Sunday, March 18, 2012

Recap: North Carolina State 66, Georgetown 63

Image from here
Last season, we noted in this space that Coach Thompson was in danger of cementing a reputation when his 6th-seeded Hoyas were beat by 11th-seeded Virginia Commonwealth.

Consider the reputation cemented.

For the fourth consecutive tournament appearance, Georgetown was knocked out in the opening weekend by a hot-from-behind-the-arc double-digit seed. Today, the 11th-seeded North Carolina State Wolfpack had the pleasure, 66-63.

The expression that usually brings a pain to the heart of a stathead is "the eye-test." But today, I'd have to say that North Carolina St. passed the eye-test, in that for about 25 minutes of the game the Wolfpack just looked like the better team, and often CJ Leslie looked without peer on the floor.

The story from the pre-game info at Casual Hoya was that Wolfpack fans were concerned about foul difficulty inside, but it turned out to be Georgetown to suffer that fate, as Henry Sims picked his second foul at the 14:20 mark of the first half, with the Hoyas ahead 8-5. Now the narrative late in the game was that NC State was able to pull away from Georgetown once Sims sat, but the reality was that the Hoyas enjoyed a 17-10 run over the next 9+ minutes of game time to extend to a 10-point lead. The game was 20 possessions in, on pace for 53 for the entire game.

What ensued felt like a mugging at half-court, as the Hoyas committed 6 turnover on their next 10 possessions while the Wolfpack ran off seven points in 32 seconds on their way to a 15-2 run to close out the half. The pace of the game had noticeably quickened. The hits kept coming as the Vespers half began, as NC State used a 13-5 run out of the gate to stretch their lead to eleven points.

As we've seen in the past, when the wheels fall off Hollis Thompson is able to remain calm and throw enough good shots at the rim to ring up points. And today that effort slowly dragged Georgetown back into the game, as Hollis scored 15 of his team-leading 23 points after the deficit had ballooned to eleven.

Somehow, near the end of the game, the Hoyas had three attempts to tie or take the lead:
  • Down three with 0:40 left, Henry Sims drove right and drew the foul. His shot attempt for the and-one was on-line but short of the rim. I think that was the first (only?) moment in the second half where I thought Georgetown could actually win the game.
  • Down two with 0:25 left, the Hoyas tried to find Henry in the left block (I was having serious Cinci in the Big East, 2-OT flashbacks), but instead Otto Porter took and left short a baseline jumper. I'd guess many would have a problem with Otto's shot, preferring to hold for a better look; in his defense, he shot early enough that a miss wouldn't end the game, as we saw.
  • With 4.6 seconds left and a Wolfpack free throw missed, suddenly Jason Clark was streaking down the sideline with a chance to tie the game. His attempt was open, but hurried and deep and never had a chance. The final horn sounded.

Looking at the tempo-free box, the Hoyas only struggled in two areas: defensive rebounding and 3FG defense.

The outside shooting is the less serious offense. Although the Hoyas will end the season leading the nation in 3FG% allowed [27.7%],and the Wolfpack are an average 3FG-shooting team [35.8%, 98th nationally], we've learned from Ken Pomeroy that 3FG shooting is a very hard thing to predict in small sample sizes, such as a tournament game.

But the Hoyas also led the Big East conference in defensive rebounding [OR allowed = 31%], a stat that helped drive their defense to the top-ten nationally (per KenPom). The difference in offensive rebounding [41% to 25%, NCSU to GU] today and the resulting difference in second chance points [15-8] proved to be the difference in the game.

And so another season comes to an end, although perhaps not as bitterly as the previous four. With low expectations entering the season, a shot to advance to the Sweet-16 was about the best-case scenario for the Hoyas and their fans. And that's what they got.

