Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Minnesota Pre-Game Analysis

Opening Thoughts: Here’s Jonnny! Just in time to make his last visit to his home state, Jon Leuer started practicing on Monday and despite Bo’s usual statement about him having to work his way back into the rotation, Jon sounds like he’s planning on playing. On the schedule is the Golden Squirrels of Minnesota, who are coming into the game with a 14-10 record and riding a 2-game losing streak and have lost 6 of their last 8. I’m not sure which makes me happier, a Badger victory or a Gopher loss that all but ensures they don’t make a post-season tournament of any value.

What the Expert Nerds Say:

Jeff Sagarin ranks Wisconsin #11 and Minnesota #63. He makes Wisconsin a 1-point favorite.

Ken Pomeroy ranks Wisconsin #3 and Minnesota #44. He predicts a 63-60 Badger victory in 62 possessions and gives the Badgers a 65% chance of winning.

Minnesota Rotation:
*G – 6’0” SR Lawrence Westbrook (13.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 79% FT, 42% 3PT, 55% 2PT, 105.0 OR, 24% Poss, 28% Shot, 21% TO, 2% OffReb, 10% DefReb, 2.0 FTR, 38% of FGAs are 3PT)

*G – 6’3” SO Devoe Joseph (8.5 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.5 SPG, 98.6 OR, 23% Poss, 24% Shot, 20% TO, 5% OffReb, 9% DefReb, 2.4 FTR, 46% of FGAs are 3PT)

*G – 6’4” JR Blake Hoffarber (11.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 49% 3PT, 81% FT, 60% 2PT, 98.2 OR, 15% Poss, 20% Shot, 10% TO, 4% OffReb, 13% DefReb, 1.4 FTR, 77% of FGAs are 3PT)

*F – 6’7” SR Damian Johnson (10.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.1 SPG, 2.0 BPG, 57% 2PT, 114.1 OR, 20% Poss, 20% Shot, 16% TO, 7% OffReb, 12% DefReb, 4.1 FTR, 12% of FGAs are 3PT)

*C – 6’11” SO Ralph Sampson (8.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 52% 2PT, 107.8 OR, 18% Poss, 17% Shot, 17% TO, 9% OffReb, 19% DefReb, 5.4 FTR, 0% of FGAs are 3PT)

F – 6’8” JR Paul Carter (6.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 51% 2PT, 99.7 OR, 23% Poss, 22% Shot, 20% TO, 8% OffReb, 18% DefReb, 3.2 FTR, 16% of FGAs are 3PT)

C – 6’10” SO Colton Iverson (4.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 74% 2PT, 81.7 OR, 20% Poss, 16% Shot, 26% TO, 10% OffReb, 22% DefReb, 6.1 FTR, 0% of FGAs are 3PT)

F – 6’7” FR Rodney Williams (5.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 115.2 OR, 14% Poss, 18% Shot, 16% TO, 7% OffReb, 9% DefReb, 3.6 FTR, 36% of FGAs are 3PT)

F – 6’3” FR Justin Cobbs (2.3 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 84% FT, 86.8 OR, 16% Poss, 14% Shot, 27% TO, 1% OffReb, 7% DefReb, 3.8 FTR, 30% of FGAs are 3PT)

OR = offensive rating, or personal points per possession
Poss = possession usage
Shot = share of shots taken
TO = percentage of personal possessions ending in turnover (21% is average)
OffReb = % of offensive rebounding opportunities grabbed by player (anything in double digits is good)
DefReb = % of defensive rebounding opportunities grabbed by player (anything above 15% is good for forwards/center, double digits for guards)
FTR = # of free throws taken per 10 field goal attempts (3.76 is average)

Note: If I don’t list a player’s 2PT%, it’s not above 50%, if I don’t list 3PT%, it’s not above 40%, and if I don’t list FT%, it’s not above 75%

Where Are They Now? (Players Missing From Minnesota’s 24-0 1-seed roster)
Al Nolen = Busy Trying to Get A Hold of Jan Gangelhoff
Royce White = Awaiting Trial
Trevor Mbakwe = Awaiting Trial

What Minnesota is really good at:

1. Forcing Turnovers. They force slightly more than one turnover per 5 possessions in Big Ten play, good for 3rd with Wisconsin nipping at their heels at 4th.

2. Offensive Rebounding. They grab 1 of every 3 rebounding opportunities on the offensive end, good for 3rd in Big Ten play.

3. Shooting 3s. They are 1st in Big Ten play at shooting triples, at a clip of 39% and make about 7 each game.

4. Blocking Shots. They are 1st in Big Ten play, blocking about 1 of every 11 2-point attempts by their opponents.

What Minnesota is really bad at:

1. Protecting the ball. They turn the ball over on 20.8% of their possessions in Big Ten play, which is 9th in the Big Ten.

2. Free throwing shooting. The Goofers shoot 69% from the line in conference play, which is second last in the Big Ten.

3. Defending the three. They allow Big Ten opponents to shoot 40.2% from beyond the arc, which is the worst in the conference.

Relative efficiency:

When Minnesota has the ball: Minnesota has scored the 6th best 1.03 PPP in their first 12 Big Ten games, while UW has given up a league leading 0.94 in their first 13.

When UW has the ball: Minnesota has the fourth worst defensive PPP at 1.07 in their 12 Big Ten games, while UW has scored the fourth best 1.08 in their 13 Big Ten games.

Pace: Minnesota has played at 66 possessions per game so far in their 12 Big Ten games compared to UW’s 58 in their 13 Big Ten games.

Top 50 Wins and Bottom 247 Losses:

Minnesota Good Wins = (N) Butler, Ohio State
Minnesota Bad Losses = @Indiana

UW Good Wins = (N) Maryland, Duke, Marquette, OSU, Purdue, MSU
UW Bad Losses = @ UW-GB

My expectations:

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.

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.

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.

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.

My Prediction: The Badgers win 62-52 in 55 possessions, putting the residents of Gopherhole on suicide watch.

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