Sunday, September 14, 2008

2007-08 Inside According to Pomeroy & Pelton

Yesterday I listed the Big East's "most outside" players based on 2007-08 statistics (all games). I wanted to also look at the players from last season who showed the strongest tendency to play on the inside. Again I used the 2007-08 statistics for all games, and filtered for those players who logged at least 35% of the playing time at their position. I show the calculated results for both Ken Pomeroy and Kevin Pelton, but again I order the list according to Pelton's results.

Kentrell GransberryUSF95376.5354122061.923.0
Jeff AdrienUConn111583.8345422965.220.2
Luke HarangodyNDU95972.4518919836.519.7
Derrick CaracterVille59352.7201110853.218.0
Hasheem ThabeetUConn102577.1189016989.416.5
David PadgettVille61154.3168010059.516.4
Paul HarrisCuse126490.03433423759.216.1
Roy HibbertGTU89465.3294314448.015.8
DeJuan BlairPitt96364.6313014947.615.5
Arinze OnuakuCuse107076.2288016456.915.3
John WilliamsonNati84865.72941313240.514.0
Joe MazzullaWVU68445.61442011465.313.7
Joe AlexanderWVU113775.84744119432.313.5
Antonio PenaNova67848.418369649.213.3
Eugene HarveyHall117690.13314719243.812.3
John GarciaHall64249.214407451.411.5
Mac KoshwalDPU94078.0260611240.811.3
Dwight BurkeMU41242.25304686.811.2
Dante CunninghamNova105075.0261011644.411.0
Justin BurrellJohns94678.529419833.010.3
As before, players higlighted in yellow were seniors or out of eligibility at the end of the 2007-08 season. Green highlighted players have transferred while blue highlighted players went to the NBA draft. While the list suggests that 14 of the 20 will return to Big East play this season, the paint players are more than "a bit" more stable than the "outsiders". After all, Caracter's departure was not entirely voluntary, and Alexander was a junior last season, not a freshman. Only Justin Burrell, Mac Koshwal and Antonio Pena are freshmen. And Pena is a redshirt freshman. As I reviewed the list I realized virtually all of the players were the same centers and power forwards I have written and talked about over the past several seasons (or in the case of Pena and Burrell, the past seasson and preseason). Except for Nunu Harvey and Joe Mazzulla, who as guards seem very out of place. Both took about 14% of their FGAs from the 3 point line, not quite typical for backcourt players, but Harvey, with an FTARate of 58.0 and Mazzulla, with an FTARate of 79.2(!) showed the front court player knack for converting field goal attempts into free throw opportunities. Both have FTARates more typical of aggressive front court players, a characteristic reminiscient of Kyle Lowry (Villanova) and Carl Krauser (Pittsburgh).

Distinction Without Difference?
When identifying outside players Pomeroy and Pelton seemed to arrive at about the same place by slightlymagnitude of the differences. Pelton's 3rd ranked player (Notre Dame's Luke Harangody) is Pomeroy's 22nd ranked player. Pelton's 8th (Georgetown's Roy Hibbert) and 9th (Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair) ranked players are Pomeroy's 16th and 17th ranked players respectively. And Pomeroy's 3rd (Marquette's Dwight Burke) is Pelton's 18th. Oh, and Pomeroy's 1st ranked player, Byron Joynes of Rutgers, is not listed in this post, because he is ranked 26th by Pelton's method.

Notes & Observations...
1. For the second year running Syracuse's Paul Harris is on both Pelton's (#7) and Pomeroy's (#8) list. Like Harvey and Mazzulla he shows a better aptitude for inside rather than outside play, though technically he is described as a wing/back court player. Harris took about 9% of his FGAs as 3s.
2. With 20 players listed, only 2 schools, Rutgers and Providence, are absent players. The outside top 20 lacked only USF on the list.
3. Villanova has two players, Dante Cunningham and Antonio Pena on this list, another indication that the Wildcats offense has developed an inside presence. Drummond, with only 19 or so Min% of playing time at the center position, did not make field for consideration.

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