We'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge the seniors on the team:
  • Jason Clark, whose spectacular play thrilled Georgetown fans for four seasons and netted him all-Big East honors. But perhaps more importantly, he also earned the Big East's Sportsmanship award. His and his teammates' dignity make rooting for the Hoyas a pleasure, in spite of the inevitable pains.
  • Henry Sims, whose emergence early this season as a star, and whose late-season heroics helped bring the Hoyas to the cusp of the Sweet-16
  • And while I'm hesitant to include the nominal junior here, Hollis Thompson, who knew how to thrill his audience (at Alabama and vs. Marquette this year). Hollis is allegedly on schedule to graduate a semester early, at the end of this academic year.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      North Carolina State         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            31        32        64
Points          27        36        63          30        36        66   

Effic.         86.4     111.7      99.2        96.0     111.7     103.9  
eFG%           50.0      48.4      49.0        39.7      48.0      43.5  
TO%            32.0       6.2      18.9        16.0      15.5      15.7  
OR%            25.0      25.0      25.0        45.5      35.0      40.5  
FTA/FGA        45.0      25.8      33.3        48.3      68.0      57.4  

Assist Rate    62.5      61.5      61.9        50.0      60.0      55.0  
Block Rate      8.7      12.5      10.3        11.1      11.8      11.5  
Steal Rate      9.6       6.2       7.9         9.6       3.1       6.3  
2FG%           44.4      52.9      50.0        30.4      37.5      33.3  
3FG%           36.4      28.6      32.0        50.0      44.4      46.7  
FT%            77.8      75.0      76.5        50.0      70.6      61.3

more stats after the jump

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St Louis bracket: log5 prediction after Round of 32

Now that the Hoyas have advanced to the Round of 32, it's time to update the original log5 predictions for the region.

Ken Pomeroy has updated the official log5 odds for the Round of 32 on his website. As I did for my original log5 prediction, I'm going off results against the KenPom Top 100 (not including the Round of 64 results).

Here are the percentage odds for advancing to the next round for each team:
Seed  Team           2nd Rd  Sweet 16  Elite 8  Final 4   Orig
1     North Carolina   100      61.6     50.6     30.8    25.7
16    Lamar/Vermont    out       out      out      out     0.2
8     Creighton        100      38.4     28.5     14.2     8.4
9     Alabama          out       out      out      out     3.0

5     Temple           out       out      out      out     5.6
12    South Florida    100      53.9     11.9      3.3     1.0
4     Michigan         out       out      out      out     5.8
13    Ohio             100      46.1      9.0      2.3     0.6

6     San Diego St.    out       out      out      out     4.6
11    NC State         100      22.6      5.6      1.6     0.8
3     Georgetown       100      77.4     31.4     13.7     7.3
14    Belmont          out       out      out      out     1.6

7     Saint Mary's     out       out      out      out     7.1
10    Purdue           100      25.7     11.4      4.0     1.9
2     Kansas           100      74.3     51.5     30.2    25.3
15    Detroit          out       out      out      out     0.1

Note I've listed a couple teams in bold in the brackets. The Hoyas were bolded to highlight their odds. As I noted in the prior post, Ohio has played few games against the KenPom Top 100 (only seven including the game against Michigan). Because of their small sample size, I'm using a nominal rating more along the lines of what a good #13 seed might have. I've also added team's original odds of reaching the Final Four. Note, however, these aren't the same as the odds listed in prior post. Those were based on a superior (by this methodology) Cal team winning the play-in game; since USF won, I replaced them with Cal in the odds calculator, which improved everybody else's odds.

By virtue of San Diego State's loss, the Hoyas see the biggest rise in the region in their chances of making the Final Four. NC State was in some respects the ACC's UConn or Texas, a squad cursed with potential that often failed to play up to their talent level. Using the full Pomeroy ratings (pre-tourney), the Hoyas are still 72% favorites, but aren't favored by as much as UNC or Kansas. That feels more accurate to me, but we shall see.

Notes: log5 predictions are made using Pomeroy ratings based on games through Sunday, March 11.
No adjustment has been made for any home court advantage - all games are assumed neutral court.

Finally, a gentle reminder: efficiency ratings and the predictions derived therefrom are not destiny.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Recap: Georgetown 74, Belmont 59

Image from here
Woo-hoo! The Hoyas used their secret weapon (the 2-3 zone) to slow down a very scary Belmont offensive attack, while playing one of their strongest offensive games of the season to handle the Bruins, 74-69.

