Category Archives: Stats

A Fitting Valentine’s Weekend Performance

It’s Valentine’s Day, which is the perfect time of the year in the sports world to take a look at some aptly named athletes for this holiday — kinda like what Fetch did for Christmas — and see if any of them actually live up to their holiday-infused names.

But since it’s the weekend, and it was a long night last night, I’m only going to give you one college basketball player who used this holiday weekend to put his name to good use. That player, of course, being Xavier’s Jason Love.

Living up to his name.

Saturday, against Florida, Love went off for 20 points (second-highest total of his career) and double-digit rebounds with 10 en route to the Musketeers’ 76-64 win over the Gators. The defeat of course delivered another blow to UF’s hopes of returning to the big dance, but there’s still some time left.

To go along with Love’s performance, he had a +/- of +17, second only to his teammate, Jordan Crawford — yes, THAT Jordan Crawford — who had a +21. Love was also responsible for Xavier’s fast start, scoring 13 of the team’s first 23 points.

So kudos to you, Jason Love, for living up to your name the one time of year that you are expected to.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day, everyone.

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Filed under A10, SEC, Stats, Whimsy

Who is Dominique Jones?

Last week, we brought you a post featuring the rarely-mentioned South Florida Bulls and the man-sized performance of one Dominique Jones. Well that was one performance that merely caught our attention, but at the behest of my brother — a USF graduate — yours truly has decided to keep an eye on DoJo as of late.

Sunday, DoJo (yes, that is an awesome nickname) went off again. He scored 37 points while bringing down 8 rebounds and dishing out three dimes in a win over No. 17 Pitt. Not too bad, right?

Well let’s take a look at his last eight games, all of which were Big East conference games. In that span, DoJo has put up 26, 30, 28, 20, 21, 46, 28 and 37 points, respectively. So why haven’t you heard much about DoJo? Well, because he plays for the Bulls, a team that has, historically, not been very good.

USF's Dominique Jones has averaged 29 points over his last 8 games.

Anyways, my brother and I got to talking about DoJo, and tried to figure out who he reminded us of. One of us offered up a comparison of this 6-foot-4, 210-pound combo guard to another Big East* guard of the same build: Dwyane Wade, who balled at Marquette before being a lottery selection for the Heat.

At first, I thought it was a lofty comparison to be making, but then I decided to check out the stats of both players in what was (in Wade’s case) and what likely is (in DoJo’s case) their final college seasons.

How did the two match up? Surprisingly well.

DoJo this season is averaging 22.095 points compared to Wade’s 21.515 in his final season at Marquette. Both shot just about 50 percent from the field, and close to the same from the FT line — Wade shot 77.9 percent to DoJo’s 75 percent. From beyond the arc, DoJo shoots 37 percent to Wade’s 31 percent (an area that many agreed Wade didn’t excel at).

In terms of effective shooting percentage, DoJo shoots 55.7 percent to Wade’s 51.4 percent. DoJo’s true shooting percentage comes in at 60.3 to Wade’s 57.3.

But the shooting realm isn’t the only place where these two combo guards measure up remarkably close. Both average(d) just over six rebounds per game, just over four assists per game, and had nearly identical assist:turnover ratios at 1.5 for DoJo and 1.4 for Wade. Wade also averaged just over two steals per game, while DoJo comes in at just under two per (roughly 1.9). Oh, and Jones also turns it over a tad bit less: 2.8 per game to Wade’s 3.2.

Pretty similar, no? Heck, statistically speaking, DoJo is probably a better player than Wade was.

So do you still think it’s a lofty comparison for DoJo? Take a look at his game the next time you get a chance. It’s very similar to Wade’s in most facets, except DoJo lacks the same explosiveness to finish in the lane that Wade does so well. On a play where Wade will dunk it on a hard drive, DoJo will probably opt for a teardrop floater — a shot that he has added to his repertoire this season, which has become remarkably efficient for him.

If you’re not sold on DoJo, then I would seriously recommend trying to catch a USF game sometime this season, because the kid has improved incredibly since he first arrived at USF as a freshman, and if he keeps up this level of play, his draft stock will continue to raise and come summer time, he could be a steal for some NBA team out there.

*Yes, we are aware Marquette was still in Conference USA when Wade was there.

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Filed under Big East, Stats, Uncategorized

An Argument for the SEC Player of the Year

All right, we’re about one-third of the way into conference play this season, so Fetch and I thought it would be a good idea to have a nice, healthy debate. We all know about John Wall by now, and how much ESPN loves him and how he’s going to be ZOMGthebestPGevar. And that’s exactly why I’m going to make an argument for the SEC Player of the Year… for South Carolina’s Devan Downey.

SEC Player of the Year?

Now don’t get me wrong, John Wall is a special talent, and I’m sure he’ll succeed in the pros. However, I think Devan Downey could be having a better year in the SEC. It was an argument brought up during South Carolina’s upset of No. 1* Kentucky Tuesday night, and one I’ve discussed with a few friends, as well.

