Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In Defense of Devan

I'm not completely sure what to think of the Hoosiers' win over the Spartans of USC Upstate (HD Box), which both the Girl and I though was an ironically named school in California. But I do know that it’s a win, and wins are, like, better than losses. Also, this team is young and still not that good. Tom Crean keeps telling us that, and we would probably do well to believe him rather than to let a seemingly solid performance against an even more inferior Howard team distract us from that knowledge. That’s probably even more reason for Hoosier fans to be happy with any sort of win that they can get their hands on. In this case, it seemed like IU just couldn’t figure out how to salt the game away, despite building a 20 point lead with less than 8 minutes left.

All things considered, the IU defense was pretty good. They kept the Spartans from shooting especially well, got a bunch of steals, cleaned the defensive glass, and created a good number of turnovers. Either the IU offense wasn’t so great or the Upstate D was nearly as good as IU’s. A 7’3” German patrolling the paint probably had something to do with them hitting only 45% of their 2’s, but the Hoosiers stroked it from beyond the arc to the tune of … 46%. That seems to be the difference in the game. Then again, the Hoosiers really kept the visitors in the game by hitting only 16 of their 30 free throws. That’s just not good.

Here are the ratings calculations for the Hoosiers from this game. I’ve added a couple more columns that relate to how the team’s efficiency when the player was on and off the floor. It looks at how the team did on both offense and defense with the player on the court vs. off it. So OEff+/- is the difference in the team’s points per 100 possessions when the player is on the court and off it. DEff+/- is the same thing, but for the opponent’s point per 100 possessions  And EffMargin+/- just subtracts the previous 2 columns. Remember that, since smaller numbers are better when talking about defensive efficiency, a negative number in that column is a good thing. (Likewise, negatives in the OEff+/- and EffMargin+/- columns are bad.)

USC Upstate             ScPoss  Poss    PtsProd FlrPct  ORat    Usage   OEff+/- DEff+/- EffMargin+/-
Minus, Sharod 0.86 6.89 2.73 0.12 39.64 29.96 -15.88 -24.91 9.03
Gordon, De'Marion 4.52 11.02 8.84 0.41 80.17 29.79 -24.17 35.34 -59.51
Schneiders, Nick 3.28 6.96 6.47 0.47 93.02 19.33 -19.44 2.19 -21.63
Chavis, Josh 3.06 7.58 8.33 0.40 109.90 16.47 66.39 -6.25 72.64
Uzochukwu, Mezie 6.95 9.46 13.69 0.73 144.65 19.72 27.08 18.71 8.38
LeGates, Ryan 3.31 8.10 8.00 0.41 98.73 22.51 -13.89 2.41 -16.29
Posey, Pat 3.82 8.57 8.29 0.45 96.69 19.94 32.16 -7.14 39.30
Cook, Carter 1.52 5.27 2.80 0.29 53.18 18.83 -27.60 12.54 -40.14
Rogers, Chalmers 1.37 5.65 2.94 0.24 52.06 12.83 10.06 -35.63 45.70
Palkert, Caleb 0.00 0.76 0.00 0.00 0.00 5.42 -7.64 40.44 -48.07

Indiana ScPoss Poss PtsProd FlrPct ORat Usage OEff+/- DEff+/- EffMargin+/-
Hulls, Jordan 1.38 3.20 3.41 0.43 106.72 10.00 4.19 23.60 -19.41
Watford, Christian 7.40 13.03 15.82 0.57 121.44 23.69 22.22 32.09 -9.86
Creek, Maurice 5.17 7.18 11.75 0.72 163.69 18.40 -15.76 33.33 -49.10
Rivers, Jeremiah 2.92 9.71 5.74 0.30 59.08 19.42 17.39 -1.19 18.58
Moore, Daniel 0.65 0.89 1.00 0.73 112.55 17.73 -37.06 -35.29 -1.76
Jones III, Verdell 6.28 12.97 13.19 0.48 101.72 26.47 22.87 15.27 7.60
Muniru, Bawa 0.63 1.78 1.23 0.35 69.10 29.71 -48.51 36.36 -84.87
Capobianco, Bobby 0.00 0.58 0.00 0.00 0.00 7.22 76.35 -6.35 82.70
Pritchard, Tom 1.54 2.54 3.46 0.61 136.60 11.52 -44.21 72.69 -116.90
Roth, Matt 0.87 2.44 2.00 0.35 81.68 27.14 -19.10 18.46 -37.56
Elston, Derek 4.78 8.17 10.73 0.58 131.36 22.70 54.65 -37.99 92.65
Dumes, Devan 1.12 8.48 2.50 0.13 29.50 24.22 10.53 -37.99 48.52
Jobe, Tijan 0.00 0.00 0.00 NaN NaN 0.00 -31.77 -55.44 23.67

