collapse

* Resources


UDM 4

* 2018-2019 SOTG


2018-19 Season SoG Tally
Howard11
S Hauser4
John4
Anim3
Chartouny2

'17-18 * '16-17 *
'15-16'14-15 * '13-14
'12-13 * '11-12 * '10-11

* Big East Standings

* Recent Posts

Recruiting as of 6/15/19 by Research Report
[Today at 11:53:55 AM]


NCAA to tighten transfer rules by Cheeks
[Today at 11:52:18 AM]


Reseating... by UWW2MU
[Today at 11:37:02 AM]


POLL:Uconn to Big East good or bad? by Fluffy Blue Monster
[Today at 11:23:16 AM]


Advocare Orlando by mubb3434
[Today at 11:16:31 AM]


2019-20 Non-Conference Schedule by brewcity77
[Today at 11:07:48 AM]


Symir!!! 2019!!! by Markusquette
[Today at 10:48:52 AM]

Please Register - It's FREE!

The absolute only thing required for this FREE registration is a valid e-mail address.  We keep all your information confidential and will NEVER give or sell it to anyone else.
Login to get rid of this box (and ads) , or register NOW!

* Next up: A long offseason

Marquette
Marquette

Madness

Date/Time: Oct 4, 2019
TV: ???
Schedule for 2018-19
24-10

Author Topic: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?  (Read 8139 times)

Dr. Blackheart

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 7378
Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« on: July 19, 2010, 11:40:04 PM »
Entering his third year at the helm, Buzz Williams, for the first time, has an entire roster of his recruits in place (including three he recruited as an assistant). Inherited from his days as an assistant were two separate groups of experienced and accomplished guards and a NBA first round forward who have moved on.  In are two straight nationally ranked recruiting classes.  

What have we learned about Buzz Williams compared to other recent MU seasons that will shed light on who will be seeing the most minutes in the upcoming season?   One, we know from Pomeroy that the Warriors were one of the smallest teams (341st in average height) last year, and Buzz has moved to remedy that.  Two, he has balanced his classes by bringing in experienced and decorated JUCO’s over his first two classes.  Three, he has brought in quickness and length with his athletically gifted freshman class.  So, who starts?

Offensive Efficiency
MU ranked 22nd in Pomeroy’s adjusted efficiency ranking last season and ninth the prior year.  Clearly, as Buzz has stated, he values every possession.  To provide context, in the top 100 MU games in offensive efficiency since the 1996-97 season, Buzz’s two teams own 23 of those games, or 11.5 games per season of a rating in a game over 118.5.  In contrast, teams coached by Tom Crean averaged 7.7 games per season over that level while Mike Deane’s teams averaged 2.7 games.  Why does efficiency matter?  MU won 95% of these 100 games!

http://statsheet.com/mcb/games/stats?season1=1996&season2=2009&conf=&team=marquette&stat=efficiency

Low Turnovers Despite High Turnover
So, how has Buzz accomplished this with the Three Amigos graduating and two severely undersized guards replacing them?  While MU had a great eFG% year, and Jimmy got to the line at a high rate, the simple answer is a low number of turnovers. Consider this, in the Lowest 100 turnover games since the 1996-97 season, a Buzz team owns 36 of these games—or 18 per season. Both Mo (3:1 A/TO, 1st in BE and 4th nationally) and Cubes (2.7:1 A/TO 2nd in the BE and 12th nationally) will be hard to replace from last year as were the Three Amigos.  Again in contrast, Crean’s teams own 55 of these games, or 6.1 per season.  And, Deane’s teams own nine or 3 per season.  Startling!  Even more amazing, Buzz’s teams own the lowest six turnover games in the past 14 MU seasons:  
http://statsheet.com/mcb/games/stats?season1=1996&season2=2009&conf=&team=marquette&stat=turnovers&low=1
Who Starts?
Jimmy Butler led the BE in offensive rating last year and was 6th nationally.  Joe Fulce is second among returnees with a ORating of 112.3.  DJO equaled Lazar’s 108.1.  Who else will step up to fill the backcourt gap of Mo (118.4) and Cubes (120.2) then? Junior seems like he fits Buzz’s “MO”, but he had an Orating of 54.1 and a A/TO ratio of 1.3 in an injury impacted season. Dwight (95.3 OR with a lot of minutes) and EWill (88.8 under limited minutes) were inefficient, as was Otule, in very limited action (87.2).  The JUCO POY Crowder, a great passer, perimeter player, and who can go inside to earn a shot at the foul line looks like a good bet over those three—but he is a late arrival as he finishes up his JUCO classes.  And, “the best thing about freshman are that they become sophomores”.  Whoever gets the starting call will get a quick hook if he turns it over, that is for Buzz sure.  
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 07:54:43 AM by Dr. Blackheart »

Henry Sugar

  • Registered User
  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 2002
  • There are no shortcuts
    • Cracked Sidewalks
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 09:06:57 AM »
great writeup. 

