Saturday, March 31, 2007

News: And so it goes

The Hoyas magical run came to an end today, with a loss to the OSU Buckeyes, 67-60.

Here's the four factors chart for the game using the official box score:

Stat 1st 2nd Full
Pace 28 31 59




OEff 82.6 119.1 101.8
eFG% 52.5% 58.1% 55.9%
TO% 32.3% 16.1% 23.8%
OR% 23.1% 46.2% 34.6%
FTM/FGA 10.0% 3.2% 5.9%




DEff 96.9 128.8 113.7
eFG% 44.2% 50.0% 47.4%
TO% 14.4% 13.2% 13.8%
OR% 31.6% 55.6% 43.2%
FTA/FGA 30.8% 35.5% 33.3%


While the eFG% for both G'town and OSU are right where you'd like to see them for both halves, the other stats show where the game was lost. There were 6 more turnovers and 7 less offensive rebounds for the Hoyas, so OSU took 13 more opportunities to score and Georgetown wasn't able to make up that difference with shooting accuracy as they did against UNC. And give the Buckeyes credit for the turnover difference, as they had 8 steals in the game, five more than G'town; they were able to score a number of times on the fast break thanks to those steals (which hurt much more than TOs that result in a whistle, e.g. traveling calls).


I'm off-line for a week. Hopefully one (or some) of the other posters on this blog can write up a season recap (I'm looking at you, Mike).

Congratulations to the Georgetown players and coaches on a fine season.

And a tip of the cap to Mike Conley Jr., Greg Oden and the rest of the Buckeyes for their great game today, and good luck to them in the finals.

News: WVU on G'town

Our man in N.J., Ray Floriani, was at MSG covering the NIT finals, where WVU beat Clemson 78-73 (it wasn't that close). While most of their post-game press conference revolved around their big finish to the season (and their fine new t-shirts), they did take some time to discuss Georgetown's chances in the Final Four.

Georgetown will have an ardent fan, who is not a student nor alum, when they take the floor Saturday against Ohio State. The fan is actually an opponent, West Virginia coach John Beilein. Shortly after his Mountaineers captured the 70th NIT defeating Clemson 78-73, Beilein spoke of Big East pride, specifically Georgetown.

“There’s no question I’ll be rooting for Georgetown,” Beilein said. “We played three top ten teams one week and the one game we were never in was Georgetown, right guys?” Beilein’s latter remark was directed to senior Frank Young and freshman Da’Sean Butler who joined the Mountaineer coach in the media room.

“Georgetown is a terrific school, a great team and being a product of Jesuit education (Wheeling Jesuit ’75), I’ll be pulling for them,” Beilein added. “They are fabulous and are as an intelligent team as there is today.”

Young, who earned MVP honors with a game high 24 points in the final will also have a Hoya rooting interest. “I think the Big East winning is great for the conference and us,” Young said. “We got the NIT and I would love to see a sweep. We’ll be rooting for Georgetown but also the Rutgers women. It would be great to see the Big East have the NIT and both NCAA championships.”

Beilein deflected and media inquiries into the Michigan opening saying,” I just want to concentrate on this (NIT championship).” WVU fans feel that even though he might listen to overtures from Ann Arbor, he’ll probably (hopefully) stay in Morgantown. One fan noted, “He [Beilein] has a solid program in a conference [Big East] that is good as any in the country.” Stay tuned.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The OTHER Big Man

Echoing CO's apology about lack of content and offering another one to Tom G and his wonderfully detailed pre-game break down, I wanted to take a quick look at the non-7-foot big man that will be suiting up on Saturday — Jeff Green.

Not much has been left unsaid about Green's versatility on the court, but the final six minutes of regulation and five minutes of overtime in the Hoyas' Regional Final win over North Carolina absolutely hammers this home. What follows is a run down of Green's contributions after he hit one of two free throws with 6:02 left in regulation.

• Defensive Rebound (5:48)
• Hook shot in the lane trims the UNC lead to 5 points. (5:06)
• Defensive Rebound (4:48)
• Assist to Roy Hibbert for a thunderous baseline dunk to make the score 75-72 UNC (4:21)
• Assist to Patrick Ewing Jr.* (2:38) [* Okay, it could have been an air ball, but he WAS looking right at Ewing after releasing the ball.]
• Alters a shot in the lane by Tyler Hansbrough with the score tied at 81. (4:40 in Overtime)
• Assist to Wallace to put the Hoyas up 83-81 (4:20 in OT)
• Combines with Roy to block Hansbrough's shot. (3:45 in OT)
• Fadeaway jumper off the glass to push it to 87-81. (2:52 in OT)
• Defensive Rebound (1:05 in OT)
• Defensive Rebound (46 sec. in OT)

This stretch support two things I think: 1.) Jeff Green is as versatile as the pundits say, it's not just hot air. 2.) The Hoyas don't need Jeff Green to score all of their points in crunch time to win the game. Do the Hoyas give him the ball with the game on the line in a one possession game? Absolutely. But as the Hoyas rallied from five down with six minutes left and then pulled away in overtime, Jeff Green scored just four points.

He also wears pimping suits when making surprise appearances on TNT. (click on the TNT at the Half: Bulls-Pistons halftime show link)

Guest Analysis: GU-OSU Preview

I'd have to say that one of the best parts of starting this blog is the occasional contribution I receive. This one is probably the best so far, by Tom G. (last name withheld in case he billed this tome to a client):

(All stats from KenPom's pages for the two teams: Georgetown and Ohio State.)

Defense wins championships, right? Not in this year's Final Four: Ohio State and Georgetown both feature an oustanding offensive and a very good defense, as does Florida on the other side of the bracket (UCLA is the token great defensive team this year). The Hoyas rank first in adjusted offensive efficiency at 125.1, and the Buckeyes are 4th with a very healthy 123.2. The Buckeyes counter with a slightly better defense, 87.7 efficiency, 14th, while the Hoyas are 18th nationally at 89.0. From an overall efficiency perspective, these two teams are very closely matchup, and is basically a pick'em.

GEORGETOWN ON OFFENSE
How They Win
When the Hoyas do well offensively, the most important thing they do is make shots. Yes, I know this seems obvious, but you're going to see it four times, because it's that important. Also strongly correlated with Hoya offensive efficiency are offensive rebounding and turnovers (pace is also strongly correlated, but I suspect that's a function of turnovers).

