If you know anything about us here at RTC, you know that we love numbers. We love breaking down game stats and looking for secrets in the offensive and defensive efficiency ratings that will help us better understand why Team X is playing so poorly or why Team Y is much better than their ranking. We also love statistical oddities – little factoids of generally meaningless but still interesting data that we can bring up at RTC office parties and cocktail functions so that we’ll seem edumacated and wicked smart about the ins and outs of college basketball. Or at least so that we can impress Dickie V when we next run into him at a spring training Rays game. Yeah, that.
So here are a few of the statistical items that we find interesting as we approach conference season – perhaps you will also. (all stats furnished by basketballstate.com)
- These guys had better avoid foul trouble. UAB’s Robert Vaden, Texas’ AJ Abrams and Virginia Tech’s AD Vassallo each average over 36 minutes per game for their teams.
- Get these men the ball! Among players scoring 15+ ppg, St. Joseph’s Ahmad Nivins (74.2%), Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson (71.5%), Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin (67.9%) and Michigan St.’s Raymar Morgan (65.3%) are burning up the nets.
- Double-Double Trouble. Of the 19 players averaging double-figure rebounds, all of them also average double-figure points. But only two of them are 20/10 guys – Blake Griffin (23/14) and Notre Dame’s Luke Harongody (23/12). Patrick Patterson is just a whisker shy of 20/10 (19.6/9.5).
- Betcha Didn’t Know That…
- Stephen Curry leads the nation in scoring (30.0), but Tyler Hansbrough puts up the most points per 40 minutes (34.4)
- North Dakota State’s Ben Woodside, he of the 60-pt explosion two weeks ago, is #2 in the nation in assists (7.6 per game). Or that Davidson’s Mr. Curry is 12th nationally in dime-dropping.
- Kentucky guard Jodie Meeks is averaging 24.2 ppg so far this season. The last Wildcat to average that many points per game was Dan Issel in 1969-70 (33.9).
- VMI’s brother tandem Travis and Chavis Holmes are 1-2 nationally in pilfering the ball (4.0 and 3.7 spg).
- Tempo Free Stats.
- UNC is the most efficient offensive team in the nation (1.19 points per possession), but did you know that Purdue is the most efficient defensive team around (0.79 ppp)?
- The tops of the ACC and Big East have extremely efficient teams on both ends of the court – UNC, Wake Forest, Duke, UConn, Pittsburgh and Georgetown all have large differentials (approaching or above 0.3 ppp) resulting in an extra point every three or four possessions down the court.
- The slowest paced “good” team is Wisconsin, with 61.4 possessions per game. UNC, unsurprisingly, is averaging 79.3 possessions per contest.
- Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and West Virginia own the boards, each team getting at or nearly 60% of the available caroms. It’s difficult to find a “good” team that can’t rebound the ball, but Creighton is the best candidate for this award, only getting its Blue Jay hands on 48.2% of rebounds.
- Notre Dame only turns the ball over one of every eight possessions (13%), but Kentucky gives it away nearly a quarter of the time (24%) and has still managed to go 10-3 thus far. Incidentally, the Irish also rarely foul opponents (#1 in the nation with only 11.8 per game). Tennessee, with all of its reaching and grabbing pressure defense, garners 21.3 fouls per game.
- Georgetown, Connecticut, Xavier and Oklahoma live at the foul line, each getting a quarter or more of its points from the charity stripe. Illinois, on the other hand, only gets about 14% of its points from the line.
- The best offensively efficient performance by one team in a legit game this season so far was UNC vs. Notre Dame, where the Heels averaged an astonishing 1.53 ppp in that demolition.
Got any others? Feel free to pass them along in the comments!