The trend on protecting the ball goes back to New Orleans as well.

http://kenpom.com/team.php?team=New%20Orleans&y=2007

That was a bad team.  But even they were one of the best teams in the country at protecting the ball.  Note that they also shot the ball really well from behind the arc.  Maybe last year's three-happy offense was not an aberration.
A warrior is an empowered and compassionate protector of others.

bilsu

  • Registered User
  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 7412
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2010, 09:19:58 AM »
Based your research, which seems pretty accurate to me the starters will be Butler, Crowder, Fulce, DJO and Cadougan. Now that may or may not be our best defensive team or our best scoring team. I would think our best defensive team would include Otule in the starting lineup. Also would give a boost to Vander chances of starting.

HoopsMalone

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 1821
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2010, 09:25:48 AM »
The best 5 to protect the ball may end up being our 5 upperclassmen, aka the JUCO all-stars.

Canned Goods n Ammo

  • Registered User
  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 5008
  • Ammo, clean shaven Ammo.
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2010, 09:38:32 AM »
The best 5 to protect the ball may end up being our 5 upperclassmen, aka the JUCO all-stars.

Woah.

I never thought of that.

Buycks
DJO
Jimmy
Crowder
Fulce

To be honest, I don't hate that line-up. I think Buycks might make a jump this year and be better than we all think.

GGGG

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 25207
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 12:29:10 PM »
Starting Buycks at PG has been discussed sporadically on this board dating back to when he gave his verbal.  In fact I think it was bma who said that schools were recruiting him as a PG.  Not to mention that Homer apparently stated to someone here that he was looking at Buycks to be PG, which leads you to believe that this is what the coaching staff is thinking too.

I personally think that either Junior and Buycks will be at point this year, with only occasional appearances by Reggie.

brewcity77

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 19166
  • Alan Bykowski
    • Brew City Ball
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 06:10:49 PM »
Great write-up, Blackheart! Do you have the MU record for the 100 lowest turnover games?

avid1010

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 2745
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 08:09:06 PM »
Great info.  After reading his comments about team USA I think his mindset will be to play defense and not turn the ball over.  Buzz seems to take things slow with the freshmen, and bring them along at an appropriate pace.

Henry Sugar

  • Registered User
  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 2002
  • There are no shortcuts
    • Cracked Sidewalks
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 09:39:04 PM »
One other thought

Is this part of the puzzle for why we are generally frustrated with the lack of playing time and shorter rotation from the newcomers?  Repeat - Why isn't JMay/EWill/Fulce/Junior playing?  In other words, because freshmen (and sophomores) don't protect the ball as well, they don't play for Buzz?

Unscientific poll suggests that very few underclassmen are national leaders for turnover percentage.  Maybe that's obvious to others, but it wasn't to me.

http://kenpom.com/leaders.php?c=TORate

Great info.  After reading his comments about team USA I think his mindset will be to play defense and not turn the ball over.  Buzz seems to take things slow with the freshmen, and bring them along at an appropriate pace.

I'm still waiting for a Buzz team to be good at anything defensively besides not fouling.  I hope it'll come with more height.
A warrior is an empowered and compassionate protector of others.

NersEllenson

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 6735
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 11:05:23 PM »

I'm still waiting for a Buzz team to be good at anything defensively besides not fouling.  I hope it'll come with more height.

Considering what Buzz was playing with last year - hard to be a great defensive team.  However, I think you GREATLY underestimate the value of NOT playing an over-agressive, foul prone defense, that sends the opposition to the free throw line frequently (something we saw under Tom Crean).  Buzzball 101 says make more free throws than the other team takes - and we did a great job of this last year, despite being severely undersized.  Considering FG% usually is around 40%, and FT percentage is around 68%..its a much better bet to make a team score it from the field, than from the line.  I'd rather MU give up some easy looks, than send the opposition to the bonus frequently with tick tack fouls on the perimeter, etc.
"I'm not sure Cadougan would fix the problems on this team. I'm not even convinced he would be better for this team than DeWil is."

