Monday, November 10, 2014

Ray Floriani's Tempo-Free MAAC Review

The MAAC regular season is virtually upon us. Exhibitions have been contested and are in the books. Before the ‘official’ campaign tips off, it’s time to look at the conference tempo-free statistics from last season.

The efficiency margin is defensive efficiency subtracted from the offense. Naturally, a positive number is most desired. The numbers are from conference games (the league records are in parentheses) only and courtesy of

Team                                  Efficiency Margin

Iona (17­-3)                                       14

Manhattan (15­-5)                              12

Canisius (14­-6)                                   7

Quinnipiac (14-­6)                               3

Siena (11­-9)                                       1

Marist (9­-11) ­                                    -1

Rider (9­-11)                                      ­-4

Saint Peter’s (9-­11) ­                          -4

Monmouth (4­-16) ­                            -10

Niagara (3-­17)                                 -­11

Fairfield (5­-15)                                -­11

Best Offenses:

Iona 118

Canisius 113

Leading Defenders:

Manhattan 93

Saint Peter’s 99

Fastest pace:

Niagara 74 possessions per game

Iona 72

Deliberate Offense:

Saint Peter’s 65 possessions per game

Siena 68

TO Rate:

Iona 14%

Manhattan 16%

Defensive Turnover rate:

Manhattan 22%

Monmouth 21%

To little surprise, Iona enjoyed an exceptional offense. They rarely turned the ball over and enjoyed a 58% eFG percentage. Manhattan was turnover-oriented on both ends. They showed a excellent mark on the offensive end while forcing opponents into turnovers on one of every five possessions. Pace and defense were staples again for John Dunne at Saint Peter’s. The Peacocks showed only a 95 efficiency on the offensive end. That number explains their record and begs for improvement. Monmouth was a surprise in the defensive category of forcing turnovers, a mark as that usually spells better than the 104 defensive efficiency posted by the Hawks. Niagara coach Chris Casey put the ‘pedal to the metal’ on offense with a rapid 72 possession pace. Given a young roster this season, it remains to be seen if Casey will temper that approach a bit.

The favorite for 2014­-15 per MAAC coaches is Iona. Let us take a look at the Gaels’ Four Factors in league play last season:

                 eFG FT Rate OREB Pct TO Rate

Iona            58      41           26         14

Opponents  49      29           36          17

What the Gaels did well:

Shoot the ball and get to the line. Tim Cluess’ club posted a high eFG mark largely due to an outstanding (237 of 597) 40% three point field goal shooting percentage. Interestingly, 45% of the Iona field goal attempts were dialed long distance. Normally, teams shooting a liberal amount of threes find visits to the charity stripe none too frequent. In Iona’s case, they were able to draw fouls, so when not shooting long range, the Gaels were getting good percentage shots inside.

What they need to work on:

Board work, specifically offensive rebounding. Opponents did a job, as noted, on the offensive glass. The defensive TO rate was a bit low for a team allowing a near 50 percent mark for effective field goal percentage.

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