Thursday, December 15, 2011

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Analysis of the Maggie Dixon Classic

by Ray Floriani

New York City – The annual Maggie Dixon Classic gave us two interesting games. The 5,486 in attendance saw St. John’s put up a good battle before falling to number one Baylor in a game closer than the score hints. In game two, Tennessee, despite coming in with two losses, proved they can defend and are still an elite program, not to go away any time soon.

At halftime a travel team from Oakland, NJ got to play on the Garden floor.
Yours truly officiated them in a tournament a week earlier.

Baylor73 59St. John's

The possessions and offensive efficiency:

St. John's6394

Of the Four Factors, two key areas saw the Bears excel. FT rate and offensive rebounding percentage. Baylor enjoyed 22-6% advantage in free throw rate (FTM/FGA) by virtue of hitting 14 free throws to St. John’s’ four. Red Storm, though, had only four attempts to Baylor’s 20. In the offensive rebounding department the advantage was a 43-31% difference in Baylor’s favor. Britney Griner, Baylor’s outstanding 6-8 junior center, had a game leading 13 rebounds. Three were offensive as Brooklyn Pope did the most damage for the Bears with five offensive rebounds.

St. John's coach Kim Barnes Arico
makes a point

Second game score, possessions and efficiency:

Tennessee84 61De Paul

De Paul8175

Tennessee assistant Holly Warwick and Glory Johnson

Possession total shows us it was a bit of a faster pace. Very glaring number among those Four Factors, DePaul’s 30% turnover rate. Blue Demons had 24 turnovers and the 30% means almost one third of their offense resulted in the TO. Tennessee did have 19 of their own for a high 23% TO rate, a figure they will undoubtedly address in preparation for their next opponent.

A Look at Possessions and Usage
From Golden State of mind site there was a nice piece on advanced statistical breakdowns you can use analyzing the NBA. Actually, the metrics are applicable for the college game as well.

To calculate individual possessions you employ this formula:

Poss = FGA + (FTA * .475) + TO

The NBA free throw multiplier is .44, on the college level the accepted is .475. Once you have possessions of an individual player you divide that figure by team possessions. The final total is multiplied by 100 for the Usage percentage rate.

We will now take a look at the possessions and usage of the leading scorer for each team in the two games.

Player, TeamPossPts.Usage
B. Pope, Baylor191929
E. McPherson, SJU152324
J. Penny, De Paul111614
G. Johnson, Tenn181622

Taking it further let us look at the Baylor distribution. After all, they are the nation’s top ranked team:

B. Pope191929
B. Griner141717
O. Sims14817
K. Hayden111213
J. Madden181122
D. Williams445
M. Robertson000
S. Agbuke121

The usage totals 98% because many of the usage figures contained percentage points, under .5, which I did not round up. St. John’s coach Kim Barnes Arico targeted Griner and point guard Sims for added defensive attention. She knew Pope and Madden would get additional and/or open looks but was willing to take the chance. The usage points out the impact the latter two had on the Baylor attack and outcome.

Griner entered the game with a 21% usage while Sims was right behind at 20%.
The team records:

St. John's5-5
De Paul8-2

Baylor's Britney Griner graciously signs autographs

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