BrewCity77, December 8, 2013

Dr. Blackheart

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 7378
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2010, 12:49:01 AM »
Great write-up, Blackheart! Do you have the MU record for the 100 lowest turnover games?

Both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 Buzz teams tied for the record number of Top 100 lowest turnover games with 18 each since 1996-97.  The 2002-03 F4 team had 10 games on the list. 

brewcity77

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 19166
  • Alan Bykowski
    • Brew City Ball
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2010, 01:17:00 AM »
I was wondering also the W/L percentages. As you pointed out with Offensive Efficiency, MU is 95-5 in those top 100 games. Is it a similar percentage in regards to limiting turnovers?

avid1010

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 2745
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2010, 07:12:26 AM »
I'm still waiting for a Buzz team to be good at anything defensively besides not fouling.  I hope it'll come with more height.

You may be correct there, but I was speaking to Vander's mindset.  If you read his comments about how he made the USA team, he admits he wasn't going to be able to score with all those great players on the team, but he knew if he could be a lock-down defender he'd get minutes.  If he keeps that mentality heading into the year he'll find himself on the court, and with time, that playing time will help his comfort level on the offensive side of the ball rise as well.  We saw the same thing with JB...Buzz stressed rebounding and defense, and his offense progressed over time.  A guy like DJO was a bit different because his offensive skills were at a higher level, and I think we may see the same out of Jae this year.  Other than Jae, I don't see any freshmen putting up numbers (hope I'm wrong), so if they want to play they're going to have to offer solid defense and be able to take care of the ball.

Dr. Blackheart

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 7378
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2010, 09:20:39 AM »
I was wondering also the W/L percentages. As you pointed out with Offensive Efficiency, MU is 95-5 in those top 100 games. Is it a similar percentage in regards to limiting turnovers?

77% is the easy answer.  Note, though, that 12 of these 23 losses were one possession or OT games.  Another three were two possession games.  Buzz's teams had nine losses in this data set.  However, six were one possession or OT games...and another two were two possession games.  So, by this strategy, Buzz's teams were in the games down to the end in 89% of these losses.  

To take a step back, offensive efficiency is defined simply as "Points per 100 possessions (PTS/POS)*100".   Generally speaking, there are "four factors of winning" that teams track. This is all based on a book by Dean Oliver called "Basketball on Paper" if interested in geek talk.  These factors are simple for even the non-geek to track with:  shooting the ball well, taking care of the ball, offensive rebounding and getting to the line.  (Note:  Henry Sugar is the expert on all this and has these data in all his models he does for CS).

Because of our lack of size, MU has been inhibited on rebounding in Buzz's first two seasons.  Under Buzz, Jimmy and Wes were national leaders on free throw rate.  With Buzz's motion offense, he has been able to put his undersized players in the position to hit the shots they are most able to (see Mo, Cubes, DJO, Lazar on his inside out game last year, Jimmy, and Wes the previous year).  Turnover rate, though, is what MU has been particularly good at under Buzz--if not exceptional--to keep MU in games and increase our odds of winning.  

The other lever Buzz has in this formula is the number of possessions.  In his first year with his talent, he actually tried to increase possessions.  Last season, he pulled back the tempo to limit possessions as we were so short in height and depth.  These factors also affect what Buzz employs on the defensive side of the ball as Sugar points out.  Positioning is key for Buzz as it keeps fouls down with a limited bench, it keeps us in play for rebounds to limit opposing possessions, he has tried to protect the pot of gold in the paint while leaving the perimeter open (while opposing teams try to jump our perimeter when defending against MU as our interior game was weak).  

His talent skew and the match-ups we face are what determine Buzz's line-ups and strategy.  In discussions about the line-ups for the upcoming season, look at the players and what they do well and match these to the four factors that guide Buzz.  His tendency is to be a stickler on turnover rate. However, his margin for error this upcoming season is also much deeper and varied.  
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 10:28:57 AM by Dr. Blackheart »

Henry Sugar

  • Registered User
  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 2002
  • There are no shortcuts
    • Cracked Sidewalks
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2010, 10:06:05 AM »
Dr. Blackheart, your stuff is great.  And frankly, I'm enjoying a conversation about the team.

Also, on the four factors, they are not weighted equally in contribution to overall efficiency.  eFG% is by far the most important aspect of Points per possession.  Offensive rebounding and turnovers are of equal importance, but half as important as eFG%.  Free Throw Rate is about 1/10th as important as eFG%.  This is why I totally don't care about the Buzz approach to make more free throws than the opponent takes.  It is of marginal benefit to efficiency.

