Category Archives: Stats

Statistics

Minnesota Rebounding: Gophers Only Cleaning One Side of the Glass

In recent years, Minnesota teams have excelled at blocking shots and offensive rebounding. Contrary to what you might expect, however, the defensive rebounding of the Gophers has ranged from mediocre to poor when compared to the rest of the Big Ten and other D1 teams. So far in 2012-13, these trends have continued.

According to StatSheet.com, Minnesota’s offensive rebounding percentage this year is second best in the nation and tops in the Big Ten. On the defensive boards, the Gophers are dead last in the Big Ten and one of the worst in the nation at 329.

Minnesota’s performance on the defensive glass isn’t skewed by a game or two. In fact, the team’s defensive rebounding percentage has been better than the national average in only one game this year (Toledo).

As illustrated in the tables below, during Tubby’s years as head coach the team’s offensive rebounding percentage has been impressive while their defensive rebounding percentage has been relatively poor.

5-Year conference rankings for Minnesota’s offensive & defensive rebounding percentages:

Conference OR% & DR%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5-Year national rankings for Minnesota’s offensive & defensive rebounding percentages:

Overall OR% & DR%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A renewed focus on defensive rebounding could be directed by the coaching staff, but how much might stressing this area hurt the team’s transition into their offense? Minnesota has been particularly successful this year when they strike quickly after a defensive rebound. According to Hoop-Math.com, the Gophers have an effective field goal percentage (eFG%) of 73% this season when they shoot within 10 seconds of a defensive rebound. Last year, that figure was 54%.

The figure of 73% eFG% is going to fall as the season goes on as it’s been boosted by an unsustainable 59% 3-point conversion rate. Still, for a team that is often stale in half court sets, anything that detracts from their ability to score in transition could do more harm than good.

We see a few things that could be done, including:

  • Better utilization of the roster, especially Trevor Mbakwe. He’s one of the better rebounders in the college game and should be playing 30+ minutes per game, not fewer than 20.
  • Centers Elliot Eliason (15.8 mpg) and especially Maurice Walker (7.8 mpg) could be given more minutes. At times, we believe it will be appropriate to play one of these two along with Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams.
  • Push the others to improve their tenacity and consistency. Rodney Williams (who has been sensational in most aspects of his game), Andre Ingram (8% DR%) and Joe Coleman all need to improve their contribution on the defensive glass. In the last four games, Minnesota’s opponents have pulled down offensive rebounds at a 39% rate in the first half, but the percentage jumps to 52% in the second half.
What do you think? CONTACT US with your thoughts on this and other articles, as well as any suggestions, comments and critiques.

 

Additional Data for Consideration
Using KenPom.com data through games of November 29, 2012, we looked at who makes up the top 48 defensive rebounders in the Big Ten. Only those who have played in at least 40% of their team’s minutes were included.

If all teams were created equal, we’d expect four players from each of the 12 Big Ten teams to be listed. All but two teams are within one of that expectation (i.e., 10 teams have three, four or five players in the top 48). The outliers are Penn State (six) and Minnesota (one).

For the Gophers, Maurice Walker would be in the Top 10, but has played in less than 20% of the team’s minutes. Elliot Eliason is just short of 40% in minutes and ranked at #30.

Details are listed below:

Rank Name Team DR% Min%
9 Jermaine Marshall Penn St. 19.3 81.2
15 Ross Travis Penn St. 17.9 84.5
29 D.J. Newbill Penn St. 15.3 87.3
36 Brandon Taylor Penn St. 14.4 40.4
38 Sasa Borovnjak Penn St. 13.7 42.2
41 Jon Graham Penn St. 12.6 50.6
17 Eric May Iowa 17.4 48.9
19 Adam Woodbury Iowa 16.8 41.8
32 Zach McCabe Iowa 14.9 44.6
35 Aaron White Iowa 14.5 73.9
40 Melsahn Basabe Iowa 12.9 48.9
1 Adreian Payne Michigan St. 28.2 28.2
7 Derrick Nix Michigan St. 20.3 68.2
21 Denzel Valentine Michigan St. 16 61.1
33 Branden Dawson Michigan St. 14.7 69.3
46 Keith Appling Michigan St. 12.3 89.3
4 Alex Olah Northwestern 23.8 45.3
16 Jared Swopshire Northwestern 17.7 67.4
28 Mike Turner Northwestern 15.4 45.3
43 Reggie Hearn Northwestern 12.5 73.7
45 Drew Crawford Northwestern 12.4 74.7
11 Sam Thompson Ohio St. 19 61
22 Deshaun Thomas Ohio St. 16 80
30 Lenzelle Smith Ohio St. 15.1 76.5
44 Evan Ravenel Ohio St. 12.4 49
48 LaQuinton Ross Ohio St. 11.9 41
10 Tim Hardaway Michigan 19.1 82.5
26 Glenn Robinson Michigan 15.7 80.8
42 Jordan Morgan Michigan 12.6 48.8
47 Nik Stauskas Michigan 12 65.8
6 Andre Almeida Nebraska 20.5 51.7
12 Brandon Ubel Nebraska 18.9 75.4
18 David Rivers Nebraska 17.4 60.8
20 Dylan Talley Nebraska 16.7 88.8
2 Ben Brust Wisconsin 24.6 75.4
8 Ryan Evans Wisconsin 19.4 72.5
24 Jared Berggren Wisconsin 15.8 66.8
39 Mike Bruesewitz Wisconsin 13.7 54.6
23 Joseph Bertrand Illinois 16 52.9
25 D.J. Richardson Illinois 15.8 78.2
27 Brandon Paul Illinois 15.6 77.2
3 Christian Watford Indiana 24.1 62.1
13 Cody Zeller Indiana 18 67.4
37 Will Sheehey Indiana 14.3 52.3
14 A.J. Hammons Purdue 18 43.7
31 Anthony Johnson Purdue 15 66.9
34 Ronnie Johnson Purdue 14.7 65.3
5 Trevor Mbakwe Minnesota 22.5 45.6
Sharing Options:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Minnesota Returns One of the Best Shooters Among Big Ten Point Guards

After considering the statistics below, which player do you think had a better season – A or B?

