Monday, February 27, 2012

Georgetown 59, Notre Dame 41

Image from here
Is [Notre Dame's poor shooting due to] fatigue? - Sean McDonough
I think they're tired of looking at long armed athletes right on top of them. - Jay Bilas

The Hoyas put together one of their best all-around games of the season tonight, absolutely shutting down the Fighting Irish while putting together one of their better offensive performances. (Fifty nine points in 53 possessions against a decent defense is a strong offensive game for this team.)

On defense, the Hoyas gave Notre Dame very few good shots.  Jack Cooley, who until Saturday had been the scourge of the Big East, was completely shut down on the interior.  Jerian Grant, who has been excellent as a playmaking wing, was forced into tough shot after tough shot.  The Hoyas even managed to force a few more turnovers than normal and owned the defensive boards.

The Irish didn't help themselves much, either, missing many of the few open looks they received.  But at the end of the day the biggest different was in watching Notre Dame attempt to execute their burn offense.  They would run the clock down, and then attempt, in the last ten to fifteen seconds, to get the open shot they have been able to get over the last ten or so games.  But today, it wasn't there -- a long, active Hoya defender would turn away the easy shot, forcing a poor one or a bad pass.  There were few open jumpers.

More importantly, there were few shots at the rim.  The Irish shot 32 jump shots and only 16 layups.  The Irish guards could not penetrate and Cooley did nothing inside.

The Hoyas actually weren't that much better in their shot selection (27 jumpers, 17 layups), but offensively, the team seemed to do everything else right.  They crashed the offensive boards well and despite a number of frustrating turnovers, kept the overall TO count down.  And then they went and made a lot of those jumpshots (something we probably shouldn't count on them continuing).

But the most impressive aspect was the team's cutting to the basket.  The cuts came often and were fast and decisive.  Clark and Whittington, particularly, continually forced their men to trail them as they looked for easy baskets. Henry Sims had five assists, mostly on cuts.  And he and his teammates actually missed quite a few open cutters.  Perhaps the Irish weren't well-prepared or maybe the Hoyas simply were clicking, but either way, those easy baskets were the key reason the team was able to put up 28 in the first half.

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      Notre Dame         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            26        28        53
Points          28        31        59          18        23        41   

Effic.        109.4     111.4     110.5        70.3      82.6      76.8  
eFG%           56.5      57.1      56.8        37.0      36.0      36.5  
TO%            15.6      25.1      20.6        19.5      21.6      20.6  
OR%            33.3      45.5      39.1        20.0      33.3      27.3  
FTA/FGA        17.4      42.9      29.5        13.0      28.0      20.8  

Assist Rate    66.7      45.5      56.5        50.0      37.5      43.8  
Block Rate      5.9      14.3       9.7         0.0       0.0       0.0  
Steal Rate      7.8      10.8       9.4        11.7      14.4      13.1  
2FG%           55.6      60.0      57.6        41.2      42.9      41.9  
3FG%           40.0      33.3      36.4        16.7      18.2      17.6  
FT%            50.0      77.8      69.2        33.3      71.4      60.0  

More thoughts and stats after the jump

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Just a couple of odds and ends has a link to a nice article about John Thompson III from the Washingtonian. Not a lot of new material, but a very nice overview of the man.

And, in light of tomorrow's game against Notre Dame, I found this old highlight package on my hard drive from the 2007 BET semi-final, an epic. We might remember the Hoyas from that game, but you can forget how good Russell Carter, Rob Kurz and Colin Falls were for the Irish that year. And Tory Jackson had his coming-out party at the Garden in the closing minutes of the game, lighting up Jessie Sapp and others.

Sorry for the lousy quality of the clip - probably why I hadn't bothered to upload to YouTube until today.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Recap: Georgetown 67, Villanova 46

It was a "Gray Out" today at the Verizon Center, as the Hoyas stellar defense returned in their 67-46 victory over the Villanova Wildcats.

