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VinnyZag
01-25-2011, 09:46 AM
John Gassaway over at Basketball Prospectus (http://www.basketballprospectus.com) finally has added the WCC to his weekly "Tuesday Truths" look at efficiency margins for every major DI school. If you're not familiar with efficiency margin (http://www.basketballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=609), it's basically a measure of how many points per possession a team scores versus how many points per possession a team gives up.

Here's how GU and St. Mary's stack up:
PPP Opp. PPP EM
1. Saint Mary's: 1.23 points per possession, 0.94 points per possession allowed, +0.29 efficiency margin
2. Gonzaga: 1.18 PPP, 1.09 OPPP, +0.09 EM

That SMC is way out in front in efficiency margin should come as no surprise. What did surprise me was that GU's maligned offense is scoring 1.18 points per possession. What didn't surprise me is GU's WCC-worst 1.09 mark in points per possession allowed.

By the way, and not to be a shill or anything, Basketball Prospectus is pretty entertaining. They put themselves behind a paywall this fall, but it's only $20 a year. Well worth it for hoops fans, if you ask me.

FlyZag
01-25-2011, 10:51 AM
What did surprise me was that GU's maligned offense is scoring 1.18 points per possession. What didn't surprise me is GU's WCC-worst 1.09 mark in points per possession allowed.


I don't think Offense is the problem. The Defense has given up 96 pts to USF, 85 pts to SCU, 83 to ND, 81 to WSU, 81 to KState, 79 to SDSU.

bullzag23
01-25-2011, 12:20 PM
...that people see our offense this year and assume it's not as efficient as it has been in year's past, although the stats show otherwise. This reasoning seems to stem from the fact that our offense is now more 'frontcourt based' than before, and we seem to get more of our points from the FT line. This offense is ugly, but efficient, compared to our backcourt heavy, FT light, 'Pretty offenses' of the past. This reasoning also seems to implicate Meech in our offensive 'shortcomings' because he is not built in the classic GU PG mold.

Edit: People, OUR OFFENSE IS OK! I have never been a huge Goodson supporter but MEECH IS NOT THE REASON FOR OUR INEPTITUDE AS A TEAM!

The defense is the elephant in the room, though the offense seems to be taking in most of the attention. The last couple of years it appeared that GU's team defense had turned a corner as we posted respectable (and better) numbers over the course of 2-3 seasons, but this year it's erratic at best and downright awful at it's worst (see USF game). I'll agree that WCC officiating has something to do with our defense in conference games but what about the total lack thereof in nonconference games- KSU, WSU, ND and SDSU?

Hoopaholic
01-25-2011, 12:33 PM
I have been trying to say that all year, but your words were MUCH more precise ...nice post

VinnyZag
02-01-2011, 08:05 AM
For what its worth, GU crept closer to SMC in efficiency margin this week, according to Basketball Prospectus (http://basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1437)' John Gasaway:

SMC: 1.18 PPP, 1.00 OPPP, +.18 EM
GU: 1.18 PPP, 1.05 OPPP, +.13 EM
SCU: 1.06 PPP, 1.02 OPPP, +.04 EM
Port.: 1.08 PPP, 1.05 OPPP, +.03 EM

Here's what Gasaway had to say about the league race:


After getting stomped by Vanderbilt and thereby worrying me, Saint Mary's went on the road last week and followed a narrow win at Gonzaga with a 15-point loss at Portland. Of course we here at Tuesday Truths don't get too worked up over a single road loss. Unless you're Indiana '76 you probably have one of those and, anyway, the Gaels still project to be the cream of the West Coast. But it's also true that SMC looks a little less formidable to me than they did a couple weeks ago.

