Minnesota: Conference Shooting Splits

Minnesota: Conference Shooting Splits

In Richard Pitino’s first season, the Minnesota Golden Gophers shot an impressive 52.3% eFG in Big Ten games (#3 in conference). This year that figure is down to 48.4% (#9) and is the primary reason they’re not scoring as well in 2014-15 (on a points per possession basis).

The team’s 3-point shooting isn’t the issue.  This year’s squad is shooting better (35.1% vs. 34.5%) and more often behind the 3-point stripe. (37.7% 3FGA/FGA vs. 34.6%).

Minnesota’s 2-point shooting has taken a significant dip from 52.5% (#2 in B1G)  to 45.9% (#10).

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Top Freshmen Rebounders; Seton Hall Visits Marquette

Top Freshmen Rebounders; Seton Hall Visits Marquette

Last May, ESPN’s Reggie Rankin put together his Class of 2014 Best Rebounders. Missing from the list was 6’9” Seton Hall freshman Angel Delgado who will visit Milwaukee on Wednesday. To his credit, when asked about Delgado after releasing his top 5 rebounders, Rankin indicated that Delgado belonged in the conversation.

Reggie1

With Marquette’s next opponent being Seton Hall, today we take a look at top freshman rebounders including the impressive figures Delgado has produced this season. For purposes of this article, data is through January 24, 2015 and comes from basketball-reference.com.

D-I’s top 5 freshmen (minimum of 225 minutes played) in total rebounding percentage this season are as follows:

Rk Player School MP ORB% DRB% TRB%
1 Josh Ibarra Houston Baptist 261 17.4 30.4 24.1
2 Rokas Gustys Hofstra 236 20.1 23.9 22.0
3 Angel Delgado Seton Hall 469 16.9 24 20.5
4 Jakob Poeltl Utah 402 16.9 23.2 20.4
5 Domantas Sabonis Gonzaga 449 11.5 24.1 18.6

Based on what we saw in travel and international play we expected Rokas Gustys to do well rebounding the ball from day one, but he’s been even better than expected. Gustys has missed time due to injury, but still has maintained a 20-20 OR-DR combo over 236 minutes of play.

Top 5 Offensive Rebounding Percentages

Rk Player School MP ORB%
1 Rokas Gustys Hofstra 236 20.1
2 DeSean Murray Presbyterian 291 17.5
3 Josh Ibarra Houston Baptist 261 17.4
4 Angel Delgado Seton Hall 469 16.9
5 Jakob Poeltl Utah 402 16.9

Top 5 Defensive Rebounding Percentages

Rk Player School MP DRB%
1 Josh Ibarra Houston Baptist 261 30.4
2 Leron Black Illinois 314 25.0
3 Tyler Rawson Southern Utah 288 24.8
4 Domantas Sabonis Gonzaga 449 24.1
5 Angel Delgado Seton Hall 469 24.0

ESPN’s May ’14 Picks – Top 5 Rebounders – Current Rank

Jahlil Okafor – #12 TR%, #6 OR%, #41 DR%
Cliff Alexander – #11, #14, #13
Goodluck Okonoboh – #75, #103, #180
Reid Travis – #31, #40, #41
Abdul-Malik Abu – #60, #78, #55

Other Seton Hall Notes:

  • The Pirates provide another fine example of a team that can be great on one side of the glass, but not the other. Their OR% is #34 in the nation per KenPom.com, but their DR% is #303.
  • 6’2″ guard Sterling Gibbs has been terrific scoring and distributing the ball, but he’s allergic to rebounds (1.7% OR and 3.9% DR). His DR% is easily the worst among all Big East regulars (next worst is at 5.7%).
  • 6’6″ freshman Desi Rodriguez doesn’t get the minutes that Delgado does, but he’s also been very strong on the boards (8.8% OR; 20.3% DR).
  • True, Marquette allows a lot of offensive rebounds for opponents, but in Big East play the Warriors have a 35.1% Def OR%, a fair amount better than Seton Hall’s Def OR% of 38.7%.
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Minnesota’s 2FG% Dooms Them at Nebraska

Minnesota’s 2FG% Dooms Them at Nebraska

Free throws (9/19 for 47.4%) get the attention from many, but they weren’t the primary issue in Minnesota’s loss at Nebraska.

Although the Gophers could have used some more made free throws in the 52-49, there were more important factors to them losing.

The biggest one factor was 2-point field goal shooting. Their mark of 25.0% (8/32) was the program’s worst performance going back at least five years. Had Minnesota made slightly less than the D-I average of their 2-point attempts (D-I average is approximately 47.5%; Minnesota averages better than 50.5% on the season), they would have scored an additional 14 points.

Free throw percentage is nearly irrelevant to a team winning or losing a basketball game.
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Gophers: Stealing Still Is Not The Answer

Gophers: Stealing Still Is Not The Answer

“Head coach Richard Pitino has talked about more steals as a way to improve the 2014-15 Gophers, but the Gophers aren’t likely to improve their defense much by creating more steals.” — LateNightHoops.com, October 2014

The Minnesota Gophers have the nation’s third best steal rate and are #2 among Big Ten teams in conference play at 12.2%.

Nonetheless, the team’s defense has been poor and now ranks #12 in the league. We have a suggested potential partial fix, but this roster isn’t likely to put together many impressive defensive performances no matter what changes are made.

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Minnesota: Conference Advanced Player Stats

Minnesota: Conference Advanced Player Stats

Notes and details on the Gophers’ team and player stats (see PDF) through the first four Big Ten games are included in this article.

Eff. eFG% TO% OR% FTR
Minnesota 96.0 45.8% 21.0% 35.6% 33.5%
Opponents 104.6 49.8% 20.4% 34.6% 40.5%

Minnesota’s eFG% lags far behind their opponents, but in two of their four losses the Gophers have shot better than the other team.

at Purdue – 72-68 loss: Minnesota was the better shooting team, but Purdue held slight edges in turnovers and rebounding and a big advantage in free throw rate.

at Maryland – 70-58 loss: The Gophers shot a miserable 36.1 eFG%, the worst performance of any Richard Pitino-coached team (including FIU).

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Pitino’s Former PF Excelling at West Virginia

Pitino’s Former PF Excelling at West Virginia

Upon Minnesota’s hiring of Richard Pitino we wrote COULD RICHARD PITINO BRING A STAR FORWARD TO MINNESOTA? (April 3, 2013). The article discussed FIU-bound Jonathan Holton and his JUCO teammate Kevin Thomas, noting that, “[p]ower forward is a position of need for next year’s team and Pitino could potentially deliver in a major way.”

Late Night Hoops visited a Palm Beach State (Fla.) practice several months prior to the article and believed either player could be provide a significant boost to the roster.

As things turned out, Holton wound up at West Virginia and Kevin Thomas at Troy. Let’s take a look at how they are performing this season.

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Fact Check: Star Tribune on Kill’s Contract

Fact Check: Star Tribune on Kill’s Contract

The Star Tribune (link to their article is at the bottom of this article) recently said, “Kill is being paid an average of $2.3 million a year on his current salary and is one of the lowest-paid coaches in the country at a major program.

This isn’t even close to true. The Star Tribune’s claim is completely baseless and false.

Star Tribune: “For example, look at Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz. He signed a 10-year contract in 2010 extension that paid him approximately $4 million this season. If he were to stay on through the end of his contract in 2020, he is due an additional $21 million.

The Ferentz contract is about the most absurd single example one could come up when trying to argue that Kill is one of the lowest-paid coaches in the country at a major program.

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