Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
As I promised in my other post, I wrote that I had compiled a spreadsheet with data. Well I finished this a few days ago, but haven't had time to post it up with a full analysis. Anyways, thanks to statsheets for providing a lot of this data.
Here is the spreadsheet on on Google documents.
Please note that the spreadsheet is split into years from 2005-06 through to the current 2008-09. So we'll have the 3 previous Final 4 years along with this year. I have also included the possessions/game and total possesions this year as calculated by Kenpom. These statistics first include the raw totals of the year. The second set of stats are the values of the player per game. The next is the values of the player per minute the player played.
We then have these player's performances pro-rated out to 40 mins, 30 mins, 20 mins, and 10 mins. In other words, this is what they would perform if they maintained their current rates/min and played that amount of time. Finally, we have their performances per possession.
Now I have to ask people read these notes on why some values do not line up correctly with some stats out there 100% and also why there are caveats to this information:
- I took out players that missed significant time or do not play a lot. This mostly pertains to walk-on players for example. This also means that I removed Shipp in 2005-06 and Roll in 07-08 for example. Thus there will be some issues, mainly with possessions but these should be statistically insignificant. All the other values are historical values that occured.
- These values are from the raw statistics of this year. In other words, the numbers presented are based on history. Obviously, 05-08 seasons are complete and done with. These values also are not adjusted to competition yet.
- You can't take these values without considering strength of schedule. The historical data for the previous 3 years include our runs through the tournament which means that we will have faced much tougher competition in the tournament. Also, the previous 3 years have had different strength of schedules, such as the much tougher Pac-10 last year.
- The number of young players and cupcakes we have played may certainly skew our rates compared to previous years. On the flip side, our development should improve our numbers over the year which may balance out increases in strength of schedule.
- On the data of player rates, please remember that these stats cannot factor in what fatigue, foul trouble, etc. would do if a bench player were given more minutes. So yes, if Morgan were able to play 30 minutes a game, he would put up big numbers, but he hasn't shown that ability yet.
- Finally, these stats cover the whole year and do not cover just the previous few games. Any recent/new trends won't be felt until a few more games when the data starts moving in the new direction.
I'm sure I'm missing something and I'll add it when it comes to mind. Anyways, looking at the data, I had a few points that immediately stuck out at my mind on the team in general, compared to year's past:
- We have had some bonafide stars these last few years. Looking all the way back to 05-06, seeing all these names now on the next level certainly brings a smile to me knowing what our program has produced.
- I was shocked to see that LoMata had barely been used in 05-06 but really developed into an impressive defender in the past 2 years. In fact, Ryan Wright was used more than Mata in our 05-06 run.
- We had an incredible starting lineup last year with Westbrook, Shipp, Love and Collison all averaging double figures. The previous 2 years, Afflalo was our star on offense, without a doubt.
- Who says that our offense has done worse over the years? Its true that our season isn't done yet, and we haven't played tougher competition, but our points per game have gone up every year since 05-06. And it shows with our recent #1 rating in Kenpom offensive efficiency.
- Statistically, our best comps are with the 06-07 and 05-06 teams. In fact, rebounding/game wise, we are similar to the 06-07 team. Our difference is that our defense is ranked in the 50's versus a team ranked in the top 10 at the end of the season. On that note, our rebounding last year, to no surprise, was a beast.
- Stats wise, we are getting more steals per game than in previous years. But that's both a good thing and a bad thing. Good in that we're getting other teams to turn it over. Bad in that it seems like we've made a lot more defensive gambles this year. Particularly against Texas, we made some defensive gambles where we got burned bad. However, our increased length and athleticism is no doubt a major impact on tihs front.Our post woes are definitely there. Our blocks per game are down,
- LRMAM was a beast on the boards and on defense over his 3 years here. Man, I miss him.
- If you think we aren't drawing enough fouls, you're right. Our free throws per game are the lowest of these 4 years. That's easily 2-3 points a game, which is a big difference. Our free throw % is also much worse than last year (.685 vs .735).
- All that talk about how we are a much better ball handling team? Yes and no. We're giving up slightly more turnovers / game than the past 2 years, but we are putting up much more assists per game. In fact, we have the best A/TO ratio of any of our 4 teams. So we're definitely getting the ball around and protecting the ball, for the most part.
Now, past teams only mean so much for us. So as to some analysis of our team this year:
- If you thought Gordon was our best rebounder, you're correct. He's easily our best rebounder per minute/possession. Our second best rebounder is Keefe. Not having one of Gordon or Keefe on the floor means that we are playing at a rebounding disadvantage.
- The Holiday and Westbrook comparisons are much closer than people think. Yeah, JH isn't a lockdown defender, but both are our best rebounding guards. Both get steals at a high rate, have similar Assist and Turnover ratios and rates. JH doesn't get as many free throws as Westbrook does though. At their freshmen years though, Holiday is much better. If Holiday stays another year, he may, dare I say it, be better than RW.
- Morgan, in the limited time and competition he has played, has incredible block rates and gets a lot of fouls drawn. However, he also fouls a lot of people. I can't wait to see him develop though - a little more speed and explosiveness, and this guy will be a huge part of our team. He's a big guy so he can alter shots and clog the lane, but he also draws a lot of fouls from other teams and is efficient on offense. He's got a lot of work to do, but if he can develop in time for the tournament, we might have a huge piece.
- Lee has been a good rebounder and scorer in his limited time. His injury has certainly set his development back though, and limited his time. Hopefully he does develop a bit more as well this year, as he could be a key person to slot in the 2/3 and his length and height helps him get a lot of boards, something we've been hurting on.
- A sign that our team is inexperienced: we foul more per game than any other of our teams. In fact, we have more than one foul per game than 05-07, and 3 more fouls per game than last year. Yes, 1.5 more fouls per game might not seem like a lot. However, This can easily average out to a 2-5 more points per game given to the opponent. A foul means they're closer to being in the bonus, or gives them another possession on offense, or allows them to get and-1's. This has already burned us a few times this year, and might be why our defensive ratings are so poor this year. However, this is an experience issue as our players with the highest rate of fouls are all our freshmen.
- Our free throws per game are at the lowest of any of these 4 years. Big difference. A player with the athletic ability of Holiday should aim for getting more free throws as well. Looking at the past comparisons, Farmar and Westbrook both drew nearly twice as many free throws per minute/possession.
Anyways, thats as far as it goes for my analysis as I have other things I have to work on right now. Please take a look at these stats and see anything you find, reminisce about our prior teams, and see if any of your beliefs or thoughts are reflected in the numbers.
I'm certainly optimistic about where our team can go. I would certainly agree with a lineup tweak of having either one of Gordon or Keefe on the floor at all times, as they are our best rebounders. We also need to foul less (largely an experience issue though, as our biggest foulers are our freshmen) and draw more free throws.
In a nutshell, it appears that our biggest problem this year is that we have been giving teams second chances too often. This is certainly illustrated in second halves, when teams that are down make runs that come back at us. We need to deny opponents second chances by rebounding better and limiting our fouls on them that give them a new possession or a chance at the free throw.
However, a lot of this is an experience thing. We have a very bright future ahead if we continue to develop. Our freshmen are inexperienced at fouling and what not, but they have incredible athletic ability. I hope to see all of them get more play time and experience because if they in time for the tournament, we will have the capability to make a deep run. And looking to next year, if they make the same freshmen to sophomore jump other players have on this team, watch out...