Week 3 Big Ten Basketball Review


For this week's round-up, I went ahead and ran my efficiency stats for the Big Ten players through 12/1. I've included the results of this weekend in my standings (which are largely unchanged) but not in the number-crunching. My efficiency stats, in a nutshell, try to value each players' contributions (points, rebounds, assists, etc.) and efficiency (how many missed shots, turnovers, etc.). I calculate both per-game and per-possession, and then I usually weed out outliers by throwing out anybody who plays less than 12 possessions per game, etc. Further ruminations on what and why of my particular system and its biases can be found here, but the standings, efficiency ratings, and commentary are below the jump.

P.S. Apologies in advance for any formatting troubles - I understand SBNation has some trouble with tables.

Terminology
IPSPG = individual possessions per game, or how many possessions
EPtotal= the total Effective Production of the player to date
EPPG= Effective Production Per Game
EPPS= Effective Production Per poSsesion

The full worksheet (with outliers included) can be found here.


1. Ohio State (6-0)
Pleasant surprise - Lenzelle Smith Jr. posting a 9:2 assist/turnover ratio is probably the biggest surprise. Not even playing Jared Sullinger and walking away with a blowout win (vs. UTPA) is another. The biggest surprise for me is how efficient the bench is, with JD Weatherspoon, Amir WIlliams, Evan Ravenel, and Sam Thompson all posting above-average efficiencies.
Area of concern - There's not a lot to pick at here, but I guess DeShaun Thomas' low efficiency shows that Coach K made a good call in daring Thomas to beat his Dukies. Thomas came through for OSU, as did Aaron Craft, but even despite them both having good nights, neither of their numbers are that impressive. Overall, though, OSU just has so much that it's just nitpicking.

Name EPPG/EPPS
Sullinger, J. 32.6/.6549 1C
Weatherspoon,JD 7.2/.5654
Williams, Amir 6.1/.4909
Smith, Lenzelle 17.8/.4879 3SF
Ravenel, Evan 7 0/.4456
Buford, William 21.9/.4147 1SG
Craft, Aaron 18.9/.3809 6PG
Thompson, Sam 4 0/.3459
Scott, Shannon 6.2/.3217
Thomas, Deshaun 13.5/.3195 11PF
Sibert, Jordan 6.2/.2319


2. Wisconsin (6-2)
Pleasant surprise - Ryan Evans & Jared Berggren are suddenly flirting with a turn into star-quality, but to me it's the unheralded freshman Frank Kaminsky who is really the surprise. He's posting the fourth-best per-possession effiency rate on the team! it'll be interesting to see if he can keep it up.
Area of concern - Dropping a close game to UNC on the road seemed to cement UW's standing as a strong Final Four contender. Dropping an ugly game at home to Marquette (a solid team, certainly) would tend to call that contender status into question. Kaminsky and Ben Brust are nice sparks off the bench, but there's not even competent depth to call upon here outside of them and Rob Wilson. I'm guessing the Badgers will probably have a few more bad nights in conference play, leaving them vulnerable to an upstart like Purdue or Illinois in the standings.

Name EPPG/EPPS
Berggren, Jared 21/.5628 3C
Evans, Ryan 22.1/.5495 1SF
Taylor, Jordan 24.7/.4974 2PG
Kaminksy, Frank 5.4/.4713
Brust, Ben 15.4/.4229
Bruesewitz, M. 14.3/.3962 5PF
Gasser, Josh 16.4/.3749 4SG
Wilson, Rob 5.4/.3197

3. Purdue - (7-2)
Pleasant surprise - Third may seem high, but they had Xavier dead to rights on the road before everything went wrong. If Hummel stays healthy, the Boilers have a shot at a top three (possibly even a top 2) finish in the conference. Redshirt freshman Anthony Johnson has teamed with Jacob Lawson to be two of the top impact freshmen in the conference.
Area of concern - Boiler fans have got to be pretty ticked at Travis Carroll for falling apart down the stretch at Xavier, but he really isn't thaaaat bad. He was 8th in per-possession production of Big Ten centers before the Xavier game. The health of Hummel and the lack of depth in the frontcourt is really the issue here. Sandi Marcius and Carroll just can't match up well against a team like Xavier, and DJ Byrd is still obviously working back from an injury.

