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 Buffalo game introduced a new concept: garbage time. Statistical models can predict when a team has been mathematically eliminated, and in this case is was immediately following the under-4 timeout. So the final 3:48 of the game is not included in this analysis. Which makes Joey Moreau sad. BYU had a bit of garbage time near the end as well.
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.
FSU played two games this weekend and won both. That doubled our dataset, and strong patterns are emerging.
- The offense seems to be functioning at a high level when Montay Brandon and Devon Bookert are on the floor. And the data supports the eye test. Here's a piece I wrote on the freshmen point guards, with lots of video.
- Missing from last year's offense are long stretches without scoring. The Noles are scoring consistently since inserting Brandon into the lineup, and they're scoring in bunches. Here's a quick burst from the game vs St. Joe's.
- Against BYU, the offense scored a ridiculous 1.71 points per possession (PPP) when Okaro White was on the floor, which is the highest single game rating yet.
- Against St. Joe's the whole team had relatively flat efficiency margins, except for Terrance Shannon who came in at +0.36 PPP, which completely matched the eye test. It was his best game as a Nole.
Here is our season long chart:
It didn't take long for Bookert to move to the top of the list. The offense has been slightly better with Montay Brandon running things, but the defense hasn't been close. Also, Bobo continues to impress with each game, and I won't be surprised if he supplants Turpin in the starting lineup.