Monday, December 29, 2008

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: A Four Factors Look at NJIT

by Ray Floriani

NEWARK, NJ - I covered the Wagner-NJIT game today and the first thing I did on getting game stats was to figure out NJIT’s four factors. The Highlanders entered the contest 0-11, riding a 44 game losing streak. I wanted to see if the four factors could tell me where they were weak and severe their deficiencies might be. And to see if there were any silver linings. The four factors:


*NJIT averages 65 possessions.

Notes : The Highlanders really struggle on offense. The culprits are their turnover rate (about 30%) and their effective field goal percentage (about 36%). Simply, NJIT struggles to make shots on those possessions that do not expire with them giving the ball away. The offensive rebounding difference is not extreme. NJIT has some height and a few players who can penetrate. Still, I’m not surprised the free throw rate has a disparity. Playing catch up every nights necessitates a number of three point attempts, and less chances to get to the charity stripe. Pleasantly surprised by their silver lining, defense. The 96 defensive efficiency is not bad and the 25% opposing TO rate is good. NJIT does defend.

On this afternoon, a 58-48 loss, the Highlanders trailed by a dozen at the half, but managed to take a one point lead with just under 10 minutes to play. Wagner responded with a run and victory number one still has to wait. Say this, the tempo free stats nor any other stats can measure how hard they play. Coach Jim Engles is enthusiastic and upbeat and it carries onto the court. Down ten with a minute to go, NJIT had a player dive across the floor for a loose ball. The effort is there. Now if a few shots would fall.


* 69 possessions

"You have to be a coach to appreciate the marvelous job Jim (Enlges) has done. They will win a few games this year. I’m just glad it wasn’t against us."
-- Wagner Coach Mike Deane

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