Name EPPG/EPPS
Jackson, Lewis 21.1/.4838 3PG
Lawson, Jacob 11.3/.4519
Barlow, Kelsey 18.6 /.4516 5SF
Hummel, Robbie 23/.4432 2PF
Johnson, A. 12.4 /.4011
Johnson, Terone 11.4 /.3571
Carroll, Travis 8.7/.3243 8C
Smith, Ryne 14/.3161 8SG
Marcius, Sandi 4.8/.2653
Byrd, DJ 3.4/.1734

4. Michigan State (6-2)
Pleasant surprise - Draymond Green is still one of the top three power forwards in the conference despite a miserable shooting start. And maybe Izzo is working this team into a greater sum than its parts. Honestly, I don't think that much of Florida State, but I was still a bit surprised how easily the Spartans took them down.
Area of concern? The perimeter game, although currently competent enough, has been nothing to write home about. It could turn into a real source of weakness in conference play. Also, walk-on Austin Thornton looks like the best option off the bench, and he's got a broken jaw.

Name EPPG/EPPS
Payne, Adriean 13.8/.4499 5C
Green, Draymond 24.8/.4374 3PF
Nix, Derrick 10.7/.3616
Wood, Brandon 12.9/.3073 9SG
Dawson, Branden 11.7/.3011 10SF
Appling, Keith 13.8/.2999 10PG
Thornton, A. 7.4 /.2608
Trice, Travis 7.4/.2078

5. Illinois - (8-0)
Pleasant surprise - A nice win over Gonzaga followed a semi-quality road win over Maryland. These Illini just keep winning games, and Bruce Weber has more depth to work with than he's had in years.
Area of concern - Not entirely sure what to make of this team still. Competent at home certainly, and the depth is much improved from last year. If they keep winning, I'll have some crow to eat, I suppose.


Name EPPG/EPPS
Leonard, Meyers 23.5/.5503 4C
Henry, Myke 7.0/.4262
Griffey,Tyler 14.8/.3889 8PF
Bertrand, Jo. 9.2/.3671
Richardson, DJ 17.1/.3619 5SG
Maniscalo, Sam 14.6/.3549 8PG
Abrams, Tracy 9.3/.3379
Egwu, Nnanna 6.7/.3144
Paul, Brandon 13.6/.3109 9SF
Head, Crandall 4.3/.2328
Shaw, Mike 2 /.1039

6. Indiana (8-0)
Pleasant surprise - The pleasant surprise is that the Hoosiers look like a NCAA tourney-worthy team. Cody Zeller is posting numbers that compare well with Jared Sullinger's freshman year, and Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, and Verdell Jones have made the Hoosiers' wing play a strength.
Area of concern - The schedule comes to mind, as does the mediocre play of Christian Watford. I'm a little surprised at Tom Pritchard's really poor numbers. Big Tom is playing a fine role off the bench, but just isn't gathering blocks or rebounds in his limited minutes like I thought he would. The home game against Kentucky could be very revealing, for better or worse.

Name EPPG/EPPS
Zeller, Cody 26.7/.5689 2C
Oladipo, Victor 19.2/.4769 4SF
Elston, Derek 10.6/.4503
Sheehey, Will 14.5/.4123
Jones, Verdell 16.4/.3842 3SG
Hulls, Jordan 18.6/.3684 7PG
Watford, Chr. 13.6/.3269 9PF
Abell, Remy 3.8/.2829
Moore, Daniel 4.8/.2769
Pritchard, Tom 2.5/.1556

7. Michigan (6-2) -
Pleasant surprise - Trey Burke's strong performance which has shift Stu Douglass to the bench. Evan Smotrycz playing like a real Big Ten forward, and Jon Horford's impact play off the bench has also been a welcome surprise. They've got a nice win over Memphis and look to have a decent shot at the NCAA tourney.
Area of concern - The Wolverines haven't yet played very well outside of Maui, which is bad news for the conference season. Virginia exposed an achilles' heel with Smotrycz's foul trouble, and the lack of depth in general here has to be a big concern.

Name EPPG/EPPS
Horford, Jon 9.4/.5488
Burke, Trey 16.5/.4446 4PG
Smotrycz, Evan 13.9/.3949 6PF
Hardaway, Tim 17/.3327 6SG
Morgan, Jordan 10/.3205 9C
Novak, Zach 15.4/.2917 11SF
Douglass, Stu 10.3/.2314
Vogrich, Matt 1.9/.1125

8. Minnesota - (8-1)
Pleasant surprise - Rodney Williams and Elliot Eliason filling in capably for Trevor Mbakwe & Ralph Sampson. Maverick Ahanmisi is turning into a decent back-up point guard, and reserve center Elliot Eliason is a defensive presence.
Area of concern - It has a lot to do with the loss of Mbakwe, and the durability of Ralph Sampson and Rodney Williams in the paint. This was supposed to be the real strength of the Gophers as the backcourt was obviously going to be mediocre at best. If the play in the paint is just okay, Minny may miss the NIT again. If Sampson and Williams step up to the challenge, they could make the NCAA tournament.