What They're Good At
Since they're the nation's most efficient offensive team, the Hoyas are good at a couple things. But the most important thing they're good at is making shots: 57.0% eFG, 4th nationally. In particular, they make 2 pointers, 57.7%, 2nd. They're not too bad at 3's, either, 37.1%, 69th, but they're not a POT, and take shots from behind the arc at about an average rate (34.6%, 156th). The Hoyas are very good at offensive rebounding, taking in 40.5% of their misses, 7th nationally. They're also pretty good at not getting their shots blocked, 7.1%, 44th. There are two related categories, however, where the Hoyas are not very good: turnovers and steals. Hoya turnovers occur on 21.9% of possessions, 209th, and 11.2% of possessions end in a steal, 273rd best. It's generally really, really hard to score when you give the ball away every fifth time you go down the court, but the Hoyas have managed it. Better, their trendline for this stat looks good: in none of their seven postseason games (BET + NCAAs) have the Hoyas turned the ball over on 20% of their possessions. Their longest previous such streak was a mere two games. This might be the result of some coaching emphasis by JT3 and the staff, heightened awareness and care by the players, or maybe just some good luck. If it ends on Saturday, the Hoyas will need to be even better in the other areas of performance.

OHIO STATE ON DEFENSE
How They Win
When the Buckeyes do well defensively, the most important thing they're doing is not letting their opponent make shots. This is still obvious, and still very important. The Buckeyes also win when they force turnovers, and lose when they let their opponent shoot lots and lots of free throws. Both Wisconsin and North Carolina had an FTR over 50% in their victories over the Buckeyes (Florida won because they shot the lights out).

What They're Good At
Remember that part above where I said Buckeye opponents who win shoot free throws? Nobody else shoots free throws against Ohio State (well, almost): 21.1% FTR, 2nd nationally (behind huh, what, really defensively dreadful Arizona). The Buckeyes are also excellent at blocking shots, 15.7%, 11th nationally. Teams also have trouble shooting the 2: 44.1%, 28th, and aren't good at 3's, either: 33.1%, 84th. This makes for a good combination: 46.2% eFG, 37th. Like Hoya opponents, Buckeye opponents shoot a lot of 3's, 37.3%, 270th fewest. The Buckeyes aren't too shabby on the offensive glass, either, allowing opponents to rebound 31.1% of their own shots, 69th best. The Buckeyes are a little above average, 10.2%, 136th, at stealing the ball, but they aren't very good at forcing turnovers, 20.1%, 218th.


MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Roy Hibbert is a beast on the offensive glass (14.7%, 19th). Greg Oden is a beast on the defensive glass (23.4%, 37th). 6'5" Daequan Cook is a very good defensive rebounder (20.9%, 98th, better than any Hoya). The Hoyas will have a height advantage at most positions most of the time, likely including whomever Cook is on. Can they successfully use that height to crash the glass?

Mike Conley is excellent at stealing the ball, 4.3%, 27th Will Wallace, Sapp, and Rivers protect the ball? Since nobody else on the Buckeyes gets any steals, will the Hoyas try to avoid playing against the ball with Conley?

Oden is a shot-altering presence in the middle (12.8% blocks, 8th). Oden's likely replacement, 6'9" Othello Hunter isn't too bad, either (6.8%, 69th). Tennessee's last chance failed because Ramar Smith did the dribble penetration and Oden was there to block his shot (seriously, how did you not know that was going to happen?). If the Buckeyes play zone, as would seem likely, how will the Hoyas deal with Oden in the middle?



OHIO STATE ON OFFENSE
The Buckeyes triumphed over Memphis in the South Regional Final by a final score of 92-76. But the game wasn't a blowout the entire way. At the 11:43 mark of the second half, Antonio Anderson hit a jumper to stake the Tigers to a 58-54 lead. On Ohio State's ensuing possession, Joey Dorsey hacked Mike Conley Jr. to pick up his fourth foul, and the parade of Buckeyes to the line began. In the first 28 minutes of the game, Memphis took 18 from the free throw line, and Ohio State took 15. Over the last 11 1/2 minutes, the Tigers took a mere 2 from the charity stripe, and the Buckeyes were granted 26. Yes, some of those attempts (12, probably) were the result of the "mandatory" foul-and-three late-game strategy. But even discounting those, that's still a 14-2 disparity. Naturally, none of the commentary I've seen has focused on this little piece of news. Yes, Memphis sent their opponents to the line a lot. But this was really a key factor in the Buckeye win Saturday, and also in their win against Tennessee on Thursday (68.6 FTR).

How They Win
Oddly, though, getting to the line isn't something the Buckeyes are that great out. Their overall FTR rate is actually a hair worse than that of the Hoyas, at 26.0, 136th nationally. What they do do to win is hit shots. Yes, I'm going to say it again. When teams make their shots, they play do well offensively. The Buckeyes also do well offensively when they crash the glass. Greg Oden and Othello Hunter are both dynamite offensive rebounders, ranking in the top 16 nationally. But overall, the Buckeyes are only an average offensive rebounding team (34.7%, 128th). If you can prevent the center from getting rebounds, you're that much closer to victory.

What They're Good At
Thanks in part to Mike Conley Jr., the Buckeyes are very good at holding onto the basketball. They only turn the ball over 17.5% of the time, 22nd nationally. Remember how Georgetown hasn't turned the ball over much lately? You have to go back 20 games before you find a single game where Ohio State turned the ball over as much as Georgetown has in an average game this year. Relatedly, the Buckeyes also rank 22nd nationally in preventing steals. The Buckeyes are pretty good at making their shots: they hit 53.4% of their 2's, 22nd nationally (seriously, is Tyler Crawford available for a hex?). It's also hard to block their shots, even harder than it is to block a Hoya's shot (6.9%, 33rd). They shoot ok from 3, 36.8%, and are above average at how frequently they shoot them, 36.8%, 103rd), but they shoot 2's a lot for a team often made up for Oden and four guys who are largely perimeter players (sorry, Wonk, they really don't have much inside depth). Importantly, there aren't any aspects of the offensive game the Buckeyes are bad at.

GEORGETOWN ON DEFENSE
How They Win
When Georgetown is playing well defensively, everything can matter. Naturally, the best correlation comes with ... you guessed it, keeping the opponent from making shots. I know, you're all shocked. The Hoyas also do well defensively when they prevent the opponent from getting offensive rebounds (see North Carolina game, first half versus end of game). The Hoyas do well defensively when they force their opponent to turn the ball over. The Hoyas do well defensively when they don't turn the ball over on the offensive end--based on this, I expected transition D to be a big key to the North Carolina game, and the Hoyas performed better than I expected. One game does not make a trend, though, and the Hoyas would be wise to keep up their current trend of not turning the ball over very often. Hoya opponents also score frequently when they get to the line a lot (again, see UNC, first half versus end of game; see also Syracuse and Duke).

