Thursday, February 4, 2010

MSU 2.0 Box Score Observations

Opening Comments: What a great resume building win – taking out MSU by 18, 67-49, on national TV.

We now have wins over top 5 teams:




Add to that Arizona, Maryland, Marquette, OSU, PSU on the road, and NU on the road, our resume is solid. The only negative is a bad loss to UWGB. We are looking great.

I think Bo needs a ton of credit for this win. They did what they always do and drove it home to victory.

If you want to see stats for the year, go here.

If you want to see B10 only numbers, go here.

Summarizing the game in a few words: MSU was -8 on turnovers and only got 4 back on offensive rebounds, but could not shoot well enough from the floor to overcome the empty possessions.

Pace: The game featured 54 possessions. Of our 22 games, that is the second fewest.

From my analysis, the number of possessions does not relate well to winning and losing (higher or lower does not mean good). It is just a descriptor of the game that is necessary to put the scoring and other factors into perspective.

Efficiency: UW’s 67 points on 54 possessions gave us 1.24 PPP. That is our fourth best of the year and our best in the B10 this year. We average 1.10 PPP for the year, 1.05 PPP in conference.

UW’s defense gave up 49 or .91 PPP. We are at .92 PPP overall, .93 in conference. So, we actually were slightly better than our excellent conference mark. MSU is used to scoring at 1.14 PPP, so that is an excellent defensive game (or poor MSU offensive game – take your pick) any way you cut it.

If you have not checked it out, be sure to look at the BigTenGeek’s aerial chart.

Shooting: UW dominated inside and outside the arc in quantity and quality. MSU dominated at the line, but had way too much to make up.

eFG%: MSU shot an eFG% at 39%. That is much less than our average of 45% for our opponents.

3 pt shooting: MSU was 2 of 9 for 22%. On the other end, UW was 9 of 26 for 35%. That gave UW a +21 points outside the arc. We are definitely a perimeter oriented team without Leuer. It sure helps when you make some shots.

2pt shooting: Inside the arc, MSU was a miserable 15 of 37 for 41%. That is actually fairly normal for a UW defense. It was the 13th best effort for our opponents out of 22 games.

UW was an excellent 19 of 29 for 66%, our third best effort of the year. IMHO, UW had an unusual number of dunks, put backs, and breakaways to build that outstanding efficiency. UW picked up another 8 points inside the arc despite taking 8 fewer shots.

From the floor, UW outscored MSU by 29 points.

1pt shooting: MSU went to the line 16 times and made a healthy 81% (13 made shots). Meanwhile, UW went to the line 4 times and missed two, both front ends of one and ones. Ugh. That gave MSU a +11 at the line, not nearly enough to erase the deficit from the floor.

Rebounding: Rebounding is MSU’s thing. They hit the boards like mad men. MSU won their offensive boards, per usual, and successfully defended their defensive glass as well.

UW Defensive end: There were 30 offensive rebounding opportunities for MSU and they got 12 or 40%. That is an outstanding effort considering UW is (or was?) the best in the nation at defending the defensive glass. We typically give opponents 24% of their misses. Score a victory for MSU.

UW Offensive End: On the other end, UW had 29 chances to get a rebound and pull down 8 or 28%. While less than the national average of 33%, that is pretty good for UW who would prefer to get back on defense than crash the boards.

Turnovers: This was a major factor in the game. MSU had 13 TO’s in a 54 possession game. Yikes! That is 24% of their possessions without getting a shot up. If you are going to do that, you better shoot real well, which they did not.

On the other end, UW had 5 of 9%.

Opportunity Index: MSU dominance on the boards, (+4 offensive rebounds) was offset by their bumbling ways with the ball (-8 on turnovers) to give UW a +4 opportunity index (or MSU -4). In a 54 possession game, that seems like a significant number.

Fouls: Considering the FTA differential (MSU shot 16, UW 4), I was surprised to see that MSU actually had one more foul than UW. MSU fouled 15 times and UW 14. In conference, our opponents usually foul 17 times and UW 16.

Playing time: Bo played 6 ten or more minutes with Evans getting 9. Trevon played 24 after getting in foul trouble early. Jarmusz picked up fouls, which is an oddity, and only played 22.

Bohannan and Taylor each played 40.

