Anatomy of a Turnover

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 19: Patric Young #4 of the Florida Gators reacts against the UCLA Bruins during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 19, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Last night I committed a cardinal sin for a sportswriter. I developed the game-story idea before the game had been played. I've become fascinated with Florida State's ability to turn the ball over, and I've been wanting to chart every turnover for a game and see if I could identify the trends that make their turnover rate so high (currently 333rd nationally). The problem would have come if FSU had one of those rare games when they don't turn the ball over. But they were playing Florida. It was on ESPNU. So I traded my gameday whiskey for a laptop and set to work.

1. 18:46 Okaro White Turnover. An Xavier Gibson blocked shot leads to a 2-on-2 FSU fast break. Michael Snaer pulls up from 12' but instead of shooting he dumps it underneath to Okaro White. White loses the ball after he was undercut by Patric Young. Quote from announcer Jimmy Dykes: "that's a foul." Diagnosis: Crappy officiating.

2. 17:41 Bernard James Turnover. Half court set and James spins into a double team and gets stripped by Erik Murphy. Diagnosis: Poor court awareness.

3. 14:23 Luke Loucks Turnover. Transition off a UF turnover, and Loucks goes no-look from the top of the key toward Deividas Dulkys on the elbow extended. Not sure why he went with the no-look pass seing that no one was guarding either player, but he did make a nice pass to assistant coach John Pelphrey. Diagnosis: Bad decision.

Jimmy Dykes quote (camera on Patric Young): "Look at that body. 7% body fat!"

4. 7:37 Jeff Peterson Turnover. Jeff Peterson brings the ball up the court, sees the trap developing just across mid-court, dribbles directly into it and has his pass tipped when he tries to pass over the top of two much larger players. Diagnosis: Poor court awareness.

5. 6:58 Xavier Gibson Turnover. Michael Snaer hits the deck after he's nearly stripped. He recovers and finds an unguarded Gibson in the corner. Rather than step in and take a 15 footer the 6'11 Gibson decides to drive and promptly dribbles the ball off his knee and out of bounds. Diagnosis: Poor fundamentals, bad decision and big knees.

Jimmy Dykes quote (camera on Patric Young): "Wow, what a body. 7% body fat!"

6. 5:35 Jon Kreft Turnover. Kreft (Joe Kreft according to the announcers - all game) gets the ball in great position on the block. While he surveys the court he decides to do so while taking a few lazy dribbles and Erik Murphy easily pokes it away. Diagnosis: Poor fundamentals.

7. 3:57 Michael Snaer Turnover. After a UF three pointer Bernard James tries to beat the Gator defense down the court, which he does. Michael Snaer attempts the 30' lob pass but it's just a hair short and gets contested, tips off James' fingers, and goes out of bounds. Diagnosis: Tough break.

8. 1:40 Bernard James Turnover. Bernard James gets the ball on the left wing after his man (Patric Young) bizzarely decides to chase the Luke Loucks halfway across the court. Loucks, meanwhile, runs like hell (and you have to imagine the Jimmy Dykes jealousy at this point) and kicks the ball back to James. James has the opportunity to take it to 10' and put up a shot. Instead he drives to drive to the rim and shovels the ball to Gibson. The pass wasn't very accurate, and Gibson wasn't ready. Diagnosis: Bad decision, bad chemistry.

Jimmy Dykes quote (camera on Patric Young): "He's a dude. You can quote me on that."

9. 1:06 Jon Kreft Turnover. Kreft gets the ball on the block, attempts a couple moves and then decides to kick it out. Then two things happen. 1) no guards flash to give him an outlet, and 2) he throws the ball directly (and I mean directly) to Kenny Boynton. Diagnosis: WTF?

Jimmy Dykes quote: "You reach and he will teach."

10. 0:22 Bernard James Turnover. Bernard James stripped after he grabs the offensive boards. Diagnosis: Good defense.

2nd Half

11. 19:49 Michael Snaer Turnover. FSU opens the 2nd half with Mike Snaer attempting a post entry pass. The good news is that James is open and in position to score, the bad news is that Snaer takes a bad angle and throws a bounce pass to the camerman. Diagnosis: Poor fundamentals.

