Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Northwestern Box Score Observations

Opening Comments: Yikes! UW crushed NU 78-46 at Evanston. This was a stat-stuffing game of Biblical proportions.

The oddsmakers had this one close going either way (UW a slight advantage). That surely did not materialize.

I was genuinely worried about this game. I have seen UW lay eggs in Evanston before, and NU was scoring well this year. But, for some reason, the wheels fell off for Carmody’s bunch.

Summarizing the game in a few words: UW shot very well from the arc and inside the arc, dominated rebounding on both ends, and protected the ball very effectively to come up with a ridiculously effective offensive performance. UW shut down NU effectively – it would have been worse but for some late pity-points.

Pace: The game had 50 possessions. Wow. 50. That is the lowest for the year. Yet, UW still put up 78 points.

Efficiency: Was it good offense or good defense? Good defense and fantastic offense (or poor versions of each by NU – probably both).

UW had our best day of the year with 1.56 PPP. This is the highest PPP of the year and the highest I can remember. On the other end, NU scored .92 PPP, significantly less than 1.05 we had been bleeding this year and the 6th fewest for an opponent this year.

Shooting: UW took more shots and made more shots, with the exception of the free throw line.

eFG%: UW scored at 66% EFG%. Our usual is 53%. NU scored at 44%, about on our opponent’s average of 45%, 46% in conference. Some were pity points given up in the last 4 minutes when Bo cleared his bench.

3 pt shooting: NU was 2 for 10, 20% from deep. Not good.

UW lit up the nets hitting 12 of 26 for 46%. Excellent. UW outscored NU by 30 from beyond the arc.

2pt shooting: Despite the lopsided shooting outside the arc, UW also outperformed NU inside the arc. NU took 31 shots and made 15, for a decent 48%. UW took one less shot, 30, and drained a ridiculous 19 for 63%. UW picked up another 8 inside the arc. UW outscored NU in the paint 20 to 18.

1pt shooting: NU won the quantity battle but lost the quality battle at the line, barely. NU was 10 of 13, 77% while UW was a low 4 of 5, 80%. NU retrieved 6 points at the line, not enough to overcome the 38 they lost in the field.

The “We Make More Free Throws Than Our Opponents Attempt” Scoreboard

UW Makes: 254 Opponent Attempts: 302 Difference: -48 (lost 8)

Trevor Mbakwe Challenge:

Mbakwe misses: 76 of 125, 49 misses

UW: 254 of 310, 56 misses

Trevor has us by 7. He is still within our sights.

Floor Location:

Location UW Opp

Arc 46% 13%

Mid Range 23% 26%

Paint 26% 39%

FT Line 5% 22%

Rebounding: UW destroyed NU at both ends of the floor.

UW Defensive end: Of the 25 opportunities, NU got 3 offensive rebounds or 12% (national average – 335).

UW Offensive End: There were also 25 opportunities on UW’s offensive end, and UW got 10, or 40%. That is excellent rebounding by UW.

Turnovers: The good news for NU is they only had 5 turnovers, or 10% turnover rate. They have been at 17%, tenth in the nation.

UW did even better with only 3 turnovers or a scant 6% turnover rate. That should bolster our nation-leading 13% rate.

Opportunity Index: UW won the OI by 9. We bettered NU by 7 offensive rebounds and 2 turnovers. From a points perspective, UW had a plus 13 second chance points, and plus 11 off turnovers.

Fouls: UW out-fouled NU 15 to 10. This lead to 8 more free throw attempts and 6 more points for NU.

Playing time: Bo only played 6 players 10 or more minutes. Besides the starters, which included Jarmusz and Gasser, Bruesewitz got starter-like 24 minutes. Eight other players got between 3 and 6 minutes.

NU played 7 ten or more including Alex Marcotullio’s 22. I mention this because I think Alex Marcotullio is the coolest name in the big ten and I wanted to work him into the write-up.

Notable Performances: The list of notables is lengthy, to say the least. Let me start with Josh Gasser. He got a much chronicled triple double 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Besides that, he had a steal to offset his lone turnover. Josh, long will the tales of your exploits be told around the campfires of my people.

Leuer had a highly-efficient day with 19 points on 10 FGA’s, 1-1 from the line, in only 21 minutes.

Taylor lit them up with 14 on 9 FGA’s, 1-1 from the line, and no turnovers in 32 minutes.

As I always seem to say, Keaton was ultra-efficient scoring 16 on only 10 FGA’s, 5 boards – two offensive, no turnovers and a block and steal for good measure. Jon, Jordan, and Keaton, I salute you!

Shurna and Mirkovic each scored in double digits – but who cares?

Alex Marcotullio score one on three shots.

Grading Shetown’s Predictions

1. Badgers shoot better than 39% shooting from 3. The perimeter D for the Nerds is terrible. Hit. UW got to 46%. Nice call.

2. Keaton scores more than 15. I think he has a strong game after a relatively quiet 9 and 7 showing against Indiana. Hit. Keaton got 16.

3. Badgers grab more than 35% of the rebounding opportunities on the offensive end and 74% on the defensive. They are worse than us at rebounding. Hit and Hit. UW grabbed 40 of their misses and 88% of NU’s misses.

The state of Wisconsin sweeps the day, with the Badgers grinding out a 70-62 victory in 60 possessions. Hit, sort of. UW scored more, 78 (not 70), gave up fewer (46 to your projected 62) and did it in only 50 possessions (not 60). Packers won and UW women beat Illinos.

Closing Thoughts: Poor Carmody. Just when he thinks he has a team that can make some noise, UW pees on his cornflakes. I would love to see NU make the NCAA’s, but not at UW’s expense.

UW needed a road win. In fact, we could use four more. There is a good chance we lose a home game or two with Ohio State, PU, and MSU on the slate. To get to 11 or 12 wins, some road wins are needed, and all road wins must be cherished. Sneaking one out at PSU Saturday would be huge.

To continue the theme from the IU game, UW has a blue ribbon offense. So, you can trust your eyes and complain about the offense and the low production spots on the floor, or you can sit back and enjoy the results. It might be as simple as a style versus substance argument. I will take results (substance) and not quibble about style points.

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