Wednesday, November 3, 2010

UW-LaCrosse Pre-Game Analysis

Opening Thoughts: Here's to the start of hopefully another successful season with Bo Ryan at the helm. We lose two starters in Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon, and Ian Markolf, but gain an excellent class of freshman including Josh Gasser, Duje Dukan, Ben Brust, and Evan Anderson. From early indications, only three starting spots are solidified... Jordan Taylor at the point, and Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil in the frontcourt. Junior Rob Wilson and true freshman Josh Gasser seem to be vying for the off guard spot and it's a three-way race for the small forward spot amongst Ryan Evans, Tim Jarmusz, and Mike Bruesewitz. My guesses are that seniority wins out with Wilson and Jarmusz getting the nods, even if their competitors get more playing time over the course of the season.

Wisconsin tips off the pre-season this Saturday with a meeting against the Eagles of UW-LaCrosse.

Forums to Visit: I'm not even going to bother to look

What the expert nerds say

Sagarin doesn’t care about this game.

Ken Pomeroy doesn’t care about this game either.

Vegas odds makers don’t care either.

UW-LaCrosse Likely Rotation
(Last Season’s Statistics)
*G – 6’0” JR Tony Mane (22.3 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.9 APG, 40% 3PT, 92% FT, 103.9 OR, 8% TO, 3.5 FTR, 35% of FGAs are 3PT)

*G – 6’0” SO Jeff Heiden (2.9 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 1.2 APG, 38% 3PT, 82% FT, 107.5 OR, 16% TO, 2.0 FTR, 82% of FGAs are 3PT)

*G – 6’2” SR Trevor Stratton (15.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.5 APG, 37% 3PT, 82% FT, 107.1 OR, 11% TO, 3.4 FTR, 36% of FGAs are 3PT)

*F – 6’6” SO Kurt Kincaid (8.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.0 APG, 60% 2PT, 87% FT, 118.1 OR, 16% TO, 3.2 FTR, 37% of FGAs are 3PT)

*C – 6’9” SR Andy Merklein (5.3 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.1 BPG, 53% 2PT, 70.9 OR, 15% TO, 3.2 FTR, 12% of FGAs are 3PT)

F - 6’5” SR Andrew Haass (5.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 57% 2PT, 39% 3PT, 83% FT, 158.2 OR, 5% TO, 5.1 FTR, 14% of FGAs are 3PT)

G - 6’1” SR Austin Scott (5.5 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, 44% 3PT, 93% FT, 116.4 OR, 14% TO, 2.7 FTR, 66% of FGAs are 3PT)

F - 6’4” SO Al Chery (5.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 1.0 SPG, 51% 2PT, 106.9 OR, 20% TO, 4.6 FTR, 0% of FGAs are 3PT)

G - 6’0” SO Cory Degner (4.3 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 96.6 OR, 26% TO, 11.0 FTR, 16% of FGAs are 3PT)

F - 6’5” SO Jordan Rumpel (3.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 50% 3PT, 53% 2PT, 131.5 OR, 19% TO, 0.7 FTR, 7% of FGAs are 3PT)

OR = offensive rating, or personal points per possession (100.8 is average)
Poss = possession usage when on the court
Shot = share of shots taken when on the court
TO = percentage of personal possessions ending in turnover (20.4% 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 (3.77 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 33%, and if I don’t list FT%, it’s not above 75%

What UW-LaCrosse is really good at

1. Protecting the ball. They only turned it over 14.3% (2nd best if in D1) of their possessions last season, or about one every 7 possessions. Wisconsin turned it over at 14.9% rate (3rd in D1).

2. Pump-faking. Their opponents only blocked 4.9% of their two-point attempts (2nd if in D1). Wisconsin had 7% of theirs blocked, good for 34th.

3. Shooting from anywhere. Last season, the Eagles shot 49.8% inside the arc, 38.7% outside of it, and 74.1% at the charity stripe. These would rank them 90th, 21st, and 27th respectively if they were in D1. Wisconsin 50% (83rd), 35.7% (100th), and 73.2% (38th) themselves.

4. Keeping their opponents off the charity stripe. UW-L only sent their opponents to the line 7 times for every 20 field goal attempts (113th), The Badgers were above average at this last season, allowing 5 FTAs per 14 FGAs, or 140th.

What UW-LaCrosse is really bad at

1. Rebounding offensively. If they were a Division 1 team last season, they would be in 324th in the category, grabbing slightly more than 1 offensive rebound per 4 opoprtunities. Wisconsin is poor at this also, having been 249th at it last season.

2. Forcing turnovers. Their defense forced about 2 turnovers per 11 possessions, which would have bee good for 289th in D1. The Badgers were below average at this last season, forcing a turnover once every five possessions, or 201st in the nation.

3. Getting to the free throw line. The Eagles didn’t get to the line much, as they only attempt one free throw for every three FGAs. That would qualify for 302nd in Division I. Wisconsin wasn’t much better, only 3 tenths of a percent better and 296th.

4. Defending the paint. UW-LX surrendered a poor 50.7% shooting percentage inside the arc last season, which would have been 291st in D1. Wisconsin was significantly better at 45.2%, or 72nd.

5. Free throw defense. Apparently the Eagle painted on the wall behind the basketball in LaCrosse isn’t intimidating enough, as their opponents shot a white hot 75.6% from the free throw line last season. That would be second last in D1.

Relative efficiency

When UW-LaCrosse has the ball: They scored an impressive 1.11 PPP last season, while UW gave up a stingy 0.89 last season.

When UW has the ball: They gave up a horrible 1.07 last season, while UW scored a sizzling 1.16 last season.

Pace: LaCrosse played at 66 possessions per game last season compared to UW’s 60.

My expectations:

1. The Badgers score more than 35 points in the paint. The Eagles are small and poor at defending it anyway. Jon and Keaton should have a field day.

2. The freshman combine for more than 10 points. I like the newbies to use their size and athletic advantages to show what they can do offensively.

3. The Badger shoot better than 36% from 3. I think LAX will try to limit points in the paint by collapsing on the post. This should make for some great looks from downtown.

4. The Badgers grab more than 79% of the rebounding opportunities on the defensive end. LaCrosse does not have a proficiency at offensive rebounding and are at a significant height disadvantage. This adds up to domination by the Badgers on the defensive boards.

UW-LaCrosse lost no significant players from last season’s 17-9 squad and the Badgers lost their starting backcourt. If LAX was mid-major D1 team I might be a little concerned. Alas, they are not, so I predict a thumping by the Badgers, 75-45.

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