Saturday, September 13, 2008

Creanball, part I.

I promised a basketball post this week, and so here it is, although I didn't have as much time as I had hoped.
I'm not a scheme expert, by a long shot, so those who have been around since basketball season know that taking a look at tempo-free stats tends to be my focus during basketball season. It's worth considering exactly how Crean's teams have looked.
In the case of the 2007-08 team, Pomeroy's stats looked kindly on him. Marquette finished #11 in the Pomeroy ratings. There are about 340 teams in Division I, so consider the rankings in light of that number. Crean's teams are very efficient, but their style will be a bit of a departure for IU fans. As to the end result, the 2007-08 Marquette team was outstanding. The Golden Eagles scored 1.102 points per possession (#32, #26 when adjusted) and allowed only .93 per possession defensively (#22, #10 when adjusted for schedule strength). Those numbers aren't much different from IU's numbers from last season. IU, after the late season swoon, still ended up #24 in the Pomeroy ratings, allowed 1.10 points per possession (#36) and gave up only .963 points per possession (#48). Marquette got there differently. While IU ranked #68 in effective field goal percentage, Marquette ranked #141. Marquette was #126 in free throw rate and was in the middle of the pack in both two point (#143) and three point (#138) percentage. Although IU's three point percentage declined precipitously during Eric Gordon's late-season slump, IU ranked #38 in two point shooting percentage and #15 in free throw rate (getting to the line). Marquette was one of the best offensive teams in the county for only two reasons: offensive rebounding (37.8 percent, #23) and taking care of the ball (18.4 percent, #37).
Just skimming back through Marquette's records from 2007 to 2004, Crean's teams have been uniformly excellent at rebounding the ball, but the turnover percentage in 2008 was a major improvement on previous seasons, and perhaps was the reason that the 2008 Marquette team was the best since its Final Four team of 2003.
I intended to do more with this, but ran out of time. I'll get much more deep into this as basketball season approaches, hopefully. But this is an initial look.


kj (spartansweblog) said...

Hmmm. Consistently good at rebounding the ball? Can be very good on offense when they limit turnovers?

Sounds familiar . . .

John M said...

You know, that's what I get for posting late at night. That is the obvious comparison, and I meant to but failed to mention it.

We'll see how we basketball-as-art Hoosier fans adjust to that brick-and-a-board game. Kidding...sort of.