A few thoughts on the individuals who played for the Hoosiers:

  • I still like me some Christian Watford. I’ve read numerous postgame articles praising him for all his glorious skills. However, after the game, he thought he hadn’t really scratched the surface, and a closer look might bear that out. His stat line on offense is both impressive and efficient, especially given his significant usage. And he once again did solid work on the boards, especially on the defensive end. However, despite grabbing those boards and tallying IU’s only blocked shot of the night, these numbers indicates that the team played better D when he was off the floor than on it. So that might be an indicator of one way he can improve.

  • I coudln’t figure out why Devan Dumes was on the floor so much. Like is often the case, I tended to notice what he was  doing on the offensive end more than anything: clanging all his 3’s, missing his only freebie, and turning the ball over 5 times. So why was he out there? It seems like the folks at Inside the Hall were wondering the same thing. Well, the HD Box shows that he had the second best +/- on the team, so he was clearly not killing IU that much. There must be something more. And the numbers above back that up. No other player who played more than 5 minutes had a better defensive efficiency +/- number. So Devan’s 1 steal and 5 defensive rebounds were only part of what he was bringing to the table on defense.

  • I was kind of down on the game of Jeremiah Rivers, thinking that he got out of control and turned the ball over too much, while not being able to hit anything from the floor or FT line. Sure he had 5 assists, but he had 4 turnovers, too. Once again, the numbers indicate that he’s good for the team, as IU was more efficient on both ends of the floor when he was out there than when he was sitting. That was a tad surprising to me, but what was more surprising is that he had a bigger positive effect on the O than the D. Goodonya Jeremiah.

  • Maurice Creek put up double digit points again and obviously played efficiently with his team high offensive rating. However, the team was outscored by 2 points while he was on the floor and was less efficient on both ends.

  • I still love me some Derek Elston, and he was once again great for the team. Remember way back when I mentioned that Dumes had the second best +/- for the night? Well someone had to beat him, and that someone was Derek Elston. He had the best +/- number, and you can see above that IU was better on both ends of the court with him on it. Not only did he hit his shots (75% eFG%), and dish out two assists, he also grabbed about 25% of the available rebounds on both ends of the floor. That’s quality contribution, right there.

  • I would like to see us get Matt Roth a few shots when he’s on the floor, but that might be more sentimental than anything. There’s no need to force anything to him when the team hits 45% from the outside.


Don said...

When is IU going to come into the 21st century and put the names on the uniforms. I don't buy this "there is no "I" in team" argument, so I should not be identified by name..

The impression IU gives is that players are just numbers. They are not! Each player has a name! Why put the names on the football team jersey's?

This is a hold over from Knight, which some backward IU fans still think is a great thing.

I don't!

Abs said...

I have to admit that I like not having the names on the uniforms. I find it not that hard to get used to the players and recognize them by their look if not their number. That's very hard to do with football players because (especially in college) there are 5 or 6 times as many players on a football team as on a basketball squad. Plus, football players wear helmets, seriously increasing the degree of difficulty in recognizing them.

As far as it being a holdover from the Knight regime, that's borderline absurd. As if Knight invented not having names on the backs of jerseys! Maybe it's really a holdover from Branch McCracken. Or James Naismith. I doubt Dr. Naismith put names on the jerseys when he had people chucking balls at peach baskets. To decry something as bad because Knight did it seems as foolhardy as claiming it good because he did it. Knight's team played man-to-man! Why would we play man-to-man?! (Indeed, if that's the case, you should be happy about this squad, which seems to eschew D entirely, especially in the paint.)

Besides even with the advent of HDTV, it's hard to read the names on the jerseys during live action. So I say keep them off.