Wednesday, January 26, 2005

 

Fun with Numbers

Statistics are fun to look at and if you're Ken Pomeroy or Jeff Sagarin they help explain everything. So today I decided to look at the top 10 teams in the country and compare their stats at guard. People say guard play is vital to an NCAA tournament run, but how much do teams depend on their guards to create points? How balanced are teams in relation to guards and forwards scoring the basketball? Some teams start 3 guards so I noted those next to the team. The third column is Points created per game. Since an assist is worth 2, you double that column, add it to points per game and divide by games played, its the amount of points directly created by the guards. The last column is the percentage of the team's points directly attributed to guard play. Sorry about the format, I couldnt figure out a way to make a chart come out on this blog.

Guard Play
Team Pts Ast TO PC/G %
Illinois (3) 45 16.4 8 77 95
Washington (3) 46.5 12.6 6.6 71.7 81
Kansas (3) 32.3 10.7 5.5 53.7 75
Duke 38.3 6.6 4.2 51.5 63
Kentucky 29.3 7.6 3.4 44.5 59
Wake 32.5 8.8 5.4 50.1 59
UNC 27.7 9.9 6.0 47.5 52
Ok State 23.8 8.1 2.9 40 51
SU 21.4 6.5 4.2 34.4 45
BC 16.9 6.3 3.6 29.5 39

A few interesting notes
- Both Big East teams are at the bottom as far as percentage and BC is the only top ten team under 45 percent and for that matter they're under 40 percent. Guard play is of course key in the country but it seems like it is less important in the Big East because both teams are undefeated in conference play.
- Duke leads all the two guard offenses in points scored, but is near the bottom in assists. There is so much pressure on JJ Reddick and Daniel Ewing to contribute and score big every night that at some point Duke is going to struggle. To ask those two guys to play like that for 6 games in the tourney is asking a lot especially when they play better guards.
- I know Illinois plays 3 guards but 95 percent of the points they score are attributed to 3 guys. That was the number that jumped out at me. It is an insane amount of points that are directly created by Deron Williams, Luther Head and Dee Brown. That goes to show how much they play and why Illinois is so successful. No one else in the Illini offense is responsible for ball handling duties.
-North Carolina is the highest scoring team at points per game but only rely a little above 50 percent on their starting guards. That means that the guys like Sean Mays and Jawad Williams are scoring without much help from their guards. Just seems to me by a quick glance that UNC is the most balanced offense.
-John Lucas' Ast/TO ratio is off the charts. He gets his guys in good position to score and doesnt turn the ball over. For that matter neither does Daniel Bobik. Just crunching numbers you can see Oklahoma State and UNC relying on their big guys if the perimeter game isnt working.
-Not a lot of people know about Washington, but their 3 guard lineup actually scores more than Illinois. With Brandon Roy back expect their numbers to climb a little bit. They have an explosive offense and apparently there are other people that help Washington. Sometime in the next couple of days we'll look at the State of West Coast Basketball.

What do these numbers mean for SU?
-Not much. I was surprised SU was that close to 50 percent but it goes to show how much more of an all round player Macnamara has become. The second guard for SU is McCroskey and he's not a contributor in the mold of some of these other teams. If I had used Josh Pace's numbers I'm sure the percentage would have been higher. If and when Edelin gets back to his normal self expect to see SU hover around 50 percent.








Comments:
Could Syracuse's numbers be lower because of how many people occupy the position. For example: When Josh moves from guard to small forward how can you break his stats apart and apportion to each position. Hard formula you are working on but I encourage you to keep at it. When an idle team with a losing conference record jumps 10 spots and lands ahead of an undefeated conference leader (KENPOM)then I scratch my head.
 
i could have broken it down like that, but for me to see what minutes a player plays at guard and at forward is nearly impossible. I took the starting guards because more than likely they'll be out there for crunch time..SU is different because they use a combo of 3 other people with Gmac..i was more amazed with the other numbers than SU's numbers.
 
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