Having said that, I agree with the logic from Blackheart that Buzz uses a positioning approach to keep fouls down.  It's a tradeoff between being less efficient defensively but keeping your best players on the floor.  If you have a short team, there's only so much that can be done.

The lever that was used in 2007-2008 was to pressure the perimeter and gamble for steals.  That team, in Crean's final year, was actually very good defensively (#10 overall, #9 at 3Pt defense) despite being of average height.  The tradeoff was that we fouled a LOT and had foul trouble issues.  That team was also taller (142) than the teams the last two years (300+ on height).

Last year I had a conversation with MUCrisco after the Senior Day game.  Crisco, who knows a lot more about hoops than I do, was making the point that MU's defense had become a lot better over the year by how they were playing.  He's right, of course.  My point was that it didn't matter because the net result on our defense was still mediocre.  I don't care how well defense is played if the opponent is still getting a high eFG% and points per possession.  I'm also right, of course.

Again, better defensive performance should come with height.  But if our best lineup based on protecting the ball is the JUCO all-stars, expect us to again be mediocre defensively.
A warrior is an empowered and compassionate protector of others.

NersEllenson

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 6735
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2010, 10:22:39 AM »
Sugar - Can you define Effective Field Goal rate?  You mention the Free Throw rate is about 1/10th important as eFG% - and that you don't care about Buzz's approach to making more free throws than the opposition takes.  Does not the combination of MU taking making more free throws than its opponent take - the double whammy effect, not make the free throw disparity/free throw rate more important than 1/10 of eFG%

As Blackheart wrote - Dean Oliver stressed the importance of getting to the line as one of the 4 factors involved in success.  Clearly if we make more than they take -we are getting to the line a lot more than the opposition.  Also, how would you reconcile that the average field goal % shot by college teams is roughly 40%, yet the free throw percentage is roughly 68% - so by sending teams to the line frequently - you increase their chances of scoring the basketball by 28%.  Seems we can't dismiss this importance to make teams make their hay from the field, than from the free throw line.  Thoughts?
"I'm not sure Cadougan would fix the problems on this team. I'm not even convinced he would be better for this team than DeWil is."

BrewCity77, December 8, 2013

Henry Sugar

  • Registered User
  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 2002
  • There are no shortcuts
    • Cracked Sidewalks
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2010, 10:59:27 AM »
Effective field goal percentage is (FG + 0.5 * 3P) / FGA. 

You can decompose points per possession into the four factors.  The weight of their contributions to points per possession are not equal. 

Think of it this way. 

Marquette was the #22 overall offensive team in hoops last year.  We were #244 at offensive Free Throw Rate.
A warrior is an empowered and compassionate protector of others.

brewcity77

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 19166
  • Alan Bykowski
    • Brew City Ball
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2010, 11:29:20 AM »
77% is the easy answer.  Note, though, that 12 of these 23 losses were one possession or OT games.  Another three were two possession games.  Buzz's teams had nine losses in this data set.  However, six were one possession or OT games...and another two were two possession games.  So, by this strategy, Buzz's teams were in the games down to the end in 89% of these losses.

Well, if you play a 30-game regular season and go 23-7 (77% win) that's pretty darn good. Clearly the offensive efficiency is a bit more important, but if Buzz's teams can continue to put up high numbers in both categories, I imagine that Marquette averaging 25-28 wins per season with the improved talent level will be possible.

This thread is fantastic, and makes me want to read more about this stuff to get a better understanding as a fan. Won't be doing much reading for pleasure over the next 3-4 months, but I think I may have to get a copy of that Dean Oliver book come November or so.

Dr. Blackheart

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 7378
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2010, 11:54:57 AM »
A bit more on FT Rate from my take...

The year before with the Three Amigos, MU's FT rate was 11th nationally.  Higher tempo teams typically have higher FT rates as do taller teams based on their styles of play...so what I am saying is the marginal worth of these four factors ebbs and flows with the talent.  Crean's F4 team was efficient because of eFG%.  UCONN especially with Thabeet, was always proficient on FT Rate gap

With all the close games last year, winning the free throw rate gap was significantly more important to margin of victory.  Even though our team FT Rate was low last season, Jimmy was #1 in the BE and 11th nationally.  Why?  Opposing defenders jumped our perimeter to attempt to disrupt our motion offense--and they swarmed Lazar inside.  This left Jimmy open on the backside or left him an open driving seam to the hoop as he was typically match-up advantaged.  This offseason, however, Jimmy has been working on his handle because his mid-range game will be far more important with Lazar gone and Otule assuming a post presence and with Junior being a "distributor" point guard.  Crowder (or Fulce) may take over Jimmy's role.