What They're Good At
I keep harping on making shots on offense and preventing the other team from making shots on defense. Well, the Hoyas are really, really good at this on defense. Opponents hit only 43% of their 2's, 13th best, and 30.3% of their 3's, 7th best. Even better, perhaps, Hoya opponents shoot the 3 even more frequently than Buckeye opponents do (38.1% 3 pointers, 291st fewest). Part of the reason opponents shoot 3's rather than 2's, and shoot so poorly, is the Hoyas block shots, better even than the Buckeyes (16.0%, 9th best). The Hoyas are also pretty good at not sending opponents to the line, 32.1%, 78th. Thus endeth the list of things the Hoyas are good at defensively. The bad news: the Hoyas don't force their opponents to turn the ball over, and they don't get steals. Again, the Hoyas are atypical: most good offensive teams don't turn the ball over very much, and most good defensive teams force turnovers. These aspects of the game make up for ills in other places, and it's rare for a team to be like the Hoyas. But, the Hoyas are the Hoyas, and should be treated as such. Ceteris paribus, you'd like to see the Hoyas force more turnovers on defense. But (1) the Buckeyes are very good at not turning the ball over and (2) if it means the opposing teams make more of their shots, forcing turnovers may not be worth it. For being such a big team, the Hoyas are surprisingly mediocre at protecting the glass, taking in only 66.4% of missed shots, 174th best. Interestingly, Hoya opponents shoot 71.1% from the line, 272nd best/worst. Stylistically this is an interesting stat: are the rims more friendly than normal in a team's home gym? Is a team just unlucky? Or do they tend to foul perimeter guys, who tend to be good foul shooters? I suspect this last is most important, but can't say for sure.

MATCHUPS
Daequan Cook only plays about half the minutes, but when he's in, he makes sure his presence is felt, taking 29.7% of shots when he's in the game. He's Ohio State's best 3-point shooter at 42.2%, but is comparatively unimpressive on 2's, hitting a mere 47.0%.

Jamar Butler plays the most of any Buckeye, but doesn't take that many shots (15.4%), and most of those are from long range (190 attempts from beyond the arc, 58 from inside).

Hibbert, Green, Ewing, and Summers are all very good shot blockers, and should be as taller as the man they're guarding (except whoever's one Oden when Hibbert is out). How will the Buckeyes make sure they get their shots up?

Greg Oden has never played against somebody taller than him (well, at least not in a game in the past couple years). How will he handle playing somebody he can't look over?

Mike Conley may not be much of a distance shooter (30.2% on 3's, though he has looked better since the beginning of the year), but he takes (and makes) good shots (57.5% on 2's). Whose job is it to stop his dribble penetration?

The Buckeyes have four guys who've taken at least 125 3 pointers this year. None is as good as Wallace, nor as bad as Sapp. Will somebody have an exceptionally good or exceptionally bad night from beyond the arc? If somebody is having a good game, will the Hoyas adjust to defend against one of a couple different players who can shoot from range?


WHAT I HOPE FOR
A repeat of last year's game. Georgetown using its size advantage effectively. Precision execution. Greg Oden being frustrated. Mike Conley without more than a steal or two.

WHAT I FEAR
The game decided on whether Wonk's statement applies better to Oden or Hibbert. Mike Conley with a triple double. Greg Oden's presence forcing too many outside shots from Sapp and Summers. Hot Buckeye three point shooting. Thad Matta's ABC gum. Oden and Hunter dominating the offensive boards.

PREDICTION
Hoyas, 70-62. I feel MUCH better about this game after going through this preview. These two teams do a lot of the same things well, but the Hoyas do most of them a little bit better.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Analysis: OSU Performance

Just a quick and dirty analysis of OSU's total, offensive and defensive performance. I'll post G'town's charts right above OSU's, for comparison.

For review, I define performance as the difference (in points) between KenPom's predicted point spread and the actual point difference in the game. Since I use current efficiency data, all of the predictions are made retroactively based upon how the teams are playing now, or in most cases, how they finished. This can be a bit misleading, as it doesn't account for injuries, transfers, etc.

Offensive and defensive performance are based on the difference between the expected efficiency (based on team's and opponent's season average) and the actual efficiency in that game. These are also converted to points, based upon the actual game pace, to allow comparison to overall performance.

All of this data is thanks to KenPom's Game Plan pages for each team.

It is important to keep in mind that these stats are normalized to the average performance for a given team. Since OSU and Georgetown are very similar in offensive and defensive efficiency and KenPom's pythagorean ratings, this is a rare time when you won't get in much trouble just comparing the two sets of graphs.

Also note that I've stolen from PhogBlog (or was it Big Ten Wonk?) and added polynomial fit lines through the data. While these give a rough idea of trend, don't get too hung up on them, as typically the data has so much scatter that their significance is weak.

Overall performance (as always, click any figure to enlarge)

Georgetown


OSU


Just visually, OSU is the more consistant team, and KenPom agrees - his consistency stat ranks OSU 99th, G'town 220th. Georgetown has shown greater improvement as the season has progressed, but both teams seem to have peaked or plateaued at this point (good timing). I'll argue that this is a marker of good coaching.


Offensive Efficiency Performance

Georgetown


OSU


Again, OSU is the more consistent team (that first data point was a win against VMI and their 321st ranked defense, so the Buckeyes were going to look bad unless they absolutely destroyed them). More interestingly, OSU seems to have found another gear offensively in the Sweet 16. Georgetown, as we've seen all year, has become a very good offensive team, with an occasional stinker (e.g. @ Syracuse) and an occasional jaw-dropper (UNC).


Defensive Efficiency Performance

Georgetown


OSU


Here, both teams seem to have moved a bit past their peak, although the scatter in the data is too large to say that with any confidence.

Apologies

Sorry for the lack of content the last few days - a combination of lack-of-sleep and real life have slowed me down. I'll try to do a full-season look at OSU tonight.

Meanwhile, check the right-side text box for info on torrent files for three tournament games (2006 - OSU, 2007 Vandy & UNC).

Monday, March 26, 2007

Roundup: Broadus Makes it Official

Coach Kevin Broadus was officially announced as the new head coach for Binghamton University (go Bearcats!) this afternoon. So far, no info on who his assistant coaches will be. Broadus will stay with the Hoyas until the season concludes.

As they say, you can't hardly swing a cat (or search Technorati or Google News) and not hit a bunch of Georgetown stories these days. I'd just like to point out this one:
After the 2005 Final Four, Illinois held a celebration at Memorial Stadium. As Deron Williams trotted out, the fans chanted “one more year”, and I just smiled. An hour later my wife and I were having dinner at Zorbas when Bruce Webber walked in to order food for his family. My wife said, “nice job coach,” and in a quiet raspy voice Webber responded, “thank you.”

A Webber media interview the next day expressed a different encounter with a fan. “I ran into a fan today and he said, next year we’ll win 38 games. I want to make this clear, 37-2 is a special season. I hope the fans had as much fun as we did. I hope they enjoyed the ride, because a season like this doesn’t come around very often.”