Just a few bullet points for tonight:
  •  As noted by Ken Pomeroy, Belmont shooting 10/27 [37%] on 3FG was not a bad result for the Bruins. The team led the Atlantic Sun conference by making 39.5% of their threes, so the Hoyas only nudged them a touch under their league average. Belmont also attempted half of all field goals from behind the arc, a bit higher than the 41% clip that they typically use. But it should be pointed out that the Bruins played very differently in each half:
    • 1st: 3/8 2FG, 6/15 3FG, 3/7 FT
    • 2nd: 8/19 2FG, 4/12 3FG, 4/4 FT
  • In the end, Belmont scored at a clip of 1.00 points per possessions. You can stare at Belmont's offensive stats (i.e. Georgetown's defensive stats) as much as you'd like, but the game played at about the way you'd expect for a great offense [adj. OEff = 116.5] vs. a great defense [adj. DEff = 87.4].
  • The difference in the game today was the Hoyas' shooting. Georgetown's eFG = 66.3% was the biggest number put up against Belmont all season, and only two teams had previously made it north of 60% against the Bruins (Memphis and Stetson). 
  • Why did the Hoyas shoot so well? They took advantage of their huge size advantage to make nearly all their shots close to the basket: Georgetown shot 20/22 on dunks, layups and tip-ins. For Belmont, once they let the Hoyas get the ball in deep it was an almost automatic two points.
  • There were three stars for the Hoyas tonight: Jason Clark, Otto Porter and Henry Sims.
    • Jason Clark was the star of the game for the Hoyas because he made shots [6/7 2FG, 3/5 3FG]. I've been loath to point it out, but Jason has been mired in a shooting slump throughout Big East play. Did you know that Nate Lubick [2/7 3FG (29 %)] actually shot better behind the arc than Clark [22/82 3FG (27%)]? So Jason's hot hand to start the game [1st half: 2/3 2FG, 3/4 3FG] was both a relief, and a concern (can he keep it up?). Clark smartly holstered his outside shot - only one attempt - in the second half, instead driving the lane for layups.
    • As noted by Jack in comments, Henry used an amazing 43% of possessions while he was on the floor. How? He took shots (12 of GU's 34 field goal attempts while he was in the game), he set up others (5 assists) and he occasionally gave the ball away (3 TOs). Note that most of Henry's work came in the second half, as he had to sit with two fouls after 12 possessions played in the game - I wonder if it was a combination of JT3's strategy and Sims trying to play catch-up.
    •  I'm still trying to figure out how Otto Porter was left off the All-Rookie team for the Big East. Otto had 16 pts, 8 reb, 0 turnovers, and you just come to expect it. By my reckoning - the Net Points stats found below the jump - Porter hasn't been less than very good since at Seton Hall.
The Hoyas will move on to play North Carolina State on Sunday at 12:15 pm in the round of 32.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      Belmont         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            29        31        59
Points          36        38        74          27        32        59   

Effic.        126.3     123.8     124.9        94.7     104.2      99.5  
eFG%           61.5      71.7      66.3        52.2      45.2      48.1  
TO%            17.5      22.8      20.2        21.0       9.8      15.2  
OR%            38.5      25.0      33.3        25.0      31.6      28.6  
FTA/FGA        19.2      34.8      26.5        30.4      12.9      20.4  

Assist Rate    28.6      62.5      46.7        77.8      75.0      76.2  
Block Rate     12.5      10.5      11.1         0.0       0.0       0.0  
Steal Rate      7.0       0.0       3.4         3.5       6.5       5.1  
2FG%           58.8      75.0      67.6        37.5      42.1      40.7  
3FG%           44.4      33.3      41.7        40.0      33.3      37.0  
FT%            80.0      62.5      69.2        42.9     100.0      63.6

more stats after the jump

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lineup stats for all conf. games

I'm still struggling with the change to daylight savings time, so just a quick stats dump before bed.

First, a breakout of minutes played by position.

Here, we follow the same rules as we've used before - players are sorted by height, shortest to tallest, with weight serving as the tie-breaker. All heights and weights come from the GU website. Not all slots will add up to 40 minutes, both due to rounding and because I don't show any player with less than a minute played at a position.
  1. Starks [21], Clark [17], Trawick [2]
  2. Clark [17], Trawick [9], Whittington [11], Thompson [4]
  3. Thompson [25], Whittington [10], Porter [5]
  4. Porter [25], Lubick [12], Thompson [3]
  5. Sims[29], Lubick [5], Hopkins [5]
I ran through this table ten games ago, and frankly not much has changed. A minute or two here or there, but overall the team we saw mid-way though conference play is the team we have now. Of course, Porter has moved into the starting lineup, but minutes are more or less constant.

