since Mills has been so consistent of late, and has been steadily growing into a more advanced role in the Trailblazer’s offense.

The final piece of the NBA tri-fecta has had an exciting few weeks.

Andrew Bogut has been tirelessly promoting his Flood Relief Charity whether that be on Twitter or on various television/radio programs, he has set up a new website (www.andrewbogut.com), and has been doing his part to get the Buck’s back in the playoff race.

Through it all, Bogues has posted solid numbers; averaging 12.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 2.0 blocks.

Bogut is having a very good year, better than anyone could have expected from him coming off last year’s season-ending injury.

On the year, he is averaging 13.1 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks and is the only player in the NBA to be averaging that highly in all three of those categories.

Even with Bogut’s offensive numbers slightly down from last year, his defense has kept the Buck’s competitive all season long.

In the 31 games with Bogut in the lineup, the Buck’s have given up 100+ points only five times, and taking out the overtime games that number is only three.

As long as Bogut is on the floor the Buck’s have a very good shot at winning. He is what both their offensive and defensive strategies rely upon, and because of that should be voted into this year’s NBA All-Star Game. 


MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

  • Ogilvy posts a season-high 24 points
  • In Sweden, Liam Rush scored 28 points (12-20), five assists, two rebounds, one block, and one steal
  • Matt Nielsen seven points, four rebounds, one block, and one steal.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK

  • NBA All-Star Selection… Did Bogut finally get voted in?
  • St. Mary’s vs Gonzaga


By Phil Moskowitz