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Friday, February 11, 2011

By the numbers: Georgia basketball

OK, we’ve spent a lot of time discussing Georgia’s important computer numbers – 45 in the RPI and strength of schedule as of Friday, by the way – but how about the normal team and individual stats.

A quick scan reveals some interesting and occasionally surprising facts:

- In just SEC games, Georgia ranks first in the league in a number of categories: scoring (75.1 per game), field goal percentage (44.6), 3-point percentage (38.8), rebounding margin (9.3 more than its opponents), defensive rebounds (28.6 per game) and assists (16 per game). The Bulldogs are also second in assist-to-turnover ratio.

That’s a lot of categories. And yet the Bulldogs are only 5-4. How is that?

Well …

- Georgia ranks second-to-last in the SEC in turnover margin (-3.11 per game) scoring defense (opponents are averaging 71.4 points). The Bulldogs are ninth in field goal defense (42.9 percent), 3-point defense (34.8 percent), and eighth in steals (5.7 per game.)

And as for leading the SEC in 3-point percentage? It helps that the Bulldogs haven’t taken very many, and only rank eighth in amount of 3-pointers made during SEC play (52).

A look at Georgia’s individual stats also reveals a bit of why the Bulldogs are where they are right now:

- Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie are each averaging less points-per-game than they did last year. It’s not by much – Thompkins has gone from 17.7 to 16.6, and Leslie from 16.8 to 14.2. But you could certainly argue that neither player has taken a huge step forward this year.

- Gerald Robinson has stepped into the role of third scoring option, averaging more than 13 points a game. But no one else is averaging in double figures, and after Jeremy Price (9.0 points per game) and Dustin Ware (8.2), no one else is averaging even four points a game.

Freshman Marcus Thornton has played in every game, but is only averaging 1.8 points and 2.2 rebounds a game.

- So the Bulldogs are top-heavy in scoring, but what about in minutes played? Not really: Thompkins, Leslie, Robinson and Ware are averaging between 30-33 minutes a game. That’s pretty normal for starters (and also includes three overtime games, two of which went to double overtime).

Jeremy Price (22.6 minutes per game) and Chris Barnes (17.8) are essentially splitting time in the post. The other notables are Sherrard Brantley (13.9), Connor Nolte (12.0, but only in 18 games) and Thornton (10.7). So that’s essentially a nine-man rotation, with spot appearances by Donte’ and Vincent Williams. That’s pretty normal too.

- There does seem a correlation between 3-point percentage and victories: In their five league wins the Bulldogs are 30-for-65 from beyond the arc, and in their four losses plus Xavier they are 25-for-82.

A few other notables:

- Robinson ranks second in the league in assists per game (for total games.)

- Ware leads the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio, also for all games.

- A lot of people might be surprised that Georgia ranks third during SEC games in free throw percentage (74.6). The Bulldogs have clanged a few down the stretch of games - the end of regulation against Auburn springs to mind - but overall they've been pretty solid from the line.


BulldogBen said...

What I took from this:

Mark Fox can put together an offensive plan but the defensive mind set is REALLY lacking. Just from those numbers. It's weird. When I watch them play they totally pass the eye ball test. You see the talent but those numbers on defense are sobering.

Also, Travis Leslie hasn't been terrible but he's not turned the corner many hoped he would. Last year, experts felt he needed one more year of seasoning and he'd be a late 1st rounder. He's not even projected in the 2nd round now.

VERY disappointing year for him.

Anonymous said...


I don't think it's the defensive mindset, it's that there are no real defenders on this team.

Chris and Jeremy lack the explosiveness to D up good front line players, and our backcourt is not quick enough to keep other guards out of the lane.

NCDawg said...

I think the 3pt attempts number is telling.+20/game in losses; 13/game in wins. With the exception of the Auburn game where Price rocked, we don't have a good answer when they double up Trey on the post. Perimeter shooting is not what we do, and in every league loss, teams shut down our post play.

GreenDawg said...

I love Coach Fox as much as the next guy, but our help side defense has been just plain awful this year. When a guard dribbles into the lane there is never anyone there to meet him. I hate to say it but that's coaching. Maybe when Fox gets his guys in there it will be better, but we will never be an elite program in the SEC until we get better defenders in the post. Donte seems to be much better at rotating and playing help side defense, which is why it infuriates me that Barnes gets as many minutes as he does.

Anonymous said...

It's year 2 for Fox, guys. While there are obviously many deficiencies, we have improved. It takes years to build a system and have everyone buy into it. That doesn't mean we can't win, it just means we'll have growing pains for about 4 years before we see our ultimate goal.

Anonymous said...

