Size Matters? State of the Union (Basketball Style)

10-1...Best start in FSU history and some of us aren't happy. Let's look at the numbers and see why there are grumblings from the peanut gallery.

Looks like Derwin could start...

Last night, the men's basketball team willed its way to victory over the Tennesee Tech Golden Eagles. Despite 24 documented turnovers (there were at least three more offensive fouls), they pulled away at the end to win by ten, in what should have been a blow out.

Similar to the GSU game, a quick look at the numbers and this game should not have been as close as it was. We shot 47% from the floor for the game and a blistering 52% in the second half. Singleton put on a show from down town, draining 3-4 three pointers. The team shot 43% from deep. And we shot 70% from the free throw line, which is down from our season average. Douglas carried the team with 28 points. We put up 51 shots or 1.27 shots per minute of game play, which is up from our previous games. This would have been higher if we hadn't turned the ball over so much.

Defensively, we dominated, limiting a team that averages 80 points to only 59. We forced 22 turnovers, had 10 steals and blocked 5 shots (only 1 by Alabi). We also limited their shot opportunities, limiting them to 60 FGA, which is on the low side for TTech.

So why the glum face? Careless mistakes and turnovers.

"We've been able to dodge some bullets. The thing that shows that this team is talented is that when we have to have stops, we've got to make good decisions, we've got to finish plays, we find a way, said Hamilton. He continued, "We have to become a team that does that for 40 minutes and not 14 minutes. It was like a game of H.O.R.S.E. When one guy makes a shot and the other guy has to go make the same shot. Well, we made one turnover and the other guy would say, 'Let me go see if I can make one just as bad as the one before.' That was kind of the way the game went."

Supposedly, Hamilton ripped into his team when the game was over. I think he is starting to realize that this cannot continue and it will be a long second half of the season if the mistakes and turnovers don't stop.

Reid, who is becoming one of my favorite players, put it just right, "A win is a win. We'll take the win. But we had 24 turnovers and we beat a team by 10. . . . We would beat teams by more if we just cut down on the turnovers."

Please don't get me wrong. I love this team. We have some amazing talent and have a strong foundation for the future. There are a lot of parallels between the football and basketball team this year. There is part of me that is okay with the mistakes and developing offense. We're young and basketball takes time to develop chemistry. Think about playing pick up can tell which teams have played together for a while versus the ones who are together for the first time.

Here's the Pomeroy Stats for the game:

Offense Defense
Date Opponent Result Site Pace Eff. eFG% TO% OR% FTR Eff. eFG% TO% OR% FTR
Tue Dec 16 Tennessee Tech (s) (sr) W,       69-59
92.3 53.9  
           32.1 34.5 
78.9            41.7 29.4 

(Sorry for the formatting issue)

The pace was our second highest. Our FG% was one of our highest. Our FTR was one of the lowest and the TO% was the worst.

Enough about last night lets look at some interesting stats about the team in general and individuals on the team. Pomeroy has released its individual player stats and other detailed team stats and there are some interesting findings.

For the regular readers, you have heard me go on and on about our team's size. We are the tallest team per minutes played in the country based on the Pomeroy stats. There is a great article on the Basketball Prospectus about height and basketball players. I think it really applies to our team.

                      Offense               Defense
Raw Efficiency : 98.8 (191) 91.7 ( 63)
Adj Efficiency : 99.9 (165) 88.8 ( 41)

Effective FG% : 49.4 (151) 43.7 ( 39)
Turnover Pct. : 25.4 (313) 21.9 (137)
Off. Rebound% : 34.8 (135) 32.9 (154)
Free Throw Rate: 38.6 ( 6) 34.6 (140)

3-Point FG% : 36.6 ( 99) 32.1 (121)
2-Point FG% : 46.8 (203) 41.0 ( 28)
Free Throw Pct.: 73.1 ( 57) 65.7 ( 98)
Block Pct. : 6.1 ( 48) 16.8 ( 10)
Steal Pct. : 10.0 (184) 11.6 ( 77)

3PA/FGA : 32.6 (172) 37.9 (304)
A/FGM : 53.6 (175) 48.5 ( 68)


Look at our defensive stats...tons of green. Granted, Hamilton is always focused on developing great defenses, but our size definitely help. Pomeroy states that height has the most impact on block percentage, 2-point eFG% and overal eFG%. Those are the three areas in which we excel. He reports that height has little impact on offsense, which I somewhat agree. Skill obviously plays a larger impact on offense, but its nice if you have a tall shooting guard that can elevate over his defender. Having a 7'1 center (Alabi), should make it easier to score points in the paint, espescially with the easy tips ins, that is of course he gets good position.

We rank the following in size at each position. The average height of our players is 6'7". That's huge.: (The second number is our national rank)

Average Minutes-Weighted Height (inches): 79.1 1     Effective Height: +5.1 4  
By Position*... C: +2.7 10 PF: +2.4 4 SF: +3.0 1 SG: +3.1 8 PG: +2.7 16

We need to take better advantage of our height on the offensive end. We have the talent and athleticism. We're not a team of slow feet and stone hands. This will help us when we go into ACC play. Hopefuly, we will be able to slow down the likes of UNC and Duke as a result of our size. Duke is 36th and UNC is 65th. The next tallest team in the ACC is Wake Forest, at number 4.