We're not going to offer much of a recap for the game, just some bullets:
  • The big story was Markel Starks getting benched. My guess - offered on the Casual Hoya game thread - was that this stemmed from the end-of-game effort by Starks at Seton Hall. There was certainly some sort of confrontation between Coach and Starks at that time. Hopefully it is now all water under the bridge.
  • Otto Porter was back in the starting lineup for Markel. In his first career start (against DePaul), Otto had a poor game with missed shots and turnovers; not today. Porter had a solid line across the board. One criticism - he loves that 16-18 ft. jump shot. My biggest wish for the off-season is that he (1) develops the range to take that shot from behind the arc, and (2) develops his handle so he can take a bounce or two to get closer to the rim. That is all.
  • This was Henry Sims best game since South Florida (also a blowout). Henry still had too many turnovers [3], but he took smart shots and gather four of the Hoyas own missed shots.
  • In spite of shooting a combined 1-9 on 3FGs, Hollis Thompson and especially Jason Clark did what upperclassmen do - they adjusted their game to take advantage of what was working (getting in the paint). Hollis' free throw stroke is making me sad, though.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      Villanova         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            31        33        64
Points          30        37        67          23        23        46   

Effic.         96.5     112.2     104.9        74.0      69.8      72.0  
eFG%           48.1      50.0      49.0        38.0      24.0      31.0  
TO%            22.5      21.2      21.9        19.3      18.2      18.8  
OR%            28.6      57.1      42.9        18.8      23.8      21.6  
FTA/FGA        26.9      61.5      44.2        24.0      60.0      42.0  

Assist Rate    45.5      38.5      41.7        50.0      16.7      35.7  
Block Rate     15.8      10.5      13.2        11.1       0.0       5.1  
Steal Rate      9.6       3.0       6.3        19.3       9.1      14.1  
2FG%           44.4      61.9      53.8        26.3      31.6      28.9  
3FG%           37.5       0.0      23.1        50.0       0.0      25.0  
FT%            71.4      68.8      69.6        66.7      73.3      71.4

Friday, February 24, 2012

In deference to Henry Sims

Image from here
About two years ago on this site, Alan was compelled to write the post "In defense of Henry Sims" after the cognoscenti on HoyaTalk had given Sims a particularly unpleasant splenetic going-over after a hard-fought win against the Johnnies.

This season, Nate Lubick had been ably filling the role of whipping-boy for most of the season, but now that Senior Day is upon us, it seems that the poison darts are starting to head back to Henry.

Since I've had this sitting on my laptop for a couple of days now, I thought it might be useful to post a massively unfair comparison between Henry and two other players who operated in essentially the same role (running the offense from the high post) over the past five seasons.

First, some offensive stats (conf. games only):
Player Name          G  %Min %Poss  %Shot  O Rtg  TS%   eFG% OReb%  TO% A Rate FTA/FGA
Sims, Henry (2012)  15  70.9  28.8   23.1   88.1  46.6  37.6  7.5  26.8  26.6    69.6
Sims, Henry (2011)  19  31.8  17.8   13.8   89.2  54.3  55.8  8.0  31.0  11.4    51.2

Monroe, Greg (2010) 23  82.6  27.0   23.6  106.2  58.5  55.2  6.6  22.4  23.2    56.9
Monroe, Greg (2009) 19  79.9  23.6   21.6  104.8  58.5  55.6  8.7  23.5  20.5    48.0

Hibbert, Roy (2008) 23  69.1  25.6   26.4  119.6  64.0  60.6 10.3  17.0  17.6    47.1
The first item to note is that both Sims and Monroe basically held to their offensive rating while increasing their usage (Greg a little, Henry a lot). Since the trend is generally that players are less efficient with greater usage, this is actually showing improvement year-over-year, especially for Sims.

This concept is something we've already look at (you'll have to scroll to the bottom of this epic post) - if Henry had the luxury of using possessions at the same rate as last season, we'd expect that he'd have an ORat = 97 or so. Not great, but not horrible. But due to both the makeup of the team and his own decision-making, Sims is using a ton of possessions.

Other points from this table:
  • Henry's biggest problem is his shooting - more on that in a second.
  • Sims is turning the ball over too much, but is also generating more assists than either Monroe or Hibbert did.
  • Henry is also drawing fouls at a greater rate than either of his predecessors. That offsets his poor shooting from the floor to some degree (note the difference between eFG% and TS%; the second accounts for FTs made).
  • Daammmnn! Roy had an amazing senior season. You can forget that sometimes.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

About last night

While updating some of the stats pages this evening, I noticed something troubling in Georgetown's defensive effort last night against Seton Hall. It's not that the Hoyas allowed a team to shoot an eFG pct of 71%, but rather what kind of shots they allowed and the lack of turnovers. Allow me to explain.

Seton Hall shot out of their minds last night. It happens sometimes, as I pointed out in the game recap.
Let's take a look at the shots made by the Pirates last night, versus the shots made by Georgetown in their best shooting game of the season, versus Marquette [eFG = 70%]:

                     Dunks   Layups   2pt J's    3FGs     FTs
Seton Hall (2/21)     2/2      8/15     7/11     8/13    15/19  
.                    1.000    0.533    0.636    0.615    0.789
Georgetown (1/4)      0/0     12/12     9/13     6/18    13/23  
.                             1.000    0.692    0.333    0.565  

Comparing the two games, the first thing you should notice is that the Hoyas and Pirates shot at about the same unconscious rate on their 2FG jump shots, making around 2/3 of their attempts. Those are the kinds of shots that defenses want to allow, and when a team makes that high a percentage it's trouble.