Name EPPG/EPPS
Mbakwe, Trevor 26.2/.5499
Elliason, E. 9.3/.4596
Williams, R. 19.9/.4367 4PF
Sampson, Ralph 12.8/.3931 6C
Ahanmisi, M. 6.4/.3452
Hollins, Austin 13.1/.3163 8SF
Armelin, Chip 7.6/.2988
Hollins, Andre 9/.2971 11PG
Welch, Justin 10.1/.2904 10SG
Otosenieks, Oto 6/.2754
Coleman, Joe 3.4/.2541
Ingram, Andre 2.8/.2222

9. Northwestern - (7-1)
Pleasant surprise - The biggest surprise has to be that Dave Sobolewski & Reggie Hearn are still holding down the backcourt, but Drew Crawford seems to be bouncing back from a disappointing season, and John Shurna has assumed the mantle of the conference's premier power forward for the moment.
Area of concern - They got absolutely embarassed at home by Baylor, who I thought was a bit overrated going into that game. Their best win so far has been over a Seton Hall, who looks the part of a NIT team. Nothing so far suggests the Wildcats will be making their first trip to the NCAA's. Also, their starting shooting guard is a walk-on - and this was a position of relative depth for them at the start of the season.


Name EPPG/EPPS
Shurna, John 31.3/.5276 1PF
Crawford, Drew 28.6/.4281 6SF
Marcotullio, A. 10.3/.3589
Sobolewski, D. 19/.3483 9PG
Curletti, David 8.3/.3165
Hearn, Reggie 9.8/.2834 11SG
Cobb, JerShon 7.3/.2684
Mirkovic, Luka 9.9/.2562 11C
Demps, Tre 1 0/0


10. Iowa - (5-3)
Pleasant surprise - Matt Gatens has been stellar so far during his senior season. Devyn Marble is looking decent off the bench as a combo guard, and Andrew Brommer appears to be rounding back into shape.
Area of concern - If Melsahn Basabe and Bryce Cartwright can't get back to the performances they were posting last season, coach Fran McCaffrey could find himself in a dogfight to stay out of last place in the conference.

Name EPPG/EPPS
Brommer, Andrew 8.6/.4853
Gatens, Matt 21.6/.4121 2SG
Marble, Devyn 14.1/.3953
McCabe, Zach 14.4/.3916 7PF
Oglesby, Josh 11.4/.3703
May, Eric 11.7/.3291 7SF
Cartwright, Br. 12.4/.2954 12PG
White, Aaron 8.3/.2894
Archie, Devon 5.9/.2829 10C
Basabe, Melsahn 9/.2619

11. Penn State (6-3)
Pleasant surprise - Tim Frazier is posting crazy efficiency numbers and simply playing like the Big Ten's best player, let alone point guard. Freshmen Ross Travis and Jon Graham seem like decent parts for the future, and transfer Matt Glover can make contributions without scoring.
Area of concern - Cameron Woodyard, Trey Lewis, and Billy Oliver appear to be the conference's worst starters at their respective positions. On the upside, Jermaine Marshall looks like he'll be replacing Lewis in the starting line-up, and Sasa Borvonjak may be making a move at center. Still, there's not a lot of individual talent outside of Frazier on this squad.

Name EPPG/EPPS
Frazier, Tim 33.4 0.6135 1PG
Glover, Matt 6.6/.3606
Travis, Ross 9.8/.3242 10PF
Graham, Jon 6.9/.3096
Woodyard, C. 9.9/.2573 12SF
Oliver, Billy 8.5/.2493 12C
Borovnjak, Sa. 6.8/.2337
Marshall, J. 5.6/.2029
Lewis, Trey 6.5/.1815 12SG


12. Nebraska- (4-3)
Pleasant surprise - There's not many at this point. Losing to Wake Forest at home in such a bumbling fashion, and then to follow that up with a 10-point home loss to Creighton, has really exposed the Huskers. I think they'll bounce back, but for now, they're playing terribly. Bo Spencer qualifies as a really pleasant surprise here, posting a 2:1 assist/turnover ratio.
Area of concern - Oh, let's take our pick. Brandon Ubel still posting the worst efficiency numbers of a starting power forward in the conference despite having a relatively good start (for him) comes to mind. Caleb Walker & Toney McCray regressing, and most alarming is probably that possible star Dylan Talley is suddenly becoming an ineffective member of the bench.

Name EPPG/EPPS
Talley, Dylan 20.1/.5495 2SF
Spencer, Bo 21.2/.4099 5PG
Diaz, J.Brian 16.6/.3451 7C
Richardson, B. 13.9/.3281 7SG
Walker, Caleb 11.8/.3238
Ubel, Brandon 14.5/.3066 12PF
Rivers, David 4.9/.2774
McCray, Toney 6.5/.2251

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