Next, line-up efficiencies, now with color highlighting - green for a lineup that is +0.3 pts/poss or better, and red for a lineup that is negative pts/poss.

Here we go:
                                                 Offense                  Defense             Net
Lineup                                    # poss   Eff    Time     # poss   Eff    Time       Eff
Clark-Lubick-Sims-Starks-Thompson           159     89    17.6       167     93    19.6        -5
Clark-Porter-Sims-Starks-Thompson           167    108    17.9       155     86    19.3        22
Clark-Porter-Sims-Thompson-Whittington      143    108    20.6       143     88    20.2        20
Clark-Lubick-Porter-Sims-Thompson            94    105    20.9       100     95    18.6        10
Clark-Porter-Sims-Starks-Whittington         54     98    17.6        54     69    20.5        30
Clark-Porter-Sims-Thompson-Trawick           40     70    19.4        39    100    21.5       -30
Clark-Porter-Sims-Trawick-Whittington        33     97    18.0        37    100    23.4        -3
Clark-Lubick-Porter-Thompson-Whittington     35    100    17.1        32     94    15.4         6
Porter-Sims-Starks-Thompson-Whittington      31    136    21.6        32    103    23.8        32
Clark-Hopkins-Porter-Starks-Thompson         31     94    20.0        27    119    16.1       -25
Clark-Sims-Starks-Thompson-Whittington       29    152    17.7        26    104    18.4        48
Clark-Lubick-Porter-Starks-Thompson          24     79    20.2        23    109    19.8       -30
Clark-Hopkins-Porter-Thompson-Whittington    22    109    21.2        24     75    21.7        34
Clark-Lubick-Porter-Starks-Whittington       22    146    19.9        19    132    20.3        14
Clark-Hopkins-Porter-Trawick-Whittington     19    121    21.7        20     95    17.9        26
Clark-Lubick-Porter-Sims-Trawick             18    150    11.8        18    106    20.9        44
Clark-Lubick-Sims-Thompson-Whittington       19    121    20.3        17     77    16.5        45
Clark-Lubick-Porter-Trawick-Whittington      17    112    20.6        19    116    26.9        -4
Clark-Lubick-Porter-Thompson-Trawick         15    147    16.5        18    106    18.9        41
Porter-Sims-Starks-Trawick-Whittington       13    100    15.5        18     67    22.2        33

I think I'll let the stats speak for themselves here, as I'm not sure I see much of a trend.

Monday, March 12, 2012

St Louis bracket: log5 prediction

As I did for the Big East tournament in 2011, the NCAA tournament in 2010, and various times in the past, I will be running log5 analysis based on the Pomeroy ratings for at least as long as the Hoyas are in the field.

Ken Pomeroy has run the official log5 odds on his website. Rather than duplicate his, I'm trying something a little bit different.

One major problem with the Pomeroy ratings, especially early in the season, is that it includes all games. Some teams, particularly Wisconsin, are quite proficient at grinding inferior teams into the ground and much less so at doing the same against more closely-aligned competition. As a crude fix for that, I am this year instead preparing predictions based on teams' efficiency margins against opponents ranked in the top 100 of the Pomeroy ratings. Is this a perfect fix? No, absolutely not, but it does "fix" Wisconsin and some other teams.

