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  1. #1

    ACC Efficiency Rankings (Week 3) - Guess who's #1 in the ACC?

    Another week, and 2 games for everyone have passed except for UNC, so time for another look at the efficiency rankings.

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Below are the current efficiency numbers for each ACC team in conference play thus far. These numbers used to be kept track of publicly by basketball prospectus' John Gasaway, but he's currently putting them behind the site's new pay-wall, so I'll be posting them here all season.

    These numbers go beyond win-loss record to, over time, show who truly is the best, and then second best team in the ACC team, and so forth. They're better at doing so than win-loss records, as they truly show which teams are actually beating up on opponents and which are lucky to skate by. Early on of course, they're skewed by outliers (games against Wake Forest), but they're still quite interesting.

    The relevant numbers are as follows:
    Tempo: Possessions per Game (A measure of how up-pace a team plays.)
    Offensive Efficiency: Amount of points scored by a team's offense per possession.
    Defensive Efficiency: Amount of points allowed by a team's defense per possession.
    Efficiency Margin: The amount a team will outscore it's opponent per 1-possession-each (basically O Efficiency minus D Efficiency)

    For ease of reading, I've added a final column, which shows how the Efficiency Margin of each team translates into that team's average margin of victory (or defeat) in an average ACC game (67 Possessions). This is just for display purposes...a team like Duke which plays faster than that will win by more, while a team like UVA which plays slower will win by less.


    We now have at least 5 games from all but UNC, so the numbers are starting to mean something and stabilize. Some interesting thoughts based on the numbers:

    1. Virginia Tech is for real- Va Tech comes up basically equivalent to Duke in these rankings, thanks to their great win over NC State at State. Both VT and Duke have played Wake, so that's not a factor here; VT is just simply a very good team (and as a result, in Pomeroy, they're basically tied with MD and UNC for #2 team overall) who has lost two close games - one of which (@UNC) is a very acceptable loss. The other loss, to Virginia, was over a month ago, and VT seems to have gotten over the hump.

    2. Florida State is also for Real...but still a little inconsistant- FSU's efficiency margin of +.074 is pretty impressive, with the gap between them and the #4 team (Georgia Tech?) being almost as big as the gap between the #4 team and the #7 team (UNC). And unlike Duke and VT, they haven't yet played Wake...if you remove Wake from the numbers, they're right up there with the top two.
    That said, they haven't exactly been rolling as they should have. The team dominated BC, with Great offensive Numbers (Not impressive, given BC's awful defense, but still good for FSU) and Great Defensive Numbers (Pretty impressive, given BC's top 5 Offense). But against Miami, FSU's offense returned to its poor scoring ways, making that game far closer than it should have been. Right now FSU is one of three teams (Duke, VT & FSU) with above average offenses and defenses in conference...but that will change if they can't keep their offense up.

    3. Okay, what the heck is Georgia Tech doing there? - So yeah, we're still in the sample size where outliers can affect things. GTech exploded over both Wake AND UNC last week, and hasn't lost by blowout numbers to anyone else, allowing it to look decent in the efficiency margins. Of course an efficiency margin of +.32 is NOT VERY GOOD, it's just that the rest of the ACC has stunk it up.

    4. It doesn't look good for NC State. - Not a surprise if you've watched them, but well...NC State looks pretty bad in these numbers...and they've already gotten a boost from Wake (they started up top!). With road games at Clemson, Carolina, & Duke, and a home game against VT coming up, they're going to simply have to step it up another level (probably another two levels) to avoid being buried. I'm not telling you anything you don't already know from the standings...but unlike say a team like VaTech who has only one less ACC loss, NC State has not looked good in its wins or losses enough for the efficiency ratings to predict improvements.

    5. Wake is still bad. - But at least they improved their efficiency numbers against Duke! (I wish i was kidding). But seriously....they are so bad, words just can't talk about it.
    <devildeac> anyone playing drinking games by now?
    7:49:36<Wander> drink every qb run?
    7:49:38<loran16> umm, drink every time asack rushes?
    7:49:38<wolfybeard> @devildeac: drink when Asack runs a keeper
    7:49:39 PM<CB&B> any time zack runs, drink

    Carolina Delenda Est

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Sample size makes it tough to read too much into these numbers. Still, it is sorta interesting that Duke is just 4th in the conference in offensive efficiency and 3rd in defensive efficiency.

