Revisiting CvC from a Tempo-Free Perspective…

Posted by rtmsf on November 24th, 2009

Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is an occasional contributor and the RTC correspondent for the NEC and MAAC conferences.

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NEW YORK CITY –  A final look back on Coaches vs. Cancer from a tempo free perspective.  The first semifinal was a blowout with Syracuse dominating California 95-73. The other semifinal, North Carolina vs. Ohio State, was a rout for the Tar Heels.  Down the stretch, Ohio State, which shot a putrid 1 of 10 beyond the arc in the first half, suddenly found the range. It was a one possession game with under twenty seconds to play. The Buckeyes never drew even and Carolina prevailed 77-73. The offensive efficiency tale of two halves:

tempo free cvc1

North Carolina had a more even distribution with a 103 offensive efficiency and a 101 mark for the game. The strong second half showing by the Buckeyes was largely due to the Buckeyes’ shooting 17 of 30 (57%) for the final twenty minutes, including 5 of 11 from three.

Beware of the turnover. Tempo-free advocates and  coaches agree, twenty percent or one-fifth of your possessions resulting in a turnover is not conducive to offensive efficiency, or winning. In the first semifinal, California had a TO rate of 19% (15 turnovers on 81 possessions). Not a bad showing, but upon further review, Syracuse had 10 steals and scored 19 points off Cal turnovers, which is indeed damaging. The problem is that not all turnovers are created equal. If you throw a pass out of bounds, the ball is dead and you can organize your defense.  However, if the ball is stolen at midcourt your opponent has a great transition opportunity which often leads to a score.

The CvC final saw Syracuse dominate the second half en route to an 87-71 triumph over North Carolina. The Four Factors:

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  • Free throw production (FT PROD) is calculated by dividing made free throws by field goal attempts. This is a better metric than dividing free throw attempts by field goal attempts. Both are intended to measure your offensive tendencies. More trips to the line is an indicator you are attacking the basket more than settling for a perimeter shot. The feeling here is it’s not just getting to the line but what you do with the opportunity which is why FT PROD is preferred. Years ago Wilt Chamberlain could have gotten to the line for twenty attempts and hit only five.  How does that help your team?
  • Syracuse FT PROD was 6% on 4 of 10 from the line. In this contest it didn’t make a big difference. Down the stretch of a one possession game is another story. The Orange, in fact, shot better from three (9 of 21 for 43%) than the charity stripe (40%).
  • North Carolina will get out and run and look for a faster pace. The 25% turnover rate suggests Roy Williams’ club might have applied the brakes at certain junctures. Like the first 8 minutes of the second half when Syracuse (down 2 at the half) went on a game changing 22-3 run . A run that saw the Tar Heels shoot more air balls (3) than made field goals (1).

All performances are not created equal. Evan Turner, the Ohio State guard of the infamous triple double (23 points, 11 boards ,10 turnovers against Carolina) , made it a point or mission to drastically reduce that turnover number against California. Mission accomplished as Turner had four turnovers in an OSU win for third place,76-70. Cal’s Jerome Randle and Turner tied for scoring honors with 26 points. A closer look utilizing the NBA efficiency formula gives added insight.

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*NBA efficiency adds the positives (FM, FT, REB, PTS, A, BK, STL) and subtracts the negatives (missed field goal and free throw attempts, turnovers).

The numbers:

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Not to discredit Randle’s effort but the efficiency breakdown shows Turner had the more complete performance . One that went a long way toward a Buckeye split at MSG.

Notes & Quotes

  • Attendance exceeded 15,000 both nights. A national draw of (especially) North Carolina and Syracuse was a huge factor. A vocal, orange-clad Syracuse following made it look like a Big East Tournament game in March.
  • “He doesn’t force. Takes good shots, rebounds and is a good defensive player. He lets the game come to him.” – Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim on Wes Johnson, the Orange forward who earned MVP honors.
  • “Their shots went in; ours didn’t. We turned it over and got very frustrated.” UNC mentor Roy Williams on the second half’s initial eight minutes.
rtmsf (3737 Posts)


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