Saturday, April 6, 2013

Keys for Wichita State

Earlier this week I wrote about what I call opponent "compatibility". I basically wanted to know if there was any evidence for bad matchups beyond simply the general strength of the two teams. Now, I decided to use that same sample to take a look at the Louisville-Wichita St game today. My sample includes every game from the 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 season. It also has 2013 games from up until the first week of March.

I started my analysis by looking at defenses over the five years that force turnovers between 26 and 29 percent of possessions. Louisville is right in the middle of these teams at 27.5%. I identified 508 games where there was a defense with this high of a forced TO%. The following is a histogram of the TO% these defenses forced in the 508 games:

Obviously, 25%-29% is the most likely outcome. Overall, we have a very symmetrical distribution. The next step was to look at the result of game TO% on offensive efficiency. We would expect the lower TO% to be better for the offensive (higher points per possession), but it should be noted that there are correlations between the four factors themselves. In other words, a good TO% is more likely to be good at shooting, rebounding, and getting to the line than a bad TO% team. With that in mind, here's how offenses fared against pressure defenses:

The final step for this post was to look at the best offensive performances against high turnover defenses. Basically a visual look at how teams in Wichita State's position tonight have been successful:

In every single case, the offense shot the ball at a high percentage. There has been a lot of focus on if Wichita State can take care of the ball against the Louisville pressure. However, the recipe for success for teams in the Shockers' position has been to get hot from the floor and keep the TO% on a manageable (low to mid 20s) level. Easier said than done against Louisville.

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