Wednesday, August 24, 2011

World University Games Wrap Part 1 -- The Players

Some Possession-Based Stats
I have been processing Team USA's boxscores throughout the tournament, but just got around to formatting the possession-based stats...

D GreenMich St.43.828.
J Green'Bama39.732.723.670.91.4265.5

The Min% suggest that Ashton Gibbs, John Jenkins, Trevor Mbakwe, Orlando Johnson and Darius Miller formed the nucleus of the squad. Those five started all but one of the tournament games -- not to mention the single exhibition game they played pre-tournament -- and Gibbs, Jenkins and Mbakwe got many of the touches (see Poss% above) when they were on the court. Coach Matt Painter employed something of a Bo Ryan platoon system with the result that none of the players logged more than 54% of the minutes at his position (Gibbs), and most logged between 39% and 49% of the available time. USA international teams, made up as they are of "all stars" invited to tryout and selected during the process, tend to use larger rotations (10, 11 sometimes more players -- see the distribution of Min%), but the academic teams these players are drawn from and the international teams they face rarely go beyond the first 7-9 players. Team USA's coaching staff played 11 of the 12 squad memebers in every game. The (single) player who did not appear in every game did log minutes in six of Team USA's eight tournament games, including the finale versus Germany (a tight three point win).

The team's offense went through (see Shot% above) Jenkins (no surprise), JayMychal Green, Gibbs (again no surprise) and Draymond Green, each of whom would be classified as a Significant or Major Contributor (in the Pomeroy classification system). It is notable that each not only took the shots when he was on the floor, but (check each player's eFG% and PPWS) each also shot efficiently (eFG% >50%) and used their opportunities to put points on the board (PPWS >1.00). Not every player had a terrific tournament offensively (see Rush the Court's "Notes on Player Performance" for names...), but the consolation is that those players had limited roles (<= 20% Shot%). If they weren't hitting, they stopped shooting. Overall Teams USA's offensive efficiency (game 6 versus Lithuania excepted) was outstanding, material for a part 2 post.

A look at the rebounding and several support stats (turnover rate, assist rate), affirms the notion that this WUG team was loaded with talent...

D Green43.814.119.515.214.5
J Green39.718.518.319.15.3

Individual offensive rebounding rates for Mbakwe and the Greens, J. & D. in particular were Top 100 for Division 1. Mbakwe posted similarly dominant numbers on defensive boards as well. In all three players, the Greens and Tim Abormaitis posted "above average" defensive rebounding rates, while even several of the wings/guards (see Orlando Johnson, Darius Miller, Scoop Jardine and Jenkins) posted credible numbers under the opponent's boards. RTC may have been unhappy about assists, but consider that this team contended for a medal less than three weeks after their first tryout, it is difficult to see how the staff could have installed an overly involved offensive scheme.

Outstanding squad, outstanding offensive production...and a fifth place finish. What happened?

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