Friday, January 05, 2007

Well, who expected a win at OSU anyway?

Realistically, I sure didn't. And I was happy to see IU compete, go toe-to-toe with the most hyped Big Ten team and not blink. Sampson has these guys playing unafraid, and I really like that. I was still a little mad with the late-game turnovers that killed IU's chances, but they competed, and that's all I can ask. Coach Sampson can certainly ask more, tho.

Ohio State is going to suffer some losses in conference play. There were a couple of calls that went missing (like the key play when the Buckeyes wrapped their arms around DJ and threw him to the ground on a dunk attempt, which ended up in open three on the other end), and a little bit of gamesmanship by Matta that probably wouldn't stand up on a neutral floor, let alone on the road. But Big Ten foes, unlike the Hoosiers, will likely not hit 12 of 22 threes or go perfect at the FT line.

I liked Ohio State's constant attempts to get the rim, to use their athleticism to sure points from dunks or free-throws. Good execution, great guard play. And while Greg Oden is the real deal, he did get in foul trouble at home. He's going to see some serious foul trouble as season goes on and the Buckeyes leave the nest a little more. Mike Conley was truly amazing, tho. 9 points, 10 assists, ZERO turnovers, and a couple of short stretches where he terrorized IU's backcourt.

The freshmen I came away being really impressed with (besides Oden & Conley, due deference there) were Indiana's. Joey Shaw and Armon Bassett didn't back down at all, and I like the way they look to hit the open perimeter shot, use pump-fakes to get open, and drive to draw fouls.

So, with this in mind, I ran down some quick stats to unveil my Big Ten freshmen top 25 rankings. I used Big Ten Wonk's team possession per-game method, and his individual-possession calculation method, but I'll trot the strict math out more when I'm doing conference-games only, as the difference in opponent scheduling still skews the scales. Of course, I'm using my HPER productivity rating, in which I use the box scores to tell me how valuable a player is in getting possessions for his team, taking possessions from the other team, and helping to convert those possessions into points. I've tweaked it slightly so that Assists are multiplied by 2.5 to reflect 3-pointers and free-throws. Not entirely scientific, but better than a flat factor of 2.

So, the new HPER formula is:

Points + Rebounds + Offensive Rebounds + [2 x(Steals+Blocks)] + (2.5 x Assists)
- [Missed FGs + (2 x Turnovers) + (Missed FTs/2)]

Divide by game for per-game rating (hpg), and divide by individual possession for per-possession rating (hpps).

#. School, Name (# of possessions per game they see on the floor) raw HPER total / HPER production per game / HPER production per possession

1. OSU, Greg Oden (47.2 pspg) 220.5 /31.5 hpg/ .6674 hpps
2. OSU, Mike Conley (48.6 pspg) 390/ 27.9 hpg / .5732 hpps
3. OSU, Daequan Cook (40.2 pspg) 255.5/18.3 hpg/ .4539 hpps
4. NU, Kevin Coble (41.5 pspg) 251.5/18 hpg/ .4329 hpps
5. Iowa, Tyler Smith (53.5 pspg) 281.5/ 20.1 hpg/.3758 hpps
6. Michigan, Ekpe Udoh (31.5 pspg) 227.5/15.2 hpg/ .5322 hpps
7. Purdue, Chris Kramer (40.1 pspg) 155/ 15.5 hpg/ .3865 hpps
8. MSU, Isaiah Dahlman (30.1 pspg) 173/ 12.4 hpg/ .4105 hpps
9. MSU, Raymar Morgan (40.1 pspg) 108.5/12.1 hpg/.3006 hpps
10. Indiana, Armon Bassett (40.6 pspg) 156/ 12hpg/ .2956 hpps
11. Minnesota, Damian Johnson (18.9 pspg) 93/ 7.8 hpg/ .4101 hpps
12. Michigan, DeShawn Sims (16.7pspg) 80.5/6.2 hpg/ .3708 hpps
13. Indiana, Joey Shaw (24.1 pspg) 104/ 8 hpg / .3319 hpps
14. Wisconsin, Jason Bohannon (26 pspg) 116/ 8.3 hpg/ .3187 hpps
15. Purdue, Keaton Grant (37.9 pspg) 171.5 / 11.4 hpg / .3017 hpps
16. Minnesota, Kevin Payton (32 pspg) 116/ 8.3 hpg/ .2589 hpps
17. Illinois, Brian Carlwell (11.8 pspg) 65.5/ 4.4 hpg/ .3701 hpps
18. Indiana, Xavier Keeling (13.4pspg) 39/ 4.9 hpg/ .3639 hpps
19. Purdue, Jonathan Uchendu (13.1pspg) 65/ 4.6 hpg / .3571 hpps
20. NU, Jeff Ryan (21 pspg) 65.5/ 5 hpg/ .2399 hpps
21. NU, Jeremy Nash (12.8 pspg) 49/ 3.5 hpg/ .2734 hpps
22. Purdue, David Vandervieren (10.3 pspg) 40 /3.1 hpg/ .2987 hpps
23. OSU, David Lighty (36.8 pspg) 121.5/ 8.7 hpg/ .2019 hpps
24. Michigan, Reed Baker (15.6 pspg) 25/ 2.1 hpg/ .1335 hpps
25. Wisconsin, Trevon Hughes (14.7 pspg) 25.5 /1.8 hpg/ .1239 hpps
25. Minnesota, Lawrence Westbrook (16.9 pspg) 20 /1.8 hpg/ .1076 hpps

Some quick notes.

In ranking, I didn't strictly go by the per-game productivity or the per-possession, but the per-possession did have a lot more consideration. Some cases are easy to spot for anomolies, like Isaiah Dahlmann, who's playing time will drop when Maurice Joseph and Raymar Morgan come back, and productivity will suffer as opponent strength increases.
Also interesting, it looks like David Lighty of OSU is one of the worst per-possession producers, and my guess is that he only gets as much playing time as he does due to OSU's lack of backcourt depth.
Disclaimer: I didn't do every Big Ten freshman. But I did all the ones that I thought could be fairly assessed. I think I only missed 9 non-walk-on, active true freshmen (Bryce Webster & Engen Nurumbi-Minn., K'lon Morris and Kendrick Price-Michigan, Matt Steger-NU, DJ Jackson-PSU, Brett Wessels & Josh Crawford-Iowa, & CJ Jackson-Illinois).

And a final btw, last night Iowa unsurprisingly beat MSU at home, keeping Big Ten home teams undefeated.


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