    Also, it is striking how much Wake sticks out as an outlier. Whew -- nasty season they are having.

    --Jason "will be interesting to see if Clemson, with 2 home games this week, can show itself to be a real contender" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  3. #3
    The stats are also a testament to who has played whom.

  4. #4
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    I'm not sure that I'd agree with the statement that things are stabilizing yet. I believe that we just had a 2.4 point jump in average margin thanks to playing Wake. So it's clear that teams who've played Wake are going to have a big edge over those who haven't.

    We're still a few weeks away from outliers not driving results. And I'd say that to really judge who's played best we'd need to adjust for the quality of competition (since the schedules aren't the same).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I'm not sure that I'd agree with the statement that things are stabilizing yet. I believe that we just had a 2.4 point jump in average margin thanks to playing Wake. So it's clear that teams who've played Wake are going to have a big edge over those who haven't.

    We're still a few weeks away from outliers not driving results. And I'd say that to really judge who's played best we'd need to adjust for the quality of competition (since the schedules aren't the same).
    Sorry, when I was talking about stablizing, I meant the rankings, not the exact numbers. And a 2.4 point jump is well quite a bit different from how things were to start.

    But yes, schedules still matter...by next week, we'll have a 1/3 of the season which is slightly better and in two we'll have a half season, at which point things should be somewhat stable, even if schedules and home/away balance isn't the same.

    Also in 2 weeks, I'm going to try and post the efficiencies if you delete Wake from the standings, which should change things much.
    <devildeac> anyone playing drinking games by now?
    7:49:36<Wander> drink every qb run?
    7:49:38<loran16> umm, drink every time asack rushes?
    7:49:38<wolfybeard> @devildeac: drink when Asack runs a keeper
    7:49:39 PM<CB&B> any time zack runs, drink

    Carolina Delenda Est

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Washington DC

    Offensive efficiency

    I'm not surprised by these numbers. Our shooting % has dropped lately (after Cupcake Month in December) and our TOs are up.

    vs. Miami 43%, 13 TOs
    vs. MD 40%, 17 TOs
    vs. FSU 31%, 15 TOs
    vs. VA 47%, 15 TOs
    vs. NSCU 51%, 11 TOs
    vs. WF 43%, 9 TOs

    We seemed to struggle against Maryland, get knocked back pretty hard against FSU and then officially bottom out in the first half vs. Virginia. But we turned a corner and I think are growing in all aspects of the game. The TOs have come down and our big guys are playing consistently better. If we can get a little more scoring consistency out of Seth and Andre, then I think it will further cut down on TOs (less need to force plays by Kyle, Nolan) and bring our shooting % up as well.

    I'll be interested in seeing if those two can step up a bit or if Tyler is going to be a recipient of more minutes. I think if we're going to grind games out, Tyler will get 10 minutes a night. But if we can improve offensively (attack more, finish plays) then we'll have more KOs and fewer TKOs. We shall see. But the offensive efficiency trends (Shooting % and TOs) have improved starting in the 2nd half vs. Virginia, so that's a good sign.

    This season is really starting to remind me of last season - once guys understand their roles, they start eliminating mistakes and play crisper and more efficient games.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    I'm not surprised by these numbers. Our shooting % has dropped lately (after Cupcake Month in December) and our TOs are up.

    vs. Miami 43%, 13 TOs
    vs. MD 40%, 17 TOs
    vs. FSU 31%, 15 TOs
    vs. VA 47%, 15 TOs
    vs. NSCU 51%, 11 TOs
    vs. WF 43%, 9 TOs

    We seemed to struggle against Maryland, get knocked back pretty hard against FSU and then officially bottom out in the first half vs. Virginia. But we turned a corner and I think are growing in all aspects of the game. The TOs have come down and our big guys are playing consistently better. If we can get a little more scoring consistency out of Seth and Andre, then I think it will further cut down on TOs (less need to force plays by Kyle, Nolan) and bring our shooting % up as well.

    I'll be interested in seeing if those two can step up a bit or if Tyler is going to be a recipient of more minutes. I think if we're going to grind games out, Tyler will get 10 minutes a night. But if we can improve offensively (attack more, finish plays) then we'll have more KOs and fewer TKOs. We shall see. But the offensive efficiency trends (Shooting % and TOs) have improved starting in the 2nd half vs. Virginia, so that's a good sign.

