How the stats would’ve picked this year’s (theoretical) 2020 NCAA Tournament

BIG OL’ EDITOR’S NOTEEverything you are reading, as follows, is a hypothetical simulation. The 2020 NCAA Tournament obviously did not happen, but I’ve pieced together a field that A. seems realistic and B. helps me waste more time by thinking about it.

So, here we are. I don’t know how much everyone reading this has changed their lives to reflect our global issues, but I do think we all should. The NCAA certainly did, and it’s tough to be rational about it, but we have to. That said, this is our time.

Something I’ve done just about every year since I knew what statistics were was create a mock NCAA Tournament bracket before the real one. This bracket would reflect how I would pick every game when the time came simply because I like being prepared. For the 2019 Tournament, I created a Google Doc that had stats for every seed line. All of this, objectively, would sound purely ridiculous to someone who spends less than ~2 months of the year thinking about college basketball. And yet: I got three of the four Final Four teams right and you didn’t. I’m sorry, that’s a ridiculous brag, but I had to fit it in somewhere.

Anyway, that’s a long way of saying that in the midst of the NCAA Tournament uncertainty on Thursday, I decided to create a fake bracket on my lunch break at my day job. The Google Doc for this one is titled “Let’s have some fun,” because it should be. Here’s how I made my field of 68:

  • For the most part, I just took the highest-rated conference champion for the Big Six and assumed no bid thieves. Cincinnati technically won the AAC due to the cancellations, so I let them in without a further simulation.
  • For the other 26 conferences, I ran RAND() functions in Excel based on the likelihood that the best team in each conference would win it. This was to reflect that upsets frequently happen in conference tournaments. As such, we ended up with 11 non-first-place conference tournament winners, which is actually a little lower than you’d expect, but makes sense given our restrictions. To save time, every conference that had a team at >50% to win the conference tournament was given a pass into the field. Seemed fair and seemed realistic; I am not God.
  • At-larges made the field on a combination of their Bracket Matrix average seed and Bart Torvik’s projected average seed. This shifted the field a small amount, but 66 of the 68 teams that would’ve made the Matrix’s field of 68 as an at-large made mine. (Xavier and NC State are in my field, while UCLA and Stanford are not. Sorry to all Pac-12 fans; I can create a contingency bracket if you want.)
  • Lastly, the field was seeded 1-68 on said seeding combination. It feels right, and I like how it turned out.

Enough wailing. Here’s your field. Where necessary, I’ve included an asterisk* where the conference champion was someone other than the 1 seed.

The 2020 Will Warren Invitational Field of 68

  • 1 seeds: Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor, Dayton
  • 2 seeds: San Diego State, Florida State, Villanova, Michigan State
  • 3 seeds: Creighton, Duke, Maryland, Seton Hall
  • 4 seeds: Oregon, Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State
  • 5 seeds: Wisconsin, Butler, BYU, West Virginia
  • 6 seeds: Michigan, Auburn, Penn State, Iowa
  • 7 seeds: Virginia, Illinois, Arizona, Houston
  • 8 seeds: Colorado, St. Mary’s (CA), Providence, Marquette
  • 9 seeds: Rutgers, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma
  • 10 seeds: USC, Texas Tech, Indiana, Arizona State
  • 11 seeds: Utah State, Wichita State/Xavier, Cincinnati, East Tennessee State
  • 12 seeds: Richmond/NC State, Yale, Stephen F. Austin, Liberty
  • 13 seeds: Vermont, New Mexico State, Belmont, Western Kentucky*
  • 14 seeds: Bradley*, Hofstra, Northern Colorado*, North Dakota State*
  • 15 seeds: Texas State*, Winthrop*, Northern Kentucky*, Ohio*
  • 16 seeds: UC Santa Barbara*, Boston University*, Siena/North Carolina Central, Robert Morris/Jackson State*

First four out: Stanford, Texas, UCLA, Mississippi State
Next four out: Northern Iowa, Purdue, Arkansas, Oklahoma State

A quick Q&A session, based on questions I would imagine people asking:

  • Why is Baylor the third overall seed? By Kansas winning the Big 12 Tournament here, we’re assuming Baylor now has four losses on the season, which, in my mind, would elevate Gonzaga to the second overall seed. I don’t know, dude, I just did it because I felt like it.
  • Explain Creighton and Duke as 3 seeds. Creighton was white hot down the stretch of the season; Duke was not, but they are named Duke, so we all rightfully expect them to win the ACC. Again, in our simulation, Florida State won it, so a 3 seed feels accurate. Meanwhile, Creighton did win the Big East in this simulation, but Villanova ranked ahead of them. Why? 1. Ask someone who does this for a living I really don’t know. 2. It actually isn’t that absurd; by Wins Above Bubble, Villanova ranks 7th and Creighton 9th.
  • Kentucky as a 4??? Hater! Correct! I do not like Kentucky. Anyway, this is a team that didn’t crack the KenPom top 20 after January and closed the season 12th in WAB. I’m gonna guess that the teams in actual good conferences would’ve gotten the nod ahead of them. Everyone really undersold how awful it was to watch SEC basketball this season.
  • Explain the Last Four In. Again, not God, but a very white guy who’s drinking coffee out of a Charleston Rainbow Row cup as I type. Anyway:
    • Wichita State ranked 31st in WAB, had good metrics across Torvik and KenPom, and, in our simulation, wins at least one AAC Tournament game.
    • Xavier only ranked 46th, but they had no true bad losses (16-2 against Qs 2-4) and had a true marquee win: their 74-62 road victory over Seton Hall in early February.
    • Richmond: 38th in WAB, made the A10 championship game in our simulation. Xavier got the 11 seed nod only because they were in a significantly stronger conference.
    • NC State: On first run, this was Stanford, but then Stanford totally blew it to Cal in their lone Pac-12 Tournament game…which pushed NCSU just over the edge. They ranked almost exactly the same in metrics averages, but NCSU had a slightly better WAB with one additional Q1&Q2 win. I don’t like either team, to be honest.
  • Explain those who got left out. Just discussed Stanford. UCLA had a worse WAB than any of the four who got in and farted around for half the season. Texas did have a good-enough WAB at 39th but left an awful impression on the committee with a Big 12 quarterfinals loss to Texas Tech, another bubble team. Mississippi State lost to Florida in the SEC quarterfinals and had a worse WAB than the four who got in. The only team in Next Four Out that had a realistic case to me was Northern Iowa, who ranked 41st in WAB, but I simply couldn’t imagine a committee rewarding a blowout MVC quarters loss to Drake with even a First Four Out nod, sadly.

Okay! That’s a lot of words! You came here for a bracket.

The Will Warren 2020 Invitational Bracket

right-click and hit Open in New Tab to see this image made in Microsoft Paint

if you’d like to jump somewhere specific, click below please:

NEXT PAGE: Bracket breakdowns

This one stat will, in fact, not change your life

Chances are, during Championship Week, you’ll be hearing the following statistic left and right:

“Every champion other than 2014 Connecticut in the KenPom era has ranked in the top 20 of offensive and defensive efficiency.”

On its face, this is a correct stat. If you were to click on kenpom.com right now, you would see that 17 of the last 18 champions, minus 2014 UConn, did indeed rank in the top 20 of both categories. I’ll even ignore Dan Dakich saying during the Green Bay/Northern Kentucky game that every champion has ranked in the top 20 of both; he is 94.4% accurate, at least, under this definition.

However: we have a clear issue that seemingly no one at ESPN, CBS, or the variety of networks that broadcast college basketball seem to be discussing. The KenPom rankings referenced are end-of-season rankings, not pre-tournament rankings. So, yeah, no wonder every champion ended up in the top 20! Here’s the actual pre-tournament rankings for every champion in the KenPom era.

  • 2002: Maryland – 5th AdjO, 11th AdjD, 3rd overall
  • 2003: Syracuse – 16th AdjO, 33rd AdjD, 20th overall
  • 2004: Connecticut – 14th AdjO, 7th AdjD, 5th overall
  • 2005: North Carolina – 4th AdjO, 6th AdjD, 2nd overall
  • 2006: Florida – 14th AdjO, 18th AdjD, 6th overall
  • 2007: Florida – 1st AdjO, 14th AdjD, 2nd overall
  • 2008: Kansas – 1st AdjO, 3rd AdjD, 1st overall
  • 2009: North Carolina – 1st AdjO, 39th AdjD, 3rd overall
  • 2010: Duke – 4th AdjO, 5th AdjD, 2nd overall
  • 2011: Connecticut – 22nd AdjO, 25th AdjD, 16th overall
  • 2012: Kentucky – 2nd AdjO, 6th AdjD, 1st overall
  • 2013: Louisville – 17th AdjO, 1st AdjD, 2nd overall
  • 2014: Connecticut – 58th AdjO, 12th AdjD, 25th overall
  • 2015: Duke – 3rd AdjO, 37th AdjD, 6th overall
  • 2016: Villanova – 15th AdjO, 7th AdjD, 5th overall
  • 2017: North Carolina – 4th AdjO, 25th AdjD, 3rd overall
  • 2018: Villanova – 1st AdjO, 23rd AdjD, 2nd overall
  • 2019: Virginia – 2nd AdjO, 5th AdjD, 1st overall

