Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Analysis: Aftermath

It would have been hard to imagine three years ago that an opponent's fans, Syracuse fans no less, would storm the court and celebrate a win over Georgetown in their house. But times have changed, and expectations have changed around the Hilltop.

So the questions to ask are:
  • How bad was that lose?
  • How did it happen?
  • Will it happen again?

First, yes this loss was bad. But not the worst that the team has played this year. If you account for the level of the opponent (see previous post), this ranks as the Hoyas third worst game, behind the Old Dominion home loss and the Hartford win by only 10. Here's the performance chart for the season, updated through the 'Cuse game (click images to enlarge).

But the game was the first time since the Villanova & Pitt games in mid-January where G'town performed significantly below expectation (18 points below expected).

We can look at the offense and defense individually, as well. Here, I've adjusted my methodology from what I developed in an earlier post, so that now the offensive and defensive performance are expressed in point differential from expected (based on actual game pace) . This should give us an idea of where things went wrong.

First, the defense:

The results are a bit of a surprise, as the defense actually played right about as expected, given that it was a road game. While it seemed like the Orangemen were making everything they put up, their eFG% for the game (52.8) wasn't much different than what they typically shoot (51.4), the Georgetown held them well below average on OR% (24.3 vs. 34.2).

More interestingly, the team defense hasn't had a truly bad game since the home Cinci game on Jan. 27th (18 more points allowed than expected for G'town), when the Bearcats shot the lights out from 3 to keep the game close; more recently, Louisville scored 9 more points than expected, by not turning the ball over (1 time all game!).

The offense:

And here we can see just how ugly this game was; the offense was 19 points worse than expected. The heart of the matter was an eFG% of 35.1 (which includes those two late 3's in garbage time) almost 10% below than the next worst shooting performance (eFG% = 44.9 against Duke). That wasn't the only problem, as the team under-performed on turnovers and offensive rebounding, as well (although no where near the level of ineptitude of the shooting). At least they got to the FT line a bit more than usual.

Remarkably, this is not the lousiest offensive game for Georgetown, as the Hoyas achieved a -22 points (actual vs. expected) in the Oregon game. That was a real team effort, as all of the four factors were well below normal.

Having said all that, I'll return to the third question, "Will it happen again?" In a word, "No."

Warning - Heavy Statistical Content

Georgetown has an overall eFG% of 57.9 this season, good for 3rd in the country (through games played 2/26). And if you take the average eFG% of each game, it's even higher, 59.1 (this discrepancy has to do with the difference between treating all shots the same and treating each set of shots, i.e. each game, as a single event). The standard deviation of the game average is 8.1, so you can say the Hoyas' average eFG% = 59.1 ± 8.1 for the season (avg. ± 1σ).

Assuming a normal distribution across the 28 games played, there is a ~95% likelihood, or 19 in 20 chance, that Georgetown will perform within 2σ of their average (43 - 75% eFG). Up until the Syracuse game, the team's actual range was 44.9 (Duke) - 72.7 (James Madison). The likelihood that the Hoyas will shoot better than 35% eFG in a game is roughly 99.5%. That is to say, based upon the teams performance to date (including the Syracuse game), the shooting will be that bad 1 time in 200.

With a maximum of 10 games left in the season, the data indicates that Georgetown will not shoot that poorly again.

1 comment:

  1. Great (and reassuring) analysis. My only concern is that the team is regressing to the mean and that the incredible offensive efficiency and field goal percentage during the early and middle parts of the streak were unsustainable. That's not to say that we won't still be a terrific offensive team, but I do wonder whether we can continue to be that much better than every other team in D1.