Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Men's Hoops Win/Lose Factors, Offensive version

So, yesterday we went under the hood and look at the game stats that determined whether the Men's Hoops team won or lost...yesterday, we concluded that our very average offense gave us little margin for error, and cost us some games that were probably won based solely on defending....so today we delve into the offense to see what we can find.

The team, for the year, scored only .96 points per possession, which is 9th in the MAC and 283rd in the nation.  We had next to no margin for error.  That's a low number to start with...and below .95 points per possession, BG was 0-13.  BG's worst offensive performances that yielded to a win were @UB and @NIU...both .96 points per possession.

On the plus side, BG had to get to 1.09 points per possession before significant wins came along...above that mark, BG was 8-1, but again, that's way above their average.  The defense really only cost the team a game they should have won, and that was the game @UWM when BG scored 1.13 ppp and didn't get the win.

What components are there behind scoring.  Well, the first and most important part is shooting the ball.  Using Effective FG%, we see that BG averaged 50.4% over the course of the season.  When they shot over 55% they were 9-1, and when it was under 45% they were 0-10...which is remarkable only for its complete unremarkability.

Offensive rebounding did not appear to play any real role in whether the team won or not.  BG averaged 30.5% offensive rebounds, which is 8th/252nd.  When BG was over 35% they were 3-5 and under 25% they were 3-6.

So, shooting is clearly a critical component in points per possession.  Turnovers is another one...at least on the negative side.  BG turned the ball over on 20% of its possessions, which is a pretty typical number (6th/160th).  BG already shot poorly, and a team that shoots poorly can't afford to turn the ball over (an automatic zero point possession).  At a turnover rate over 22%, BG was 0-10.  Sadly, the flip side isn't as good.  Taking care of the ball didn't help very much, as BG was 6-4 when they were under 18% turnovers.

Finally, free throws.  I'll have a more specific post on this coming up, because it is the one thing about this year's team I didn't notice as much while it was happening.  BG simply was not fouled.  BG was the worst team in the MAC in getting free throw opportunities and one of the worst (319) in D1.  For the year, the team average 3 FT attempts for every 10 FGAs....when that number is 4.5/10 FGA, BG was 5-1, but under 25, the Falcons were 2-10.

I don't think you can avoid the conclusion that BG simply didn't have a strong mix of offensive playmakers.  The team shot poorly for the year, and didn't have players who defenses were forced to foul.  And, though the team took care of the ball OK, because of the above factors, when TOs were a problem, it was something the team couldn't shoot their way out of.

More in coming days about what this means for the near-term future of our program.

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