Here are the percentage odds for advancing to the next round for each team:
Seed  Team           2nd Round  Sweet 16  Elite 8  Final 4
1     North Carolina    87.5      57.2     40.6     25.2
16    Lamar/Vermont     12.5       2.7      0.7      0.1
8     Creighton         60.3      26.4     16.0      8.2
9     Alabama           39.7      13.8      7.0      2.9

5     Temple            53.3      30.7     11.9      5.3
12    Cal/South Florida 46.7      25.4      9.1      3.8
4     Michigan          68.5      34.0     12.6      5.4
13    Ohio              31.5       9.9      2.2      0.6

6     San Diego St.     63.7      31.8     11.8      4.6
11    NC State          36.3      11.1      2.9      0.8
3     Georgetown        63.4      40.1     16.7      7.3
14    Belmont           36.6      17.0      5.0      1.6

7     Saint Mary's      62.4      26.0     15.2      7.1
10    Purdue            37.6      11.7      5.4      1.9
2     Kansas            88.6      59.9     42.5     25.3
15    Detroit           11.4       2.5      0.6      0.1

Note I've listed a couple teams in bold in the brackets. The Hoyas were bolded to highlight their odds. I also have not yet re-written my spreadsheet to account for the two play-in games, between Lamar and Vermont in the 16 seed game and Cal and USF in the 12 seed game. For simplicity's sake, I've assumed the superior team (Lamar and Cal, respectively) will win that game. The listed odds thus somewhat overstate the chance the winner of each play-in game continues on and somewhat understate the odds of all teams not involved in a play-in game.

The Problems Inherent in the Method

More importantly, judging teams based on results against only KenPom top-100 teams results in judging off smaller sample sizes. Most of the time this isn't an issue. For instance, Georgetown played 17 games against the KenPom top 100. Even a non-BCS team like Temple played 15 teams. Unfortunately, there are a couple exceptions. In the Hoyas' region, both Belmont and Ohio only played six games against the KenPom top 100. I prepared the above calculation using Belmont's actual results in those six games. The Bobcats, however, presented a trickier challenge.

Ohio played six games against the KenPom top 100: one game against #20 Louisville, one game against #74 Marshall, three games against #79 Akron, and one game against #95 Northern Iowa. They went 4-2, losing by five points at Louisville and losing once against Akron. Because they blew out Northern Illinois and Akron once, their average efficiency in those games was 109.2 on offense and 100.6 on defense. Based on those numbers, they're the third-best team in the region and roughly the eleventh-best in the field. Considering Ohio is the 72nd-ranked team in the overall Pomeroy ratings, I strongly doubt that accurately reflects how good the Bobcats are.

I therefore manually adjusted the Bobcats' ratings to something more along the lines of what I think they deserve based on where teams in their general vicinity in the Pomeroy ratings came out. I fully admit this adjustment is highly subjective and deeply unscientific, but I prefer it to breaking the system. Looking outside the Hoyas' region, Murray State poses the same problem, unless you believe they really are as good as Kentucky.

Thoughts Outside the St. Louis Region

Looking at the bracket as a whole, Kentucky is clearly the best team, though the margin is less overwhelming than it was before they lost the SEC championship game. There's then a second tier of roughly ten teams, including Kansas, Memphis, Michigan State, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio State, Syracuse, and Wichita State. I've listed them in alphabetical order, but by the numbers, Wichita State is at the top of the tier, closer to Kentucky than they are to Kansas at the bottom of that tier. The Hoyas thus appear somewhat fortunate in that they avoided Kentucky and only have two of the second tier teams in their region.

You may have noticed that neither the Hoyas nor any other of the #3 seeds are on that list. All the #1 seeds are included, as are all the #2 seeds save Duke, but this year's #3 seeds are mostly unimpressive. Baylor is the best, Marquette second, and the Hoyas come up just barely ahead of Florida State. Kansas is closer to Kentucky, though, than they are to Baylor, let alone the Hoyas, and thus the St. Louis bracket looks the way it does.

For the curious, the teams with the best chances at coming out of the other regions are Kentucky (39%) followed by Wichita State (20%); toss-up between Syracuse (27.2%) and Ohio State (27.4%); and Missouri (26%) over Michigan State (17.2%) and New Mexico (16.9%).

Notes: log5 predictions are made using Pomeroy ratings based on games through Sunday, March 11.
No adjustment has been made for any home court advantage - all games are assumed neutral court.

Finally, a gentle reminder: efficiency ratings and the predictions derived therefrom are not destiny.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Recap: Cincinnati 72, Georgetown 70 [2OT]

Image from here
The Georgetown Hoyas saw their stay at the Big East tournament come to a premature end courtesy of a gutty come-from-behind win by the Cincinnati Bearcats, 72-70.

