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  1. #1

    ACC Efficiency Rankings (Week 5) - Tobacco Road on top...and on bottom.

    Well, over the half the season is now gone for most teams in the ACC and it appears that the four traditional Tobacco Road schools (if we're nice and include Wake and NC State) are both on top (Duke-UNC) and on bottom (NC-State, Wake).

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

    ------------------------------------------------------------


    Thoughts:

    1. Duke is a clear #1: Last week, Duke was #2 on offense and #3 on Defense. This week, Duke is #1 in the Conference in both offense and defense, exactly what you want to see from a team that should be a step above any other team in the conference. The end result is the highest efficiency margin of the year for Duke in-conference, keeping Duke with a nice margin above a surging UNC.

    2. UNC is a clear #2: UNC beat down FSU at home and now has a bunch of separation from VT and Clemson in efficiency numbers as well as their actual record. They're still nowhere near as efficient as Duke, but they're currently a clear #2. And the clear #2 to Duke's #1 last year (Maryland), did manage to take a game from Duke...though of course, that was AT Maryland.

    3. NC State has ALSO achieved separation...establishing it as the clear worst non-Wake team.: I talked about this last week, but NC State only made it more obvious this week with a not-close loss to VT and a blowout loss to Duke. The gap between NCState and #10 UVA is bigger than the gap between UVA and #8 Miami. They're just at terrible team.

    Now a few weeks ago I noted how Wake was terrible and a clear outlier that affected the results. Now that we've gotten to this part of the season, I though I'd take a look at the ACC if we removed Wake from the equation and all of its' games from the results of other ACC teams. Those numbers are below:

    Wake-Free ACC Efficiency Numbers


    Wake has played all but 4 teams (UNC, Clemson, BC, and Miami) and has played Maryland twice, so all but those 4 teams are affected by Wake's removal. The end result of course is that NC State falls like a stone to last place as their most convincing win is removed from their record. Removing Wake increases the gap between UVA and State by a ton, making the gap equivalent to the gap between team #10 (UVA) and team #4 (VaTech). That's just ridiculous. State is just simply a bad bad team.

    Maryland is also hurt by Wake's removal as MD is the only team to play Wake twice...turning from a team with a decent efficiency number to a team with a negative number.

    Meanwhile, losing Wake also reduces the Gap between Duke and UNC, but not enough to make the two comparable...Duke is still a clear #1 and remains #1 in O and #1 in D in the ACC.

    Lastly, take a note at how many of the teams in the non-Wake chart are inefficient and have negative efficiency numbers. SEVEN out of the 11 ACC teams are negative in efficiency...in other words, have been bad teams in ACC Play. This is because of the large advantage held by the top teams (Duke, UNC, and Clemson-sort-of) over the bottom teams, resulting in a whole bunch of teams that are poor but not god-awful and only a few teams that are good teams...but these teams are really good.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Later in the day, I'm going to add Home/Away numbers. Any thoughts?
    <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
    Thanks for putting this together each week. It is very interesting but I don't see the need to pull the Wake data. You play the schedule that the ACC presents you. If you are going to drop Wake, why don't you drop Duke which is as much an outlier as Wake?

    gw67

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by gw67 View Post
    Thanks for putting this together each week. It is very interesting but I don't see the need to pull the Wake data. You play the schedule that the ACC presents you. If you are going to drop Wake, why don't you drop Duke which is as much an outlier as Wake?

    gw67
    Two reasons:

    1. That's not really the case...the gap between Wake and NC State (#12 and #11) is equivalent roughly to the gap between #1 Duke and #6 FSU. Much bigger outlier. And this is the smallest gap between Wake and the #11 team this year.

    2. It really doesn't mean anything much...it's just a fun thought experiment given that everyone except for VA is getting a big efficiency boost upon playing Wake.
    <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

  4. #4
    loran16,

    I recognize that this is for fun and I enjoy looking at these data because it is an indicator of how well teams are playing.

    I forgot to put on my loran/Pomeroy hat when I asked the question. I was thinking about the actual standings with Wake having one win and the Devils having one loss and not relative efficiencies. I know that neither UNC or Md would give up their two games every year against Duke but it is a built-in disadvantage for both given the unbalanced schedule and the Duke teams with Coach K. A similar case could be made for the Devils playing four games against UNC and Md every year.

    gw67

  5. #5

    Home and Away Numbers.

    @GW: Indeed, unbalanced schedules are a pain.
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Okay, so below are the home and road efficiency numbers for each team. Do Note small sample sizes apply again as each team has only 4-5 games at home or on the road (except for Wake who has only 3 home games and 5 road games).



    Some thoughts:
    1. Home-Court edge in the ACC appears to be around 4.5 points per game The Average Home Team Winning Margin in an ACC is 4.5 points...meaning that the typical ACC home team will win each home game by 4.5 points on average*. When closely-matched teams face each other, this difference is large enough to make a big impact...enough to swing games entirely.

    2. FSU and GT are Schizophrenic: You'll notice drastic differences in the efficiencies of teams between their home and road games. But FSU takes that to another level...there's a drop of .362 points per possession when they go from home to the road...a difference that equates to 24 points! This is mainly because FSU's offense drops like a stone to pathetic levels on the road, but their Defense suffers as well. Seriously, they're like two different teams. Georgia Tech is similar, except they're not as dominant at home as FSU, so the effect is not as big.

    3. Duke is #1 on the road and #2 at home: Clemson is apparently the king of the home game (though Duke doesn't play them in Littlejon), but Duke is ridiculously good regardless of location, and that's even including the FSU loss. Duke's wins on the road at NCState, Maryland, and of course, Wake, provide a big efficiency boost on the road, though obviously 2 of those 3 teams are bad teams. Still Impressive.

    4. Once Again, Small Sample Sizes Apply: I can't imagine Maryland finishes the season with a worse Home efficiency than Road Efficiency, for example, so some odd results should regress. So don't take these very heavily seriously...just note that the huge impact home court advantage seems to make on most teams is real, but less so so far on Duke.

    (*This is a really rough calculation and is probably not the best measure of home court edge, but I'm using it anyhow. It makes a good point.)
    <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

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