And this one:
Ewing's basket off a missed Green shot in the final minutes helped draw the Hoyas within one, and his effort on the defensive end embodied Georgetown's pressure against North Carolina, which had no answer for the Hoyas' zone defense the final seven minutes of the game. Ewing wept for joy afterward, saying: "I had to let out. All those years people said I wouldn't live up to my father. And to accomplish something he did in college, to go to the Final Four and hopefully win a national championship, I just lost it when I saw him and my family."


And a reader sent in some stats analysis:

Since KenPom didn't do an HD box, I thought I'd calculate +/- numbers for players by half. Data source here, and I'm not sure how complete the substitution data is. For example, Wallace is shown exiting at 2H 4:35, making 2 FTs at 2H 3:15, and returning to the game at 2H :45. JWall is awesome, but not so awesome he can score while not in the game. With that disclaimer...



1st 2nd Reg OT Total
Wallace +1 +5 +6 +12 +18
Hibbert -1 +7 +6 +12 +18
Sapp -7 +8 +1 +12 +13
Ewing +4 +7 +11 -- +11
Green -12 +8 -4 +12 +8
Summers -3 -1 -4 +12 +8
Macklin -6 -1 -7 -- -7
Rivers -6 -3 -9 -- -9


Yes, PE2 is awesome. No, I didn't think Green played that badly in the first half, either.

Still elated,
-Tom

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Recap: Floriani's GU-UNC Running Diary

Ray Floriani, our man in N.J., kept a running account for us while watching the game from press row. Edited; now with pictures (as always, click to enlarge).
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Arrived at Continental Airlines Arena about an hour before game time. Already there’s excitement in the air. Fans in Carolina blue and Georgetown T-shirts are either hanging out front on this sunny day near 60 degree day or starting to make their way to the facility.

About 30 minutes prior to game time see one of the Carolina cheerleaders who said Jason Ray, the UNC mascot hit by a car Friday, is in the same critical condition. Said Jason is in our prayers, wished her squad well and moved to the press room.

Georgetown cheerleaders are stretching and I ask if they knew the significance of the UNC-Hoya game 25 years ago. They did. “I watched it on my computer,” said Janine Visalli a sophomore Linguistics major from Wildwood Crest, NJ. What did you think, wasn’t it a classic? “Actually, I thought it was a bad game,” she said. “We lost.”

Georgetown cheer coach Samantha Hunter said yesterday was a relaxed day. The squad gets to see New York at the Big East Tournament so making a trip to back isn’t a priority.

Settling into my press seat I see on the monitor Florida has just closed out Oregon 85-77 to punch a ticket to Atlanta.


20:00 - 15:29, 13-11 UNC
Both teams are out hot. Carolina scores the first five possessions, Georgetown 4 of 5. Tar Heels are getting offensive boards early. Not a good sign for Georgetown.

15:29 - 10:39, 26-22 UNC
Roy Hibbert is asserting himself inside. Georgetown buries to threes to build a seven point lead. UNC comes right back with a spurt to regain the lead. Coach John Thompson III gets a T at 12:30 mark. He didn’t seem to be going extra hard on the officials.

10:39 - 7:16, 35-26 UNC
Jeff Green is scoreless and forces one penetration. He might be pressing. Reyshawn Terry of UNC buries a couple of threes. Hoya fans start to get on officials.

7:16 - 3:52, 42-35 UNC
Green goes back door at 6:40 to get his first points. UNC coach Roy Williams is shuffling big men in and out. The fresh rotation works as the Heels can keep running and pounding the glass.

3:52 - 0:00, 50-44 UNC
Hoyas start to run off UNC turnovers. They start to trim the lead. Ewing fouls a rebounder at 0.8 to go. Alex Stepheson hit one of two. Hoyas down 6 at the break.

Efficiency totals are off the chart. A 34 possession game and efficiency is:
UNC - 147
G’town - 129

Off reb % is glaring stat :
UNC - .588
G’town - .250

Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough and Brandan Wright lead with 12 points. Hibbert paces the Hoyas with 11.

Walk out for the second half with my coffee. I am stopped and told it has to be in an NCAA cup. I comply. You can’t make this stuff up.


20:00 - 15:37 , 59-53 UNC
Georgetown shows zone and opens up keeping pace with Carolina.

15:37 - 13:22, 65-56 UNC
Opportunities are wasted. Georgetown gets stops and throws it away. One sequence after a stop, the Hoya pass is intercepted and put back in.

13:22 - 7:51 , 73-65 UNC
A Jessie Sapp trey cuts it to 8 at the 12 minute mark and the Hoya faithful come alive. Still 8 points somehow feels like 18.

7:51 - 4:44, 75-72 UNC
Hoyas are gradually making that run. Green and Sapp hit. Hibbert goes baseline, spins, slams and the deficit is three with under 5 remaining.

4:14 - 0:00, 81-81
Georgetown remains patient trailing and the clock ticking. Hansbrough makes a tough post move doubled inside to put UNC up 81-78 with 1:40 to go. Jonathan Wallace buries a three with 30 seconds to go. Tie. Wayne Ellington comes off a screen for a good look on the perimeter with seconds left. Miss, rebound Hoyas, time out. Two seconds left Georgetown can’t get a good shot off following the time out.

5:00 - 0:00 - 96-84 Georgetown
Hoyas draw first blood thirty seconds in on a Wallace layup and never look back. To the delight of Hoya faithful the offense clicks, Carolina is misfiring and not getting any transition. A Ty Lawson three with 8 seconds to go are the lone Tar Heel points.

Hansbrough led all scorers with 26 points. Green captured Most Outstanding Player honors with a 22 point 9 rebound effort.

Turned out to be a 75 possession game with the efficiency:
Georgetown - 128
UNC - 112

North Carolina still held the OR% edge .44 to .33 but it was less severe than halftime. Better second half rebounding by Georgetown was a factor in the victory.


Post Game
It’s pandemonium at the buzzer. I head down and say to Fordham AD Frank McLaughlin, impartiality is a must but you feel good for these urban, Northeast, Catholic schools. He smiles and agrees.

It is a wild celebration. Hoya players hug John Thompson Sr. at courtside. Fans are high-fiving me. Cheer coach Samantha Hunter hugs me and says, “Keep covering us, you’re good luck.” Among all this I snap pictures and interview Wallace on the floor. He reiterated the possession by possession philosophy. “We knew they (North Carolina) would run and have spurts,” he said. “We just took everything a possession at a time. We’ve done it all season.”

Patrick Ewing Sr. joins in and is interviewed. Jerome Williams is also on the floor congratulating and giving interviews. Some Hoya players high five cheerleaders and pep band members as a thank you. Players graciously accepted congratulations from media members as well. Roy Hibbert’s parents are on the floor. A fairly well dressed young lady is also congratulating everyone. She says she works in the Georgetown ticket office and is thrilled to go to Atlanta. It was a party on the floor Hoya faithful did not want to end.