MSU played 7 guys 20 or more minutes. Lucious played more than last time, probably due to Lucas’s unfortunate ankle injury.

Notable Performances: Basketball is a team game and the Badger team defense was excellent. Despite MSU’s “athletic advantage (cough cough),” no MSU player was able to take advantage of the club-footed Badger defenders. So, to the Badger defense, long will the tales of your exploits be told around the campfires of my people.

JBo handled the pressure of being anointed my favorite player well. He scored 19 on 15 shots, 4 rebounds, and no turnovers. Isn't there a school of thought out there that JBO does not play well in big games?

Taylor scored 17 but needed 16 shots to get there. But, he negated 3 of his misses with offensive rebounds and was tagged with one lonely turnover.

Keaton Nankivil score 11 on 8 shots, 5 boards, and but one turnover.

Hughes had an off day scoring but 5 on 9 shots, one rebound and one turnover. [RacineRed – this next one is for you] But, he also dished 7 assists. Speaking of assists, UW was credited with 17 and only 5 turnovers.

Wilson scored 10 on 5-5 shooting. Great job! I think all were at the rim except one nice drive to the middle of the lane that resulted in a made floater. Keep ‘em coming.

Jarmusz scored 3 on one shot, grabbed 4 rebounds, one offensive, and no turnovers. Excellent work.

Jason, Jordan, Keaton, Trevon, Rob, Tim, campfires, people, …

Raymar Morgan scored 8 thanks to 6-9 free throw shooting (a very ugly looking free throws, I might add – sorry Raymar). He added 10 rebounds.

Korie Lucious played 28 minutes, scored 9 points and grabbed two boards. But, he was also tagged with 3 turnovers.

Grading Shetown’s Predictions

1. Lucas doesn’t reach 13 points. I like Hughes and Taylor to rattle him into a sub-par game. Hit, but for the wrong reason. It was not Hughes and Taylor alone. Keaton helped keep him under 13, due to an unfortunate ankle twist. Lucas ended up with 7 points on 9 shots.

2. Nankivil scores more than 15. He’s been in on a roll lately and like him sneaking around the perimeter against Moving Screen like the Purdue game. Miss. Keaton had a nice line getting 11 on 8 shots.

3. Badgers shoot better than 35% from behind the arc again. This time around the guards get in the act too. Miss. I went to my spreadsheet and expanded the decimal points to find they made 34.6%. Once again, if you would say “shoot xx% or better” I would give it to you. How often has that happened?

4. Badgers grab 70% or more of all defensive rebounding opportunities. The Crying Izzos are great offensive rebounders, but the Badgers box them out. Miss. UW got 60%. But, it was not decisive.

My Prediction: The Badgers make Izzo weep about unfairness and flopping, squeaking out a 61-60 victory in 59 possessions. Hit. 67-49 on 54 possessions.

Closing Thoughts: So, once more I ask the questions:

1) Is UW more athletic than MSU?

2) If not, is athleticism overrated?

3) Do people do a poor job of assessing athleticism?

4) If indeed UW is not athletic, how can they play man to man the whole game and still have one of the most efficient defenses in the nation?

I was hoping for one win between the MSU and PU games this last week. We almost got two.

We are done playing ranked teams this year, at least until tournament time. We now play 5 games against the “I” teams (we do not go to Iowa), have two M teams on the road (Michigan and Minnesota), and a home game against Northwestern. We should be favored in all those games. If we can go 6-2 or better, we should get a very good seed.

I plan on rewatching the game and trying to figure out the PPP for transition baskets. My instincts tell me that MSU threw the ball away a lot when looking for secondary break points. But, being a numbers guy, I would like to see if the numbers support my feelings. I know that there are a lot of people that wish UW would push the ball harder. A game like this one argues the reverse, IMHO.

I like coach Izzo and admire his program and accomplishments. I do not understand all the ranker that arises during MSU week, but I guess fans love doing it so I will keep silent and try to avoid it. Having said that, watching this team would drive me nuts. All the turnovers would drive me up a wall. Maybe I would get used to it since it typically works for them.

I hope Professor NYSparty can come over here and give a learned discussion on intangibles and other insights after this one.

NU students have Tee Shirts that say, “Make Shots.” In an over simplified way, that says it all.

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