Basketball Prospectus: Unfiltered Everything Else is Fluff.

January 30, 2009

All Apologies

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Gasaway @ 8:25 am

I apologize to Evansville, for suggesting that they shoot way too few threes. Hey, they shoot more of them in their league than Wake Forest does in theirs, and the Deacons seem like they’re doing OK. And, anyway, look at the Purple Aces now, surprise winners at Drake last night and 5-5 in the Missouri Valley. Maybe Evansville’s onto something. Back to the ’80s and short shorts!

Then again that 5-5 mark’s been a little aberrant.

Down in the Valley: Pace and Efficiency Rankings
Through games of January 29, conference games only
Pace: possessions per 40 minutes
PPP: points per possession    Opp. PPP: opponent points per possession
EM: efficiency margin (PPP – Opp. PPP)

                   Pace    PPP    PPP      EM
1.  N. Iowa        61.4    1.13   0.97   +0.16
2.  Illinois St    62.8    1.05   0.96   +0.09
3.  Bradley        61.4    1.03   0.98   +0.05
4.  Creighton      65.0    1.06   1.02   +0.04
5.  S. Illinois    62.0    1.03   1.03   +0.02
6.  Drake          63.3    1.01   1.01    0.00
7.  Evansville     65.2    0.91   0.97   -0.06
8.  Missouri St.   61.0    0.98   1.05   -0.07
9.  Wichita St.    61.5    0.97   1.06   -0.09
10. Indiana St.    63.8    0.96   1.07   -0.11

The Aces play excellent D but they have the league’s worst offense (perhaps in part because opponents know they can pack the paint without penalty) and have achieved 5-5 even while being outscored by 0.06 points per trip.

There. A critical apology. How Hegelian! Now, back to the more customary apologies.

I apologize to the Pac-10 for saying they’re slower-paced than the Big Ten. They were indeed slower when I said it. But last night the “slower” conference put up a final score of 106-97 (Arizona‘s somewhat surprising win at home over Washington) while the “faster” one hosted a 59-36 game (Minnesota‘s surprisingly easy win at home over Illinois). 

You know what that means. As of this morning the Pac-10’s faster, averaging 62.6 possessions per 40 minutes to the Big Ten’s 62.1. Still, it promises to be a close race. I’ll keep you posted.

I apologize to now former Georgia coach Dennis Felton, for observing the occasion of now former Alabama coach’s Mark Gottfried‘s exit earlier this week by remarking that the Tide were “far from being the SEC’s worst team.” Indeed I was thinking of the Bulldogs when I wrote that. This year’s UGA team will now have an asterisk by it (though Georgia can at least hope for the kind of quiet surge that LSU experienced last year under interim coach Butch Pierre), otherwise the Dawgs appeared to be on-track for setting a new asterisk-free standard for offensive futility in the tempo-free-conscious era. 

I apologize to Nick Calathes of Florida for leaving him off my All-Underrated Team. I just couldn’t give the SEC three slots. (Patrick Patterson and Marcus Thornton were already in.) Too bad, Nick, you would have been a perfect fit: a 6-6 point guard with an outstanding assist rate who takes a kind-of starring role in his balanced offense, making 42 percent of his threes and 60 percent of his twos. Zounds. That story needs to be told. 

Yes, I am all apologies. What else should I be?

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