The game went two overtimes today, thanks to last second heroics in regulation by Otto Porter and in the first overtime by Henry Sims, but the worm tuned in the second extra session when Cashmere Wright made a tough layup that proved to be the difference.

Some quick thoughts as I watch a replay of the game:

The Hoyas drew 23 fouls on 57 possessions yesterday against Pittsburgh, but only 14 on 72 possessions today (and of those 14 total fouls by the Bearcats, four came in a single possession). Now this isn't a criticism of the refs for today's game, but rather an observation about how the two games were called. Yesterday was called tight, which we generally think benefits Georgetown's motion offense. Tonight was called loose, especially with respect to the more aggressive Cincinnati defense. The Hoyas couldn't adjust - and missed half their FTs after intermission when they did get to the line. [N.B. - Cinci was 2nd lowest in FT/FG allowed in conference, while Pitt was 11th].

Did Nate Lubick not get a fair shake today? The argument goes that he had one of his best games of the year in the first meeting with the Bearcats, but Nate never got on the floor in the Vespers' half. It's hard to say, but I didn't see anything in his 7 possessions played to indicate he was over-matched today.

Still watching the replay: with less than nine minutes left in regulation, an eleven-point lead and the ball, the game very much feels to be the Hoyas to win. I think I felt the same way the last time the teams played.

Jason Clark was rated as an overall positive today, rating +1.5 net points by the compiler, while Hollis Thompson was nearly -3. Thompson and Starks are capable of much better things, and as I noted yesterday, the Hoyas aren't going to win many games when those two aren't winning their matchups.

Does Mick Cronin have John Thompson III's number? Cronin has been coaching the Bearcats since 2008:
Season  GU-UC  Favored?
2008     1-0   GU favored
2009     0-2   GU favored in both
2010     1-0   GU favored
2011     0-2   each favored in one
2012     0-2   GU favored in both
Total    2-6
Yikes! The Hoyas were favored (per KenPom) in seven of their last eight games against Cincinnati, but have only come away with two wins (that's five upsets for the Bearcats, for you SFS'ers).

Let's run the numbers:

.            Visitor                         Home      
.            Georgetown                      Cincinnati         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            25        32        59

Points          30        40        70          24        48        72   

Effic.        118.3      83.0      94.8        94.6      99.6      97.5  
eFG%           48.2      51.5      50.0        40.4      40.2      40.3  
TO%             7.9      24.9      19.0        19.7      10.4      13.5  
OR%            46.7      23.8      33.3        41.2      30.3      34.0  
FTA/FGA        17.9      29.4      24.2        15.4      37.0      29.2  
Assist Rate    38.5      47.1      43.3        40.0      44.4      42.9  
Block Rate     12.5      17.1      15.7         9.1       0.0       3.8  
Steal Rate     11.8       2.1       5.4         7.9      20.7      16.3  
2FG%           54.5      53.3      53.8        56.2      48.6      51.0  
3FG%           16.7      25.0      20.0        10.0       9.1       9.5  
FT%            60.0      50.0      53.3        75.0      64.7      66.7

more stats after the jump

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Recap: Georgetown 64, Pittsburgh 52

Image from here
Just getting a chance to watch the rebroadcast of the game right now, so I don't know if you'll be getting much of a recap. Depends on how fired up / sleepy I am when it's over.

Annndddd . . . tiredness is going to win.  Quick thoughts before I call it a night:
  • As Tom points out in comments, the Hoyas didn't settle for many 2FG jumpers, or 3FGs for that matter. Versus 20 total jumpshots [7 2FG, 13 3FG], Georgetown attempted 19 layups in the game and made 13 of those. Pitt has been having a tough defensive year, giving up 51% on 2FGs in conference games. Smart offense by the Hoyas.
  • The best thing Pitt has done in conference this year is crash the offensive glass - grabbing 40% of their own missed shots. Not today, as Sims [10 def. reb.] and friends limited the Panthers to only 22%  off. rebounding tonight. 
  • Was that Henry Sims' career game? Stats say no, he actually had one better game, against Savannah St. to open the season. Although I suppose the level of competition was a bit higher tonight.
  • And since I can't end a recap without at least one negative comment: only three Hoyas were positives on the court today (Sims, Porter, Whittington). Without Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson leading the team, a win against Cincinnati will be a much harder proposition.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      PITT         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            30        30        60
Points          31        33        64          23        29        52   

