Sunday, March 7, 2010

Illinois 2.0 Box Score Observations

Opening Comments: This was a very satisfying 15 point road win against a quality B10 opponent (72-57). Bo does it again. His legend grows.

I wonder what teams think after losses to UW? They probably wonder why they lose. UW has the same guys doing the same thing over and over with only occasional wrinkles. UW is easy to prepare for and hard to shut down.

Summarizing the game in a few words: UW put up more FGA’s (both inside and outside the arc) thanks to excellent offensive rebounding and low turnovers and was able to overcome a superior UI free throw shooting performance for a blow out road win.

Pace: The game had 58 possessions, average for UW. It was the 18th most of our 30 games. We average 60 overall and 58 in conference.

Efficiency: Was it good offense or good defense. Both. UW smoked them with a great 1.24 PPP, sixth best for the year and third in conference (behind Indiana 1.32 and NU 1.30). On defense, we held them to just under 1 PPP, they came in at .98 PPP. For a Big Ten road game, I think that is great.

Shooting: Shooting was a tale of two halves based upon UI’s change in strategy. In the first half, UI launched 25 FGA’s and two FTA’s. Having decided, apparently they were settling for too many jumpers, they attacked the basket more in the second half. In the second half, they put up 5 fewer FGA’s and 21 more FTA’s. Of the 20 FGA’s they tried, 10 were threes. UI’s excellent free throw shooting could not overcome their lack of quantity or quality shooting inside or outside the arc.

eFG%: UI’s eFG% was a dismal 41%. UW had been holding their opponents to 47%. So, that was a good showing for UW’s defense, or poor marksmanship by UI. Meanwhile, UW shot at 48%, less than our typical 51% but not bad.

3 pt shooting: UI dropped 5 of 16 treys for 31%. UW shot 2 more and made two more. UW was 7-18 for 39%. UW picked up 6 points at the arc.

2pt shooting: UI’s big problem was inside the arc. UI hit 11 of 29 for 38%. UW invested 15 more shots inside, 44, and hit a better percentage, 43% or 19 made shots. That gave UW a plus 8 baskets made or 16 extra points inside. These sixteen, coupled with the 6 beyond the arc, gave UW a plus 22 from the floor.

1pt shooting: UI shined from the line. They hit 20 of 23 for 87%. Excellent. UW was only 13 of 20, 65%. Ugh. So, UW gave back 7 at the line to get to the final margin of 15.

Rebounding: UW controlled their defensive glass and dominated their offensive glass.

UW Defensive end: There were 31 rebounding opportunities and UW got 23 or 74% which is excellent – but average for our excellent rebounding team.

UW Offensive End: With UI’s poor shooting, there were 39 rebounding opportunities (8 more) and UW got 17 or 44%. That was our third best offensive rebounding total for the year (at IU we got 45%, UIC 50%). So much for UI leveraging their height advantage on the boards. UW had 17 offensive rebound and UI 8, so UW had a plus 9 rebounding advantage.

Turnovers: Both teams protected the ball well. UI was an excellent 14% TO rate (they had 8) while UW was an even better (lower) 9% (5 for the game). That is simply outstanding.

Opportunity Index: UW ended up with a plus 12 Opportunity Index (Plus 8 offensive rebounds and plus 4 turnovers).

Looking at it from a shot perspective, UI had 45 FGA’s and an estimated 11 trips to the line (23 FTA) or 56 shots. UW had 62 FGA’s and an estimated 9 trips to the line (20 FTA’s) or 71. So, the 15 shots are different than the +12 OI, and I would need to do a shot-by-shot audit to figure out the difference. One is undoubtedly the intentional foul. Anyway, UW benefitted from fewer TO’s and more offensive rebounds to get more shots up.

Fouls: UW had 19 to UI’s 18. The interesting thing was there were only 6 fouls on UW and 4 on UI in the first half. The second half became a foul fest.

Playing time: Bo continues to shorten his bench, as is common this time of year. JBO and Taylor played the whole game. Keaton played 36. Leuer (26) and Hughes (22) played less with foul trouble. Evans got 17 and Jarmusz 11. Wilson chipped in 7.

For UI, besides the starters, Paul got 21 and Keller 12.

Notable Performances: Offensively, the day belonged to Leuer and Taylor. Leuer got 20 on 13 FGA’s and 4-6 FTA’s. He had one TO. Taylor also had 20 taking 17 FGA’s and 1-2 from the line. Taylor played 40 minutes without a turnover. Amazing. Jordan and Jon, long will the tales of your exploits be told around the campfires of my people.

Hughes had a 14-11 dub dub. He scored 14 on 12 shots and had 11 rebounds including 7 offensive. Not bad for 22 minutes of work. Those are Bill Russell-like rebounding numbers. Trevon had no turnovers, either. Keaton chipped in 9 and 7 boards, 5 offensive. Trevon and Keaton, you too will get a mention at the fire.

For UI, the scorers did their damage from the line. Tisdale was 8-8 and McCamey 7-8. McCamey ended up with 11 points and Tisdale 16. McCamey had 3 TO’s and Tisdale 2.

Cole had a nice day dropping 4-6 threes from the heavens and ending up with 14 points.

Grading Shetown’s Predictions

1. Illinois takes 11 or less free throws. As a primarily jump shooting team and the Badgers not fouling ways, Illinois shouldn’t get to the line much. Miss. That was their strength going 20-23 for 87%. In the second half they abandoned the jump shot and attacked the basket. The free throws followed.

2. Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon combine for 26 points or more. McCamey and Richardson are great offensive players, but are suspect on defense against dribble penetration. Miss. Hughes did his part getting 14 but JBo only dropped in 4 for a combined 18.

3. Badgers shoot better than 40% from beyond the arc. They’ve been on a roll at threes lately, and I think it continues despite Illinois’ great defense. Near miss. UW was at 39%, making this the close call of the day.

4. Jon Leuer gets a double-double. I don’t have a justification for this, just a feeling. Miss. Leuer got 20 points and 4 boards. But, Hughes got a dub dub.

The Badgers win 63-56 in 57 possessions. Despite the Big Ten telling the refs to let the Illini win to get more teams in the NCAA tournament, the Badgers prevail. Hit. You were good on the possessions and Illinois’ points but underestimated UW’s by 9. UW won 72-57, 58 possessions. B10 has not learned the proper technique of leaving money in garbage cans in white unmarked envelopes.

Closing Thoughts: Whew. What a great year. It is too bad we are stuck in 4th place. A 13-5 record should have done better. Here is what 5 losses would do for a team in past years in conference:

09 – second

08 – fourth

07 – third (16 game schedule)

06 – second (16 game schedule)

05 - third (16 game schedule)

04 – fourth (16 game schedule)

It is now official: JBo does miss more free throws than Tim Doyle has found hairs out of place.

It will be interesting to see how the two coaches prepare for their BTT match up. What will Webber do to slow Leuer?

It will be interesting what happens to UI in the NCAA’s. They hit the B10 conference starting line in the hole having lost to Utah and Bradley on neutral courts. Ouch. They had a good win beating Clemson to partially offset the two bad losses. They also lost to Georgia, Missouri, and the Zags. Normally 10-8 in conference would get you in, but I am not at all sure. I think they may be in trouble and the B10 could be a four team conference after such a promising start. There is sadistic pleasure in peeing on their cornflakes, so to speak.

As for UW, each big win can move us up a seed (or maybe every two good wins). Personally, I want to win one BTT game for sure. After that, it matters not so much.

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