Post game interviews move on. First, North Carolina in a subdued mood. Georgetown followed. Thrilled but also realizing there’s preparation for Ohio State next weekend. Following interviews it is about 8:52 p.m. when I exit the arena. Drained and exhausted I feel like I played in the game. And all I did was witness one of the greatest in my 30 years of writing.

All photos: © R. Floriani, 2007

News: Hoyas Win! Hoyas Win! On to the Final 4

Sorry, way too drained for any coherent analysis until tomorrow (can't wait to see the 1st half / 2nd half splits). But, I have cobbled together some highlights from the last 6 minutes and overtime (higher resolution version here). Enjoy.

video


TEMPO-FREE BOX SCORE

. Visitor Home
. Georgetown North Carolina
. 1st Half 2nd Half Total 1st Half 2nd Half Total
Pace 34 31 66

Effic. 126.9 130.3 128.7 144.2 85.2 112.6

eFG% 65.6 61.8 63.6 53.2 27.5 38.7
TO% 11.5 15.0 13.4 11.5 12.5 12.1
OR% 25.0 41.2 33.3 58.8 35.5 43.8
FT Rate 15.6 38.2 27.3 64.5 35.0 47.9

Assist Rate 68.4 68.4 68.4 73.3 40.0 60.0
Block Rate 29.6 12.5 21.6 7.7 7.7 7.7
Steal Rate 5.8 5.0 5.4 8.7 5.0 6.7

2FG% 57.7 57.7 57.7 44.4 33.3 39.2
3FG% 66.7 50.0 57.1 75.0 12.5 25.0
FT% 40.0 76.9 66.7 85.0 85.7 85.3



INDIVIDUAL NET POINTS STATS

Georgetown Off Poss Individ Def Individ
Player Poss Used ORtg Pts Prod Poss DRtg Pts Allow Net Pts
SUMMERS, DaJuan 58 10.8 118.7 12.9 57 104.6 11.9 +1.0
GREEN, Jeff 68 14.7 118.0 17.3 69 99.0 13.7 +3.6
HIBBERT, Roy 51 11.3 160.6 18.2 51 95.1 9.7 +8.5
WALLACE, Jonathan 60 12.1 153.6 18.6 57 117.0 13.3 +5.3
SAPP, Jessie 60 14.8 125.7 18.6 60 112.8 13.5 +5.0
MACKLIN, Vernon 12 2.1 111.2 2.3 12 164.0 3.9 -1.6
RIVERS, Jeremiah 28 3.4 60.8 2.1 31 147.0 9.1 -7.0
EWING, Patrick 28 2.9 137.1 4.0 28 110.5 6.2 -2.2
TOTALS 73 72.1 130.2 93.9 74 110.0 81.4 +12.5

North Carolina Off Poss Individ Def Individ
Player Poss Used ORtg Pts Prod Poss DRtg Pts Allow Net Pts
Wright, Brandan 39 7.8 173.0 13.5 39 142.8 11.1 +2.4
Hansbrough, Tyler 56 20.7 123.6 25.6 54 131.9 14.2 +11.3
Ginyard, Marcus 28 2.3 93.8 2.1 29 144.1 8.4 -6.2
Ellington, Wayne 42 7.6 57.8 4.4 40 122.2 9.8 -5.4
Lawson, Ty 66 10.6 47.7 5.1 66 128.8 17.0 -11.9
Terry, Reyshawn 55 8.4 98.2 8.2 53 133.3 14.1 -5.9
Frasor, Bobby 4 0.8 300.0 2.2 4 100.0 0.8 +1.4
Thomas, Quentin 3 0.7 200.0 1.3 3 183.3 1.1 +0.2
Green, Danny 16 4.3 55.9 2.4 16 49.7 1.6 +0.8
Thompson, Deon 30 8.2 159.4 13.0 32 107.7 6.9 +6.1
Miller, Wes 21 0.3 255.0 0.9 22 136.1 6.0 -5.1
Stepheson, Alex 10 2.7 184.9 5.0 11 120.0 2.6 +2.4
TOTALS 74 74.3 112.8 83.8 73 128.3 93.7 -9.9



HD BOX SCORE

Georgetown vs North Carolina
03/25/07 5:12 pm at Continental Airlines Arena,Rutherford NJ
Final score: Georgetown 96, North Carolina 84

Georgetown Min +/- Pts 2PM-A 3PM-A FTM-A FGA A Stl TO Blk OR DR PF
SUMMERS, DaJuan 35:42 +10 20/77 5- 7 2- 4 4- 4 11/50 0/22 1/57 3/58 2/45 0/25 6/41 1
GREEN, Jeff 42:39 + 8 22/87 9-16 1- 1 1- 3 17/60 3/25 2/69 1/68 1/49 0/30 9/46 1
HIBBERT, Roy 30:25 +16 13/71 6-10 0- 0 1- 1 10/46 4/22 1/51 1/51 6/35 5/20 6/32 4
WALLACE, Jonathan 36:28 +20 19/81 4- 7 3- 4 2- 2 11/53 7/24 0/57 1/60 0/45 2/24 1/42 1
SAPP, Jessie 35:40 +13 15/78 3- 5 2- 4 3- 5 9/54 8/26 0/60 2/60 0/35 2/28 2/36 3
MACKLIN, Vernon 08:05 - 7 2/12 1- 3 0- 0 0- 1 3/12 0/ 4 0/12 0/12 0/ 9 1/ 8 0/ 7 3
RIVERS, Jeremiah 19:03 -11 1/33 0- 1 0- 0 1- 2 1/27 2/14 0/31 2/28 1/22 0/16 1/18 1
EWING, Patrick 16:58 +11 4/41 2- 3 0- 1 0- 0 4/28 2/15 0/28 0/28 1/15 0/14 2/18 4
TOTALS 45:00 96 30-52 8-14 12-18 66 26/38 4/74 10/73 11/51 11/33 27/48 18
. 0.577 0.571 0.667 0.684 0.054 0.137 0.216 0.333 0.562