The Hoyas made everything they shot in the paint [12/12], while the Pirates made only a very good 59% [10/19]. A defense can live with 60% allowed on inside shots, so long as they can minimize those attempts. The Pirates had more than 40% of their field goal attempts from at or near the rim, which was a problem last night. The Hoyas, by contrast, only attempted 28% of their field goals as layups against Marquette (that selectivity may also explain the high shooting percentage).

The obscene shooting by the Pirates from behind the arc - as we were recently reminded by Ken Pomeroy - can be considered beyond the control of the Hoyas. Ken further expounded upon the idea today to point out that defenses can control how often a team will attempt a 3FG, but just don't have much control over how many of those attempts go in. To put it more succinctly, shit happens.

Obviously, Seton Hall also made a higher percentage at the free throw line than Georgetown in the respective games, but again those rates were within the range of variance that you can shrug at.

There's one other big stat difference between the two games:
                     TO   Poss   TO Rate
Seton Hall (2/21)     8    54      14.8  
Georgetown (1/4)     17    65      26.2
Not only were the Pirates shooting at an unconscious clip last night, they weren't giving away many possessions without scoring attempts. Meanwhile the Hoyas were able to beat Marquette in spite of a very sloppy game with the ball - in a 60 possession game, that difference in turnover rates is an extra 7 possessions, or an extra seven points for the Hoyas at their scoring clip last night.

Big deal, you say, it was just one night.

Well, here is how Hoyas' opponents have played in conference in their first 11 games, then the last four:
                     TO   Poss   TO Rate
Games 1-11          149   713      20.9
Syracuse (2/8)        9    63      14.3
St. John's (2/12)     6    57      10.6
Providence (2/18)     8    64      12.6
Seton Hall (2/21)     8    54      14.8

That is a troubling development. Either the defense is going to have to start generating more turnovers, or the team is going to have to live with giving up more points.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Recap: Seton Hall 73, Georgetown 55

Image from here
On a night that felt eerily like an opening round NCAA tournament game for Georgetown, the Hoyas ran into a Seton Hall team that couldn't miss a shot for long stretches of the game and were blown out, 73-55.

Not a lot of positives can be taken from tonight's game. In a meeting of two of the conference's better defensive teams, the Pirates - lead by Jordan Theodore - quite simply made a lot of shots and thereby had a spectacular offensive game. The Hoyas came into the game leading the conference in effective field goal defense, having allowed a season-high 55% eFG against Pitt. So what Seton Hall did tonight [71% eFG] should be recognized as extraordinary. Only two other teams have managed to hit the 70% level against JT3's Georgetown Hoyas: the Ohio Bobcats and the Baylor Bears. Don't feel obligated to click through on those links, by the way.

The absurdity of the situation came through in the second half as Theodore and friends took a number of questionable shots that simply went in, so much so that the play-by-play announcer began giggling uncontrollably during one replay. The Pirates made 15/24 [63%] jumpshots tonight, and when that happens the opponent must just tip their cap and head home.

The Hoyas own offense was a bit frustrating to watch, with the turnovers [7] in the first half and poor outside shooting in the second half [1/6 2FG jumpers, 1/6 3FG]. But two mitigating factors should be considered here: the Hoyas were playing a very good defensive team, and by comparison to the offensive circus taking place on the other side of the court, the Hoyas were certain to look bad.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Visitor                         Home      
.            Georgetown                      Seton Hall         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            28        27        54

Points          28        27        55          35        38        73   

Effic.        101.7     100.8     101.3       127.1     141.9     134.5  
eFG%           52.2      39.6      45.7        68.2      73.7      70.7  
TO%            25.4      14.9      20.3        18.2      11.2      14.7  
OR%            42.9      31.2      36.7        27.3      12.5      21.1  
FTA/FGA        26.1      37.5      31.9        36.4      57.9      46.3  
Assist Rate    50.0      44.4      47.4        84.6      58.3      72.0  
Block Rate     12.5       8.3      10.7         0.0      16.7       9.4  
Steal Rate     10.9      11.2      11.1        10.9      11.2      11.1  
2FG%           42.9      44.4      43.8        56.2      66.7      60.7  
3FG%           44.4      16.7      33.3        66.7      57.1      61.5  
FT%            66.7      88.9      80.0        62.5      90.9      78.9

more stats and thoughts after the jump

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Recap: Georgetown 63, Providence 53

This was called a foul by Nate Lubick.
I mean, Kadeem Batts took his head clear off!
The Georgetown Hoyas led wire-to-wire in an evening affair at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, 63-53.

