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Thursday, March 17, 2005
 
Players To Watch - Chicago
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
James Augustine, Illinois............133..............18.3%
Spencer Nelson, Utah St............133..............29.6%
Dee Brown, Illinois......................130..............19.5%
Salim Stoudamire, Arizona.........130..............21.3%
John Lucas, Okla. St..................129...............22.2%
Nate Harris, Utah St....................128..............19.6%
Daniel Kickert, St. Mary's............127..............22.6%
Roger Powell Jr., Illinois..............126..............21.5%
Channing Frye, Arizona..............126..............22.4%
Brandon Bass, LSU....................126..............21.9%
Luther Head, Illinois.....................126..............22.1%
Jared Dudley, BC........................126..............21.5%
Adrian Tigert, UW-Mil..................124..............15.1%
Nick Fazekas, Nevada................123..............28.5%
Joey Graham, Okla. St................122..............26.2%

Keep in mind that offensive efficiency becomes harder to maintain at higher levels of possession usage, so the numbers posted by Nelson, Fazekas, and Graham are especially impressive.

Rebounds per 40 Minutes
Player................................................Reb/40
Brad Buckman, Texas.......................12.9
Jermareo Davidson, Alabama...........12.1
Nick Fazekas, Nevada.......................12.0
Glen Davis, LSU.................................12.0
Mark Zoller, Penn................................11.7
James Augustine, Illinois....................11.2
Spencer Nelson, Utah St....................11.0
Brandon Bass, LSU............................10.7
Kevinn Pinkney, Nevada.....................10.5
Frederic Adjiwanou, St. Mary's...........10.0

Are Nelson and Fazekas on your radar yet? They should be.

Note - 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.

Pass Rating
Player.................................................Pass Rt
Deron Williams, Illinois.........................33.6
Ronald Steele, Alabama.......................29.0
Mustafa Shakur, Arizona......................28.6
Carldell Johnson, UAB.........................28.1
Dee Brown, Illinois...............................28.0
Louis Hinnant, BC................................27.4
David Pak, Utah St...............................27.1
Ramon Sessions, Nevada...................24.5
Spencer Nelson, Utah St.....................23.7
Tack Minor, LSU...................................21.8

Spencer Nelson, is there no end to your offensive prowess?

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 as long as it identifies Deron Williams as the best passer in the region, 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%
Ibrahim Jaaber, Penn......................5.2%
Darren Brooks, S. Ill........................5.2%
Carldell Johnson, UAB....................4.2%
Donell Taylor, UAB..........................4.1%
Tony Young, S. Ill.............................4.1%
Hassan Adams, Arizona.................4.0%
LaMar Owen, S. Ill...........................3.6%
Dee Brown, Illinois..........................3.5%
Ronald Davis, UW-Mil.....................3.5%
Daniel Gibson, Texas......................3.3%

Blocks per 40 Minutes
Player..............................................Blk/40
Channing Frye, Arizona......................2.7
Brad Buckman, Texas.......................2.5
Chuck Davis, Alabama......................2.4
Jermareo Davidson, Alabama...........2.3
Nick Fazekas, Nevada.......................2.0
James Augustine, Illinois...................2.0
Glen Davis, LSU................................1.9
Jermaine Washington, Nevada.........1.9
Brandon Bass, LSU...........................1.9
Ivan McFarlin, Okla. St.......................1.6

Three Point Rate
Player.................................................3pt Rt
Salim Stoudamire, Arizona.................5.65
Ed McCants, UW-Mil...........................4.05
John Lucas, Okla. St...........................3.81
Jaycee Carroll, Utah St.......................3.73
Dee Brown, Illinois..............................3.67
Luther Head, Illinois.............................3.56
Earnest Shelton, Alabama..................3.52
Marvett McDonald, UAB......................3.51
Paul Marigney, St. Mary's...................3.29
Ronald Davis, UW-Mil.........................3.05
Daniel Kickert, St. Mary's....................2.98
Daniel Gibson, Texas..........................2.92

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
Nick Fazekas, Nevada....................15.12
Jermaine Watson, BC....................14.68
Joey Graham, Okla. St....................13.81
Spencer Nelson, Utah St.................12.97
Brandon Bass, LSU........................10.97
Demario Eddins, UAB.....................10.55
Glen Davis, LSU..............................10.30
Chuck Davis, Alabama....................10.13
Channing Frye, Arizona.....................9.91
Salim Stoudamire, Arizona................9.66

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.

This post was written while enjoying the official beverage of the Chicago Cubs, so please excuse any typos. Check back soon for similar posts on the other three regions.
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