Friday, February 19, 2010

Minnesota Box Score Observations

Opening Comments: Ugh. That was ugly. UM 68, UW 52.

This was an opportunity lost. Our chances of sharing the B10 title are gone. But, good times are still ahead.

This game points out the variability of sports. There is variability in sports, or they would not be interesting. There was little about that game that could have been predicted, yet it happened nonetheless. All the numbers that follow are intended to help describe what happened, but in no way can the numbers replace the joy or sorrow of the game itself. Games should come with a safe harbor statement - past performance is not a guarentee of future performance.

Summarizing the game in a few words: UW took more shots, particularly threes - UM made more shots - particularly free throws.

Pace: The game had only 52 possessions. Going into the game, UW was at 58, fewest and UM 66, most in conference. So, Minnesota was able to play at our pace and win anyway. Good shooting will do that.

Was it offense or defense? A complete collapse on defense that defies rational expectations, and our offense was none too good either.

UW is #1 in conference with 1.08 PPP on offense and #1 holding opponents to only .94 PPP on defense.

UM scores at 1.03 PPP but bleeds at 1.07 PPP, #8 in conference. So, Minnesota’s offense has been so-so and their defense certifiably bad.

So, what happens, UM holds the badgers to 1.0 PPP and score 1.31, our worst defensive performance of the year. Go figure.

Scoring 1.0 PPP is usually good enough for us to win. Giving up 1.31 PPP will almost never win. The defense collapsed.

Minnesota went inside and ruled. They only took 21% of their shots from deep, compared to UW’s 42%. All that inside play got them to the line an extra 23 times, where PPP are easy to find. That formula worked to perfection.

eFG%: UM hit at 54% and UW at only 42%.

UW has been shooting 50.6% in conference play, #5 but holding opponents to 47.6%, #3 in conference.

Minnesota has been hitting a robust 51.6%, #3, and giving up a pathetic 52.7%, #10.

3 pt shooting: UM only took 9 deep shots and made 5 (56%). UW took 30 and made 11 (37%). Those 21 extra shots netted 6 extra baskets or 18 points.

Minnesota leads the conference hitting 39% of their deep shots. But, they also are worst in the league allowing their opponents to hit 40.2%. It is hard to imagine that 3Pt% is a net negative after seeing the 39.0% offensive mark.

UW hits 34.2%, #4 and gives up 34.8%, #4. Three point shooting as more or less a wash with UW.

2pt shooting: UM put up 33 shots and made 15 for 45%. UW put up 26 and made but 7 for 27%. Let me repeat that – we made 7 shots inside the arc. Seven. Ugh. What is there to say? Minnesota outscored us by 16 inside.

1pt shooting: While UW was launching threes, UM was at the line dropping 23 of 28 free throws (82%). UW made only 5 of 7, 71%. UM outscored us by 18 at the line.

Rebounding: It was a draw on UW’s offensive end and UM crushed us on the defensive end. So much for our nation-leading defensive rebounding prowess.

UW Defensive end: With Minnesota sharp shooting, there were not a lot of rebounding opportunities – 26. UW only got 14 to UM’s 12. That gave them a whopping 46% offensive rebounding percentage. Yikes!

That is unprecedented. UW has the second best defensive rebounding in conference allowing their opponents only 26% of their misses. But, offensive rebounding is a strength for UM getting 32.9% of their misses. This is a strength on strength situation.

UW Offensive End: When UW shot, there were 17 more rebounding opportunities than at the other end. UW beat UM in quantity – 14 offensive rebounds to UM’s 12, but not percentage (33%). UW is dead last in getting offensive rebounds grabbing only 26%. Minnesota tends to give opponents a bunch, 32.8%, #8 in conference. So, UW did about what would be expected on our offensive glass.

Turnovers: UW won the turnover battle big time. UM had 11 or 21% while UW had only 5 for 10%. That is the only good news of the day.

UW is #1 in conference at protecting the ball giving it up only 14% of the time. Minnesota presses their opponents into almost 21% TO’s. third best in conference.

On the other end, Minnesota gives it up 20.8%, eighth most in conference and UW has done remarkably well getting their opponents to give it up 20.7%, #4 in conference. UW has been getting a good TO margin this year.

Opportunity Index: UW had a plus 8 in opportunities. UW had 2 more offensive rebounds and 6 fewer turnovers. But, this points out the problem with OI. You can run up your total by missing a bunch of shots and being only average at rebounding.

Looking at the same numbers from a shot perspective, UW put up 59 FGA’s to UM 42 (+17) but had fewer trips to the line (UW 3, UM 13 – or UW -10). That gave UW a +7 shots that ended possessions. The difference in the two calculations is probably Bo’s technical.

Quantity and Quality: UW clearly won the quantity battle (+7 or +8 depending how you look at it). Minnesota clearly won the quality battle: eFG% +12%, FT +11%.

The game was a clear case of quality trumping quantity.

Fouls: UW out fouled UM 25 to 11. That is largely due to late game fouling to try to extend the game (it extended the losing margin).

Playing time: Bo went 7 deep with Leuer getting 26 and Bruesewitz a surprising 20. Evans played 3 and Wilson 1.

Notable Performances: My people will not be discussing this one at the campfire. It will be erased from our collective memories as soon as possible.

JBo had a nice line scoring 18 on 12 possessions, 2-2 from the line, no turnovers and 2 boards, one offensive. That gave him 18 points on 12 possessions (1.5 PPP). This reinforces my decision to make him my favorite player.

Hughes scored 19 but needed 17 shots, 0-1 from the line, 2 rebounds (one offensive) and 2 turnovers. So, he scored 19 on 19 possessions.

Bruesewitz got 4 rebounds, 3 offensive, in 20 minutes. He also got 5 fouls.

For UM, Hoffarber scored 16 on 5-8 from the floor, 4-4 from the line, grabbed a surprising 9 boards, 2 offensive and had 2 turnovers. That gave him 16 points on 10 possessions thus besting JBo’s excellent 1.5 PPP with 1.8 PPP.

Grading Shetown’s Predictions

1. Blake Hoffarber scores 8 or less. J-Bo and Jordan shut down Diebler, so the Hoff shouldn’t be any more difficult of an assignment. Miss. He got 16. What can you say, they guy was on fire.

2. Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil score 20 or more. I think Jon makes a big splash in his first game back and Keaton takes advantage of the Minnesota’s twin towers being uncomfortable on the perimeter. Miss. They got a combined 9 We could have used 20.

3. Badgers shoot better than 40% from beyond the arc. J-Bo is on a hot streak, hitting 14 of his last 24, and is Minnesota is bad at defending treys. Miss. We hit 37%. Not bad, but not 40 either.

4. Jordan Taylor scores more than 9 and dishes more than 4 assists. He shows Tubby why he shouldn’t have let him out of the state. Miss. Taylor scored 5 but had 6 assists.

Shetown’s Prediction:
The Badgers win 62-52 in 55 possessions, putting the residents of Gopherhole on suicide watch. Miss. Right score, wrong team. 68 to 52 in 52 possessions.

Closing Thoughts:
Oh, well. You are not as good as your best win or as bad as your worst loss. This will stick with us until the NU game is in the bank. That game cannot come quickly enough.

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