It's fairly tonight before I was able to get the stats for the game, so I don't think I'll be able to offer much of a recap for the game.  Just a few quick thoughts:
  • Providence shot a woeful 4/28 in the first half [3/20 2FG, 1/8 3FG]. All those misses meant that, while they got a lot of offensive rebounds (nine), they only grabbed 36% of their available missed shots. Since 33% is typical, the defensive rebounding by the Hoyas in the first half wasn't nearly as bad as you thought.
  • The best player on the floor for Georgetown was Jason Clark, who seemed to be able to knock down a needed shot whenever the Friars were able to get the game close.
  • Nate Lubick looked strong [8 pts, 3 ast, 0 TO] in his limited time on the floor, and yes he was subject to one of the worst calls by an official this season. But it should also be pointed out that the other three fouls he committed in the game were legitimate, and serve as a bit of a concern. His offense has improved from a disaster to serviceable and now to useful, especially on a team that struggles to score. It's incumbent upon Nate to avoid the silly fouls that will limit his time.
  • Hollis Thompson struggled with his shot all night [3/9 2FG] but still walked off the court having made half his deep shots [2/4 3FG]. He also grabbed ten rebounds [2 OR, 8 DR] to earn a double-double.
  • Once again, the Hoyas missed a lot of free throws [14/23 FT] including the front end on three of their four one-and-one attempts. It's hard to envision all the points left at the free throw line not coming back to bite this team.
  • As dunks seem to be of great concern on HoyaTalk these days, it should be noted that the Hoyas out-dunked the Friars 3-2.
  • Vincent Council shot 4/15 from the floor in the game at the Verizon Center; tonight he shot 4/14. I'm guessing he'll be happy to not see the Hoyas again this year.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Visitor                         Home      
.            Georgetown                      Providence         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            31        33        64

Points          31        32        63          20        33        53   

Effic.        100.3      97.8      98.8        64.7     100.9      83.2  
eFG%           61.4      45.8      53.3        16.1      44.2      29.6  
TO%            22.6      15.3      18.8        12.9      12.2      12.6  
OR%            15.4      25.0      20.7        36.0      21.1      29.5  
FTA/FGA        40.9      58.3      50.0        57.1      57.7      57.4  
Assist Rate   100.0      50.0      76.2        75.0      80.0      78.6  
Block Rate     20.0       7.7      15.2         7.7       5.6       6.5  
Steal Rate      3.2       3.1       3.1        12.9       9.2      11.0  
2FG%           46.2      44.4      45.2        15.0      53.8      30.3  
3FG%           55.6      33.3      46.7        12.5      23.1      19.0  
FT%            44.4      71.4      60.9        68.8      66.7      67.7

more stats after the jump

Friday, February 17, 2012

Can someone measure Jason Clark's wingspan?

I should be doing work right now, but instead I was trolling on Basketball Prospectus' website, which had an article about most tradeable players in the NBA [$]. Within that article is another link, to the wonderful DraftExpress pre-draft measurement database.

For some reason, that table got me to thinking about the relationship between height and wingspan, and how Jason Clark would figure on that scale. It also reminded me of a classic HoyaTalk thread: Jason Clark's Wing Span...

So, since I still don't want to do work, I decided to work out how big your wingspan should be compared to your height - at least if you are a potential NBA player, which is the cohort from which the data derives.

So, here it is:

It's that simple - just take your height and add 4.5" and that is your expected wingspan.

Some trivia from the database:
  • the player with the greatest wingspan is former Hoya target John Riek
  • the player with the best reach for his height is Dallas Lauderdale
  • a few of those dots well-below the fitted line are from obscure Europeans, who might have bad measurements
  • the player with the worst reach for his height from the reliable measurements is Marshall Plumlee

I should probably go back to work.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Recap: Georgetown 71, St. John's 61

Image from here
Georgetown shook off the pesky St. John's Redmen today at the Verizon Center to win, 71-61.

The game was certainly not a thing of beauty, as Jason Clark and D'Angelo Harrison seemed to be in a contest for who can make a worse three-point shot attempt (clearly won by Harrison) while Karl Hess and John Cahill continually battled for the spotlight in front of the official scorer's table.

