Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Trine Preview

GameTwenty Two
WhoTrine Thunder
WhereAngola, IN
WhenWed. -- 7:30 PM
Web VideoNone
Web AudioAudio
DirectionsGoogle Maps

When We Last Met
Calvin won by six in a surprisingly low scoring contest. Neither team shot very well, but the Knights killed it on the boards (a 48-34 advantage) and they did well in preventing turnovers (turned it over only 16% of the time compared to a season average of 20%).

We were expecting an offensive showcase, but the defenses won out. Actually it probably wasn't so much the defenses being good as it was the offenses faltering.

I got some positive comments last week when I replaced the matchup chart with the graph, so I'm making that a permanent change and adding a comparison of the defenses as well. Here we go for this week. As always, click on the images for a larger version.

The Knights and the Thunder are in a dead heat with respect to their effective field goal percentages (eFG%). Both teams shoot at an above-average pace of 0.517 (again, that's eFG%).

The two teams are very close when it comes to turnover rate (TOr); they're equally spaced across the 0.200 'average' line. Calvin's 0.004 worse than average at protecting the ball, and Trine's 0.004 better than average. That's pretty much a wash (about a half of a point in a game), but Trine has been the slightest bit better.

The rebounding line isn't even close. An average MIAA team will collect about 32% of the available offensive rebounds. Calvin's offense has been grabbing nearly 38% on the year while Trine has been floundering just below the 28% mark. This is the biggest difference between the two offenses. Calvin has been exceptional at extending their possessions, but Trine has been pretty poor. The difference in these ORb% would be about equal to 3.5 extra possessions for the Knights, which would be an advantage of between three and four points (figuring 1.09 points per Calvin possession, their season average).
Trine holds a 2% advantage in free throw rate. That means that for every 100 field goal attempts, they would shoot two more free throws than Calvin. These two teams each take about 60 shots per game, so we could expect Trine to shoot one (1.2, actually) more free throw than the Knights. That's like a one point advantage.

So, these two offenses are pretty close in three of the four factors, but the huge Calvin advantage in rebounding sways the offensive advantage in their favor. This is reflected in offensive efficiency numbers (points per 100 possessions) Calvin: 109.1, Trine: 101.3.

The graph shows a bigger advantage for the Knights on defense, although, curiously, the efficiency numbers on defense don't look as swayed. That's probably because it's easier to look at the number of advantages as bieng significant when really it's the magnitude of the differences that is the significant factor.
Here, we see the Knights hold an advantage in eFG% (allowed), DRb%, and FTr (allowed). The only advantage for the Thuder is a slight bit of turnover rate. And I mean slight.

But the defensive efficiency ratings don't show these two squads as being that different. Calvin's defense rates at 101.9 while Trine's has been 102.3. That's not all that different.

Sure To Be Wrong Prediction
Calvin by 5
Need To Win Level: High
Expected To Win Level: High
Massey Prediction: Calvin 82, Trine 77 (70% chance of victory).

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