Jimmy Dykes quote (camera on Patric Young): "7% body fat!"

12. 16:12 Luke Loucks Turnover. The most important turnover of the game. FSU gets out in transition trailing 38-36, Snaer passes back to Louks who attempts to rifle a pass to James who has postion underneath. Unfortunately Will Yeguete is standing directly between Loucks and James. Diagnosis: Bad decision, poor fundamentals, obscuration of his visual field.

Jimmy Dykes quote: "You get what you get with Will Yeguete."

Jimmy Dykes quote: "7% body fat!"

13. 15:20 Deividas Dulkys Turnover. Dulkys gets double-teamed by the hedger, turns to find the open man (Kreft) and Joe is nowhere to be seen. Erving Walker uses the delay to rip the ball away. After the play Dulkys was screaming and pointing at Kreft, and rightfully so. Turnover goes to Dulkys, but it wasn't his fault. Diagnosis: Poor fundamentals, good defense.

14. 14:32 Jon Kreft Turnover. After a UF dunk, FSU pushes the ball in transitition. Kreft is the outlet man on the break and catches the ball at mid-court where the defender steps in front of him and doesn't give him room to land. An easy call by the refs. However, Patric Young had just had the block of the season which he followed with a huge dunk off a UF offensive rebound. The crowd was going crazy. The refs were swept away, and the blew the call. Diagnosis: Giving one to the home team.

Jimmy Dykes quote (camera on Patric Young): "He looks so big when he's sweaty."

15. 13:32 Michael Snaer Turnover. Snaer executes a perfect bounce pass to a wide open Patric Young. Diagnosis: Forgot what color jerseys each team was wearing.

Jimmy Dykes quote: "FSU just hangs around like lunch breath."

16. 13:12 Jeff Peterson Turnover. Culminating back-to-back-to-back turnovers, Bernard James once again beats Patric Young down the floor, establishes position so deep that Young has both feet inside the charge circle, and Peterson bounce passes to the wrong hand. Young pokes it away. Diagnosis: Poor fundamentals.

17. 12:09 Ian Miller Turnover. Miller takes the ball just short of the mid-court line. Snaer's man (Wilbekin) immediately races from the baseline toward Miller's back. Miller can't hear Snaer yelling "wolf" because the crowd is so loud and Miller gets the ball poked away. Diagnosis: Impressive holiday crowd.

Jimmy Dykes quote (showing Patric Young highlights): "250 pounds and 7% body fat!"

Jimmy Dykes quote (with the camera on Young sitting on the bench): "Oh the arms, the shoulders, the smile. He's the complete package."

Jimmy Dykes quote (camera on the UF offense): "To look like that and play for an under-19 team. That's about all you need to say."

18. 10:23 Luke Loucks Turnover. Loucks uses a nice crossover to get into the lane, gets tripped and coughs it up when he hits the floor hard. Diagnosis: Crappy call #3.

19. 8:06 Bernard James Turnover. Loucks gets into the lane, passes up the open shot and tries instead to get it to James. Yeguete tips it and it goes off of Bernard James. Diagnosis: Either a bad decision (should have shot and Yequete was too close to James to force that pass), or poor chemistry (James was open for the alley oop) or poor fundamentals (Loucks lobbed the pass, but way too low for an alley oop).

Jimmy Dykes quote (camera on Patric Young): "At times he's like a really big 7th grader. A well developed 7th grader playing in a 2nd grade league."

Take home messages:

  • FSU big men keep getting blamed for turnovers. While this is likely true for Kreft and Gibson, James routiinely beat Patric Young down the floor only to have guards fail to get him the ball.
  • FSU guards keep getting blamed for turnovers. While this is likely true for Snaer and Peterson, many possessions end with senior guards instructing senior big men on where they were supposed to have been on the previous play.
  • How did FSU finish the game with an 8:06 string with no turnovers?
  • Patric Young does look pretty big when he's sweaty.
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