The Hoyas may have scored only 71 points today, but the game was the biggest offensive outburst the team has had in conference play. Georgetown averaged 1.25 points per possession today against the Johnnies, for their best offensive efficiency since beating up on the American Eagles in December.  Of course, St. John's defense is nothing special in terms of Big East standards, so the conference opener at Louisville will likely stand as the offense's high water mark once we adjust for opponent and venue, but that second half was very nice either way.

Conversely, the defense in the second half was nearly a disaster, as St. John's managed to get the Hoyas lead down to two or three points on several occasions, including at 56-53 with only 4:20 left in the game.  Buzz Williams at Marquette is apparently a bowling fan, because he likes to talk about having his defense rack up turkeys - get three consecutive stops - as a way of controlling the game.  The Hoyas had their share of turkeys today, but also had stretches were they couldn't string together stops: 12 points allowed in 6 possessions late the first half, 9 points in 5 possessions during the second half.

Most of the defensive issues can be attributed to two things: free throws allowed and turnovers forced. As Fran Fraschilla pointed out during the broadcast, the Redmen just don't have much offense outside of D'Angelo Harrison hoisting from 25 feet or Moe Harkless fading away in the paint so they count on those two attacking the cup to draw fouls and get some points.  Fair enough.  But today the Johnnies wouldn't give away possessions with turnovers, which was especially a key in their second half scoring. I wonder if it was in part a residue of the Hoyas packed in 2-3 zone which dared St. John's to shoot from outside.

Georgetown has the week off before heading up to New Jersey to face previously-left-for-dead Seton Hall. The Pirates have won two in a row, including a big win against Pitt today behind Herb Pope, although Mr. Pope failed to headbutt anyone in today's game.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      St. John's         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            28        29        57
Points          31        40        71          26        35        61   

Effic.        111.5     137.4     124.9        93.5     120.2     107.3  
eFG%           44.2      69.6      56.1        48.0      44.4      46.2  
TO%            14.4      13.7      14.1        14.4       6.9      10.6  
OR%            40.0      41.7      40.7        21.4      38.9      31.2  
FTA/FGA        38.5      60.9      49.0        16.0      51.9      34.6  

Assist Rate    60.0      78.6      70.8        54.5      40.0      47.6  
Block Rate     11.1      35.7      21.9        15.4       0.0       7.7  
Steal Rate      3.6       3.4       3.5        14.4      10.3      12.3  
2FG%           53.8      76.9      65.4        50.0      42.9      46.9  
3FG%           23.1      40.0      30.4        28.6      30.8      30.0  
FT%            80.0      57.1      66.7        50.0      78.6      72.2

more stats after the jump

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Recap: Syracuse 64, Georgetown 61 [OT]

Kris Joseph had a career-high number of makes from behind the arc [6/11] to carry the Syracuse Orange over the Georgetown Hoyas in overtime at the Carrier Dome, 64-61.  Joseph had shot a combined 3/27 from 3FG in his previous seven games before tonight.

I'm stuck in a hotel room that may have the slowest internet connection in the continental US.  I've had the replay from ESPN3 on for the past hour and 45 minutes, and the game has just passed the 4:00 mark of the first half. It's about 5 seconds of game action, then 30 seconds of waiting for the video to load.

In other words, I don't think I'm going to be able to write much of a recap tonight, so a stats dump will have to suffice for now.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Visitor                         Home      
.            Georgetown                      Syracuse         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            29        27        56

Points          31        30        61          27        37        64   

Effic.        107.2      87.7      96.7        93.4     108.2     101.4  
eFG%           43.9      30.0      37.3        33.3      48.5      41.3  
TO%            24.2      23.4      23.8         6.9      20.5      14.3  
OR%            55.0      52.2      53.5        31.8      36.4      34.1  
FTA/FGA         6.1      46.7      25.4        26.7      24.2      25.4  
Assist Rate    61.5     100.0      76.2        66.7      61.5      63.6  
Block Rate     10.5      20.0      15.4        10.0      40.9      26.2  
Steal Rate      6.9      17.5      12.7         6.9      11.7       9.5  
2FG%           50.0      27.3      38.1        36.8      35.0      35.9  
3FG%           23.1      25.0      23.8        18.2      46.2      33.3  
FT%           100.0      85.7      87.5        87.5      62.5      75.0

more stats after the jump

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Recap: Georgetown 75, USF 45

Image from here
After a dreadful first half by both teams, the Hoyas scored on 13 consecutive possessions in the second half to blow open the game this morning at the Verizon Center, defeating the South Florida Bulls 75-45.

