Tag Archives: gophers 2013-14

KenPom Case Study: Iowa’s Defensive Efficiency

Increasingly there are media and fans who talk about KenPom.com. In theory, this is wonderful. We believe the site is an excellent resource and appreciate the continual work that Ken has been putting into it. A subscription is highly recommended.

Much of the site is a database of information that many others calculate themselves. “Basic” advanced statistics for college basketball are difficult enough for much of the media and fans to understand, but when you get to the unique proprietary analysis (i.e., KenPom rankings), even those with a grasp of the basics are often confused.

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Gophers 2013-14 Recap Part V: Rebounding & FT Rate

Gophers 2013-14 Recap Part V: Rebounding & FT Rate   

Rebounding
Minnesota’s drop in offensive rebounding between last season and this year could be one of the largest seen in college basketball over the past decade. It’ll be dramatic.”  — LateNightHoops.com, Preseason 2013-14

It may have sounded like hyperbole, but it wasn’t. The Gophers saw an enormous drop in their offensive rebounding percentage from 43.8% to 31.4%. Minnesota’s 12.4% OReb% change year-over-year was by far the largest in all of college basketball (351 D-I teams, including those transitioning in). Only one other team had a change (positive or negative) of greater than 10% (Idaho St. +10.6%).

Here’s how Minnesota stacked up against the other Big Ten teams:
orebchange1

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Gophers 2013-14 Recap Part IV: Turnovers

Gophers 2013-14 Recap Part IV: Turnovers

On Offense…
Turnover percentage in 2013-14 was down throughout college basketball, dropping to 18.3% from 20.0% a year earlier. The decline is largely attributable to the increase in fouls called by referees.

So, while Minnesota’s improvement in offensive turnover percentage was good last season, it wasn’t as remarkable as it may initially appear.

Minn D-I % Diff
2013-14 18.1% 18.3% -1%
2012-13 21.5% 20.0% 8%

 

The Gophers turned the ball over at about the same rate as the average D-I team this past year. In Tubby Smith’s last run with Minnesota, the squad’s turnover percentage was 21.5%, or 8% higher than the D-I average.
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Gophers 2013-14 Recap Part III: Defensive eFG%

Gophers 2013-14 Recap Part III: Defensive eFG%

The Gophers had a defensive eFG% of 48.7% (vs. D-I opponents) in 2013-14, the program’s worst since Dan Monson’s last full season in Minneapolis.

Looking both at last year and what it means to the future, there are good and bad indicators. We’ll explore a few of them in this article.

Minnesota’s 42.8% defensive 2FG% will rise significantly this season. Big, big concern and a key indicator for this team.” – LateNightHoops.com, preseason 2013-14

The bad news is that our projection quoted above was spot-on. Minnesota’s 2FG% shot up to 47.1% from 42.8%. The chart below illustrates the trend over the past six seasons.

2FG Chart

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Gophers 2013-14 Recap Part II: Offensive eFG%

Gophers 2013-14 Recap Part II: Offensive eFG%

There are thousands of angles to consider when talking about the topic of Minnesota’s eFG%. Today we’ll share a select few.

Often you’ll hear people, including traditional media, talk about a player’s field goal percentage when describing their game. “Player X shoots 44% from the field – that’s pretty good for a guard,” they might say.

The problem with such statements is that there’s not enough information provided to make such a claim. When evaluating how well a player or team shoots the ball, we must give (among other data) effective field goal percentage proper attention.

When looking at a team’s eFG%, the first things to understand are the basics – and the basics do not include overall FG%. The components of eFG% are: 2FG%, 3FG% and 3FG/FGA. In other words: At what rate does a team convert 2-point and 3-point attempts, respectively, and what is the mix of shot attempts between 2-point and 3-point attempts?
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Gophers: 2013-14 Recap Part 1

Gophers: 2013-14 Recap Part 1
June 22, 2014

Minnesota as #7 in the Big Ten
The Gophers are slotted at the top of the group [#7]  thanks in large part to them returning 2 of the Big Ten’s top 3 returning offensive players. Junior Andre Hollins and criminally underrated senior Austin Hollins are difference makers that can win games for this team.” – LNH, Preseason 2013-14

We picked Minnesota to finish 7th in the Big Ten and believed they would wind up just barely on either side of the bubble. That’s precisely what happened. The Gophers finished all alone in 7th place and narrowly missed making the NCAA tournament. After being named the NIT’s top overall #1-seed, the team finished out the year by winning five in a row en route to the tournament’s championship.

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Unbalanced: Big Ten Records vs. Top Six

Unbalanced: Big Ten Records vs. Top Six
March 9, 2014

There are many ways to measure and argue true strength of schedule (and many ways not to – for example, claiming that the RPI’s “SOS” is a good measurement of the toughness of a schedule is a poor argument).

With unbalanced conference schedules like the Big Ten has, it’s worthwhile to look a bit deeper at the conference standings. As an example, here are the records of Big Ten teams against the top six finishers in the conference this season (listed from best to worst win percentage):

Games Wins Losses Win %
Michigan 9 7 2 0.778
Wisconsin 7 4 3 0.571
Ohio St. 8 4 4 0.500
Nebraska 7 3 4 0.429
Indiana 10 4 6 0.400
Michigan St. 8 3 5 0.375
Iowa 9 3 6 0.333
Penn St. 9 3 6 0.333
Minnesota 10 3 7 0.300
Illinois 11 3 8 0.273
Purdue 10 1 9 0.100
Northwestern 10 1 9 0.100

Several things stand out, including that Michigan State and Iowa have poor records against other teams who finished in the top half of the conference.
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Minnesota’s Team Sheet; Hoping for PSU x2

Minnesota’s Team sheet; Hoping for PSU x2
March 9, 2014

Below is Minnesota’s official team sheet heading into Friday’s games (click for larger view). If the Gophers beat Penn State tonight, they will play the Nits again on Thursday in Indianapolis. Win both games against Penn State, then lose the next, and Minnesota’s RPI projects to be approximately the same as it is today (around 50).

Should Nebraska fall at home to Wisconsin this afternoon, we would like the Gophers chances better than the Huskers. As noted on the team sheet below, the two “bad losses” Minnesota has were with Dre Hollins injured. His first game back was Purdue and he did log a lot of minutes, but statistically and visually it wasn’t even close to being the real Dre. The committee can and should take this into consideration and is a reason why we wouldn’t count the Gophers out of the tournament even if they lose on Friday of next week (i.e., only win one in the Big Ten tournament).

A loss today would be painful and require a run in the conference tournament. Instead of Penn State at 5:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, Minnesota would play Indiana at 11 a.m. CT. A win and the Gophers are very much in the conversation.

Games don’t get much bigger than this. Penn State should have a few fans in the building to support Minnesotans Ross Travis (Chaska HS, 43 Hoops) and Graham Woodward (Edina HS, D1 Minnesota), but The Barn will be packed and loud for the Gophers.  (Game time is 4:15 p.m. CT / TV: BTN)

MN TS 030614

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