Sunday, January 01, 2006

On Point Guards and Posts

Here's a look at how the best point guards and post players in the Big Ten have fared in non-conference play this year. (All tempo-free stats courtesy of Big Ten Wonk and through 12/29 games). And yes, I realize level of competition varies widely in the preseason. If you don't like it, then don't bother reading.

Point guards (Name, School, Points Per Weighted Shot, Assist/100 possession, Turnovers/100 possessions, PPG, APG, FG%)

Daniel Horton (Michigan): 1.22, 10.1, 4.8, 14.6, 5.9, 49.6%
Dee Brown (Illinois): 0.99, 9.6, 5.3, 14.2, 5.6, 36.9%
Jeff Horner (Iowa): 0.99, 11.3, 4.3, 12.5, 6.4, 34.6%
Drew Neitzel (MSU): 1.23, 10.3, 4.1, 8.6, 5.5, 46.7%
Kammron Taylor (Wisconsin): 1.22, 4.2, 4.5, 14.5, 2.3, 42.7%

I think thus far, you've got to give the nod to Daniel Horton as the best in the conference. Drew Neitzel has been slightly more efficient, but he's been asked to do a lot less scoring. Dee Brown and Jeff Horner have both shot horribly so far on the season and Dee is turning the ball over a lot.

How about the post players? (Name, School, PPWS, Reb%, PPG, RPG, BPG)

Paul Davis (MSU): 1.40, 19.1%, 19.9, 10.0, 0.9
Courtney Sims (Michigan): 1.38, 17.9%, 16.2, 7.9, 2.1
Marco Killingsworth (Indiana): 1.32, 16.7%, 19.5, 7.6, 0.8
James Augustine (Illinois): 1.29, 16.9%, 14.4, 9.4, 0.7
Terrance Dials (OSU): 1.16, 14.9%, 14.7, 7.1, 1.0
Greg Brunner (Iowa): 1.07, 16.6%, 14.1, 9.9, 0.4

I think Paul Davis is clearly a cut above everybody else. Then it'd be a toss up between Marco Killingsworth and Courtney Sims. Not exactly what I was expecting, but Sims is a better rebounder, a more efficient scorer, a better shot blocker, and hell Killingsworth turns the ball over almost twice as frequently. But Killingsworth has played a more difficult slate and I'm giving him some benefit of the doubt here.

And I think some of these raw numbers in comparison to tempo-free stats shed some interesting light on old ways of looking at stats. Compare Greg Brunner's and Courtney Sims' rebounding numbers. Brunner gets 9.9/game compared to only 7.9/game for Sims. But why is Sims a better rebounder? It's all about rebounding percentage. Brunner plays 31 minutes per game for Iowa. The average Iowa game has 76 rebounds between the 2 teams. Sims plays 27 minutes per game for Michigan, and there are only about 62 rebounds in an average Michigan game. A lot of this has to do with the pace the game is played at. And a lot has to do with how frequently teams are missing shots. Michigan shoots 51% from the floor and their opponents shoot 41% from the floor. Iowa on the other hand shoots 42% from the floor and their opponents shoot 36% from the floor. Put those 2 together and that is why you get a ton more rebounds in an Iowa game compared to a Michigan game. But hey, Brunner averages 2 boards more per game right?

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