South Florida is not, I repeat not, one of the two best defensive teams in the Big East. I must have heard that at least half-a-dozen times during the broadcast. We pegged them as the 10th best defensive team coming into the game, accounting for their slow pace and weak conference schedule so far.

That's what made the first half so troublesome from the perspective of a Hoyas' fan - sure Georgetown led by eight points at the break, but the Hoyas' inability to make shots was turning what should have been a laugher into a potential nightmare game before Georgetown headed up to Syracuse.

Then the second half happened, and I decided to relax a little.

It should be noted that there was a remarkable stretch in the Lift-off half where the Bulls committed turnovers on nine, count-em nine, straight possessions. The Hoyas could manage to score only five points during that stretch, and I was certain that South Florida would make Georgetown pay. Not so much.

And now the Hoyas travel up to Syracuse for their hardest test of the season. While the Orange may have taken a small step back over their past few games playing without Fab Melo, today's pasting of the Johnnies with Mr. Melo back in the fold serves as a reminder that Syracuse is currently the team to beat in the conference, by a lot.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      USF         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            30        36        65
Points          23        52        75          15        30        45   

Effic.         77.5     146.1     114.8        50.5      84.3      68.9  
eFG%           37.0      73.9      55.4        28.3      41.1      35.3  
TO%            16.8      11.2      13.8        37.1      16.9      26.0  
OR%            20.0      25.0      21.7        33.3      15.0      23.7  
FTA/FGA        34.8      95.7      65.2        26.1      35.7      31.4  

Assist Rate    50.0      80.0      69.6        50.0      60.0      56.2  
Block Rate     12.5       6.2       9.4         5.9      11.8       8.8  
Steal Rate      6.7      11.2       9.2        10.1       5.6       7.7  
2FG%           41.2      64.7      52.9        31.2      43.8      37.5  
3FG%           16.7      66.7      41.7        14.3      25.0      21.1  
FT%            75.0      81.8      80.0        33.3      70.0      56.2

more stats and comments after the jump

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lineup stats through 10 conference games

While trolling the interwebs the past couple of days, I noticed a new (to me) blog for the Connecticut Huskies called UConn by the Numbers (the name blatantly ripped off from the sadly dormant Villanova by the Numbers, but who are we to talk?). The main feature for UCBTN seems to be breaking down the Huskies by lineup, which reminded me that we used to do that around here, before we got fat and lazy.

So . . . here we go. We'll limit the data set to the ten conference games played to date.

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 [20], Clark [19], Trawick [1]
  2. Clark [15], Trawick [12], Whittington [10], Thompson [3]
  3. Thompson [26], Whittington [9], Porter [5]
  4. Porter [25], Lubick [13], Thompson [3]
  5. Sims[29], Lubick [5], Hopkins [5]
The big caveat here is that Markel Starks was out for 1 1/2 games, first with what looked like a concussion versus Marquette, then with stomach issues versus DePaul.  So his minutes at the point are a bit underestimated, since I'm too lazy to adjust for that - figure he's playing about 23 minutes at the point when healthy.

Shooting guard has become a committee, since Jason Clark is actually playing more time spelling Starks as the primary ball handler.  Coach Thompson can go big by bringing in the solidly-built 6' 5" Jabril Trawick, especially to help out with quick guards, or he can go ridiculously big by bringing in lanky 6' 8" Greg Whittington to help against outside shooters.  The problem is that neither is much of a threat from behind the arc, so spacing on offense can be an issue.  Hollis Thompson also gets a few minutes a game showing the NBA scouts that he can play the "2" spot.

It should be noted here that the formal position by height kind of breaks down here, since Trawick will often bring the ball up when he and Clark are in the game together.

After spending much of last season as an under-sized power forward, Hollis has been able to play his natural college position on the wing this year.  Whittington spends almost as much time at the wing as the shooting guard, and Otto Porter spends about 5 minutes a game there when Coach Thompson brings out the stupid-big lineup.

For those clamoring for Porter to start over Nate Lubick as the power forward, you may not realize that he already plays twice as much as Lubick at that spot.  In a pinch, Hollis slides over to the four when the team goes small.

Finally, Henry Sims has spent the most time of any player in a single role, manning the pivot nearly 30 minutes a game.  It should be a worry that Sims is wearing down in that role - much like Julian Vaughn last season - but I just don't know if Mikael Hopkins is ready to help out, although I suppose the UConn game offers a glimmer of hope.

Lineup efficiencies after the jump

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recap: Georgetown 58, Connecticut 44

Image from here
It's not every day around here that Alan and I would pull out the double reverse-jinx (not one, but two articles bemoaning the Hoyas play in-conference) to ensure a needed victory as Georgetown rolls into a tough stretch in the schedule.

