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Revisiting Life Without Chris Singleton

After Chris Singleton’s injury I wrote a piece on how it would affect the Noles. For a full recap, you can read that here. Essentially, I believed that the key to replacing him on defense was to keep Bernard James, Okaro White and Terrance Shannon out of foul trouble, and so far that has happened. Offensively I thought that Deividas Dulkys, Michael Snaer and Ian Miller were the keys, and to varying degrees they’ve all improved their play in Chris’s absence. But how is the team doing overall? We blew out Wake, won comfortably against Miami, lost in a heartbreaker to UNC and were beaten soundly by Maryland. We went 8-3 in conference play with Chris, and so far have gone 2-2 without him. So, for the purpose of the Selection committee we’ve passed the eye test. But, unlike the committee, I’m more concerned with the stats test, so I decided to take a look.

The first table is the most meaningless one, showing points per game and pace, with and without Singleton.

with Chris 67.2 64.3 68.4
without Chris 70.3 68.8 70.0

As you can see we have both scored and allowed more points without Singleton, and have also played at a quicker pace. Since I don't care about these stats (besides pace), I won't comment any further on them.

The second table is more meaningful, showing our raw efficiency stats, with and without Chris. As a reminder, the numbers in the table below are how many points we score (and allow) each possession.

O eff D eff
with Chris 0.98 0.94
without Chris 1.00 0.98
This table is similar to the first one except that it adjusts for tempo. Having adjusted for that we see that it's true that FSU as well as our opponents are scoring more in his absence. While that is interesting, it still doesn't reveal the effect of having him on the bench has had on our team, because the numbers don't tell us anything about the teams we played, and how good or bad they were.


These tables are the important ones, as the first gets at strength of opponent, and the 2nd re-examines our efficiencies from table 2 above and adjusts them for SOS.

Opponent average offensive and defensive efficiencies
Opp Off Opp Def
with Chris 1.02 1.02
without Chris 1.00 1.04
FSU's adjusted efficiencies
O eff D eff
with Chris 0.97 0.92
without Chris 0.96 0.98

From the first table you can see that, on average, we played teams with better offenses and better defenses while Chris was still in the lineup. Since his injury we've played three solid offenses and Wake which is the worst in conference. The defenses we've faced have been one great defense (UNC), one above average defense (Maryland), one bad defense (Miami), and the worst defense in the conference (Wake). So jumping to the 2nd table and looking at how those averages affect our offense and defense it shows that we've slipped just a bit on offense, and our defense has gone from elite to very good. So, in short, we need a healthy Singleton back as soon as possible.