Friday, December 08, 2006

Fordham Efficiency

For those who are not sure what these ratings mean they are a method of evaluating a team's efficiency on offense or defense by taking into account the tempo with which a team normally plays. For instance a run and gun team may actually play better defense than a slow it down Princeton style team that gives up on average 20 points less per game. These techniques were pioneered by baseball stat heads but those principles have been imported to basketball by people like Dean Oliver.

In essence these ratings give a estimation of how many points a team would score or allow in 100 possessions. You can therefore compare teams that play very different styles.

For the Fordham game:

Offense 102.7
Defense 76.4

The numbers seem to indicate that Maryland played a better game than they appeared to at the time. It wasn't pretty but it ended up being effective.

The annual Mike Jones debate has started again. There were some grumblings after the Notre Dame loss which saw Jones play 20 minutes despite not sinking a single field goal all game. Jones is a streaky shooter, we all know this, but I don't really know how you can keep him out there with that scant production. The current bench is too deep to keep other players like Vasquez or the equally streaky Parrish Brown out of the game in the hopes that after seven missed shots Jones will get back on track. You'll end up losing more games while waiting for Jones to get hot, instead of using your bench.

More to the point if you look at Ken Pomery's fantastic website you can see that Mike Jones has a higher percentage of minutes played than any players except DJ Strawberry and James Gist. He is getting loads of minutes and takes a higher percentage of shots for the team while he is in the game than any player on the roster. If Jones isn't producing it is because he isn't hitting shots and failing to get to the free throw line, not because Gary Williams yanks him too quickly. There is an issue with the opposing defense dramatically changing depending on whether Jones is in or out of the game, but that's for another time.

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