Monday, September 22, 2008

Inside/Outside: Villanova, 2004 to 2008

As I was putting the team stats together for the previous post ("Big East 2007-08 -- Inside/Outside") I wondered if the stat would be useful as a descriptor for the Villanova teams going back 5 or so seasons. The personnel has changed over the years. That evolution is not limited to which people play specific positions, but the different skill sets and styles have fit together to form the team. How to quantify the "style" (inside? outside?) of each of the teams and combinations of players in the rotation? Employing Ken Pomeroy's calculation ((FTA-3FGA)/FGA) * 100) I decided to look at each of the past 5 teams.

20042.01Foye, Fraser, Nardi, Ray, Sheridan, Sumpter
20053.59Foye, Fraser, Nardi, Ray, Sheridan, Sumpter
2006-3.24Foye, Lowry, Nardi, Ray, Sheridan
20072.61Clark, Cunningham, Nardi, Reynolds, Sheridan, Sumpter
20083.97Clark, Cunningham, Fisher, Pena, Reynolds, Stokes

I listed the principal players in the rotations to provide a point of reference for the teams (apologies to Reggie Redding, 2007 & 2008; Shane Clark & Dante Cunningham, 2006, Kyle Lowry, 2005; Derrick Snowden, 2004...). That the 2006 team ("The Four Guards Offense"...) should stand apart is hardly surprising. The team is not characterized as even more "Outside" because of the collective ability of Foye, Lowry and Sheridan (and Jason Fraser, who logged a whopping 137.5 FTARate while playing about 35.6% of the available minutes at the #4/#5) to get to the free throw line. The inside/outside stat confirms the unique style of the 2005-06 team, just as it charts the renewed growing role of the inside game over the past 2 seasons. If the Nova Nation was disappointed in how Chris Charle's, Jason Fraser's and Will Sheridan's careers may have developed, the more recently recruited inside players, Dante Cunningham, Antonio Pena and Casiem Drummond have developed in ways more consistent with expectations. And the table confirms that the Wildcat's inside game has developed (rather than fan expectations being lowered...). If allowed a modest projection, I expect the inside stat to grow to between 5.5 and 7.0 this season, placing the 'Cats (see the previous post -- "Big East 2007-08 -- Inside/Outside") between St. John's and South Florida.

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