So, in fact, only 11 of the 18 champions in the KenPom era – barely over half – offered both a top 20 offense and top 20 defense. Generally, the side of the ball that’s been lacking is defense; other than 2003 Syracuse and the two Connecticuts, the other four teams with sub-20 defenses all entered with offenses ranked 4th or higher. Even 2014 Connecticut and 2003 Syracuse did at least have one side of the ball in the top 20, with UConn having one of the strongest defenses in the field.

This particular talking point has irked me for some time. In an era where four of the last six champions didn’t have top 20 units on both sides of the ball, it seems extremely silly to keep promoting this to viewers and giving them the wrong idea. Is it better for a team to be well-rounded on both sides of the ball? Obviously, yes. But it’s not the thing that decides a champion.

Here are several other statistics, all of which are actually true and are more accurate than the one ESPN is using, that I would suggest broadcasters and college basketball tastemakers use.

  • In the KenPom era, 15 of 18 champions ranked in the top six nationally prior to the Tournament beginning.
  • Seven of the last eight champions have had at least one side of the ball rank in the top seven nationally.
  • 17 of the 18 champions in the KenPom era, other than 2014 Connecticut, had both a top 40 offensive and defensive efficiency.
  • The #1 overall KenPom team has won the Tournament only three times in 18 years.

Are we good? We’re good. Let’s keep this from happening all March long.

Close games, luck vs. skill, and why Auburn and Washington are closer than you’d think

In between missing several corner threes at the gym Thursday morning, I posted this on Twitter:

While sitting on the toilet at my day job about three hours later, I posted this:

These results are similar, yet different. It leads me to three separate conclusions:

  1. I would consider this one of the more successful and useful uses of my personally-limited iPhone Screen Time.
  2. That said, the word “decree” is pretty melodramatic. Who thought of this word? Why do we need it?
  3. We treat winning and losing close games a bit differently. If we win, there appears to be slightly more luck involved; if we lose, we did not have enough skill to get us over the top. Also, there was luck involved.

The two test cases for this were Auburn and Washington. By a pure W-L standard, the two teams are having fairly similar seasons in games decided by 7+ points. Auburn is 12-3; Washington is 11-5. In these games, Auburn is averaging a +12.7 point differential; Washington, +8.3. Generally, we would draw from this that Auburn is a better team than Washington, though it’s only about a four-point gap. That’s almost exactly what KenPom says, as they have Auburn as about 4.5 points better on a neutral court before you factor in tempo.

Given that we also know that Auburn and Washington have each played 10 games decided by 6 points or fewer, we would guess that their final W-L records are fairly close. Since Auburn’s point differential in 7+ point games is higher, they would most likely go 6-4 in their close games. Washington, meanwhile, would go about 5-5 with a nearly equal chance at 4-6. If these were true, you would expect Auburn’s overall record to be 18-7, with Washington at either 17-9 or 16-10. Auburn’s better, of course, but the gap is very small.

Of course, that’s not why you’re here. Auburn is 10-0 in games decided by six points or fewer; Washington is 1-9. Overall, this lends the two teams very disparate records: Auburn is 22-3, Washington 12-14. Clearly, Auburn has the Clutch Factor, the all-important Experience (4 seniors in their main lineup, along with a senior sixth man), the Vince Young “he just wins games” argument on their side. If you ask any SEC-based talking head, Auburn Plays the Right Way. They Make the Plays That Matter. They are LeBron, except for all the times LeBron has missed a game-winning shot.

Washington, meanwhile, clearly does things wrong. How else do you explain a 1-9 record in close games? Clearly, their rotation full of freshmen and sophomores just isn’t ready to win. They have no clutch players. Their skill level, despite having three possible first round NBA Draft picks, is just not high enough to win. Luck? What’s luck when you can’t trust anyone on your roster to make shots that matter?

