Monday, May 29, 2017

MAAC Monday: Advanced stat wrapup, Part I

In this latest offseason edition of MAAC Monday, we will reprise the recurring basis of our opening segment during the in-season posts, that being a look at advanced stats from the past Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference season. The first of this three-part retrospective will focus on tempo and efficiency for each MAAC school, with additional posts regarding the Four Factors and percentage of shots to follow. Unlike in-season MAAC Monday posts where overall statistics were taken into account, only conference games were analyzed here; and as always, any and all statistics reflected within were gleaned from the individual stat pages or final game notes of each school.

Possessions per game, from highest to lowest:
1) Quinnipiac (75.85)
2) Monmouth (75.25)
3) Rider (74.6)
4) Iona (74.2)
5) Niagara (72.6)
6) Canisius (72.4)
7) Manhattan (72.15)
8) Fairfield (71.3)
9) Siena (71.25)
10) Marist (70.2)
11) Saint Peter's (63.4)

Analysis: Quinnipiac was not known for being an outfit to push the ball under former coach Tom Moore, but with now-departed freshman guards Mikey Dixon and Peter Kiss running the offense in Hamden, the Bobcats were able to pick up the pace much more than in years past. While the overall tenor of their game saw a noticeable spike, it was unfortunately offset by a 1.11 points per possession figure on the defensive end that ranked second-highest in the conference. While Monmouth and Iona, second and fourth-best in this department, respectively, are in their usual spots near the top of the charts, Rider is somewhat of an anomaly compared to recent showings. The Broncs have usually been a team to take up a position in the middle of the pack, but much like Quinnipiac with their new faces in the backcourt, the arrival of Stevie Jordan gave Kevin Baggett's team a fresher and less deliberate look. On the other end of the spectrum, Saint Peter's is once again the outlier with a full seven-possession deficit to Marist, but those who know the Peacocks well know that John Dunne's offense is not about putting on a show, but rather one of fluid ball movement and simply doing what needs to be done while using its stout defense to dictate the terms of each contest.

Points per possession, from highest to lowest:
1) Iona (1.12)
2) Monmouth (1.10)
3) Canisius (1.09)
4) Saint Peter's (1.08)
5) Siena (1.06)
6) Rider (1.05)
7) Quinnipiac (1.03)
8) Niagara (1.01)
9) Fairfield (1.001)
10) Marist (1.00)
11) Manhattan (0.97)

Analysis: Once again, the top three offenses in the MAAC are the usual suspects, as Iona, Monmouth and Canisius used their uptempo stylings to their advantage in league play. The surprising member of the upper echelon here, though, is Saint Peter's. The Peacocks rode their senior duo of Quadir Welton and Trevis Wyche to an eight-game winning streak to end the regular season, and the pair anchored an efficient team on both ends of the floor through a postseason capped off be a scintillating comeback to win the Postseason Tournament. Only one school, Manhattan, failed to reach the break-even point of 1.00 points per possession. The loss of Rich Williams, who returns next season for his final year of eligibility, hurt the Jaspers immensely, as Steve Masiello and his team were unable to find a consistent third scorer alongside Zavier Turner and Zane Waterman, both of whom enter the 2017-18 campaign as likely all-conference selections if they can replicate their production from a year ago.

Points per possession against, from lowest to highest:
1) Saint Peter's (0.94)
2) Monmouth (0.96)
3) Fairfield (1.01)
4) Siena (1.028)
5) Rider (1.03)
6) Iona (1.06)
7) Niagara (1.07)
8) Canisius (1.08)
9) Manhattan (1.09)
10) Quinnipiac (1.11)
11) Marist (1.13)

Analysis: Unlike the offensive end, where 1.08 points per possession is something not usually seen from Saint Peter's, the Peacocks made their bones on the aspect of their game that has been a calling card throughout Dunne's 11-year tenure, suffocating their opponents while holding all but six under 70 points, and keeping teams under 60 points in 16 of their 36 contests. Monmouth, the only other team in the conference to post an efficiency margin of 0.1 or greater, was able to function as a hybrid of a juggernaut outfit while also playing gritty team defense when unable to run with their opponents. The Hawks' plus-0.139 margin ranked second in the league, just two-hundredths behind Saint Peter's.

Efficiency margins, from highest to lowest:
1) Saint Peter's (+0.14)
2) Monmouth (+0.139)
3) Iona (+0.06)
4) Siena (+0.032)
5) Rider (+0.02)
6) Canisius (+0.01)
7) Fairfield (-0.009)
8) Niagara (-0.06)
9) Quinnipiac (-0.08)
10) Manhattan (-0.12)
11) Marist (-0.13)

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