North Carolina Min +/- Pts 2PM-A 3PM-A FTM-A FGA A Stl TO Blk OR DR PF
Wright, Brandan 25:13 -12 14/45 4- 8 0- 0 6- 6 8/37 0/10 0/39 0/39 1/29 3/23 3/13 4
Hansbrough, Tyler 32:29 -13 26/60 6-15 0- 0 14-16 15/53 3/11 0/54 1/56 0/37 6/37 5/23 4
Ginyard, Marcus 18:41 -16 2/27 0- 0 0- 0 2- 2 0/22 2/ 7 0/29 1/28 0/20 0/16 3/11 0
Ellington, Wayne 23:30 + 2 5/50 1- 5 1- 6 0- 0 11/39 0/12 0/40 1/42 0/26 1/26 1/19 2
Lawson, Ty 40:18 -16 5/71 1- 5 1- 4 0- 0 9/66 6/19 1/66 5/66 0/44 0/47 0/28 3
Terry, Reyshawn 32:03 -15 10/61 2- 8 2- 5 0- 0 13/52 0/13 1/53 0/55 0/38 2/36 4/22 2
Frasor, Bobby 02:23 + 5 0/ 9 0- 0 0- 0 0- 0 0/ 2 1/ 2 0/ 4 0/ 4 0/ 5 0/ 0 0/ 4 0
Thomas, Quentin 02:19 - 1 0/ 4 0- 0 0- 0 0- 0 0/ 3 2/ 2 0/ 3 0/ 3 0/ 3 0/ 1 0/ 1 0
Green, Danny 08:54 + 3 3/15 0- 2 0- 4 3- 4 6/21 0/ 5 2/16 0/16 1/ 9 1/18 0/10 2
Thompson, Deon 20:31 + 2 14/41 6- 7 0- 0 2- 2 7/32 0/ 7 1/32 1/30 2/25 4/19 2/17 1
Miller, Wes 13:57 - 1 3/28 0- 0 1- 1 0- 0 1/23 1/ 9 0/22 0/21 0/17 0/14 0/10 0
Stepheson, Alex 07:30 + 1 2/15 0- 1 0- 0 2- 4 1/11 0/ 5 0/11 0/10 0/ 9 3/ 7 3/ 7 1
TOTALS 45:33 84 20-51 5-20 29-34 71 15/25 5/73 9/74 4/52 21/48 22/33 19
. 0.392 0.250 0.853 0.600 0.068 0.122 0.077 0.438 0.667

Efficiency: Georgetown 1.315, North Carolina 1.135
eFG%: Georgetown 0.636, North Carolina 0.387
Substitutions: Georgetown 39, North Carolina 47

2-pt Shot Selection:
Dunks: Georgetown 7-7, North Carolina 2-2
Layups/Tips: Georgetown 21-37, North Carolina 14-31
Jumpers: Georgetown 2-8, North Carolina 4-18

Fast break pts: Georgetown 7 (0.083), North Carolina 7 (0.127)
Seconds per off. poss: Georgetown 19.7, North Carolina 17.4

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Roundup: Spanning the Internets . . .

. . . so you don't have to.

A couple of interesting items, by way of Big East Hoops

Ken Pomeroy picks UNC as a 3 point favorite (64%). FWIW, UCLA was a nearly identical underdog today.

A UNC blogger reports that someone named King traveled in George Washington's win against Vanderbilt. Credible source, that.

Nike's one shining moment? Not so much.

And if you didn't get a chance to see the end of today's Div. II basketball final, try here or here. Incredible.


Sunday additions

Hack the Bracket
provides a nice preview of the game. Ken Pomeroy discusses what he expects for the game pace.

Good article in the Star-Ledger debunking some "Prince-town" offense myths:
"He had a lot of trust in his players," said Max Schafer, a freshman point guard on [the 2004] Ivy championship team. "He instilled a faith in us, so we weren't constantly looking over to the sidelines for what we should be doing. That was tremendous from a player's standpoint because you felt you had total control of what you were doing. You didn't have a coach who was micromanaging your every move."

"I've said from the beginning that I don't want to have just a good team," Thompson said. "I don't want to be a cute pick. I want to get to the point with this program where it's not the cute, trendy thing to say Georgetown, but it's a foregone conclusion that you're going to say Georgetown."
Sill waiting to hear good news about the injured UNC student (Charlotte Observer).

Camille Powell and Mike Wise offer slightly different takes on the Thompson family (Wash Post).

A Look Back and a Glimpse of What's To Come

Thanks to Jeff Green's miraculous shot (it wasn't a travel, read the rules) the Hoyas now advance to face the North Carolina Tar Heels on Sunday. After surviving such a tough game against an opponent the Hoyas dominated earlier in the year, it's worth noting a few observations from this Sweet 16 contest.

• In the first meeting this season, Georgetown was able to get the ball inside with impunity early in the game. Whether the Hoyas were deterred by an (atrocious) early charge call on Hibbert or by Vandy's defenders, GU did not get the ball down low where they are most effective until the early going of the second half. As soon as Georgetown did so, that eight-point Vandy halftime lead disappeared in a hurry.

• Foul shooting was poor at best, with the Hoyas missing 6 of 14 free throw attempts. The effort was well below GU's usual 71.6% clip. Those were six big points that nearly sent the Hoyas packing.

At first glance it appears that next round's outcome will be decided by the pace of the game. If GU can slow the pace down into a half court game, the Hoyas will likely prevail. If the Heels get out and run, UNC likely moves on. But if the NCAA Tournament has proven anything over the years, it's that nothing is guaranteed.

North Carolina and its No. 2 ranked offense rely heavily on transition baskets for the majority of its points. When the Heels do get into a half court set, they usually look inside to freshman Brandan Wright or Tyler Hansbrough, where their size and strength usually translate to points in the paint. Against the Hoyas and Roy Hibbert, that advantage disappears and if the Hoyas can force the Heels to shoot from behind the arc (where UNC ranks 240th in 3-pointers made) GU will have a tremendous advantage. But that all starts by the Hoyas not turning the ball over and getting back on defense. If Jesse Sapp and Jonathan Wallace start turning the ball over, it will be a long day for the Hoyas, as every turnover at the top of the key will probably equate to two Tar Heel points.

Defensively, Georgetown needs to be patient and try to cut off dribble penetration. Look for a lot of zone defense from the Hoyas tomorrow. If they go man to man, or even a matchup zone and start chasing players like they did in the first half against Vanderbilt, North Carolina will make them pay.

This game more than ever it seems it will be important for the Hoyas to go inside early. While North Carolina is deep, Hansbrough and Wright are their only players capable of hanging with Hibbert and Green in the post. If the Hoyas can force one or both to the bench with early foul trouble, the Hoyas will exploit it all day. Of course, that cuts both ways. If Hibbert is forced to the bench, it will be a lot to ask for either Patrick Ewing Jr. to body up on Hansbrough or for Vernon Macklin to hang with Brandan Wright.

Despite the vastly contrasting styles, the Elite 8 game at the Meadowlands on Sunday should be evenly matched, and presumably one of the best games the Tournament could produce from here on out. The only thing for certain is that for all of the talent on the floor tomorrow, Billy Packer will be able to find 40-minutes worth of flaws. THAT I guarantee.

Recap: Our man Floriani

Ray Floriani made the trek to the Meadowlands. Here's his report:

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Forty minutes away ! Georgetown survived an outstanding effort by Vanderbilt to move on to the regional final against North Carolina. Game time is 5:05 pm on Sunday.