Effic.        102.8     111.0     106.8        76.3      97.5      86.8  
eFG%           52.4      55.6      53.8        32.8      55.0      41.8  
TO%            23.2      16.8      20.0        10.0      23.5      16.7  
OR%            30.8      27.3      29.2        22.7      20.0      21.6  
FTA/FGA        66.7      94.4      79.5        17.2      65.0      36.7  

Assist Rate    40.0      66.7      52.6        75.0      50.0      61.1  
Block Rate     23.5       0.0      14.3         0.0       0.0       0.0  
Steal Rate      3.3      13.4       8.3        10.0       6.7       8.3  
2FG%           61.5      53.8      57.7        29.4      72.7      46.4  
3FG%           25.0      40.0      30.8        25.0      22.2      23.8  
FT%            64.3      76.5      71.0        80.0      53.8      61.1

more stats after the jump

Monday, March 5, 2012

Two links

Since Casual Hoya is apparently too busy living in delusion to cross-post content from their SBNation peers, thought I'd point to some content from other BE blogs:

Rumble in the Garden has the BE blogger awards:

The UConn Blog identifies Big East fans as Simpson characters. Yeah, we're Martin Prince.

Okay, that was three links. Whatever.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Otto Porter

Image from here
The Big East All-Rookie team was announced yesterday and despite listing seven freshmen, Otto Porter was not on it.

The Big East All-Rookie Team consists of:
D'Angelo Harrison and Moe Harkless of St. John's
LaDontae Henton of Providence
Andre Drummond of Connecticut
Chane Benahan of Louisville
Anthony Collins from USF...
...and Notre Dame's Jerian Grant, who is really a red-shirt sophomore.

Let's ignore the ridiculousness of Jerian Grant being considered a freshman and accept him on the team because he was very good this year.  As were D'Angelo Harrison and LaDontae Henton.  It's not that Porter was worse than these players this year, but each clearly deserved to be on the All-Rookie Team along with Porter.

So instead we'll compare Otto to the four remaining players:  Harkless; Drummond; Benahan and Collins.  

Let's look at a decent chunk of stats:
Player        Min%   ORating  Poss%  OReb%   ARate   TO%   DReb%   Blk+Stl%  DRating
Porter         70      116     17       9      12     14     19        6        89
Benahan        62      101     22      13       8     21     20        4        89
Drummond       71      100     21      15       4     17     16       12        95
Harkless       90       98     24       8      10     17     19        7       101
Collins        67       96     20       1      37     34      6        4        97
Player stats from KenPom, except Def. Rating from SR/College Basketball

Offensively, one of these things is not like the others, and it's Otto Porter.  Porter not only has clearly the highest offensive efficiency amongst the freshmen listed above, he has the highest offensive efficiency of any freshman in the conference.

The counterargument would be that Otto Porter used many fewer possessions and was relied upon much less than players like Moe Harkless.  If Porter had been forced to create as much as Harkless, the argument goes, he would have been much less efficient.

Here's one problem with that argument:  a Big East player with an offensive efficiency around 100 tends to be a sub-par offensive high major player, once you account for the creampuffs on the schedule.  Which means every player on our list not named Otto Porter is at best average, and more accurately scoring at a sub-par rate.  Is there that much value in being a larger focus of the offense if you don't convert at a better than average rate?   Who wants a sub-par player jacking up shots or running their offense?

Otto Porter played within the needs of his team and was wildly efficient.  That adds real value.  While several of these players needed to create more offense for their teams than Otto, doing so at mediocre or worse levels simply isn't enough to state that they are better offensive players than Porter.

*Stats-geeky argument:  One can never tell how Otto Porter would have performed taking as many shots as Harkless, or how Harkless would have performed in a complementary role, but we do have a rule of thumb:  in the NBA, for every one point of possession percent increased, the average player loses 1.25 points of efficiency.  Which means if Otto Porter raised his usage to 24%, his Offensive Rating would have likely dropped to somewhere around 109.  Which is still clearly more than any player on this list.