Reborn
02-01-2011, 08:12 AM
For what its worth, GU crept closer to SMC in efficiency margin this week, according to Basketball Prospectus (http://basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1437)' John Gasaway:

SMC: 1.18 PPP, 1.00 OPPP, +.18 EM
GU: 1.18 PPP, 1.05 OPPP, +.13 EM
SCU: 1.06 PPP, 1.02 OPPP, +.04 EM
Port.: 1.08 PPP, 1.05 OPPP, +.03 EM

Here's what Gasaway had to say about the league race:

Yep! I agree.

Zag79
02-01-2011, 07:40 PM
...that people see our offense this year and assume it's not as efficient as it has been in year's past, although the stats show otherwise. This reasoning seems to stem from the fact that our offense is now more 'frontcourt based' than before, and we seem to get more of our points from the FT line. This offense is ugly, but efficient, compared to our backcourt heavy, FT light, 'Pretty offenses' of the past. This reasoning also seems to implicate Meech in our offensive 'shortcomings' because he is not built in the classic GU PG mold.

Edit: People, OUR OFFENSE IS OK! I have never been a huge Goodson supporter but MEECH IS NOT THE REASON FOR OUR INEPTITUDE AS A TEAM!

The defense is the elephant in the room, though the offense seems to be taking in most of the attention. The last couple of years it appeared that GU's team defense had turned a corner as we posted respectable (and better) numbers over the course of 2-3 seasons, but this year it's erratic at best and downright awful at it's worst (see USF game). I'll agree that WCC officiating has something to do with our defense in conference games but what about the total lack thereof in nonconference games- KSU, WSU, ND and SDSU?

Great post, you nailed it. end of story...

fedwayzag
02-01-2011, 08:03 PM
I have been thinking about this for a while. Clearly the WCC has caught up to GU offensively. Maybe not all the way but getting closer every year. St Mary's is ahead of us so far this year. So how do we separate from the pack. The only answer is defense. We have the atheletes to play better defense. To stay on the top we have to play it better. If not we might slip.

MDABE80
02-01-2011, 08:24 PM
We are beyond the numbers now. It's really a question of who will be tough enough to force victories on their opponents. Without doubt we do have the athletes to win any game. Offense is the easy part. It's the defense that matters more.

We control the other team, we get more time with the ball, control the tempo, and get better shots. They.....onlthe other hand... won't have the ball to score with if the defense is doing it's job. If we could calculate time of possession like in football, this would be clearer.

It's the formula lesser teams use when playing a better team. If we go up 5 points, and if we play defense, the other team has to find some efficiency to overcome the defense.


We get the ball, we keep the ball, we take better high percentage shots. We can win every game the rest of the way in. It's just a matter of discipline....and coaching this into our kids' heads. When the shots won't fall for the offense, we still can win with hard nosed defense. Rebounding is key.as is absense of turnovers.

DCZag
02-02-2011, 03:41 AM
MDABE80 and I preach the same sermon - D, rebounding and cut TOs.

In this game you have to value every possession. You can't have empty trips down the court 3-4 times in a row. You don't have to score every time, but you need good movement and flow followed by a good look at the hoop. You can't play D for 30 secs and then bail out the other team with a touch foul 25 ft from the hoop - we do that a lot. Or allow 2nd and 3rd looks because we lapse on the glass after a great 30+ sec stint on D.

With the 3 pt shooters in this league - a couple of TOs, a missed free throw on the front of a one and one, and a couple of O rebounds can lead to a hefty swing in the score - look at the Santa Clara and SMC games.

Again - no gloom and doom from me (homer that I am), we can tighten it up and make a run the rest of the way. This is the stuff that makes it interesting....we wanted the WCC to get tougher and it has. Who'd a thunk that at this point in the season we'd be bringing down UP's RPI and not the other way 'round?

ZaggyZaggerson
02-02-2011, 05:56 AM
Fewer turnovers and better defense equal more offensive possessions and less points for the opposition.

bballbeachbum
02-03-2011, 03:51 PM
we are beyond the numbers now. it's really a question of who will be tough enough to force victories on their opponents. without doubt we do have the athletes to win any game. Offense is the easy part. It's the defense that matters more.

Go Zags!!!