If we’re taking those poll results honestly, we’ve thankfully moved past the stage where the majority of viewers are fully Team Luck or Team Skill. There is an inherent skill in winning close games in certain sports – ask Dabo Swinney or Urban Meyer about their gaudy records in one-score games in college football. Heck, the names you would expect to lead a “records in close games list” lead said list: Bill Self, Mark Few, Jim Boeheim, Dana Altman, Steve Fisher, etc. These are objectively great coaches.

But how do we settle the fact that coaches we also greatly respect, like Billy Donovan, Bob Huggins, Frank Martin, Gregg Marshall, and others, are either right at or below .500 in close games for their career? Were they simply outcoached and outclassed in those losses? Maybe. But that can’t be the excuse every time; otherwise, we would begin to convince ourselves that Andrew Toole – 72-48 in close games at Robert Morris, the highest WP% in basketball – is the most underrated coaching prospect in America. Clearly, Mr. Toole – who I don’t doubt is pretty good at what he does – learned something from going 12-15 in close games from 2015-17 to go 5-2 this year.

The answer to the initial question I proposed, I think, is probably “a bit of both.” Just like in most sports, the better team in a game is probably slightly more likely to win a one- or two-possession game. However, that isn’t always the case. The better team doesn’t win every game, regardless of final margin. Sometimes, weird stuff happens. That’s where luck comes in. It can come in for both the losing and winning team, just like luck could propel a lesser team to defeat a better one.

Anyway, this isn’t meant to be an end-all, be-all answer. I obviously believe Auburn’s a better team than Washington. I obviously think they’ve got greater upside. However: I think we look at close games, particularly in terms of wins and losses, in a very odd manner. I don’t think Auburn possesses some sort of magical clutch gene, just like I don’t think Washington possesses an evil voodoo doll gene. To be honest, I value games like Auburn’s blowout loss to KenPom #103 Missouri on Saturday the exact same as I do their one-point double-overtime win against Ole Miss. If we all agree to stop giving outsized importance to one or two-possession games and agree to value a team as a whole, I think we’ll be well on our way to a much better, smarter coverage of basketball.

The most efficient offenses in men’s college basketball, 2018-19

I posted this on Twitter a couple weeks ago, but since it’s time to build out my new site, I figured I’d share it here as well. Below are the most efficient offenses in all of college basketball for the 2018-19 season:

Team PPP TO% OREB% ShotVol FTA/FGA
NW Missouri 1.269 0.120 0.267 1.147 0.305
West Liberty 1.260 0.150 0.374 1.224 0.310
NE Wesleyan 1.246 0.163 0.312 1.148 0.288
Marian 1.245 0.129 0.303 1.174 0.262
St. John’s (MN) 1.230 0.172 0.347 1.175 0.297
Barton 1.226 0.155 0.374 1.219 0.278
Gonzaga 1.226 0.149 0.315 1.166 0.353
Notre Dame OH 1.216 0.156 0.351 1.195 0.326
Valdosta St. 1.215 0.151 0.342 1.192 0.314
Charleston (WV) 1.214 0.158 0.335 1.177 0.400
WV Tech 1.209 0.166 0.357 1.191 0.324
Bellarmine 1.209 0.173 0.281 1.108 0.373
Colorado Mines 1.206 0.155 0.339 1.184 0.391
Whitman 1.201 0.157 0.354 1.197 0.403
Southwestern (KS) 1.201 0.172 0.337 1.165 0.295
Nova SE 1.196 0.147 0.349 1.202 0.301
Emory 1.195 0.154 0.368 1.214 0.282
Morningside 1.189 0.147 0.276 1.129 0.277
Hofstra 1.188 0.138 0.268 1.130 0.377
Northern St. 1.187 0.158 0.306 1.148 0.342

Synergy uses a different formula to calculate possessions, declaring offensive rebounds as the start of a new possession. I am using the more standard formula:

FGA + (0.475 x FTA) – OREBs + TOs = Possessions

Then, you take your points scored in a season and divide it by your number of possessions. If you scored 2,235 points in a 2,000-possession season, your PPP is 1.117.

Here’s the statistical commonalities I see:

  • Each team was below the national average in TO%. For convenience purposes, I’m using the Division 1 averages here. The D-1 TO% average, per KenPom, was 18.5%. Every single team listed beat that, and it played a huge part in maximizing their possessions.
  • 16 of the 20 were above the national average in OREB%. Unsurprisingly, getting extra possessions helps you score more points.
  • Most importantly: every team beat the national Shot Volume average of 109.9, and only one team ended up lower than 112.9. For further research on Shot Volume, I strongly recommend this piece by John Gasaway, which I’ve used as the basis of this data for years. He has a new metric called SVI that’s a little more difficult to calculate, but upon request, I can do that, too.
  • However, the teams actually ranked slightly below the national average for their ratio of FT attempts to FG attempts. Considering that all but two teams in this list took at least 35.4% of their attempts from three, I’ll chalk it up to more perimeter-oriented offenses.

