'09-'10 Cyclones Basketball Analysis #2: Background And Individual Improvements Thus Far

In Part One of the series for this year, I talked about statistics being looked at on the team-level. That helps explain what the team as a whole is doing, but it doesn't address some of the individual players.

What I'm going to jump into on the next page are some stats for individual players I like to use, look at our individual stats for this year, and also look at the changes in these from the previous year for our returning players:

For individuals, I like to look at True Shooting % (TS%), Rebound Rate, and Points Per Weighted Shot (PPWS). There are other useful ones when evalauting positional players like Assist Ratio (for point guards), and these will be looked at from time to time as well. But for evaluating across the team, I'm just looking at how efficient the scoring is, and how efficient are rebounding is.

TS%: Shooting percentage that implicitly accounts for 3 point shots, but explicitly accounts for free throws

Rebound Rate: The percentage of missed shots rebounded by an individual while he was on the floor. In my opinion, you have to look at these amounts for each individual on the team. When there's a missed shot, only 1 guy can get the rebound. The key in my opinion is to look at the distribution across the team, before jumping to conclusions on an individual

PPWS: Created a few years ago by the Big Ten Wonk. It aims to measure how efficient a scorer is. A score of below 1.0 is considered an average scorer, while results in the 1.2 range and up mean you're having a great year.

Let's take a look at each of our players on the roster and their stats through the first five games of the year:

G Min/G TS% Rebound Rate PPWS
Craig Brackins 5 29 58% 7% 1.16
Lucca Staiger 5 24.4 73% 3% 1.46
Marquis Gilstrap 5 24.2 58% 10% 1.16
Diante Garrett 5 23.2 57% 2% 1.17
Scott Christopherson 5 21.6 76% 3% 1.53
LaRon Dendy 1 15 64% 13% 1.28
Justin Hamilton 5 14.8 88% 7% 1.75
Chris Colvin 5 14.6 36% 3% 0.73
Jamie Vanderbeken 5 14.2 78% 7% 1.57
Charles Boozer 5 13.6 54% 5% 1.08
Dominique Buckley 5 8.2 50% 3% 1.00
L.A. Pomlee 5 5.6 47% 8% 0.95
Alex Dorr 5 3.6 61% 5% 1.21


If someone is playing a limited number of games (Dendy), you have to take the stats with a grain of salt. Same goes for players aren't logging significant time (Buckley, Pomlee, and Dorr).

Here are my takeaways from the above chart:

  • Hamilton, Christopherson, and Lucca are knocking down open shots. They have extremley high PPWS, and TS%. From watching these guys play, they aren't the first option in the offense. But what they have been able to do well is make open shots. When they are shooting the ball, most of the time it has been the right decision in the offense.
  • Brackins and Gilstrap are similar players. They have the same TS% and PPWS, while Gilstrap is the better rebounder thus far. Dendy
  • You see that Colvin has been struggling the most offensivley, and I think that is a fair assesment of his production thus far.
  • We've been a much better rebounding team, and you see a wide distribution of rebounds grabbed. The guards have lower amounts than the forwards, but across players of similar positions, no one is really dogging it too much compared to the other.
  • It will be interesting to see how these numbers change as we play more games. 5 games is a small sample size, and this team hasn't been challenged too much yet.

Now that we've seen how we're doing this year, let's look at areas our returning players may have improved or regressed:


2009-2010 2008-2009 Change
Brackins 58% 53% +5%
Staiger 73% 55% +18%
Garrett 58% 48% +10%
Hamilton 88% 59% +29%
Vanderbeken 78% 62% +16%
Boozer 54% 53% +1%
Buckley 50% 40% +10%


Everybody's shooting better this year thus far. Who doesn't like that?


2009-2010 2008-2009 Change
Brackins 1.16 1.06 +0.10
Staiger 1.46 1.11 +0.35
Garrett 1.17 0.96 +0.21
Hamilton 1.75 1.17 +0.58
Vanderbeken 1.57 1.24 +0.33
Boozer 1.08 1.07 +0.01
Buckley 1.00 0.80 +0.20


Everybody is making better decisions on when to shoot it. The notable improvement I think is DG. He went from being below the mendoza line, to having a nice year thus far. He's shooting it way less, but he's forcing it less, making him much more efficient with the ball. Also what's interesting is that Vanderbeken was our most efficient shooter last year. People seem to forget that he was our best 3 point shooter last year, but he can really make a team pay for leaving him open.

Rebound Rate:

2009-2010 2008-2009 Change
Brackins 7% 8% -1%
Staiger 3% 3%
Garrett 2% 3% -1%
Hamilton 7% 6% +1%
Vanderbeken 7% 6% +1%
Boozer 5% 6% -1%
Buckley 3% 4% -1%


Overall, the numbers are flat. Those movements are likely variance, as the changes are not significant.

Well, that concludes the analysis of the first five games of the season. I'll definitley be pulling these stats back out throughout the year. I will likely add a few more in as they are relevent to what I am talking about. Often times it helps to compare individuals outside of their own teams, and I will do some evaluating of notable players using these types of stats as well.

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