Monday, March 9, 2009

Regular Season Efficieny Differences

I ran the conference-only points per possession efficiencies to compare offensive-defensive differences versus the season-ending standings & Big East Tournament seeds. The results...

Conf. GmsConf. PPPBET
West Virginia1081.060.980.0827
Notre Dame8101.081.080.00210
Seton Hall7111.031.08-0.04711
St. John's6120.941.06-0.10813
South Florida4140.941.05-0.12714

All efficiencies come from Ken Pomeroy's Game Plan pages for each Big East team. Offensive and Defensive efficiencies are calculated from each team's points per possession (ppp), conference games only. Any team's Offensive Rating (or offensive efficiency) is calculated by multiplying the points scored per possession by 100. A team's Defensive Rating is simply the same points per possession (multiplied by 100) calculation, but this time for points scored by the team's opponents. John Gasaway over at the Basketball Prospectus as used the difference between the offensive and defensive points per possession as a shorthand to get a sense of a team's overall play.

Observations & Notes...
1. Pittsburgh's spot at the top of the table is no surprise. The Panthers stood out as the most consistent team in the Big East Conference all season, ranking #24 in D1 according to Ken Pomeroy's Consistency measure. Notice most of the teams rated higher in consistency than the Panthers are ranked in the lower levels of D1 (it is easier to be consistently bad than consistently good I guess...). Pittsburgh did have bad nights (@Villanova and @Providence come to mind), but they were not as bad as some of the nights Louisville had (@Notre Dame). The question at this point in the season is whether you want your team to be consistent or explosive (but inconsistent).
2. The bottom quartile seeds fell into place largely as they played. The caveat in that group will be St. John's -- the Johnnies' record at home this season was 5-4, a good deal better than their road record (1-8). St. John's beat Georgetown (their Tuesday night opponent) on that floor March 3rd. The Red Storm overcame a 15 point deficit with 10:44 to go to force an overtime period. They won by 6 points in the extra period.
3. Those who felt there was a separation between the top 3 teams (Louisville, Pittsburgh and Connecticut) and the next tier (Villanova, Marquette, Syracuse and West Virginia) were not imagining things, as the efficiency difference confirms the gap. I was a little surprised initially to see Villanova, with a difference of 0.090 is much closer to West Virginia & Syracuse (a 0.008 gap) than I suspected from watching the teams.
4. The gap between this 2nd tier and the 3rd tier (Notre Dame, Georgetown & Providence) is also large, possibly illustrating again the gap between the play of the teams in the 2 tiers. Within this 3rd tier the differences in the records is fairly pronounced. Providence has a well-earned 10-8 (0.556) record, while both Notre Dame and Georgetown struggled in conference play.
5. The conference efficiency was 1.04, down a bit from the mid-season efficiency of 1.045. The standard deviation between offensive efficiencies was 0.077, while the standard deviation between defensive efficiencies was 0.063, suggesting the gap between the best and worst offenses was a bit greater than that between the best and worst defenses. The OOC offensive efficiency for the conference was 1.10, while the defensive efficiency was 0.91, a hint at how dominant the conference was in their OOC play.


john said...

Enjoyed the article but do have one question. ND's offensive and defensive efficiencies are both at 1.08 but you show an EM of .02. That doesn't seem to wash.

greyCat said...

Saw the same thing as I was posting John, so I went back and checked. The difference is actually .002 -- I rounded the offensive/defensive efficiencies to the 1/100 place, but did the math to the 1/1000s. I should have mentioned it in the posting.