Georgetown 66 Vanderbilt 65

The keys to the Hoya victory:
  • Better defense
  • Poise while trailing by double digits
  • Jeff Green
Coming in, Georgetown coach John Thompson III was concerned with Vanderbilt’s perimeter game. After trailing early, the SEC reps started firing up from the perimeter and built a double digit lead midway through the first half. Quick ball reversal and/or kick outs to the perimeter left the Commodores with some outstanding looks; Vanderbilt shot 46 % during the first half (40% from 3).

The Hoyas stuck to a philosophy they used against Notre Dame two weeks ago: don’t try to get the deficit trimmed in a minute; take it possession by possession.

One way they did it was to come out a little harder defensively to afford Vanderbilt less room on the perimeter. During the final 20 minutes, the Commodores cooled down to 36 % from the field and 25% beyond the arc. Hoyas just did a better job of ball pressure and locating shooters.

Offensively the Hoyas also made an effort to look inside a little more. Roy Hibbert had but three points in the 1st half, all the last six minutes. He finished with 12 and asserted himself inside the final half. Vanderbilt’s 6’11" center Ted Skuchas was soon saddled with foul trouble; the Commodores simply showed more 2-3 and packed it in.

With the Hoyas trailing by one and the season on the line, Jeff Green showed why he is Big East Player of the Year and one of the nation’s best talents.

Thompson called for two cutters to the high post and look for a back door. “I told Jeff if he gets it and can’t find Patrick [Ewing Jr.], to take it himself.” Green told the media he got the ball high, found the cutting Ewing covered and took it on a spin move. “I was double-teamed and just went up hard and sent it off the glass.” Green’s shot kissed the backboard and fell through. “I think he was more triple- rather than double-teamed on that shot,” Thompson added.

Green and DaJuan Summers had 15 pts. each for Georgetown. Dan Cage and SEC Player of the Year Derrick Byars led all with 17 points.


North Carolina 74 USC 64

USC led by 9 at the break and increased it to 18 early second half. Hoya fans were backing the Trojans - rooting for the lower seed, plus the Song Girls were near the Georgetown section. How could they not root for the SC Song Girls?

Carolina regrouped much the same way Georgetown did: take it possession by possession and don’t panic.

Taj Gibson (16 pts., 12 rebs.) was hit with second half foul trouble. Gibson is USC’s inside presence, but his absence didn’t entirely explain the collapse - Southern Cal went 9 of 27 from the field in the second half. The Tar Heels pounded USC on the offensive boards and ran. Trojans also rushed some shots and took some ill-advised attempts. Limiting the offensive boards and stopping transition will be keys for the Hoyas Sunday.

Tyler Hansbrough was asked the significance of Georgetown meeting North Carolina a quarter century ago. “I watched the video of that (‘82) championship game,” Hansbrough said. “I know it was a great game and we have (Carolina) players from that team come to our games. It's a big part of tradition."

A great answer at 12:25 a.m.

Analysis: A Tale of 2 Halves (Sweet 16 edition)

Much like the 2nd round game against Boston College, Georgetown played a brilliant 2nd half on offense to make up for a lousy 1st half. The difference this time was that Vanderbilt played better in the 2nd half themselves, which made it such a close game.

Here are the numbers (from this box score):

Stat 1st 2nd Full
Pace 29 28 57




OEff 83.5 150.3 116.4
eFG% 37.5% 62.5% 51.8%
TO% 24.3% 14.3% 19.4%
OR% 41.2% 56.3% 48.5%
FTM/FGA 25.0% 6.3% 14.3%




DEff 111.3 118.1 114.6
eFG% 57.7% 42.0% 50.0%
TO% 10.4% 7.1% 8.8%
OR% 13.3% 44.4% 29.4%
FTA/FGA 15.4% 64.0% 39.2%


The difference between halves for Georgetown is incredible; significant improvement in the first 3 factors lead to an 80% increase in offensive efficiency. JTIII's ability to make adjustments at halftime is what is keeping the Hoyas alive in the tournament.

Vanderbilt played smart, valuing the ball in a slow-paced game (5 TOs for the whole game!). Vanderbilt's shooting cooled in the 2nd half, but the team did a great job on the offensive glass to keep in the contest (also note the lopsided foul-shooting in the 2nd half - I wonder, if Green had missed that final shot, how many commentators would have pointed out the one-sided officiating favoring Vanderbilt?).

Individual player notes:
  • After playing only 4 minutes in the 2nd half against BC, Dajuan Summers played the entire 2nd half last night, hitting 3 of 4 3-pt. attempts.
  • Jeff Green (PPWS = 1.31) and Roy Hibbert (1.35) were their typical efficient selves; but Jon Wallace (1st half = 0.00, 2nd = 1.33) and Jessie Sapp (0.17, 0.91) cannot repeat their 1st half performances if G'town is to have a chance against UNC.
  • Hats off to Dan Cage (1.32) and Ross Neltner (1.65) of Vandy for stepping up when Derrick Byars (0.83, 1.43) had a quiet 1st half and Shan Foster (1.29, 0.67) had a quiet 2nd half.

See also Jon Solomon's nice bit about the history of the last play.

Friday, March 23, 2007

News: Hoyas Win! Hoyas Win! On to the Elite 8

Georgetown was able to pull out a tough 66-65 win over Vanderbilt, thanks to Jeff Green's running hook shot high off of the glass with 2.5 seconds left. Check the basketball page of HoyaSaxa.com for a recap and article links.

The last seconds, Chvotkin-style (higher-quality version here):

video

Georgetown faces UNC on Sunday.

Here's the HD box score for the game:
  Vanderbilt vs Georgetown 
03/23/07 7:27 at Continental Airlines Arena E. Rutherford
Final score: Georgetown 66, Vanderbilt 65

Vanderbilt Min +/- Pts 2PM-A 3PM-A FTM-A FGA A Stl TO Blk OR DR PF
BYARS, Derrick 37:54 + 4 17/65 2 -5 3 -7 4 -5 12/48 5 /16 1 /54 1 /54 0 /36 1 /30 0 /33 2
FOSTER, Shan 38:10 + 6 16/65 5 -11 2 -6 0 -1 17/50 1 /14 0 /54 2 /54 0 /35 0 /31 3 /34 3
NELTNER, Ross 34:19 - 2 8 /57 2 -2 0 -0 4 -6 2 /42 3 /16 1 /50 1 /48 1 /33 2 /27 4 /27 1
GORDON, Alex 26:23 - 9 3 /38 0 -1 1 -7 0 -0 8 /36 2 /11 0 /39 0 /40 0 /29 0 /26 1 /23 2
CAGE, Dan 37:50 - 6 17/60 1 -3 3 -7 6 -6 10/49 4 /15 3 /55 0 /55 2 /37 2 /33 4 /32 2
BEAL, Jermaine 13:37 + 8 2 /27 1 -1 0 -0 0 -0 1 /15 2 /8 0 /18 0 /17 1 /8 1 /7 0 /11 1
BROWN, JeJuan 02:06 - 5 0 /0 0 -0 0 -0 0 -0 0 /3 0 /0 0 /3 0 /3 0 /1 0 /3 0 /1 1
SKUCHAS, Ted 09:41 - 1 2 /13 1 -1 0 -0 0 -2 1 /12 0 /4 0 /12 1 /14 0 /6 0 /8 2 /9 4
TOTALS 40:00 65 12-24 9 -27 14-20 51 17/21 5 /57 5 /57 4 /37 8 /32 18/34 16
0.500 0.333 0.700 0.810 0.088 0.088 0.108 0.250 0.529

