Year to year improvement -- not a hopeful sign


#1

The stats guys at Big Ten Geeks have looked at something that has intrigued me for a long time: how much do players improve from year to year?

I think kid or someone made this point here, but the biggest improvement comes from freshman to sophomore years.

By that standard, Illinois and Penn State, who had big contributions from sophomores (Talor, DJ, Drew in our case) and who improved dramatically last year, are poised to be at the other end of the spectrum this year.

We are junior and freshman heavy. BTG points out that Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota have the most returning freshman minutes.


#2

But we do have three sophs that could provide a big boost. I’m expecting Babb to make a huge leap forward and be our second leading scorer. Woodyard provided solid minutes when he played last year, so I expect him to improve as well - could replace DM’s production on offense and be a better defender. And anything from Oliver is more than we got last year (but I guess we count him as a frosh). But Babb alone could make a huge difference.

So, my bet is that the stat geek is right and we will be just fine.

And I’d add that we will get better versions of the DJ and Drew that finished the season last year. And they were pretty strong contributors. We didn’t have that level of play early on. Plus the wild card that stat geeks can’t measure - heart. And who will argue against Battle’s determination and will to win.


#3

Wait one minute:

I read this

“In fact, the freshman offseason improvement is, on average, greater than the improvement between a player’s sophomore season and his senior season.”

but I look at the charts and that’s not what I necessarily see. I do see the huge Fr => So improvement in Min% and Shot%

First of all, I don’t even know what Min% is so I can’t make a judgement on it.

And while shooting percentage does make that big jump, effective field goal percentage doesn’t. Its improvement is just as big going from So to Jr as it is going from Fr to So. eFG% includes all types of scoring, weighting three point shots and including foul shots. If the actual scoring improvement from So to Jr is as great as Fr to So, why would I care HOW those guys are making the improvement (clearly, the Jrs are learning how to get to the line and when to take three point shots)?

So what I’d like to see is how the teams stack up in terms of returning freshman AND returning sophomores because, at least to me, it looks like those two classes should be treated equally (at least until someone explains to be what Min% is).


#4

I read that as percentage of teams minutes. But it was late and I didn’t spend much time analyzing.


#5

Good, that means next year whan Taran arrives we’ll be senior and Sophmore heavy, which based on this I would think would be the optimal situation. Senior leadership and sophmore talent, and then you’re balanced to be good every-other year and keep your program’s momemtum going on a sustainable basis.


#6

[quote=“tjb, post:1, topic:177”]The stats guys at Big Ten Geeks have looked at something that has intrigued me for a long time: how much do players improve from year to year?

I think kid or someone made this point here, but the biggest improvement comes from freshman to sophomore years.

By that standard, Illinois and Penn State, who had big contributions from sophomores (Talor, DJ, Drew in our case) and who improved dramatically last year, are poised to be at the other end of the spectrum this year.

We are junior and freshman heavy. BTG points out that Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota have the most returning freshman minutes.[/quote]

Yes, I think that writer is dead right. Freshmen often make or break a program, and if they stay around, really excel in their second year if they’re strong in their first year. In recent players, Jonny Flynn, DJ Augustin and Blake Griffin were great as freshmen, but even better as sophomores. And Curry didn’t improve in his 3rd year over his second. I don’t agree that DJ had a big contribution as a sophomore. He played less minutes per game than his freshman year. On Andrew, I believe he will improve, as he was sorta clumsy as a freshman(note the fouls), less so last year, and that should continue to be less an issue.

As always, I think the freshmen will be the difference this year, between mediocrity and success. I originally thought it would be Frazier and Sasa, but from posters reports and comments by Ed, sounds like Edwards may play a more important role than Sasa. Of last year’s frosh class, I expect Babb to step up as he only got 10mpg, and showed some great shooting late. I think he had a trey in his last 9 games. Of returning juniors, I only expect Jones and Battle to increase their scoring per minute, Jones cause he continued to improve his footwork during the season and he should be able to continue to do some this year, and Battle will come up with something to increase his scoring maybe up to 20ppg, out of necessity for team points. He may just shoot more.


#7

I know one way he could EASILY add a couple of buckets to his PPG average. :slight_smile:

Free throws.


#8
[quote="kidcoyote, post:6, topic:177"].....and Battle will come up with something to increase his scoring maybe up to 20ppg, out of necessity for team points. He may just shoot more.[/quote]

I know one way he could EASILY add a couple of buckets to his PPG average. :slight_smile:

Free throws.

