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February 22, 2010

Profiles in Hope: Basketball Stats

As of Feb. 20th, here are some SEC Stats of note that may encourage you:

SEC Stats
Category Rank
Free Throw Percentage 1st
Field Goal Percentage 3rd
3-Point FG Percentage 1st
3-Point FGs Made 11th
Rebounding Margin 2nd

Georgia spent the bulk of the past six years pissing away opportunities at the free throw line only to make a complete turnaround this year. To me that proves that free throw shooting is simply a question of emphasis. Travis Leslie's FT percentage jumped ~20 points in one year, and he's not alone.

The FG and 3-point FG shooting percentage is interesting to me because it suggests we're taking better shots, and we're picking our spots better. That offsets some of my concerns about being 11th in the league in scoring. Those stats suggests that talented players will get their looks for Coach Fox. It speaks to efficiency.

The rebounding margin is another positive all of our real contributors in the rebounding area should return next season.

However, there are some stats where we're not exactly jumping off the page...until you look closer at the numbers.
Category Rank
Assists 7th
Steals 9th
Turnovers 11th
Turnover Margin 12th
Assists to Turnover
Assists / FG Attempt 1st
Assists / FG Made 2nd

The turnover situation clearly is the biggest issue on this team, but it's followed closely by the lack of steals. Both issues are caused by the lack of athleticism and depth at the guard positions. This is an area where Gerald Robinson, Jr. should help address immediately.

If you cut the turnovers by just two per game, the team would move from outrageously bad in that category to just mediocre. That's not asking too much. A two turnover/game difference based on our field goal percentage would suggest adding two more points to the scoring average. Add one more steal per game, and you're talking reducing the other team's scoring total by roughly one per game...again based on their FG percentage.

How big is that three point swing? The Bulldogs lost the following squeakers this year:
    Wofford by 3
    Ole Miss by 4
    Mississippi State by 3
    South Carolina by 1
    Arkansas by 4
If we had won 4 of those 5 games, we would be sitting here at 16-9 overall and 7-5 in on the bubble instead of 12-13 and 4-8 in league play.

I posted the assists per make and attempt to show that the offensive improvement with Fox is staggering, and we're definitely getting good looks created by ball and player movement. We just need to upgrade our quickness and handles with the ball. That's why so many folks are so excited about adding Robinson next year. Or as Ricky McPhee told
"[Robinson] helps us out with the scout team, getting us prepared for each team we play. I'm really impressed with what he brings," McPhee said. "I really think he'd give Devin Downey a run for his money for quickness."
If Richy is right, we're not that far off.



Anonymous said...

Any word yet on whether or not Mr. Howard Thompkins III is considering leaving? I'd imagine not, but just wondering if you have any "sources" ...

Have been super impressed with his play lately. Last year I thought he might be a player who bounces around the NBA a lot. Now he looks like one of those borderline 5th/6th man type of guys. Another year in college and he might develop into even more?

That being said, if he leaves this year, I really worry about it being a major step back for our program. Where would we be without Trey this year? Selfishly, we need him to at least tide us over until the 2011 class arrives ...

Bernie said...

Another big improvement is the team's attitude. Whether the attitude improves the stats that you point to or vice versa, the results have been clear. They believe they can win each game, whereas so many games in previous seasons it seemed we were going through the motions.

I'm thankful that Felton cleaned the program up, but Fox seems to be putting an emphasis on communication. Fans are starting to listen. And it's apparent the players have been since April 2nd, 2009.

Clinton said...

Anon 12:00

I doubt he leaves, the 'experts' seem to think he is better served to stay, but who knows. Him and Leslie around the basket next year gives me cheers.


You hit the nail on the head with this one. TURNOVERS are killing us. Also, so is the lack of depth on the bench, which in turn causes fatigue, which in turn causes turnovers....chicken and egg type paradigm. I do like the chemistry between the players though, it is much better than last year and since we are so young, it is definitely something else to add to the 'profiles in hope'.

Also, I wonder if that cat from yesterday is overwhelmed with two posts to read today???...oncoming traffic and that guy may need to make an introduction to one another...soon.

Anthony said...

Trey is projected as the 19th overall draft pick for 2011 according to Travis Leslie is even higher on the list at 12th overall for 2011.

I hope they both stay this year and then cash-in in 2011 and have stellar NBA careers. Without them next year, we would be in trouble. But with them, and Gerald Robinson, Jr., we could be great next season.

Also Paul, to add to those great stats you displayed, we rank 2nd in the conference in wins vs. AP Top 25 teams as well as win % vs. AP Top 25 teams. Obviously UK is first on that list. Just shows how good we CAN be.

JaxDawg said...

I love how you've quantified these improvements. I laugh (and sneer) when I recall all those dopes that suggested that Felton "needed more time" and that he wasn't "given a fair chance".


Anonymous said...

This team is on the brink of breaking through. I believe this more now than I ever have...and this goes back to the days of John Guthrie. I remember the buzz when Hugh Durham came to town and immediately made a big splash by signing Dominique Wilkins and Terry fair right off the bat. But Fox is an excellent X's and O's man, and certainly is getting the most out of what he has to work with. I believe Leslie and Thompkins return. When Gerald Robinson takes the court, this team is going to light it up offensively. We'll have that penetrating point guard we haven't seen since Sundiata left. As Price and Barnes continue to improve, our inside presence will only improve.

Next year's team should compete for a conference lie.

Dawgfan17 said...

If Thompkins sticks around next year not only will the talent level be better but also we will be a veteran team and actually have a bit of depth. The biggest killer this season seems to be fading in the second half on the road. With a bit more depth it would only take an improvement to around .500 on the road for us to have a very good season if the home record stays about the same next year. With the quality wins we have over top 25 teams I believe the extra 4-5 wins this year (assuming we continued to play about the same the last few games) would have us as a bubble team that gets into the tourny.

Chris S said...

I've always believed FT% is the single best stat for how well-coached a team is because it really shows how much buy-in the coach has from the team. You don't become a great free throw shooter during practice--you do it by hitting the gym on your own time. The fact CMF has these guys believing enough in the program and disciplined enough to be spending off-hours in the gym shooting free throws suggests he's accomplished a lot.

Anonymous said...

So you are saying that the BBall team has had a bunch of moral victories this year kind of like SCU football usually does. . . .

I agree that they have improved significantly and there is hope for the future. But they are still losing and need to step it up in the second half when they have a 1st half lead (yes, I know they have had a couple of second half comebacks).

Anonymous said...

So you are saying that the BBall team has had a bunch of moral victories this year kind of like SCU football usually does. . . .

I agree that they have improved significantly and there is hope for the future. But they are still losing and need to step it up in the second half when they have a 1st half lead (yes, I know they have had a couple of second half comebacks).

PTC DAWG said...

Nothing a repetitive negative anon poster.

Dawgy Style said...

I don't keep up with b-ball recruting. Does anyone know if we are recruiting a point guard? From what I've seen so far, there isn't anyone currently on the team that I'm excited about next year and can help alleviate the TO/Assist problems.

Anonymous said...

I am very pleased with the effort and improvement of this team. It is so apparent that this team is light years ahead of where they were last year. I think an interesting thing to look at PWD is UGA vs Opponent points in the last 5 minutes of the 1st half. We have got to be in a huge deficit there, and I think this is where our team need to improve in closing out the half, thus leading to all these 2nd half fallouts.

Russ said...

Chris S, you took the words out of my mouth. Well put, sir!

I suffered through the Charles Claxton bank shots at the FT line as a excuse in the world for any player to shoot less than 70%. All about coaching.

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