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.

2 comments:

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.