Then there's that whole defense thing.  It's half the game, but voters tend to ignore it completely.  The few who do pay attention generally focus on the counting stats:  rebounding, blocks and steals.  These stats make for a poor evaluation when compared to how they can illuminate on offense.

Drummond and Harkless have both the best traditional defensive stats - rebounding, blocks and steals - and the most pro potential (and these two things tend to go hand in hand), but their teams were terrible on defense.  From watching, neither was a particularly good defender (as shown by their defensive rating), and Drummond was part of a team that gave up on numerous occasions.  

Collins and Benahan played on better defensive teams.  I haven't watched either enough to know how good they are, but Porter has the advantage to my mind [editor's note: After adding DRat stats, Porter and Behanan look to be equals].   His statistics are comparable, but more importantly, he was one of the best defensive players on one of the best defensive teams in the league.  

So, Porter is both the best offensive and defensive player in the group and yet, he does not make the team?  I realize he does not have the feel-good story of being the point guard on the suddenly decent Bulls or did not put up a few 30-point games like Harkless, but he was simply a better player this year.

Otto Porter deserved to be in the discussion for Big East Freshman of the Year, not left off the team completely.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Recap: Marquette 83, Georgetown 69

Image from here
In their final regular-season game, the Georgetown Hoyas were soundly defeated by the Marquette Golden Eagles at the Bradley Center, 83-69.

The stat of the game comes from near the bottom of the HD box score - Points after steal: Marquette 19, Georgetown 2.

Almost six minutes into the game, it felt like the Hoyas' good feelings from the previous two wins at home would carry over to the impressively raucous Bradley Center. On the back of a pair of Hollis Thompson three-point shots and some sound defense, the Hoyas led 12-9 with the ball and Marquette starting to scramble. An inside-outside play left Markel Starks wide open from behind the arc, but the ball rattled out. Two minutes later with the Hoyas ahead 14-13, Jason Clark had a similar look that also wouldn't drop.

That was the opening the Eagles needed, as they scored on their next three trips down the court and started ratcheting up the pressure to rattle the Hoyas. Davante Gardner [8 pts, 4 oreb] returned today for Maquette after missing several games due to an injured ankle and used his size to control the paint in limited action.

A horrible performance at the line [6/13 FT] while the Eagles made theirs [14/15 FT] was the obvious difference between the teams in the Lift-Off half, but the Hoyas struggled to make shots from the floor as well. Georgetown made only 2/8 layups, while taking 20 of 30 field goal attempts as jumpers [3/10 2FG jumpers, 3/10 3FG]. And perhaps that's the real difference between the two games overall - the Hoyas shot an amazing 21/25 2FGs at the Verizon Center, but 20/45 2FGs today.

The second half was effectively a stalemate. After giving up the eleven of the first thirteen points of the second half to fall into a 17-point hole, Georgetown was able to answer with a 12-3 run of their own. From there, the lead bounced between 8 and 14 points, as Jae Crowder always seemed to be able to rally his troops when the Hoyas made any sort of push.

And so the Hoyas will end the season as a 5-seed for the Big East tournament, facing the winner of Pittsburgh-Rutgers at 2pm on Wednesday.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Visitor                         Home      
.            Georgetown                      Marquette         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            32        41        74

Points          29        40        69          39        44        83   

Effic.         89.6      97.2      93.6       120.5     106.9     112.6  
eFG%           38.3      48.5      43.7        48.1      52.1      50.0  
TO%            15.4      24.3      20.3        18.5      14.6      16.3  
OR%            40.0      36.8      38.6        46.7      27.8      36.4  
FTA/FGA        43.3      36.4      39.7        57.7     125.0      90.0  
Assist Rate    70.0      53.3      60.0        58.3      50.0      54.2  
Block Rate      5.3      10.5       7.9         5.0       4.0       4.4  
Steal Rate      9.3       4.9       6.8        12.4      17.0      14.9  
2FG%           35.0      52.0      44.4        57.9      57.9      57.9  
3FG%           30.0      25.0      27.8        14.3      20.0      16.7  
FT%            46.2      66.7      56.0        93.3      63.3      73.3

more stats after the jump