Monday, November 28, 2011

Stats-and-More After The GRSHOF Classic

I didn’t actually see this weekend’s games, so I won’t comment too much on them, but we can look at where this team currently is statistically and go from there.

Season Stats

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Tom Snikkers is only shooting .341 on the season (down from .472 last year) – his effective field goal percentage is .375 compared to .498 a season ago – but contrary to what I had speculated a few days ago, his three point shooting isn’t the biggest problem at this point. No, Tom shouldn’t be tossing up three point shots early in the shot clock, but as of right now he’s ‘effectively’ shooting .409 on three point shots, and only .364 on two point shots. .409 isn’t good on three pointers, but it’s not the sole reason that Tommy is struggling this season. Defenses know that Snikkers has the potential to be Calvin’s most dynamic scorer on any night – and they’re keying in on him – but Tom isn’t adjusting his style of play. We’re still too often seeing the tunnel vision to the hoop when we could be seeing a Jeremy Veenstra like assist rate. Making it a bigger point to find his teammates, especially early in games, may help open up the defenses later on.

Tyler Kruis has quickly become Calvin’s most effective scoring weapon. He probably does need to get the ball more (and/or shoot more), but I think the %Shots number is a little bit deceiving in his case. The numbers say he’s taking only 15% of the field goals when he’s on the floor, but his free throw rate is an extremely high .81. He’s drawing a ton of contact in the post so many of his scoring attempts aren’t showing up as field goal attempts – they’re showing up as free throw attempts. Even adjusting for this, his %Shots would only be around 20%, so they’re still room for him to command more opportunities. It’s extremely encouraging to see him become more of a scorer because he’s going to have an exploitable size advantage on most nights.

Brian Haverdink is in the process of having his minutes severely cut. In the first three games he was averaging about 28 minutes (per 40 minutes of game time), but this weekend he only saw about 18 minutes per game (and didn’t start on Saturday). It’s understandable though. Calvin has big problems on offense, and Havs hasn’t been shooting the ball very well.

Matt DeBoer looks to be the primary beneficiary of Haverdink’s minutes. After putting together a 14 point performance on Friday, DeBoer found himself in the starting lineup on Saturday. Matt made the most of the weekend, scoring 32 points on 24 field goal attempts. He’s not known as a sound defender, but the Knights desperately need the scoring right now.

Mitch Vallie may also see a reduction in minutes, though I don’t think his is as significant as Haverdink’s. Vallie also was removed from the starting lineup on Saturday, but he still played 21 minutes which isn’t too far off of his season average.

Mickey DeVries took Vallie’s starting spot on Saturday evening. I think Vallie has more potential to have a 15+ point game, but Mickey has been giving the team solid effort in the post. Mickey can stretch the floor with the three point shot, but he’s been really effective on the offensive glass. Having Mickey on the floor with Tyler Kruis gives Calvin an interesting advantage in player length.

We always hear about Bryan Powell being a ‘scorer’ and David Rietema being a ball distributor, but I’m now thinking that’s a bit wrong. The difference between these two players offensively is the Powell always looks to shoot while Rietema doesn’t. On the season, Powell has scored 14 more points than Rietema has, but he’s done it on 26 more shots. There’s an incredible difference in scoring efficiency here. Looking up at the chart, we see that David has scored 1.08 points per attempt to score (‘weighted shots’) but Bryan has only scored 0.86 points. I don’t think this difference is caused by actual difference in scoring ability – I think Bryan is one of the most creative offensive players on the team – but instead it’s caused by David picking and choosing his spots instead of simply forcing shots just to do it.

Jordan Mast hasn’t been the most effective scorer as kind of the last man in the regular rotation, but looking more closely, we find that all five of his made field goals are from beyond the arc. In fact, he’s 5-11 (a very good .455) in this young season on three point attempts. Calvin needs a reliable shooter, and perhaps Mast can become that player this season. I’ve noticed him pass up reasonable three point attempts this season, but maybe he should let them fly with more regularity. Having a ‘known’ three point threat would really open up the inside for players such as Snikkers, DeBoer, Kruis, and DeVries.



Here’s a look at all of the player combinations that have seen five minutes or more of floor time together this season.

The jury is still out on Calvin’s latest starting lineup of Rietema, DeBoer, Snikkers, DeVries, and Kruis, but this group performed extremely well together on Saturday night. In 8.7 minutes versus Aquinas, this group outscored the Saints 23-9. These five players hadn’t played together very much prior to Saturday, but you can see them third on the list above with about ten and a half minutes of floor time together. In that time, they’re +17 in scoring margin and +69 in efficiency margin. It’s still only 10 total minutes, so a lot can change, but there may be something here.

Player Chart

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PF - points for
PA - points against
O-Pos - offensive possessions
D-Pos - defensive possessions

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