When I saw this Inside the Hall post, I thought, damn, they beat me to the punch. Still, I think the posts are complementary. While ITH compares IU's numbers to last year's overall numbers, I compared IU's current numbers to IU's numbers after the first five games of last season.
Superficially, the 2009-10 season looks pretty similar to the historically awful 2008-09 season . After two home wins against less-than-overwhelming competition (Northwestern State and IUPUI last year, Howard and USC Upstate this year), IU had a rough trip to the tropics (Notre Dame, St. Joseph's, and Chaminade in Maui last year; Mississippi, Boston University, and George Mason in Puerto Rico this year). How do IU’s tempo-free and other stats compare? First, here are some general numbers:
|195|| opponents’ average rank
Of course, we all know that IU's record is a touch worse than last season's so far. For the "average rank," I simply figured the mean of IU's 2009-10 schedule compared to the final rankings of last season's opponents (I rated D-II Chaminade 340, essentially the bottom of Division I). I did these calculations before Thanksgiving, so the numbers may have changed a bit, but IU's first-five-games schedules were quite comparable across the two seasons. Pace is essentially the same as last season. How about the offensive numbers?
|29.4||Off. Rebound %||34.2|
|31.7||Free throw rate||40.4|
|27.7||3 point %||41.0|
|52.8||2 point %||44.5|
Overall, IU's offensive numbers are modestly better compared to this point last year. IU's offense is a touch better, offensive rebounding is better, the Hoosiers are getting to the line more, and are shooting much better from behind the arc. On the other hand, two-point shooting (perhaps because of Christian Watford's struggles, mostly). The assist/field goal numbers aren't dramatically different. How about defense?
|39.1||Off. Rebound %||35.2|
|16.1||Free throw rate||66.2|
|39.6||3 point %||27.3|
|47.3||2 point %||47.7|
As with the offensive numbers, IU's numbers mostly are better in 2009-10. IU's very low three point yield last year was anomalous.
Are there any major lessons to draw from this data? I don't know. The disheartening thing for IU fans at this point in the season is just how much this year feels like last year. This data shows that in most categories, despite the worse record, IU is a bit better. Of course, the key question for the 2009-10 Hoosiers is not how the teams compare after 5 games, but how they will compare after 10, 15, 25 games. This year's team has more talent and more quality depth than last season's team. Because of those factors, improvement seems more likely. After tomorrow's game against Northwestern State, IU enters a three game stretch against Maryland, Pitt, and Kentucky. That will provide some insight into whether this team is going anywhere.