"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

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tennessee Numbers Recap

Before digging into the numbers, I want to add some of my own comments and build on the great original recap by Tim. Personally, I'm really not all that surprised by the fact that we lost at Tennessee. We were an underdog going into the matchup and it went kind of as expected. Sure, it was disappointing to lose, but it's not like it was surprising.

One key for me right now is that I've just lowered my expectations. With only four consistent contributors, I have a hard time seeing how this team gets to more than 21 wins and 11-7 in conference. That is not something I would have said in April or even August. However, in a few days, we'll re-run the numbers on season predictions to see what the numbers say in comparison to intuition.

Team Numbers

Offensive efficiency was much worse than normal (110.9 – or 1.11 points per possession), and so was defensive efficiency (93.7 – or 0.94 points per possession). Marquette lost on three of the four factors, but three of those factors were essentially toss-ups. The actual pace of the game was played at 72 possessions, which is much slower than the predicted pace of 83 possessions. In the preview for the game, we called the matchup a 39% chance of Marquette victory.

Unfortunately, Marquette wasn't able to get a significant advantage on turnovers. As for Tennessee "winning the rebounding battle", I just don't see it. OR% was pretty close. Finally, if anyone really is griping about the refs, the FTR was close for both teams, but the difference was the Marquette lack of depth.

This game, more than anything else, hinged on the effective field goal percentage. As highlighted by Tim, Marquette only made ten 2-point field goals. So which players helped the offensive and defensive performance?

Individual Player Information (check here if you want a refresher)

Not that fancy stats are needed to demonstrate this, but Wesley was by far the most productive player on the team. In fact, he was the only net-positive contributor. In addition, Wesley did that while using 29% of all possessions. That is a really high usage, and highlights how well he did. As a reminder, typically players become less efficient with more usage.

Coming in right behind as a little surprise is actually Patrick Hazel, who was better than team average offensively and defensively in limited minutes. After that, everyone else on the team was worse offensively than the team average. However, Lazar, Butler, and Burke at least made positive defensive contributions. In addition, Lazar was the second contributor for Points Produced. Finally, I won't continue with any poor comments about James or McNeal, but I would like to note that McNeal was actually less efficient than James. The key difference was that James was on the floor an extra 12 minutes.

Time to move on. There's a game on Friday!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Agree, agree, agree. The season's played out thus far as expected. I'm guessing about a 6th-8th place finish in the league, depending on how effective Fulce and Otule can be when they return. That should still be good enough to get in the tourney. It'd be great to at least see one upset, however, to bolster our chances. The finish to the season looks daunting (to say the least). I have us going 1-4 in the final five, but I'd not be surprised to go 0-5 -- at Georgetown, v. UConn, at Louisville, at Pitt, v. Syracuse. I wouldn't wish this final five on anyone. This projection isn't a knock on our crew or coaches, it's realistic (in my opinion) based on the caliber of opponent.