2011-12 Player Comparison

Player A

Player B

Games started

21

21

Offensive Rating

106.1

99.2

2-pt FG%

48.9%

40.5%

3-pt FG%

43.8%

37.9%

REB / 40 min

4.0

3.9

AST / 40 min

4.7

3.4

TO / 40 min

3.7

4.0

STL / 40 min

1.7

1.6

Also, keep in mind the following:

  • Player A made more shots in fewer attempts than Player B when shooting 2-point field goals.
  • Player A also made more shots in fewer attempts than Player B when shooting 3-point field goals.
  • Each player turned the ball over and secured rebounds at approximately the same rates.

Andre Hollins had a fine freshman campaign and his progression over the course of the season could be seen.  He’ll be much improved as a sophomore and looks to be a key piece of Minnesota basketball for the next few years.

However, as a freshman his 2-point field goal percentage was the worst of all Gophers (excluding walk-ons), he had a turnover rate of about 26% and was prone to picking up bad fouls.  These are areas that often improve significantly between a player’s first and second years and Dre projects to be very good.

Although Hollins did average 15.0 ppg in the Gophers’ NIT run, his effective field goal percentage was only 47.4% and the young guard turned the ball over at an average of 5.0 per 40 minutes (25% higher than his average for the full season).  Also, it’s fair to note that in the NIT Minnesota didn’t face any teams in the top 50 for defensive efficiency until Stanford (19th).  To be sure, the confidence is there and things will come together for Andre, but in 2011-12 the Gophers’ best point guard was Julian Welch (Player A).

People will remember some late game missed free throws from Welch, but he was a fine 78% from the line overall.  If anything more than coincidence, misses in crunch time are mostly mental and fans should do what Julian needs to do whenever he’s at the line – forget about the past.  It’s just another free throw.

The junior guard from California proved to be capable of hitting key shots on many occasions.  Just a sample:

  • With 5:38 to play against Michigan in the Big Ten Tourney, his 3-pointer put Minnesota up 49-45.  25 seconds later, he buried another trey to make it 52-45 in favor of the Gophers.
  • In overtime against Northwestern, Julian connected from deep to break a 62-62 tie and the Gophers never gave the lead back.
  • With less than three minutes on the clock and down by 5, Welch’s 3-pointer made the score 55-53 Michigan in a regular season contest.  Less than a minute later, another long range basket cut the lead to 57-56.
  • At Illinois, his 3-point baskets late in the second half tied the game up at 54 and 57, respectively.
  • Down by 5 with 4:36 to play, Welch nailed a triple to reduce Indiana State’s lead to 2 points.  A minute later, his layup would give Minnesota a 63-62 lead and his 4/4 free throw shooting in the last 1:23 of the game sealed the victory for the Gophers.

Welch started and ended the season playing through injury, but even after his first three games as a Gopher in which he shot just 2/9 from the field, had 4 assists and 8 turnovers, he put together a solid 2011-12 campaign.  His 56.1 eFG% was so good that it will be difficult to duplicate (to compare, Andre Hollins had a 48.2 eFG% and in 2010-11 senior Blake Hoffarber shot 53.5%), but if he can cut down on turnovers and not take a huge step back shooting the ball, the 5th year senior will be a valuable part of the team once again.

The time is now for sophomore Andre Hollins, but there’s no reason why he and Julian Welch can’t play together.  No matter who carries the ball up the court, you’ve then got two ballhandlers that are threats from 3-point range.  While Julian adds in a nifty mid-range game, Andre has the ability to get all the way to the bucket.  Combine those two with Austin Hollins and the defense has to worry about three deep ball threats who can attack at multiple levels.  Not bad.  Add in an all-conference talent down low in Trevor Mbakwe along with an athletic Rodney Williams cutting toward the hoop and opponents are going to have their hands full.

Match ups and a number of other variables will dictate who plays with who, but don’t forget about Julian Welch as a potential difference maker for the 2012-13 Golden Gophers.  No matter where you see Welch fitting in with next year’s team, he deserves a lot of credit for a solid first year at Minnesota.

The table below is not meant to be an exhaustive list of everyone who played point guard in the Big Ten, but it does help to illustrate where the Gophers’ guards stacked up against their peers.

B1G Point Guards – Effective Field Goal Percentage in 2011-12

Player

Team

eFG%

Jordan Hulls

Indiana

63.0%

Julian Welch

Minnesota

56.1%

Aaron Craft

Ohio State

55.0%

Trey Burke

Michigan

50.2%

Dave Sobolewski

Northwestern

50.0%

Andre Hollins

Minnesota

48.2%

Jordan Taylor

Wisconsin

48.1%

Lewis Jackson

Purdue

47.1%

Keith Appling

Michigan State

46.6%

Tim Frazier

Penn State

44.6%

Sharing Options:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail