Monday, June 1, 2015

MAAC Tempo-Free, Part II: The Four Factors

The second half of our tempo-free recap of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, focusing on the Four Factors. Once again, all statistics reflect regular season conference games only, and were gleaned from each team's official statistics on their respective websites, or most recent set of game notes when necessary:

Offensive Effective Field Goal Percentage (from highest to lowest)
1) Iona (.543)
2) Manhattan (.502)
3) Rider (.500)
4) Siena (.480)
5) Niagara (.479)
6) Canisius (.475)
7) Fairfield (.468)
8) Marist (.467)
9) Monmouth (.466)
10) Saint Peter's (.462)
11) Quinnipiac (.437)

Defensive Effective Field Goal Percentage (from lowest to highest)
1) Quinnipiac (.446)
2) Rider (.454)
3) Fairfield (.464)
4) Saint Peter's (.465)
5) Iona (.466)
6) Monmouth (.471)
7) Manhattan (.484)
8) Canisius (.487)
9) Marist (.504)
10) Siena (.508)
11) Niagara (.533)

Analysis: On the offensive end, the three teams to eclipse .500 were aided by the presence of a strong three-point shooter. For Iona, it was the combination of A.J. English, Schadrac Casimir and Isaiah Williams, for Rider, Zedric Sadler; and for Manhattan, Shane Richards and RaShawn Stores, the latter of whom shot over 60 percent from beyond the arc in the second half of MAAC games, also displaying his flair for the dramatic. Rider was able to shine on the defensive end as well, but Quinnipiac was able to make up for their league-worst offensive eFG showing by displaying the best mark on the defensive spectrum. The three worst eFG defenses, Marist, Siena, and Niagara, were also the three least efficient teams in the MAAC.

Free Throw Rate (from greatest to least)
1) Manhattan (49.4%)
2) Monmouth (44.1%)
3) Siena (43.4%)
4) Niagara (42.0%)
5) Rider (40.8%)
6) Saint Peter's (40.6%)
7) Fairfield (37.9%)
8) Quinnipiac (35.1%)
9) Iona (34.6%)
10) Marist (33.9%)
11) Canisius (33.5%)

Analysis: To no one's surprise, Manhattan leads the way in this department, with the Jaspers' physical style and ability to draw fouls being the catalysts behind their getting to the line so frequently. In the case of second-place Monmouth, the presence of 6-10 twin towers Zac Tillman and Chris Brady; not to mention Brice Kofane, helped the Hawks reach the charity stripe very often, and the same could be said for Siena, behind Javion Ogunyemi and Lavon Long. On the other end, teams who played Manhattan also took advantage of the Jaspers' style, averaging a 51.4 percent free throw rate, nearly double that of Iona, who yielded just a 26.3 percent mark. Saint Peter's and Siena had the second and third-highest opposing free throw rates, at 48.5 and 48.0 percent, respectively.

Offensive Rebounding Percentage (from highest to lowest)
1) Siena (38.0%)
2) Canisius (35.9%)
3) Quinnipiac (34.7%)
4) Niagara (33.1%)
5) Saint Peter's (33.0%)
6) Manhattan (31.9%)
7) Monmouth (31.1%)
8) Rider (30.5%)
9) Fairfield (29.3%)
10) Iona (27.6%)
11) Marist (26.7%)

Analysis: Despite their share of missed shots, Siena was able to attack the offensive glass better than anyone in conference play. Canisius, though, used their unconventional brand of basketball to keep themselves relevant in the battle of the boards. Always among the nation leaders in rebounding, Quinnipiac's inclusion in the top three should come as no surprise.

Defensive Turnover Rate (from highest to lowest)
1) Manhattan (22.9%)
2) Rider (21.7%)
3) Marist (21.3%)
4) Canisius (21.2%)
5) Monmouth (21.1%)
6) Siena (20.8%)
7) Saint Peter's (20.3%)
8) Fairfield (18.7%)
9) Iona (17.3%)
10) Niagara (17.1%)
11) Quinnipiac (14.1%)

Analysis: A team's goal is to force at least a 20 percent turnover rate, and more than half the conference did that, with Manhattan's 22.9 figure emerging as the leader after the Jaspers' hard-nosed pressure defense and matchup zone stifled most of their MAAC brethren. Rider stuck to their principles when the ball was not in their hands, proving to be a tough matchup more often than not, and as for third-place Marist, the Red Foxes got much better on the defensive side under first-year head coach Mike Maker. In fact, Marist's ability to cause miscues was prevalent in holding their conference opponents under 70 points in all but four games.

On the other side of the coin, though, six teams had a positive turnover margin, led by Canisius' +2.9 margin and Saint Peter's +2.3 mark. Rider's +2.2 figure was third-best, while Manhattan had a +2.0 margin to place the Jaspers fourth, with Marist close behind at +1.8. Fairfield and Quinnipiac were the outliers, as the Stags' -3.8 turnover margin was second-lowest only to their in-state rival Bobcats, who recorded a -6.8 figure by registering a 20.9 percent offensive turnover rate.

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