I’m with Tim on this. He hit 147 FT’s last year. Next in line with 70 was Cornley. Danny hit 22. Would you rather he go 66-91, like Stanley, or 147-210, like he did? He shot better than Danny, Jamelle, Babb, Woodyard, Brooks and Jones. Maybe other guys, including wings, can get fouled more often taking it inside. If everyone else is better at shooting them, they should get fouled more often. That should be easy, no?

I think this World Series is instructive. Why is Chase Utley so great? Hmmm, well, he has led the league in getting hit by pitches 3 years running. He gets hit every 6 games. He stands right up on the plate, daring pitchers to throw inside. Why doesn’t everybody do that? It should be easy, no? All it takes, is er, guts, and quick hands. Lots of guys have the quick hands.


#9

YOU said Talor will do something to up his scoring to 20ppg. I said a very easy way to get his average up is to make 1 or 2 MORE free throws per game. Why bring guys like Danny, Babb, Woodyard, Brooks, Jones or Mel down because they didn’t get to the line as often as Talor? It has NOTHING to do with those guys at all. This is about YOUR statement that Talor will increase his scoring by a few points. For effes sake man. ;D

Talor’s got guts, no doubt. I don’t think he’s any tougher than Danny or Mel though. He’s just better at getting to the line.


#10
[quote="kidcoyote, post:8, topic:177"]I'm with Tim on this. He hit 147 FT's last year. Next in line with 70 was Cornley. Danny hit 22. Would you rather he go 66-91, like Stanley, or 147-210, like he did? He shot better than Danny, Jamelle, Babb, Woodyard, Brooks and Jones. Maybe other guys, including wings, can get fouled more often taking it inside. If everyone else is better at shooting them, they should get fouled more often. That should be easy, no?[/quote]

YOU said Talor will do something to up his scoring to 20ppg. I said a very easy way to get his average up is to make 1 or 2 MORE free throws per game. Why bring guys like Danny, Babb, Woodyard, Brooks, Jones or Mel down because they didn’t get to the line as often as Talor? It has NOTHING to do with those guys at all. This is about YOUR statement that Talor will increase his scoring by a few points. For effes sake man. ;D

Talor’s got guts, no doubt. I don’t think he’s any tougher than Danny or Mel though. He’s just better at getting to the line.

I didn’t bring anybody down. Those are facts. You were critical of his FT shooting, despite it being above average for the team, and 2nd best for starters. You must be joking. He’s just better at getting to the line? You mean he’s willing to attack his defender? Mel did that, but noboby else did. More guys have to do that. While he may not be tougher than those guys, he’s a tougher cover, beats his man and attacks the basket, resulting in getting fouled. Some of the better foul shooters should do more of that, and be less perimeter players. I guess if he shot 100% he’d get close, adding 63 points last year, or 1.75ppg, or up to 18.45. Maybe he’ll do that. :wink:


#11

BS, with a capital B. There was NO REASON to mention any of the other players because they have nothing to do with Talor scoring more baskets!! I don’t care if he is the best FT shooter on the team. All I said was one easy way to increase his average by 1 or 2 points per game is to hit 1 or 2 more FT’s per game. That’s it, and I think it’s a very reasonable suggestion. I’m not being critical in the slightest degree. Only someone with a warped view could see my post as being critical.

Secondly, yeah, he’s just better at getting to the line. You don’t think being able to draw contact is a skill? It’s a skill Talor has (along with a lot of other skills). It has little to do with guts, toughness, or willingness. It’s a skill, just like shooting, passing, and dribbling. Unfortunately, IMO, drawing fouls is a skill very similar to shot blocking…very difficult to teach.


#12
[quote="kidcoyote, post:8, topic:177"]I'm with Tim on this. He hit 147 FT's last year. Next in line with 70 was Cornley. Danny hit 22. Would you rather he go 66-91, like Stanley, or 147-210, like he did? He shot better than Danny, Jamelle, Babb, Woodyard, Brooks and Jones. Maybe other guys, including wings, can get fouled more often taking it inside. If everyone else is better at shooting them, they should get fouled more often. That should be easy, no?[/quote]

YOU said Talor will do something to up his scoring to 20ppg. I said a very easy way to get his average up is to make 1 or 2 MORE free throws per game. Why bring guys like Danny, Babb, Woodyard, Brooks, Jones or Mel down because they didn’t get to the line as often as Talor? It has NOTHING to do with those guys at all. This is about YOUR statement that Talor will increase his scoring by a few points. For effes sake man. ;D

Talor’s got guts, no doubt. I don’t think he’s any tougher than Danny or Mel though. He’s just better at getting to the line.