Henry Sugar

  • Registered User
  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 2002
  • There are no shortcuts
    • Cracked Sidewalks
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2010, 01:24:24 PM »
I knew we had looked into this before

http://www.muscoop.com/index.php?topic=18618.msg190589#msg190589

FTR is about 0.05 ppp, or 3-4% of the outcome.  It makes the difference when everything else is relatively even.

One could argue that FTR gap made a difference in keeping the game close against FSU, WVU, Nova, Nova, Nova, DPU, Prov, Cincy, SJU, SHU, UW.  Those are all games that ended up close but we won on FTR gap.

Also, in looking back, I totally forgot how much fun last year's team was with all of the one-two possession games.  Coronary inducing, but fun.
A warrior is an empowered and compassionate protector of others.

Dr. Blackheart

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 7378
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2010, 02:06:24 PM »
I knew we had looked into this before

http://www.muscoop.com/index.php?topic=18618.msg190589#msg190589

FTR is about 0.05 ppp, or 3-4% of the outcome.  It makes the difference when everything else is relatively even.

One could argue that FTR gap made a difference in keeping the game close against FSU, WVU, Nova, Nova, Nova, DPU, Prov, Cincy, SJU, SHU, UW.  Those are all games that ended up close but we won on FTR gap.

Also, in looking back, I totally forgot how much fun last year's team was with all of the one-two possession games.  Coronary inducing, but fun.

Yes, a lil nudge in free throws (Rate or FT Made) could have given MU up to seven more wins last season.  S&M Fun   ;D

Thanks Henry on the added insight.  Great stuff.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 03:07:10 PM by Dr. Blackheart »

Lennys Tap

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 9372
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2010, 02:32:12 PM »
Love it when the Doctor and Sugar give us great numbers and analysis. It'll be interesting to me if this year's team is better defensively because of greater depth. I'm not a fan of the matador defense that gives up a ton of relatively easy looks but I understand it with a small and thin team. An 8, 9 or even 10 man rotation should equal a more aggressive team defensively.

NersEllenson

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 6735
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2010, 05:06:39 PM »
Love it when the Doctor and Sugar give us great numbers and analysis. It'll be interesting to me if this year's team is better defensively because of greater depth. I'm not a fan of the matador defense that gives up a ton of relatively easy looks but I understand it with a small and thin team. An 8, 9 or even 10 man rotation should equal a more aggressive team defensively.

Agree - though I definitley don't want us to be the overagressive, ticky tack, excessive fouling team we were under Crean with the Big 3.  You may get a few more steals, but those ultimtely get offset by sending the other team to the free throw line.  I tend to think the combination of not just shooting more free throws than the opposition - but to make more than the opposition takes - is a huge factor to winning games...though I can't articulate it statistically like Sugar/Blackheart...
"I'm not sure Cadougan would fix the problems on this team. I'm not even convinced he would be better for this team than DeWil is."

BrewCity77, December 8, 2013

Dr. Blackheart

  • All American
  • *****
  • Posts: 7378
Re: Efficiency, Schmeffiency?
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2010, 10:10:14 PM »
Ners,

You are lucky I have some time on my hands  :) to try to answer your question or at least shed light on Buzz's stat about wanting to make more free throws than the other team attempts.  I again looked at the top 100 games--this time looking at free throws made to discern success.  I then looked up each box score to see opponent FT attempts. Here is what I found:

  • There were 88 MU wins..which makes sense as the losing team is more apt to foul more at game's end
  • There were 36 instances where the opponents' attempts exceeded MU's makes, however.  This does not favor Buzz's theory
  • In the 12 loses, 9 of the games ended with MU's opponent having more FT attempts than MU made, or 75%.  This favors Buzz's theory.

Net, the bag is mixed on the significance of impact of this statistic, as Henry points out.  I think the thing we can take away--that the value of free throws grows in importance in close games--which is a Captain Obvious statement, I guess.  There are more heavily weighted success factors overall.

http://statsheet.com/mcb/games/stats?season1=1996&season2=2009&conf=&team=marquette&stat=ft_made
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 08:49:21 AM by Dr. Blackheart »