Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tempo Thursday: February 11, 2016


Bronx, NY - Tempo-free, with the courtside edition. St. Bonaventure edged Fordham, 76-72, in overtime Wednesday night. Both teams matched offensive efficiencies at 106 in a 70-possession game. The big story, as noted here many times, was turnovers. Fordham nearly got the win by forcing the Bonnies into a high 24 percent turnover rate. The Rams did shoot 34.6 percent from three. Of greater significance, though, was forcing the turnovers and getting 10 steals against a very good Bonnie backcourt.

We mention usage and list the five leaders in that category every week. What is it and how is it calculated? Usage is the possessions and individual uses in a game. On Basketball State, they have the lists by season and game, but the formula is another story. For the St. Bonaventure-Fordham game, the usages of two of the scoring leaders (according to Basketball State) were as follows:

Marcus Posley, St. Bonaventure: 24.64 percent of team possessions
Ryan Rhoomes, Fordham: 15.64 percent

Their stat lines:
Posley: 6/16 FG, 4/6 FT, 0 O-REB, 6 TO
Rhoomes: 10/13 FG, 3/6 FT, 5 O-REB, 0 TO

Using the team possession formula of
 FGA + (.475 * FTA) + TO - OR
we get these numbers:

Posley: 24.85
Rhoomes: 14.16

Not exact, but extremely close. Basketball State may be using a different multiplier with free throw attempts. That will be looked into for a further discussion. As of now, the possession formula applied to individuals yields a very similar result and is great to utilize as a game is in progress.

Now, with the midpoint passed, the records and efficiency margins, courtesy of Basketball State:
1) Dayton (10-1, +14)
2) VCU (9-1, +13)
3) Rhode Island (6-5, +11)
4) Saint Joseph's (9-2, +10)
5) George Washington (7-4, +10)
6) St. Bonaventure (8-3, +8)
7) Richmond (5-6, +6)
8) Fordham (3-8, +6)
9) Duquesne (5-6, +5)
10) Davidson (6-5, +1)
11) UMass (2-8, -5)
12) George Mason (2-9, -8)
13) Saint Louis (3-8, -9)
14) La Salle (1-10, -18)

Richmond leads in offensive efficiency while showing a record two games below the break-even mark. As noted previously, it’s the defense. The Spiders' 111 offensive efficiency is a result of a conference-leading 55 percent eFG mark, coupled with a better than average 18 percent turnover rate. What coach Chris Mooney is trying to figure out is how to improve the 105 defensive efficiency, one of the poorest in conference.

Defensive liabilities:
1) La Salle (111)
2) Davidson (108)
3) Richmond (105)

On the other side, these are the most efficient (by numbers) offenses in the league:
1) Richmond (111)
2) Davidson (109)
3) George Washington (109)
4) St. Bonaventure (108)
5) VCU (107)
6) Dayton (107)

The fastest offenses from a possession standpoint:
1) Duquesne (74.9 possessions per game)
2) Davidson (74.2)
3) UMass (73.9)
4) VCU (72.5)
5) Saint Joseph's (71.7)

On the opposite end of the possession spectrum:
1) Rhode Island (66.3 possessions per game)
2) La Salle (67.8)
3) George Mason (68.6)
4) George Washington (69.2)
5) Dayton (69.4)

A word, or two, regarding possessions. Last year, the fastest team in conference was UMass, at 70.0 possessions per game. The most deliberate, Richmond,  with 60.7 possessions. To date, nine of the fourteen teams in the A-10 are at 70 or better in the possession category. A combination of factors at work here. The shot clock being reduced by five seconds undoubtedly has had an impact. The other idea can be linked to turnover rate. Every conference team is under 20 percent in turnover rate. The result sees possessions played through and the game maintaining a better flow.

The defensive leaders in efficiency:
1) Dayton (93)
2) Saint Joseph's (94)
3) Rhode Island (94)
4) George Washington (94)
5) Fordham (96)

Usage leaders:
1) Jack Gibbs, Davidson (34.27 percent of team possessions)
2) Jordan Price, La Salle (31.74)
3) Trey Davis, UMass (29.92)
4) Terry Allen, Richmond (28.31)
5) Melvin Johnson, VCU (27.87)

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