TT and Leslie aren't off by much in the scoring dept., but man, an extra 3.5 points per game could really turn that record around. We lost to UF in OT and lost to UT by 2, so those games would immediately flip. Plus a six-point loss to UK and if we go back to the non-conf, that OT loss to Notre Dame.

I feel like last year was a lot of close losses and wasted opportunities. I thought this year we'd turned the corner--and we have been winning SOME of the close ones, at least--but there's just a tiny bit of something missing, I guess.

BulldogBen said...

Anon@2:50, I'm curious as to what your definition of "ultimate goal" is?

Fair or not, Billy Donovan has been the blueprint for what fans see (and to a lesser extent AD's)as success. Here are his 1st 4 years:

1) No post season
2) NIT
3) Sweet Sixteen
4) Final Four

Now, is that unreasonable? I think so but it also tells you where we are in current college basketball. The rallying cry from UGA people when we fired Felton was "Why not us?" after watching UF win 2 titles. If we're looking for our first NCAA tourney bid in year 4 something has gone wrong.

I mean, Felton only got 5 years and he came off the worst scandal the program had ever been through.

Doesn't help that Anthony Grant is killing it over in Tuscaloosa right now.

Anonymous said...

I don't see UGA making the tournament. But I think Fox is doing a great job. The team looks a lot better the last two years than it did under Felton.

Thompkins is a good player but not great. He's just not taking games over and seems to lack a killer instinct.

Anonymous said...

Anthony Grant is "killing it"? Bama's RPI is somewhere in the 90s I believe. And ours is like 46. They have beat no one of substance. Give me Mark Fox any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't help that Anthony Grant is killing it over in Tuscaloosa right now."

Georgia beat Alabama last year and is having a better season than Alabama this year. Alabama lost to friggin St. Peter's this year.

Anonymous said...

Did the phrase "killing it" change definitions lately?

BulldogsBen said...

Point I was making is that this is a cutthroat business and it's all about results. Please don't misconstrue my criticism for not supporting Mark Fox, on the contrary I am completely on board and still think we have an outside shot at a tourney bid.(however irrational that may be)

I'm just saying that we've thrown a lot of money into the program and committed to Fox (2 million dollar buyout) but Georgia has been asking fans to be patient for a decade now. Asking for 4 years of growing pains just rubbed me the wrong way.

I only brought up Grant because we went after him so hard and Fox will be compared to him in the grand scheme. Oh, and FYI, Bama has already beaten UK and UT. Something we haven't done (yet, hopefully).

We get to play in Tuscaloosa to the end the regular season. I hope we beat the brakes off of 'em.

Rebounding Dawg said...

Alright, I'll play your troll game . . .

We didn't go after Grant hard. We didn't go after him at all.

Anonymous said...

"I only brought up Grant because we went after him so hard and Fox will be compared to him in the grand scheme."

Fox 76
Grant 70

+1 to Fox. And his team is better this year. And if we are to live on comparative scoring, Fox beat Arkansas...Grant didn't.

BulldogBen said...

Twist it and spin it however you want. Grant was on a short list when we were searching for a coach. Even if an offer was never given he'll still be linked to Fox. The media and fans will at least, just like people do with NBA draft picks. You always see what the guy you passed on (or in this case, never got) is doing.

UGA has superior talent to Alabama and Grant is getting more out of his team currently, in my opinion. If you don't see that, I don't know what to tell you. He's done a great job over there.

Also, since when has posting openly, using a username to identify myself, considered "trolling"??

Anonymous said...

You're Mark Bradley, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

Fox beat Grant last year. Ricky McPhee was our starting 2. You're a dope.

BulldogBen said...

Try again guys.

Anonymous said...

Shorter BulldogBen: "Me make poop! Fox sux!"

Clown. Keep moving the goalposts.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell JacketBen that Georgia's schedule is tougher than Bama's? And that he's a hack?

Anonymous said...

Florida was a couple years removed from a Final Four when Donovan took over, you putz.

Joeski said...

Well, I guess it's nice to see that the bitterness, recrimination, and unrealistic fan expectations aren't limited to just football.

BulldogBen said...

Anon@2:46, poetry man, poetry. Also, stay classy!

Anon@2:49, what does that have to do with getting the most out of your players? I've also been posting here under the same moniker for a few years now but yeah, I'm a Tech fan. Whatever gets you through the night.

Anon@2:50, yes, but they were also coming off a season under .500 and hired a guy who had only had 2 years experience as a head coach and never had gotten a team to the tourney. He was far from a sure thing. Point is, he was so successful that he changed how the SEC AD's, and it's fans view basketball success, in my opinion. In particular UGA fans.

I'd also point out I've never once said I'm not pulling for Fox on here. But hey, keep posting anonymously.