Obviously, there are a couple of things to take into consideration when comparing the two guards. One: Downey is a senior, and thus, arguably more mature and has more experience, etc. Two: both players play point guard, but John Wall has a considerable size advantage over Downey — Wall is 6’4″ and Downey is listed at a generous 5’9″.

Looking at the stats of these two players, you could easily make an argument for either, but let’s take a look at a few stats. For the year, Downey is averaging 22.35 points per game to Wall’s 17.1. Also take into consideration that Downey is averaging nearly 32 points per game in conference play to Wall’s 16.8.

Considering Wall’s roughly 7-inch height advantage, he’s barely even outrebounding the diminutive Downey: 3.68 to 3.35. As Downey is obviously more of a scoring point guard, it’s no surprise that Wall is averaging 3 more assists per game, and his assist to turnover ratio is almost double Downey’s, despite the two committing about the same amount of turnovers.

One area that Downey really eclipses Wall is in steals. Downey leads the nation in steals and his 3.1 average is second in the nation. This stat should come as no surprise, especially considering Kentucky doesn’t really play defense.

As far as shooting goes, Wall has a better shooting percentage (48.4) than Downey (41.9) which is largely due to Downey’s propensity for the three-pointer (he’s taken 72 more than Wall has)… so of course, let’s take a look at each player’s true shooting percentage, which as we know, takes into account a player’s FT shooting and 3-point shooting as well: Wall’s is 58.7% to Downey’s 52.8%.

Again, the two match up relatively well… but if I’m voting for the SEC Player of the Year, I’d probably go with Downey. I love his game, and the way he scores considering his size. I also think he means more to his team than Wall does. Wall has the luxury of playing with DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson and half a dozen other incredible athletes. Kentucky is still a good team without Wall, but without Downey, where would South Carolina be?  Probably in the cellar of the (weak) SEC.

Again, there’s still a lot of conference play left, and anything can happen… but for now, Downey is my choice. That being said, let the debate begin.

Oh, and one more video, because this shot was equally sick:

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Filed under SEC, Stats

Chandler Parsons: Clutch

Everyone loves stats, so let’s drop a little knowledge right now. Currently, Florida’s basketball team is ranked 272nd in the nation, and 11th in the SEC, in three-point percentage at 31.3 percent on the season. Not that good.

Don’t bring that stat up to Chandler Parsons, because he’s got another stat for you: Parsons is 2-for-2 (that’s 100 percent) from beyond the arc, with the game on the line at the buzzer. Yeah, it’s a stat I made up for the purpose of this post, but it’s a stat nonetheless.

You may recall that a few weeks ago, Parsons made what we dubbed the front-runner for the shot of the year, thus far, against NC State when he drilled a three-quarters court shot at the buzzer. Well, Saturday night at the O’Dome, he did it again. Only this time, it was from just beyond the arc, and the crowd was elated instead of heartbroken.  Here’s the video footage. Enjoy.

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Filed under SEC, Stats

Just Say No To Drugs Rebounding Margin

If you watch a college basketball game this season, you will without a doubt hear that so and so team is outrebounding so and so team by a 30-18 margin. Furthermore, watching College Hoops Tonight (or whatever it’s called these days) on ESPN will without a doubt result in Digger Phelps or someone saying that a certain team can’t win the national championship because they get outrebounded too much. Our request to you is this:

Don’t listen. This is because rebounding margin is the most flawed stat out there. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at the Baylor Bears. Topical, since they played just last night. Baylor currently leads the country in rebounding margin, at +11.4 per game. But a closer look reveals why. Baylor forces turnovers on just 17.2% of their defensive possessions, good for 324th overall in the country. This means that the opposition has many more shots to shoot, which naturally results in a lot more available defensive rebounds. And, since defensive rebounds are easier to grab than offensive ones, it artificially inflates Baylor’s numbers. In fact, Baylor is only 67th in defensive rebounding when calculating the percentage of opponents’ misses that they grab, which is the most important.

As Beadlemania hero John Gasaway posits, rebounding is really two skills: offensive and defensive rebounding. Defensive rebounding is the best way to compare how good two different teams are on the glass, because everyone tries equally hard to get defensive rebounds.

Offensive rebounds, however, are another story. Hard as it may be to believe, some teams don’t really try to get offensive rebounds. Take Colorado under Jeff Bzdelik. The Buffs are far more concerned with getting back on defense, usually leaving only one guy down low to try to grab an offensive board. This is a result of wanting to limit possessions. To wit, Colorado is 333rd in offensive rebounding this year and was 342nd last year. Staying in the Big 12, Kansas State still leads the country in offensive rebounding, at 43.5% Thus, rebounding margin can penalize teams that don’t try to go after offensive rebounds with the same vigor as other teams. We can argue the merits of this strategy another day, but the fact remains these teams are penalized for no reason in rebounding margin.

