"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Friday, March 21, 2008

Getting to Know Stanford - By the Numbers

Here are the Important Numbers to Know about Stanford. As always, information comes from Pomeroy's Scouting Report and Game Plan.

Stanford has an overall Pomeroy Rating of #10. (Marquette is still at #12) Like Kentucky, Stanford prefers a slower pace to the game at 65 possessions / game, which is #242 in the country.

Stanford's Offensive Efficiency (115.8 - Rank of #25) gets better because of:

  • Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) - average of 50.1% (national rank of 155)
  • Offensive Rebounding Percentage (OR%) - average of 39.8% (national rank of 7)
Like every team, the Cardinal's offense looks to how well they do at field goal percentage. In this area, they are average. However, as one might expect for a team with two seven-footers, they do an outstanding job at offensive rebounding. Digging into Stanford's offensive numbers further, they are #6 in the country at not getting blocked and they shoot one of the lowest amount of threes in the country (#316).

Stanford's Defensive Efficiency (86.2 - Rank of #6) gets better because of:
  • Limiting Turnovers - average TO Rate of 18.9% (rank of 54)
  • Forcing Turnovers - average TO Rate for opponents of 17.8 (rank of 318)
I find it interesting that how often they turn the ball over impacts their defensive efficiency. Obviously, it will be key for Marquette to force a lot of turnovers. Also, their Defensive Efficiency gets worse when:
  • Opponents get a good eFG% - average rate of 43.8% (#8 in the country)
  • Opponents do well at OR% - average rate of 28.4% (#17 in the country)
Stanford is really good defensively, and they don't have any areas that Marquette usually exploits. Offensive Rebounding has been huge for Marquette in the post-season, and tomorrow's game will provide a huge test. Did we also mention that they're #6 in the country at preventing 2-point baskets and #35 in the country at blocking shots? These are just like the strengths of Georgetown, Louisville, and Connecticut.

How well have the Cardinal been playing lately?

Here is some good news. Over their last twelve games, Stanford's Offense and their Defense have been getting worse. In fact, until their rout of Cornell, Stanford was at a point where they were not playing winning basketball. Their ORtg (106.8) and DRtg (99.2) over the last five games are not nearly as impressive as their season numbers. Based on how well they have been playing and how well we have been playing over the last five games (using the Bill James log5 method), the numbers give us a 42% chance of winning the game. Of course, numbers don't play on the basketball court...

Stanford has better offensive and defensive numbers than Marquette, and they have strengths in areas that have caused us a lot of problems. This is one tough matchup. However, Stanford is impacted on both ends by the Turnover battle, which is an area Marquette will need to win. Plus, the Cardinal have not been playing as well lately, so there are some opportunities for Marquette to exploit.

Finally, remember the lesson from another good team. That team is #1 at defense according to Pomeroy. They don't turn the ball over much, they usually win offensive rebounding, they really limit two point baskets, and they get to the free throw line a lot. They also have a lot of size inside. Marquette managed to do just fine in pulling out a win at Wisconsin thanks to crashing the offensive boards and forcing a lot of turnovers.

1 comment:

Seth said...

Stanford has done a good job tightening up its offense in the last part of the year and limiting their turnovers, even against UCLA's monster backcourt.

If you're talking about the last twelve games: Stanford did have a rough patch, losing at Arizona State and barely winning at Arizona. Washington and Goods were dinged up and the defense took a hit because of that, but Washington is looking better than ever now. However, I'd point to their performance in the Pac-10 tournament -- beating Arizona and Washington State before taking UCLA down to the final shot -- as a more accurate indicator of how well they're playing now.

I think we're better than Wisconsin. Don't know that we're as good as Louisville, but we would give them a much better game this year. Good luck today!