Update, April 19, 2019: Here’s each team’s shot chart, their best play types, and team shooting splits, and tempo. All numbers listed below are from Synergy Sports, with tempo calculated with the equation listed above. The colors you see below are based on this Synergy grading scale:

Efficiency

Onward.

20. Northern State Wolves (Aberdeen, SD)

Northern St

  • Points Per Possession: 1.187
  • Best Play Types (90th-percentile or above, at least 5% usage): Spot-Up (1.184 PPP on 597 possessions, 100%), Cuts (1.427 PPP on 206 possessions, 100%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 40.6% Rim (layups, dunks, tips), 23.3% Non-Rim Twos (all other shots), 36.1% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 62.6% Rim, 40.5% Non-Rim Twos, 41.6% 3PT
  • Tempo: 66.95 possessions per game (would rank 280th in D-1 among 353 teams)

19. Hofstra Pride (Hempstead, NY)

Hofstra

  • Points Per Possession: 1.188
  • Best Play Types: Spot-Up (1.084 PPP/669 possessions, 97%), P&R Ball Handler (0.929 PPP/562 possessions, 98%), Cuts (1.398 PPP/171 possessions, 100%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 32.9% Rim, 28.3% Non-Rim Twos, 38.8% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 65.7% Rim, 41.7% Non-Rim Twos, 38.5% 3PT
  • Tempo: 68 possessions (232nd in D-1)

18. Morningside Mustangs (Sioux City, IA)

Morningside

  • Points Per Possession: 1.189
  • Best Play Types: Post-Up (1.097 PPP/392 possessions, 99%), Transition (1.159 PPP/333 possessions, 95%), P&R Ball Handler (1 PPP/226 possessions, 98%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 45.9% Rim, 16.2% Non-Rim Twos, 36.9% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 64.9% Rim, 47.1% Non-Rim Twos, 37.7% 3PT
  • Tempo: 71.89 possessions (would rank 51st of 353 in D-1)

17. Emory Eagles (Atlanta, GA)

Emory

  • Points Per Possession: 1.195
  • Best Play Types: Transition (1.112 PPP/643 possessions, 91%), Cuts (1.274 PPP/175 possessions, 94%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 40.7% Rim, 19.4% Non-Rim Twos, 39.9% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 62% Rim, 42% Non-Rim Twos, 36% 3PT
  • Tempo: 77.73 possessions (would rank #3 of 353 in D-1)

16. Nova Southeastern Sharks (Davie, FL)

Nova SE

  • Points Per Possession: 1.196
  • Best Play Types: Spot-Up (1.111 PPP/760 possessions, 96%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 44.7% Rim, 19.1% Non-Rim Twos, 36.2% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 57.5% Rim, 41% Non-Rim Twos, 40.5% 3PT
  • Tempo: 80.73 possessions (would rank #1 of 353 in D-1)

15. Southwestern Moundbuilders (Winfield, KS)

SWKS

  • Points Per Possession: 1.201
  • Best Play Types: P&R Ball Handler (0.983 PPP/302 possessions, 97%), Cuts (1.348 PPP/184 possessions, 98%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 32.4% Rim, 21.3% Non-Rim Twos, 46.3% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 65.4% Rim, 47.1% Non-Rim Twos, 39.4% 3PT
  • Tempo: 74.18 possessions (would rank #13 of 353 in D-1)

14. Whitman Blues (Walla Walla, WA)

Whitman

  • Points Per Possession: 1.201
  • Best Play Types: Transition (1.122 PPP/892 possessions, 93%), Spot-Up (1.073 PPP/686 possessions, 96%), P&R Ball Handler (0.955 PPP/198 possessions, 98%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 42.7% Rim, 17.7% Non-Rim Twos, 39.6% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 60.3% Rim, 41.7% Non-Rim Twos, 39.6% 3PT
  • Tempo: 85.95 possessions (would be #1 of 353 in D-1, would be most since 2006-07 VMI)