I don’t think I even need to tell you the last one: pace. Obviously teams that play fast are going to take more shots, which will result in more misses, which will result in more rebounds available. Take the Texas Longhorns. Texas is 6th in rebounding margin at +6.2 per game, and although they do well on the offensive glass, they’re merely adequate on the defensive glass, where more rebounds are available. This high rebounding margin is due to the fact that they are the 5th fastest team in the country. Northern Iowa is 104th in rebounding margin at +2.8 per game. However, they are much better than Texas on the defensive glass, only allowing the opponents to rebound 27.5% of their misses. This is because Northern Iowa plays at the 343rd fastest pace in the country at 60.9 possessions per game.

So there you go. How to be a good team in rebounding margin: play fast, don’t force turnovers, miss quite a few of your shots. I don’t want to give that team credit for much of anything, do you?

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A TFS Analysis: The Kansas Jayhawks

KenPom has just released the player pages, and so over the course of the next couple of weeks, we here at Beadlemaniacs are going to be taking a look at some of the more interesting teams and what the implications are for the rest of the season. Today, we lead off with the Kansas Jayhawks, if for no other reason than it’s finals week, and I wrote the same thing over at Rock Chalk Talk, and didn’t want to double up on my work.

I wasn’t sure if I should just post random thoughts on this year’s team, or compare them to the 2008 National Championship team (because there are a ton of player comparisons that are almost eerie), so as a result I ended up doing a little bit of both.

1. Cole Aldrich hasn’t been that bad offensively

Last year Cole’s O-Rating was 123.9, which was 44th nationally, and this year it has “slipped” to 122.9. His true shooting percentage has slipped a bit, mainly because he is shooting almost 10% worse from the free throw line this year than he did last year, but I would expect him to be right there as we get into conference play. He’s also been a much better defensive rebounder this year, which is semi unexpected because with the improvement of the Morri there is more competition for rebounds.

2. Thomas Robinson needs to relax

T-Rob has shown flashes of tremendous potential. In his limited minutes he’s actually the best offensive and defensive rebounder we have this year. In fact, if he had enough minutes to qualify, he would have been the fourth best offensive rebounder in the country last year with his numbers. However, Robinson has looked a little lost with the ball in his hands. He has just a 46% true shooting percentage, dragged down by having roughly the same percentage from two (45.9%) as he does from the free throw line (45.5%). Given that he draws by far the most fouls on the team per 40 mins, he needs to improve from the line. He also, when on the floor, ends over one fourth of the possessions, which is the most on the team. Basically what this means is that he either makes a shot, misses a shot that isn’t offensively rebounded, or turns it over.

3. Tyshawn is actually taking care of the ball better this year

Last year T2 had an assist rate of 20.6 and a TO rate of 25.6. This year his assist rate has gone up (23.9) while his turnover rate has gone down (23.5). The biggest problem with T2’s game this year has been his shooting. Both his EFG and his TS% have gone down over 10%. I’m not saying the guy is the best player on the team, but I am saying that perhaps we should give him a bit of a break. Of course, part of my irrational love for T2 is because of his striking similarities to Russell Robinson (high assists, high turnovers, can’t shoot, elite defense), and Robinson is one of my most favorite Jayhawks in recent memory.

Last but not least, although our offense has looked bad at times, we have the 2nd best offense in the country, at 124.1 points per 100 possessions. While it’s true that some of it can be looked at as we fattened up against weak competition, most of it has to do with a lack of turnovers, great offensive rebounding, and an improvement in three point shooting from last year.

Actually my real last point is about our pace. We can legitimately go 10 deep (and even more when you consider CJ has played well in limited time, and Teahan has given us solid minutes), so the fact that we are playing at only a slightly above average pace (70.4 possessions compared to D1 average of 68.7 possessions) is disconcerting to me. With our depth we should be trying to run teams out of the gym. And we should be running with our talent advantage as well, as general philosophy states that the more talented a team is, the faster it should play.

In all, there are tons of positives to look at with Kansas, and given that we are still very young (299th in experience), we’re only going to get better.

P.S. For the record, KenPom gives us a 2.08% chance of an undefeated regular season.

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Efficiency, Thy Name Is Xavier

Today the #1 ranked Kansas Jayhawks pounded (out) LaSalle, 90-65. The Jayhawks shot over 50% from the field and played their customary great defense, limiting LaSalle to just 36% shooting. They also allowed them to shoot just 35.7% from two, which is under their national best season average of 36.1% But the real story was the play of Freshman Xavier Henry, aka the best Freshman in the country but no one would know it because John Wall is busy getting verbal blowjobs from everyone.

Henry was 6-10 (60%) from two and 4-5 (80%) from three. He also was 7-9 (77.7%) from the line.

Xavier takes a lot of shots when he’s in the game, but that’s good for the Jayhawks as he’s second on the team (amongst people who get regular minutes) in eFG with a 65.4% mark. He’s also asserted himself well on the defensive glass (11.5%). He is better than Wall in eFG, defensive rebounding percentage and much better in turnover percentage.

Wall  may be the more exciting and more athletic player, but Henry is the much more efficient one.

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