After the first 3:24 of tonight's game against the Connecticut Huskies, the Georgetown Hoyas trailed 13-7. They had allowed Jeremy Lamb to score five points on two jumpers (one from behind the arc) and watched Andre Drummond have his way inside with two dunks and two layups; the Huskies only blemish was a missed 3FG by Roscoe Smith. Then the Hoyas turned up the defensive intensity while the Huskies obliged by settling for jump shots, and Georgetown used a 24-8 run to lead by 10 at halftime, then rode that lead the rest of the way for a 58-44 win tonight at the Verizon Center.

Allow me to return to that comment about the Huskies settling for jumpers:  let's break out their shot selection before and after the first 3:24 of the first half:
               Dunks    Layups  2pt J's    3FGs     FTs
First 3:24      2/2      2/2      1/1      1/2      0/1
Next 16:36      1/1      1/2      0/11     0/8      4/5
I'd love to tell you that the Georgetown defense was reminiscent of the 1984 Hoyas, but I'm mostly just shocked with how easily Hoyas were able to force UConn to settle for jump shots. If not for Jeremy Lamb making all of his free throws, that couldn't have gone much worse for Connecticut.

It didn't improve much for them in the second half [21 of 31 attempts were either from behind the arc or 2FG jumpers]. Credit Coach Thompson for playing large portions of the game in a 2-3 zone, especially once he recognized the shooting woes for the Huskies. 

As for the Hoyas, the obvious stars of the game were Hollis Thompson (think he was reminded to be aggressive this week in practice?) and Jason Clark. Henry Sims had a spectacular dunk and some nice moments late in the game, but don't be fooled - he is still struggling with turnovers [7 tonight] and shot selection [4/10 on 2FG, but 1/6 on jumpers].  Hopefully that late flourish is something he'll be able to build upon.

The underclassmen were led by Mikael Hopkins, whose driving layup was a revelation in the second half.  Otto Porter and Nate Lubick also did some nice things, albeit quietly.

The Hoyas next host the South Florida Bulls on Saturday morning before heading up to Syracuse for perhaps their final road game ever at the Carrier Dome.  If you look up "trap game" in the dictionary, you'll see two tickets for USF vs. Georgetown.

Let's run the numbers:

.            Home                            Visitor   
.            Georgetown                      Connecticut         
.            1st Half  2nd Half   Total      1st Half  2nd Half   Total
Pace            33        31        64
Points          31        27        58          21        23        44   

Effic.         93.8      88.1      90.8        63.6      75.0      68.9  
eFG%           48.1      50.0      49.0        29.3      33.9      31.7  
TO%            24.2      22.8      23.5        18.2      16.3      17.2  
OR%            31.2      14.3      23.3        18.2      40.0      28.6  
FTA/FGA        26.9      36.4      31.2        20.7      22.6      21.7  

Assist Rate    63.6      60.0      61.9        75.0      50.0      61.1  
Block Rate      5.3      14.3      10.0        15.8       0.0       8.6  
Steal Rate      9.1       9.8       9.4         6.1       6.5       6.3  
2FG%           42.1      50.0      45.7        36.8      42.9      40.0  
3FG%           42.9      33.3      38.5        10.0      10.0      10.0  
FT%            85.7      62.5      73.3        66.7      28.6      46.2

Conference Play So Far: What Happened?

Nine games into conference season and the Hoyas' offense has cratered.  Despite a strong start, it's ranked 51st nationally just weeks after it was top 20.  In conference it is ranking 9th, decidedly mediocre for the first half and has registered sub-90 efficiencies in four of its nine games.  This hasn't been overly uncommon -- but it just happens in those years like last year or 2008-09. 

The usual commentary will be written:  people have figured out Georgetown's (gimmick) offense.  On one hand, it's not illogical that this offense would perform better out of conference than in -- after all, few out of conference teams will take the time to prepare as well as a team that sees Georgetown two to three times a year.

On the other hand, it doesn't fit all the facts.  For one, the offense has been in place for years, opposing coaches have seen it for years and as late as Season 6 of the John Thompson era, we had a Top 10 offense.  In addition, plenty of programs runs offenses with Princeton elements, and Georgetown incorporates a lot of elements from non-Princeton sources.  Those other teams aren't suddenly shut down, either.

So, what is it?  As always on this blog, let's look at the facts before coming to a conclusion.

Let's look at some basic team numbers, non-conference and in conference play. I've included the 2007-08 team so we can contrast current stats with a successful team -- after all, we'd expect every team to be worse in conference play. Just how worse is the question. I'm also not claiming 2007-08 as perfectly representative of how much the competitive increase affects these stats -- but it's an easy way to get some reference.