    This season is really starting to remind me of last season - once guys understand their roles, they start eliminating mistakes and play crisper and more efficient games.
    Minor complaint, you should be using Turnover % rather than # of Turnovers, as some of those games (Maryland, played at 76 possessions) had many more opportunities for turnovers than others (Virginia, played at 68 possessions).

    So the numbers are:

    Against Miami: 19.1%
    Against Maryland: 22.7%
    Against Florida State: 22.1%
    Against Virginia: 22.4%
    Against NC State: 15.5%
    Against Wake: 13%

    Not much change (though the Virginia game looks a lot worse, while MD comes down slightly), but it's just a pet peeve of mine.
    <devildeac> anyone playing drinking games by now?
    7:49:36<Wander> drink every qb run?
    7:49:38<loran16> umm, drink every time asack rushes?
    7:49:38<wolfybeard> @devildeac: drink when Asack runs a keeper
    7:49:39 PM<CB&B> any time zack runs, drink

    Carolina Delenda Est

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    We seemed to struggle against Maryland, get knocked back pretty hard against FSU and then officially bottom out in the first half vs. Virginia. But we turned a corner and I think are growing in all aspects of the game. The TOs have come down and our big guys are playing consistently better. If we can get a little more scoring consistency out of Seth and Andre, then I think it will further cut down on TOs (less need to force plays by Kyle, Nolan) and bring our shooting % up as well.

    I'll be interested in seeing if those two can step up a bit or if Tyler is going to be a recipient of more minutes. I think if we're going to grind games out, Tyler will get 10 minutes a night. But if we can improve offensively (attack more, finish plays) then we'll have more KOs and fewer TKOs. We shall see. But the offensive efficiency trends (Shooting % and TOs) have improved starting in the 2nd half vs. Virginia, so that's a good sign.
    I agree. I don't think it's a coincidence that the offensive "woes" correspond with the shooting slumps of Dawkins and Curry. When those two guys get their stroke back (and if the rest of the team doesn't collapse), we become VERY tough to defend.

    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    This season is really starting to remind me of last season - once guys understand their roles, they start eliminating mistakes and play crisper and more efficient games.
    I certainly hope so. It must be noted that we haven't exactly faced defensive juggernauts the past two games. But there does appear to be reason for optimsm.

  9. #9
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    kfanarmy

    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    We're still a few weeks away from outliers not driving results. And I'd say that to really judge who's played best we'd need to adjust for the quality of competition (since the schedules aren't the same).
    True, but if you wait til everyone has played, the season will be over and the numbers won't matter

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I agree. I don't think it's a coincidence that the offensive "woes" correspond with the shooting slumps of Dawkins and Curry. When those two guys get their stroke back (and if the rest of the team doesn't collapse), we become VERY tough to defend.
    Do you believe both players lost their stroke simultaneously or is it that teams have figured out how to slow us down by taking those two players out of the equation?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by loran16 View Post
    Minor complaint, you should be using Turnover % rather than # of Turnovers, as some of those games (Maryland, played at 76 possessions) had many more opportunities for turnovers than others (Virginia, played at 68 possessions).

    So the numbers are:

    Against Miami: 19.1%
    Against Maryland: 22.7%
    Against Florida State: 22.1%
    Against Virginia: 22.4%
    Against NC State: 15.5%
    Against Wake: 13%

    Not much change (though the Virginia game looks a lot worse, while MD comes down slightly), but it's just a pet peeve of mine.
    I will take this trend and run with it. Now if we can get our ZoneBusters shooting well again (hello, drive and kick!) our shooting % should remain high.

    Also, Maryland seemed to me (correct me if I'm wrong) to be the first team to really gameplan for taking away Nolan's drive into the lane by both shading a 2nd defender towards him and going for the strip. So Coach K's adjustments for the 2nd Maryland game ought to be telling.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    Also, Maryland seemed to me (correct me if I'm wrong) to be the first team to really gameplan for taking away Nolan's drive into the lane by both shading a 2nd defender towards him and going for the strip. So Coach K's adjustments for the 2nd Maryland game ought to be telling.
    For what it's worth, Maryland has been defending us this way for years. They used to give Jason Williams fits by playing this kind of defense - he had a lot of his worst turnover games against the Terps (to the best of my recollection).
    Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.

