In writing a Georgia Tech basketball notebook that went into Wednesday’s paper, I compared some team statistics from this season compared to last season at the same juncture, most notably the Jackets’ defensive field-goal percentage (38.2 percent this year and 44.0 last year, which ranked 21st and 212th, respectively).
It probably does not surprise you that many of the numbers suggest that Tech is playing better this season. The first set of numbers are from this year, second set of numbers from 2010-11. Sorry for the lame presentation. If there’s a way to use charts and the like on wordpress, I’m not aware of it.
Scoring offense – 64.6, 241st; 71.1, 132nd
Scoring defense – 61.8, 59th; 68.5, 196th
Scoring margin – 2.8, 154th; 2.6, 153rd
Field goal percentage – 45.1, 114th; 41.6, 264th
3-point field goals per game – 4.8, 291st; 5.9, 199th
3-point field goal percentage – 31.1 percent, unranked*; 29.3 percent, 268th
Field goal perc. defense – 38.2 percent 21st; 44.0 percent, 212th
3-point FG percentage defense – 31.3, 75th; 39.6, 322nd
FT percentage – 66.6 percent, 235th; 71.7 percent, 89th
Rebound margin – 6.1, 29th; 1.8, 145th
Assists per game – 11.5, 272nd; 14.1, 103rd
Assist-turnover ratio – .76, 279th; 1.04, 108th
Blocked shots per game – 5.9, 14th; 4.6, 41st
Steals per game – 5.3, 293rd; 10.0, 4th
Turnovers per game – 15.0, 246th; 13.6, 136th
Turnover margin – minus-3.2, 310th; plus-3.5, 32nd
Personal fouls per game – 17.5, 111th ; 20.6, 260th
* Teams have to average 5.0 made 3-pointers per game to qualify.
A few things jump out, starting with field-goal percentage defense and rebounding margin. Vast improvement there. It speaks a lot to coach Brian Gregory’s coaching philosophy and emphasis on defense and rebounding. What’s also notable is that Tech is also shooting better, at least inside the 3-point arc, in no small part due to the development of big men Daniel Miller and Kammeon Holsey. (It’s hard for me to make a lot of sweeping judgements here, as I didn’t cover the team last year and have only seen a handful of games thus far. Apologies.)
Free throw percentage, steals and assists are down, and turnover margin is way down. At this point last season, Iman Shumpert was 15th in the country in steals at 2.6 per game and Moe Miller and Glen Rice Jr. both averaged 1.5 per game. For what it’s worth, Dayton averaged 4.8 steals last season under Gregory, 312th in the country, which would indicate that steals are not a byproduct or objective of his defensive system, for better or worse – although Dayton averaged 6.4 steals per game two seasons ago – or that Tech is just not as strong in that area without Miller and Shumpert.
Having seen only a few games and having heard Gregory enough, turnovers at the offensive end are a definite problem. It partly speaks to players learning new roles and a new scheme, but the Jackets have to be more efficient regardless with the ball, as the assist numbers also indicate.
I’ll have a live blog going for the game Thursday night against Virginia, though I’ll say in advance I don’t know that I’ll be on it much as I’ll be on a pretty tight deadline for the game story.
TV availability here.