Lets get to the individual stats:(Go here for the definitions.)

No Player                    Ht   Wt Yr   G   %Min       ORtg     %Poss     %Shots     eFG%       OR%       DR%      FTRate
23 Toney Douglas 6-2 205 Sr 10 91.0 18 108.7 25.5 306 29.2 162 50.8 3.3 9.5 47.3 340
31 Chris Singleton 6-9 220 Fr 10 71.8 102.0 19.7 18.1 52.4 493 11.2 261 18.9 278 69.8 74
42 Ryan Reid 6-8 235 Jr 10 61.5 91.8 21.9 21.1 44.4 8.7 11.5 66.7 99
2 Jordan DeMercy 6-7 208 So 10 61.3 86.8 15.4 12.8 55.3 337 1.6 11.1 44.7 389
3 Luke Loucks 6-5 205 Fr 10 53.3 97.7 15.1 12.8 53.0 1.9 8.3 42.4
32 Solomon Alabi 7-1 241 Fr 10 51.3 97.0 20.9 22.1 50.9 11.8 210 17.3 412 41.8
41 Uche Echefu 6-9 225 Sr 9 42.8 118.2 242 21.6 18.8 60.3 7.1 17.1 425 102.6
4 Deividas Dulkys 6-5 195 Fr 9 34.0 65.3 18.1 23.7 28.2 4.0 5.4 15.4
1 Xavier Gibson 6-11 225 Fr 10 18.3 72.3 20.7 20.3 33.3 5.5 17.2 61.1
Best 95.6 150.4 37.5 40.0 79.4 25.8 36.5 144.0
100th Best 85.6 125.2 28.7 30.7 62.1 13.7 22.9 66.7
500th Best 74.5 111.4 23.8 25.0 52.3 9.2 16.4 39.3

2-point 3-point
No Player Ht Wt Yr ARate TORate %Blocks %Stls FTM-FTA Pct FGM-FGA Pct FGM-FGA Pct
23 Toney Douglas 6-2 205 Sr 22.2 372 18.4 2.2 3.4 254 48-61 .787 34-75 .453 21-54 .389
31 Chris Singleton 6-9 220 Fr 6.6 25.0 2.4 2.0 32-44 .727 21-42 .500 8-21 .381
42 Ryan Reid 6-8 235 Jr 7.0 24.1 4.2 270 1.7 29-42 .690 28-63 .444 0-0 .000
2 Jordan DeMercy 6-7 208 So 20.9 436 36.0 2.8 464 2.2 9-17 .529 12-20 .600 6-18 .333
3 Luke Loucks 6-5 205 Fr 26.0 253 33.0 1.1 3.9 145 11-14 .786 10-18 .556 5-15 .333
32 Solomon Alabi 7-1 241 Fr 5.1 24.8 10.7 33 1.1 17-23 .739 28-54 .519 0-1 .000
41 Uche Echefu 6-9 225 Sr 8.5 22.4 2.7 488 1.0 33-40 .825 10-24 .417 9-15 .600
4 Deividas Dulkys 6-5 195 Fr 7.9 24.0 2.5 2.6 4-6 .667 2-9 .222 6-30 .200
1 Xavier Gibson 6-11 225 Fr 3.1 27.4 4.7 2.4 7-11 .636 6-17 .353 0-1 .000
Best 47.9 0.0 23.5 7.9
100th Best 31.0 10.2 7.0 4.2
500th Best 19.6 15.2 2.6 2.8

If there is a second number, it is the players national rank. Last night we talked about Douglas playing a lot of minutes. He has played 91% of the possible minutes he could have played this year. I worry about how this will work at the end of the year.

Look at the TORate. This is based on the percentage of possesions used on turnovers. Less than 15% is great. Obviously, it is position dependent. Guards typically have higher turnover percentages than other players due to the nature of the position. Douglas has the lowest on our team, and this is likely due to the fact he is a senior. None of our players are in the top 500 in the country.

There are some encouraging numbers here but they are not surprsing. We have a number of players who are ranked in getting to the line and Alabi is one of the top shot blockers in the country. We also have some good, not great, defensive rebounders. I was surprised to see that Loucks has a better steal percentage than Douglas. I have a lot of hope for him and I think he will develop into an excellent player in the next couple of years. The addition of Kitchen will take a ton of pressure off him.

I have talked about experience ad nauseum. Well...we're one of the youngest teams in the country. We rank 300 out of 344 Div I teams. Our average experience is 1.2 years. The top ACC teams is Miami, number 26 in the country, with 2.2 years, and may explain in part why they are doing well so far this year.

There is hope for the rest of the year and I think that we will continue to win close games that are played at our pace. We are an excellent defensive team. If we can cut down on our turnovers, we will be able to run with the elite teams in the country.

With the addition of Michael Snaer and Terrance Shannon next year, we will be outstanding. Losing Douglas will hurt, but we have a plethora of young guards who are learning from him. Hamilton continues to bring in excellent recruits. Singleton was awarded the ACC rookie of the week and I bet this won't be the only time he wins it this year.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Tomorrow night we play Charleston Southern; I'll have a Gamethread available tomorrow night with my thoughts on the match up.


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