Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Forced & Unforced Turnovers

by Ray Foriani

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Happy Ground Hog Day! Hard to believe it is a little over a month until the Big East Tournament in New York. At any rate…The late Al McGuire coined the phrase ‘more turnovers than Betty Crocker’. That came to mind reading that St.Bonaventure had 31 TOs in Saturday’s 74-68 loss at Duquesne. The numbers

PossEffTO Rate
St. Bona848131.0%

A 91 defensive efficiency usually gets a W. But when almost 70 percent of your possessions end in handing the ball over, It’s tough to win. To add insult to injury, as bad as Bonaventure was with the basketball, Duquesne, on the other hand, valued it.

There is also a concept quoted on the Kentucky Sea of Blue site. It deals with forced(direct) and unforced(indirect) turnover. A steal is a forced turnover, the ball is clearly swiped and possession changes. The unforced variety includes throwing the ball away without pressure, stepping on the end line etc. Now, good defense can force you to step on the line or make a hurried pass that goes into the first row. Statistically, the forced turnover percentage is not perfect but it gives a good idea whose fault these miscues were. To calculate forced turnovers divide steals by turnovers. Duquesne had 8 steals. That figure divided by the Bonnies’ total (31) means Mark Schmidt’s club was guilty of 74% unforced turnovers.

The Sea of Blue site deals with percentage of steals, simply what percentage of possessions end in steals. For the Bonnies their number was 9.5% . Haven’t used the forced/unforced concept too much so ascertaining good, bad and average numbers is still uncertain. One thing is certain, if your TO rate is 31% and over 70 % are your own fault, the offense is in critical condition.

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