Thursday, January 14, 2010

Northwestern Box Score Observations

Opening Comments: What a great win. It was a system win, IMHO. They kept on doing their thing until it finally worked.

This game demonstrates why one must do the tempo free stats thing to really understand what happened. Many would look at the final score and say UW won by squashing NU on defense. Read on.

Summarizing the game in a few words: UW clanked threes, but got enough offensive rebounds to put up an excellent PPP and win the game.

Efficiency: Was it offense or defense? Definitely offense, despite the low score and poor shooting. Huh? Read on …

NU scored 1.0 PPP. That is more than the .90 UW has given up this year and the .88 UW has given up in conference.

UW scored 1.20 PPP. This is better than our season average of 1.12 PPP and conference 1.05.

Pace: The game had 50 possessions. This was done to keep the math simple. Fifty is the fewest of the year and the second fewest since 2004. The Delaware St game in 2007 had 49. Does that mean UW shot less than normal? No. There were as many shots as usual. See the offensive rebounding numbers and turnovers for your answer.

Shooting: UW invested the same number of shots from inside and beyond the arc. They should have stayed inside the arc. For NU, it was more or less a brickfest inside the arc and at the free throw line.

eFG%: NU outshot UW 46 to 45%. Our opponents had been shooting 44% overall, 43% in conference. So, that was actually a pretty good day compared to our average. Meanwhile, UW has been shooting at eFG% of 53% for the year, 48% in conference. That makes it an off day shooting. Why did we score such a high PPP if our shooting was so poor? See the rebound and turnover numbers.

3 pt shooting: NU took 12 threes and made 5 for a very good 42%. UW took an additional 14 shots from deep and only got 2 extra baskets. Ugh. UW was 7 of 26 for 27%. UW took 50% of our FGA’s from deep, our most this year. We average 37% overall and 43% in conference. UW picked up 6 beyond the arc.

2pt shooting: NU was 13 of 33, 39% inside the arc. That is poor shooting. UW hit 13 of 26, 50%. It was a draw inside the line.

1pt shooting: UW sent enough of our old people to the game to stare down the NU free throw shooters an unnerved them into 56% free throw percent (9/16). Meanwhile, the ineffective NU students were unable to contain our free throw shooters. UW was 13 of 17 for 76%. UW picked up an additional 4 at the line.

Rebounding: Herein lies the story of the game. UW protected the defensive glass and excelled on the offensive glass (Thank you, Mike Bruesewitz).

UW Defensive end: There were 32 rebounding opportunities and UW got 23, or 72% leaving NU 28%. That is actually worse than our nation-leading 76% defensive rebounding percentage, but better than the national average of 33%. It is worth keeping an eye on this number. How will we do without Leuer defending the glass?

UW Offensive End: When UW shot, there were 3 extra rebounding opportunities (35) and UW grabbed 15 or 43%. Bruesewitz had 4 offensive boards in 6 minutes of work. That gave UW a +6 offensive rebound advantage.

Turnovers: First the good news: UW had only 5 TO’s or 10%. That is fantastic. NU gets lots of TO’s in their 1-3-1 zone. NU has forced 22% TO’s for the year. UW’s senior guards were able to avoid coughing up the ball.

For the bad news, UW did not press this advantage very much. NU only had 6 for 12%. So, UW had a net +1 turnover advantage.

Opportunity index: This is a new feature I will try to see if it helps or not. If an offensive rebound is of the same value as a turnover – an anti turnover – then one can combine them into some type of stat. So, UW had +7 opportunities - +6 offensive rebound margin and +1 turnovers. Make sense?

Fouls: NU ad 17 and UW 15 fouls. In conference, UW averages 18 and our opponents 18. The two extra fouls resulted in 1 extra free throw.

Playing time: The UW surgical staff shorted our rotation on Tuesday. Bo went with 5 players getting double digit minutes. Of the usual suspects, all get at least 32 minutes. Hughes and Bohannon played all 40. Bruesewitz had 9 minutes, Evans 6 and Wilson 3.

Notable Performances: JBO had the best offensive line scoring 19 on 12 shots, was only 1-5 from deep, but 4-4 from the line, 5 rebounds, and no turnovers. Jason, long will the tales of your exploits be told around the campfires of my people, particularly the first half.

Trevon benefitted by having his best play at the end of the game when everyone remembers it. Since I look at the box score and it does not take into account timing, JBO edged out Trevon on player of the game. Trevon scored 16, but needed 15 shots to do it. He nailed 4-10 threes, with 3 coming late to save the day. He added 7 rebounds. Good job, Trevon.

Taylor had an off day shooting scoring 10, going 3-11, 1-5 from deep and adding 5 rebounds. RacineRed, this ones for you: Taylor had 7 assists and no turnovers.

Bruesewitz added 4 rebounds, all offensive, in 9 minutes of action. That will get a mention at the fire.

Grading Shetown’s Predictions. Shetown whiffed on his predictions but got the Badger win right.

1. Ryan Evans gets his first start of the season and becomes the first freshman since Alando Tucker to do so. Miss. Taylor started.

2. Dr. J reaches double figures for the first time this season. Tim’s gonna be called on for more offense and what better way than to knock down some open triples against a zone? Miss. Tim scored 3. But, he had two other threes that I thought were going in plus he missed a FTA. Ugh. Tim, keep it going, your baskets will come.

3. Badgers grab more than 80% of all boards on the defensive end. More Mike Bruesewitz = more rebounding. Miss. Got 72%,

4. Wisconsin shoots better than 38% from distance. With my prediction of Tim shooting well, the zone defense of Northwestern, and Leuer’s post presence being gone, I like the Badgers to be knocking down treys early and often. Miss. UW was a miserable 26%.

5. Shurna scores 12 or less. Ryan Evans is just the type of defender to make Shurna’s life miserable with his good length and quickness. Miss. Shurna got 15

My Prediction: The Badgers keep doing what they’re doing, winning 65-57 in 61 possessions. Hit. UW 60-50 in 50 possessions. You were off on the possessions by 11 so, in the name of tempo free stats, you were off on the final score by a comparable margin. But, the win thing is the only part that matters.

Closing Thoughts: This was a resume building game. We are now +2 on road games.

I was hoping UW could win one of the two this week. If UW can go to OSU and sneak out a win, this team is definitely competing for the B10 title.

I was surprised that NU came out and played man defense as much as they did. Granted, it was the softest man defense I had seen in a long time.

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