    You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner

    You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by pfrduke View Post
    For what it's worth, Maryland has been defending us this way for years. They used to give Jason Williams fits by playing this kind of defense - he had a lot of his worst turnover games against the Terps (to the best of my recollection).
    My memory is that Maryland tried that approach for some of their games. JWill had some good games and some poor games against the Terps during his career. Generally, I remember that his shooting was impacted more that his turnovers but I may be wrong. Blake, on the other hand, usually had high turnover games against the Devils defense. To his credit, he also had high assist games against Duke. The JWill-Blake game within a game were fun to watch over the three years they played against one another.

    gw67

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gw67 View Post
    My memory is that Maryland tried that approach for some of their games. JWill had some good games and some poor games against the Terps during his career. Generally, I remember that his shooting was impacted more that his turnovers but I may be wrong. Blake, on the other hand, usually had high turnover games against the Devils defense. To his credit, he also had high assist games against Duke. The JWill-Blake game within a game were fun to watch over the three years they played against one another.

    gw67
    I was curious to see how my memory matched the actual results, so here is the box score from Jason's performance against Maryland

    Code:
    Opponent    GS    Min    FG-FGA    3FG-FGA    FT-FTA    OR-DR    TR    PF    Ast    TO    Blk    Stl    Pts
    
    1999-2000
    at Maryland    *     34     3-8    0-4    0-0    0-5    5     3    5     8     1     1     6
    MARYLAND    *     31     4-10    1-4    0-0    1-2    3     4    10     7     1     1     9
    vs. Maryland    *     38     8-15    4-7    3-3    1-3    4     2    6     6     1     2     23 
    
    2000-2001
    at Maryland    *     42     7-16    2-8    9-13    1-6    7     2    5     10     0     2     25 
    MARYLAND    *     32     5-16    3-8    0-3    1-1    2     3    5     3     0     1     13
    vs. Maryland    *     32     7-20    5-9    0-1    1-4    5     3    5     1     0     4     19
    vs. Maryland    *     33     7-19    1-9    8-12    2-1    3     4    4     1     0     2     23
    
    2001-2002
    MARYLAND    *     34     13-23    1-4    7-10    2-5    7     3    8     3     1     3     34
    at Maryland    *     39     6-22    2-12    3-6    3-3    6     1    4     6     0     3     17
    Lots of struggles at the beginning of his career - 31 TOs in his first 4 games - but then better later, with just 14 in his last 5 (6 of those in the final game). The two best performances (in terms of turnover avoidance) in the 2001 ACC Semis and the 2001 National semis - good times for both of those.
    Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.

    You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner

    You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by pfrduke View Post
    I was curious to see how my memory matched the actual results, so here is the box score from Jason's performance against Maryland

    Code:
    Opponent    GS    Min    FG-FGA    3FG-FGA    FT-FTA    OR-DR    TR    PF    Ast    TO    Blk    Stl    Pts
    
    2000-2001
    at Maryland    *     42     7-16    2-8    9-13    1-6    7     2    5     10     0     2     25
    .
    On a macro level, not a good performance. Then you note that most of those 7 buckets came in the last minute of regulation and OT....
    <devildeac> anyone playing drinking games by now?
    7:49:36<Wander> drink every qb run?
    7:49:38<loran16> umm, drink every time asack rushes?
    7:49:38<wolfybeard> @devildeac: drink when Asack runs a keeper
    7:49:39 PM<CB&B> any time zack runs, drink

    Carolina Delenda Est

  16. #16
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    Seattle, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by loran16 View Post
    On a macro level, not a good performance. Then you note that most of those 7 buckets came in the last minute of regulation and OT....
    He had, by all accounts, a horrific 39:06 to start the game. Thankfully that's just a footnote in a historical comeback.
    Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.

    You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner

    You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by pfrduke View Post
    I was curious to see how my memory matched the actual results, so here is the box score from Jason's performance against Maryland

    Lots of struggles at the beginning of his career - 31 TOs in his first 4 games - but then better later, with just 14 in his last 5 (6 of those in the final game). The two best performances (in terms of turnover avoidance) in the 2001 ACC Semis and the 2001 National semis - good times for both of those.
    Thanks for the data. His games were a real mix against the Terps. I didn't remember the high turnover games but I recalled that he had some poor shooting as well as terrific games.

    gw67

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