                       Difference (Conf. Play - OOC Play)
Statistic              2011-12 (thru 9 games)     2007-08

Offensive Efficiency         -15.7                 -12.1
Defensive Efficiency         -10.4                 - 5.0

eFG%                         - 5.0                 - 7.6
TO Rate                      + 4.0                 + 1.7
OReb Rate                    - 1.8                 - 2.9
FTA/FGA                      + 3.8                 - 0.4

2PT FG%                      - 5.6                 - 7.9
3PT FG%                      - 2.1                 - 4.9
FT%                          - 9.2                 +12.1

eFG%                         + 2.4                 + 1.7
TO Rate                      - 2.5                 + 1.6
OReb Rate                    + 3.6                 - 2.4
FTA/FGA                      + 4.9                 + 9.5

2PT FG%                      + 0.8                 + 2.6
3PT FG%                      + 3.9                 + 0.7
FT%                          + 5.3                 + 0.0

In absolute terms, the offense has cratered worse than the defense from the non-conference to conference play, but neither has held up well. In 2007-08, the Hoyas actually declined similarly on offense and much less on defense, but this quick glance says that neither side of the ball is holding up particularly well.

When we look at the components, it's not surprising what is driving many of the losses on offense. The team is, of course, shooting worse, as anyone would expect. But the decline from preseason to conference play in both 2PT and 3PT field goals is actually less than the 15-3 '07-'08 team saw. And this Hoya team, thanks to the Rutgers game, is actually shooting more free throws than in non-conference.

However, there are two key declines that are perhaps worse than expected. First, the team is giving away 2-3 more turnovers a game. That decline in offensive efficiency is about 10 points per game -- and turnover account for about three of those. One would expect an increase, but that amount -- going from 17.8 to 21.8%, is fairly disastrous.

The other unexpected problem is FT shooting. Turnovers can be caused by many things, but poor FT shooting is fairly isolated to just poor play if there isn't a huge shift in who is shooting the FTs. The 2007-08 improved to over 70% in conference play while this year's Hoya team is down near 60% in conference play. That's worth a point or two on average.  

On defense, the issues are more standard across the board. Our comparison year helped keep its defense strong by forcing more turnovers and did better defending the three. That team extended its perimeter D but Hibbert was there to stop those that tried to take advantage of that aggressiveness. This team has not been able to control the three point line as well, though some of that may be opposition and luck.

Breaking it down by player after the jump

Is Georgetown overrated?


The Hoyas came into this week with their AP ranking dropping from 9th to 14th (or 18th on KenPom, if you prefer a rational metric), and fans across the Hoya-nation spectrum are fretting that their plans of a Final Four trip might not happen.

I think it might be time to lower your expectations a bit.

As our regular reader knows, we don't update this blog nearly as often as we used to - hell, it took me two weeks to get all the stats pages updated.  But there is one set of stats that we do track religiously around here, and that's the "Big East Snapshot" page.  Not so much because it's a better set of stats than the others, but because I actually bothered to make those stats more automated than the rest.

You probably don't check that page often, if at all, but you should.  It provides you with two main pieces of information: a set of summary tables (more on those in a minute) and a handy chart for each Big East team.  Here's the Georgetown chart (click to enlarge):

There's a previous post where I explain how to read these charts, but here's a brief summary:
  • The top of the chart shows how well the Hoyas played in any game, accounting for the quality of the opponent and the venue.  A black dot means a win, a grey dot means a loss. We rate the team's performance by the final score, and with some tricky math figure what rank you'd give the team based only on that single game.
  • The middle and bottom of the chart are how well the team played on offense and defense, respectively, again accounting for opponent and venue.  These are the offensive and defensive efficiencies (points per 100 possessions) that Ken Pomeroy made famous.
  • Home games are in all caps; since Chaminade is not a Division-I team, that game doesn't get rated.
Now if you put your thumb over that dot that represents the win at St. John's, you should notice a disturbing trend - since the second win against Memphis, the Hoyas have begun an inexorable slide throughout January.  Note: the chart is dynamic and will update as the season progresses, so the above discussion may or may not be valid in a few weeks.


Well, if I knew exactly what was wrong I probably wouldn't be posting from my mother's basement, but I think the chart shows two clear issues:
  • The defense stopped playing lights-out after the Memphis game (excluding the win vs. Providence), although there seems to be a trend towards getting back to the early season prowess.
  • The offense is going into the tank (and you probably didn't need a chart to know that).

Putting this in some context after the jump