Game chart: FSU vs South Alabama

Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

Introducing player efficiency margins, which will be charted for every game this season.

One new addition to the hoops coverage this season will be the charting of individual player efficiency margins. It's simple stuff. You chart the five players on the floor for each possession, and how that possession ended. When the offense scores, that's good. When the defense gets scored on, that's bad.

Think of it as an advanced +/- calculation.

+/- has several flaws, which efficiency margins attempts to address. For one, not all points are created equally. We want to know how the player impacts the team on both sides of the ball, and not simply have a general impact number. And we also want to be able to filter out points which are not impacted by how efficiently the five on the court are playing. For example, South Alabama scored 2 points on a technical foul after Terrance Shannon hung on the rim (apparently these refs never watched any John Henson dunk ever). Those shouldn't be credited against the five defenders on the court. South Alabama also scored four points when FSU was desperately fouling at the end. What's to blame there - poor free throw defense?

The caveat is not to read too much into any one single game. This stuff requires large datasets, and while one game might be interesting, the trends will take time.

Regardless, here's how it looks. Here is FSU's offense for the night. FSU had 72 offensive possessions, and scored 71 points.

player

oPoss

Pts

oPPP

Bookert

1

2

2.00

Ojo

1

2

2.00

Bojanovsky

17

18

1.06

Thomas

18

19

1.06

Whisnant

48

50

1.04

Shannon

55

56

1.02

Brandon

35

35

1.00

White

44

43

0.98

Snaer

62

59

0.95

Miller

53

48

0.91

Turpin

26

23

0.88

oPoss = the number of offensive possessions each player was on the court

Pts = the number of points FSU scored during those possessions

oPPP = is the same as Pts, except on a per-possession basis

Aside from Devon Bookert and Michael Ojo being offensive juggernauts (sample size!), the thing which jumps out is that four of the five starters (in bold) were responsible for less than a point per possession, while all the new guys, Terry Whisnant and Terrance Shannon had figures greater than a point per possession. Also, Terrance Shannon (who didn't start) was on the court more than everyone besides Michael Snaer. Should the cumulative season chart at the end of the year look like this, then FSU is in serious trouble. But it won't. The Big-3 of White, Snaer, and Miller just had rough games.

Here's the same chart for the defense.

player

dPoss

Pts

dPPP

Turpin

27

18

0.67

White

42

37

0.88

Miller

51

45

0.88

Whisnant

48

43

0.90

Snaer

62

59

0.95

Shannon

56

62

1.11

Thomas

17

19

1.12

Brandon

34

42

1.24

Bojanovsky

16

21

1.31

Bookert

1

2

2.00

Ojo

1

2

2.00

Here, the dPPP is the key figure, and you want a small number. And it's pretty clear that the starting five played pretty decent defense, and that the new guys really struggled. And while this certainly matches the eye test, just remember not to read too much into one game.

And finally, the efficiency margin, which is how much they scored on offense, minus how many they allowed on defense. Big numbers are good.

player

eMarg

Turpin

0.22

Whisnant

0.15

White

0.10

Miller

0.02

Snaer

0.00

Bookert

0.00

Ojo

0.00

Thomas

-0.06

Shannon

-0.09

Brandon

-0.24

Bojanovsky

-0.25

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