Georgetown Min +/- Pts 2PM-A 3PM-A FTM-A FGA A Stl TO Blk OR DR PF
Summers, DaJuan 33:39 + 4 15/59 2 -9 3 -4 2 -4 13/49 3 /17 0 /49 3 /49 2 /21 3 /30 4 /30 1
Green, Jeff 39:54 + 1 15/66 7 -9 0 -2 1 -1 11/56 3 /18 1 /57 1 /57 0 /24 3 /34 1 /33 3
Hibbert, Roy 28:34 + 17 12/56 5 -7 0 -0 2 -4 7 /46 0 /17 1 /37 2 /42 0 /19 5 /26 5 /26 5
Wallace, Jonathan 33:34 + 1 8 /58 1 -3 2 -5 0 -0 8 /47 4 /19 0 /50 0 /50 0 /22 1 /28 2 /29 1
Sapp, Jessie 35:14 + 2 6 /61 1 -5 1 -5 1 -3 10/50 3 /21 1 /51 1 /52 1 /21 0 /30 5 /30 3
Rivers, Jeremiah 05:48 + 1 0 /8 0 -0 0 -0 0 -0 0 /8 0 /3 0 /7 0 /6 0 /2 1 /5 0 /4 0
Crawford, Tyler 07:45 - 7 3 /5 0 -0 1 -2 0 -0 2 /9 0 /1 0 /9 1 /9 0 /4 1 /7 1 /4 2
Ewing, Patrick 15:32 - 14 7 /17 1 -4 1 -1 2 -2 5 /15 1 /4 0 /25 3 /20 0 /7 1 /10 2 /9 3
TOTALS 40:00 66 17-37 8 -19 8 -14 56 14/25 3 /57 11/57 3 /24 16/34 24/32 18
0.459 0.421 0.571 0.560 0.053 0.193 0.125 0.471 0.750

Efficiency: Georgetown 1.158, Vanderbilt 1.140
eFG%: Georgetown 0.518, Vanderbilt 0.500
Substitutions: Georgetown 27, Vanderbilt 14

2-pt Shot Selection:
Dunks: Georgetown 3-3, Vanderbilt 1-1
Layups/Tips: Georgetown 9-23, Vanderbilt 6-11
Jumpers: Georgetown 5-11, Vanderbilt 5-12


Check this post on Yet Another Basketball Blog for a nice breakdown of the game.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Analysis: Floriani gets analytical

Ray Floriani, our man in N.J., checks in again with a stats bent:

"A little note from a statistical perspective.

In the late 90s, Arthur Linton authored the book, How To Grade And Rank Every Basketballer In History. The book deals with a formula to find the best players and distinguish various levels of expertise. The result is the EF (effectiveness factor). The abbreviated formula which allows for quick in game calculations on the bench is

(PTS + REB + Assists + Blocked Shots + Steals) – Turnovers = Total

Total/Minutes Played = EF


A quick rundown on the Georgetown players who averaged over 10 minutes per game follows. Statistics used were for Big East Conference games only. I like to use conference stats because you can get a better ‘read’ as a player (especially in the Big East) is challenged virtually every night out.


Roy Hibbert 0.804
Jeff Green 0.699
DaJuan Summers 0.517
Patrick Ewing 0.482
Jonathan Wallace 0.472
Jessie Sapp 0.470
Vernon Macklin 0.439
Jeremiah Rivers 0.221

What do these numbers mean ? Linton set up a scale in his book. A quick breakdown:

1.000+ Superstar
.900 - .999 Stars
.800 - .899 Very Good
.600 - .799 Good
Under .600 Average

You can do these evaluations at halftime and for a game. My own opinion is Linton is a bit tough on the upper rankings. In doing these calculations for about a decade I found .900 or greater a tough mark to reach. Labeling Jeff Green as just ‘good’ is a stretch. Still, the formula is not a final say. It’s another tool of analysis that will hopefully broaden our insight."


My own comments
My usual mantra when presented a stat like this is that, since it based per minute rather than per possession, you end up punishing players in slow-tempo offenses (like Georgetown's). I think this what is causing the difference between the individual player stats and scaled rankings, which, I believe, are based on NBA players. A quick glance at some stats over at 82games.com indicates that NBA games averaged ~92 possessions in 2004-5. Since the Hoyas play about 60 possessions per game, you could reduce the scale to 2/3 (≈60/92) to make a comparison:

Edit - a reader (I have a reader!!) noted that I forgot to account for the difference in minutes played between college and the NBA (40 vs. 48), so I've adjusted the table accordingly

.782+ Superstar
.704 - .782 Stars
.626 - .704 Very Good
.469 - .626 Good
Under .469 Average


Now this looks reasonable:
  • Roy and Jeff are the Superstars that Ray wants them to be (with the edit, Jeff slides down just under the division into "Very Good" category)
  • Almost all of the remaining players are now coming in as "Good", with Dajuan threatening "Very Good" (now the next four are solid "Goods" - sorry Dajuan)
  • J. Rivers is once again getting hammered, as it's an offensive metric

Having said all of that, I have to admit that this is a fun stat. Of course, by working in possessions, rather than minutes, it makes it a bit harder to work out on-the-fly.

For kicks, I thought I'd run Vanderbilt's 10+ minute players, but to make the two teams comparable, I've scaled their EF's by 60/68 (the ratio of avg. possessions for G'town and Vandy, respectively). Also note that I'm using full season stats here, as I don't have access to SEC-only, so these may be a bit inflated by cupcake games.

Byars, Derrick 0.691
Foster, Shan 0.615
Neltner, Ross 0.600
Cage, Dan 0.508
Gordon, Alex 0.482
Skuchas, Ted 0.421
Drake, George 0.405
Brown, JeJuan 0.401
Beal, Jermaine 0.363


Other news
Following on the news of Joe Scott's departure from Princeton and the resulting rumors surrounding certain G'town assistant coaches, it appears that Coach Kevin Broadus has landed a head coaching job at Binghamton University. The Bearcats were previously coached by Al Walker, who resigned on March 5th.

Congratulations to Coach Broadus!