Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Guest Post: Ray Floriani on Synergy

Ray Floriani, a fellow stats lover who writes for Basketball Times and Hoopsville sent this over yesterday. With the Big East Tournament just hours away, I thought the timing was very appropriate...

By Ray Floriani
Basketball Times/Hoopville

A few times this season I ran a rating of "synergy". Can't take the credit, it was derived from the APBRmertics site. Basically the stat measures how a team shares the basketball. The formula takes into account field goal percentage, assists and field goals made. The formula:

SYN = FG PCT + (Assists/FGM)

Since my experience in using the formula is limited I can only say a team getting a synergy of 1.000 plus is above average. This doesn't mean teams ranking low are selfish or play an unintelligent brand of ball. Still, there is something to be said for sharing the ball. The extra pass might result in an open look or better shot on offense.
Final note. Assists can be subjective. Clemson, years ago, was so notorious the joke was a Tiger got an assist for handing a teammate a towel. Today stat crews are better experienced and more proficient than not so long ago. So the assist mark carries more validity these days. Only regular season conference games are factored.

Notre Dame1.110
South Florida1.019
West Virginia1.008
Seton Hall.927

A few notes:
1. Having the conference's top assist man in Tory Jackson didn't hurt. Neither did having a target as Luke Harangody inside.
2. Not surprised with Georgetown. Their offense and patience results in great back door and weakside cut opportunities.
3. South Florida didn't get to MSG but had good backcourt play (Dominique Jones and Chris Howard). Having a solid post presence in Kentrel Gransberry helped also.
4. Seton Hall played catch up a number of times. When you do that you shoot a lot of threes and neglect that extra pass. Hall didn't have a good inside presence until about February.
5. Villanova was a little surprise. On closer inspection the Wildcats had a 21% turnover rate (over 20 is unacceptable) in conference play and had a team .9 assist:turnover ratio. In other words some of those midseason losses didn't just happen.

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