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Thursday, March 17, 2005
 
Players To Watch - Austin
Here's a handful of guys that stand out in a few statistical categories and might be worth watching. Study up and you'll be the know-it-all of your NCAA Tourny party today/tomorrow. Um, you are taking the day off work, right?

I'm only including guys who played at least half of their team's minutes this season.

Offensive Efficiency (points per possession)
Player.......................................Off Rt..........%Poss
Alan Anderson, Mich. St............132.............21.9%
Taylor Coppenrath, Vermont.....130.............31.5%
Andrew Bogut, Utah..................129.............29.3%
J.J. Redick, Duke......................128.............25.0%
Filiberto Rivera, UTEP..............128.............21.4%
Juan Mendez, Niagara..............127.............27.6%
Chris Hill, Mich. St.....................126.............19.9%
Kelvin Torbert, Mich. St.............126.............18.1%
Omar Thomas, UTEP..............125.............27.7%
James Mathis, Niagara.............125.............17.3%
Alvin Cruz, Niagara...................124.............18.1%
Adam Haluska, Iowa.................124.............19.7%
Hakim Warrick, Syracuse.........123.............25.7%
Marc Jackson, Utah...................121............17.6%
J.R Duffey, Niagara....................121............15.9%

Keep in mind that offensive efficiency becomes harder to maintain at higher levels of possession usage, so the numbers posted by guys like Coppenrath, Bogut, Redick and Mendez are especially impressive. Like Syracuse, this region is loaded with offensive talent.

Rebounds per 40 Minutes
Player...............................................Reb/40
Andrew Bogut, Utah...........................14.2
Lawrence Roberts, Miss. St..............13.7
Shelden Williams, Duke....................13.3
Juan Mendez, Niagara.......................12.2
James Mathis, Niagara......................12.1
Alex Loughton, ODU..........................11.7
Matt Haryasz, Stanford......................11.6
Paul Davis, Mich. St...........................11.5
Eric Hicks, Cincinnati.........................11.4
Taj Gray, Oklahoma...........................11.3

I've expressed my preference for rebound % in the past, but I've only got so much time to work with. Reb/40 will do just fine today.

Pass Rating
Player...............................................Pass Rt
Filiberto Rivera, UTEP........................34.4
Chris Hill, Mich. St...............................33.0
Alvin Cruz, Niagara.............................31.8
Drew Williamson, ODU......................30.8
Gary Ervin, Miss. St............................27.3
Terrell Everett, Oklahoma...................25.8
Rajon Rondo, Kentucky......................24.9
Jeff Horner, Iowa.................................24.4
Tim Drisdom, Utah..............................22.7
Patrick Sparks, Kentucky....................21.5

My pass rating is similar to the one John Hollinger uses in his Pro Basketball Prospectus (Forecast?). It's basically a measure of points produced by assists per possession. I'm still working on it, but it rates guys like Aaron Miles and Raymond Felton pretty highly, so it's a good start. Since it's rated "per possession," guys who never shoot can artificially inflate their rate, but I built in a small adjustment for that.

Steals per Defensive Possession
Player.............................................Stl%
Rajon Rondo, Kentucky.................6.2%
Drew Williamson, ODU.................4.0%
Chuck Hayes, Kentucky................3.8%
Sean Dockery, Duke.....................3.7%
Drew Lavender, Oklahoma............3.5%
Germain Mopa Njila, Vermont........3.4%
Valdas Vasylius, ODU...................3.3%
Chris Hill, Mich. St..........................3.2%
Jaison Williams, Oklahoma...........3.1%
Gerry McNamara, Syracuse..........3.1%

Blocks per 40 Minutes
Player..............................................Blk/40
Shelden Williams, Duke...................4.5
Jason Maxiell, Cincinnati..................3.4
Eric Hicks, Cincinnati.......................2.9
Arnaud Dahi, ODU...........................2.8
Taj Gray, Oklahoma.........................2.7
Juan Mendez, Niagara.....................2.4
Andrew Bogut, Utah..........................2.1
John Tofi, UTEP...............................1.6
Matt Haryasz, Stanford.....................1.5
Chuck Hayes, Kentucky...................1.5

Three Point Rate
Player.....................................................3pt Rt
Lawrence McKenzie, Oklahoma.............4.63
J.J. Redick, Duke....................................4.30
T.J. Sorrentine, Vermont.........................4.05
Chris Hill, Mich. St...................................3.44
Lee Melchionni, Duke..............................3.37
Patrick Sparks, Kentucky........................3.22
Gerry McNamara, Syracuse...................3.13
Miguel Ayala, UTEP.................................3.06
Jeff Horner, Iowa......................................2.94
Nick Williams, Cincinnati.........................2.92
Winsome Frazier, Miss. St......................2.78
David Brooks, Niagara.............................2.73

These are the guys you'll see making a lot of threes at a decent rate. The formula I used, as swiped from the indispensable (I'm starting to sound like a Wonk) Justin Kubatko of the equally indispensable Basketball-Reference.com -
(3's made X 3-pt%) / min

Free Throw Rate
Player...........................................FT Rt
Juan Mendez, Niagara.................17.51
Taylor Coppenrath, Vermont.......15.96
Omar Thomas, UTEP.................15.80
J.J. Redick, Duke.........................15.61
Lawrence Roberts, Miss. St........11.81
Hakim Warrick, Syracuse...........11.31
Jason Maxiell, Cincinnati.............11.30
Alan Anderson, Mich. St..............10.85
Maurice Ager, Mich. St..................9.50
Valdas Vasylius, ODU...................9.45

Same formula as the 3-point rate, and also from Mr. Kubatko. These are the guys who get to the line often and/or know how to take advantage of the freebies. I'm pretty impressed to see Redick near the top of both the three point rate and free throw rate lists.
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