I didn’t bring anybody down. Those are facts. You were critical of his FT shooting, despite it being above average for the team, and 2nd best for starters. You must be joking. He’s just better at getting to the line? You mean he’s willing to attack his defender? Mel did that, but noboby else did. More guys have to do that. While he may not be tougher than those guys, he’s a tougher cover, beats his man and attacks the basket, resulting in getting fouled. Some of the better foul shooters should do more of that, and be less perimeter players. I guess if he shot 100% he’d get close, adding 63 points last year, or 1.75ppg, or up to 18.45. Maybe he’ll do that. :wink:

Kid, you gotta learn to breathe once in a while. LP didn’t even mention Talor’s free throw percentage. Maybe it was implied, maybe not. But bottom line is that if he hits 200 free throws instead of 140, and all else stays the same, his PPG increases by 2. It is certainly a valid way to increase his scoring.


#13

BS? Oh, I thought you posted the following. How is that 1 or 2 FT’s per game? And what’s with the capitals on EASILY? Emphasis, maybe?

[quote=“LPcreation, post:7, topic:177”]I know one way he could EASILY add a couple of buckets to his PPG average. :slight_smile:

Free throws.[/quote]

mjg, I’m breathing. I just find it crazy that people are looking for more production in the wrong places. 200 out of 210 would be the best in basketball history. Keep dreamin’.


#14

If Talor is going to score about 5 more ppg, I think a good place to start would be at the FT line. If he could make 2 more FT per game, he’d only have to hit 1 layup to come up with the 4 needed for his 20per game.

I don’t think making 2 additional FT’s, whether it’s by extra attempts or increased percentage, is being critical or unreasonable.


#15
BS? Oh, I thought you posted the following. How is that 1 or 2 FT's per game? And what's with the capitals on EASILY? Emphasis, maybe?

[quote=“LPcreation, post:7, topic:177”]I know one way he could EASILY add a couple of buckets to his PPG average. :slight_smile:

Free throws.[/quote]

mjg, I’m breathing. I just find it crazy that people are looking for more production in the wrong places. 200 out of 210 would be the best in basketball history. Keep dreamin’.

But if he made 200 out of 270… I meant if all else stays the same except his free throw attempts. I realize he won’t make 96%.


#16

Estimated from the chart:

FR = 42%
SO = 55%
JR = 60%
SR = 63%

Total = 220%

To be a percentage of a team’s minutes, it would have to add up to 100%.

I haven’t a clue what it’s supposed to be. Anyone have any guesses? At first I thought it might be actual minutes but in that case it should add up to 200 not 220.


#17

I believe it is % of game minutes played by those players included in this analysis during the respective class years covered. Shows that from year to year their minutes increased.


#18

[quote=“LPcreation, post:14, topic:177”]If Talor is going to score about 5 more ppg, I think a good place to start would be at the FT line. If he could make 2 more FT per game, he’d only have to hit 1 layup to come up with the 4 needed for his 20per game.

I don’t think making 2 additional FT’s, whether it’s by extra attempts or increased percentage, is being critical or unreasonable.[/quote]

Hmmm…EASILY was the operative word. As he only missed 63 in 35 games, pretty hard to score an extra 2 per game by increasing percentage. So, two more FTM’s per game would take him from 147 to 217 FTM’s(roughly 50% more), and if he could just get to 80%, slightly higher than Dan Earl shot for his career, he’d only have to get to the line 259 times. Those 49 more attempts would exceed the 32 Danny shot all last year, but he should be able to do that EASILY. Maybe he can add 2 rebounds and 2 assists per game also. :wink:

I think this writer is basically right. Jones, due to improving footwork, will improve, IMO. It’s easier for big men to improve as they get more coordinated. Re Talor, I just don’t expect much more at the line. His increase yoy from frosh year was huge. I wouldn’t expect a similar jump. As I don’t expect big jumps from other juniors, I think most of the improvement in the team will have to be in the newbies, and maybe Chris Babb, who got such limited time last year, though showed some late spark, and confidence.

Lots of posters say you can’t win with freshmen. Why not? It’s done all the time.


#19

My sense is it is done occasionally (and with more frequency at UNC/UK and sometimes Duke) with one and done type talent, but not very often with event freshmen who go on to become very good college BB players.

I do like Babb as a big improver. Jones simply has to step up.

And for what it’s worth, to hope for Talor to shoot at a slightly higher percentage while getting to the line more often does not seem like an apostasy.


#20

That’s how I perceived it also. So, if you play 10 mpg as a freshman, that equates to 25%Min.