13. Colorado Mines Orediggers (Golden, CO)

Mines

  • Points Per Possession: 1.206
  • Best Play Types: P&R Ball Handler (0.948 PPP/267 possessions, 95%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 33.7% Rim, 32.4% Non-Rim Twos, 33.9% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 62.6% Rim, 45.6% Non-Rim Twos, 39.4% 3PT
  • Tempo: 68.4 possessions (would rank #211 of 353 in D-1)

12. Bellarmine Knights (Louisville, KY)

Bellarmine1

  • Points Per Possession: 1.209
  • Best Play Types: Spot-Up (1.114 PPP/722 possessions, 98%), Cuts (1.368 PPP/386 possessions, 98%), Transition (1.215 PPP/381 possessions, 99%), Post-Up (1.075 PPP/308 possessions, 97%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 43.1% Rim, 20.3% Non-Rim Twos, 36.6% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 71.2% Rim, 49% Non-Rim Twos, 37% 3PT
  • Tempo: 66.37 possessions (would rank #300 of 353 in D-1)

11. West Virginia Tech Golden Bears (Beckley, WV)

WVU Tech

  • Points Per Possession: 1.209
  • Best Play Types: Spot-Up (1.127 PPP/647 possessions, 97%), P&R Ball Handler (0.922 PPP/293 possessions, 91%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 40.3% Rim, 18.9% Non-Rim Twos, 40.8% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 60.1% Rim, 37% Non-Rim Twos, 41.9% 3PT
  • Tempo: 78.43 possessions (would rank #3 of 353 in D-1)

10. Charleston Golden Eagles (Charleston, WV)

Charleston

  • Points Per Possession: 1.214
  • Best Play Types: Transition (1.211 PPP/342 possessions, 98%), Post-Up (1.224 PPP/161 possessions, 100%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 49.3% Rim, 17.2% Non-Rim Twos, 33.5% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 65.7% Rim, 38.9% Non-Rim Twos, 36.4% 3PT
  • Tempo: 71.25 possessions (would rank #72 of 353 in D-1)

9. Valdosta State Blazers (Valdosta, GA)

VSU

  • Points Per Possession: 1.215
  • Best Play Types: Spot-Up (1.085 PPP/492 possessions, 94%), Cuts (1.296 PPP/206 possessions, 92%), Post-Up (1.03 PPP/199 possessions, 94%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 39.9% Rim, 19.8% Non-Rim Twos, 40.3% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 62.7% Rim, 39.7% Non-Rim Twos, 39.4% 3PT
  • Tempo: 73.86 possessions (would rank #18 of 353 in D-1)

8. Notre Dame Falcons (South Euclid, OH)

NDOH

  • Points Per Possession: 1.216
  • Best Play Types: Post-Up (1.004 PPP/258 possessions, 92%), Cuts (1.302 PPP/255 possessions, 93%), P&R Ball Handler (1.009 PPP/227 possessions, 100%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 36.6% Rim, 20.9% Non-Rim Twos, 42.5% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 66.9% Rim, 39.1% Non-Rim Twos, 36% 3PT
  • Tempo: 72.23 possessions (would rank #45 of 353 in D-1)

T-6. Gonzaga Bulldogs (Spokane, WA)

Gonzaga

  • Points Per Possession: 1.226
  • Best Play Types: Transition (1.159 PPP/659 possessions, 94%), Spot-Up (1.074 PPP/651 possessions, 96%), Post-Up (1.073 PPP/286 possessions, 99%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 42.9% Rim, 21.8% Non-Rim Twos, 36.3% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 69.7% Rim, 45.2% Non-Rim Twos, 36.3% 3PT
  • Tempo: 71.4 possessions (ranked #66 in D-1)

T-6. Barton Bulldogs (Wilson, NC)

Barton

  • Points Per Possession: 1.226
  • Best Play Types: Transition (1.244 PPP/488 possessions)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 41.8% Rim, 24.6% Non-Rim Twos, 33.6% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 61% Rim, 43.6% Non-Rim Twos, 41% 3PT
  • Tempo: 73.41 possessions (would rank #22 of 353 in D-1)

5. St. John’s Johnnies (Collegeville, MN)

SJUMN

  • Points Per Possession: 1.23
  • Best Play Types: Spot-Up (1.072 PPP/544 possessions, 96%), P&R Ball Handler (1.003 PPP/316 possessions, 98%), Cuts (1.372 PPP/266 possessions, 99%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 45.5% Rim, 19.2% Non-Rim Twos, 35.3% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 66.3% Rim, 47.1% Non-Rim Twos, 40.6% 3PT
  • Tempo: 66.51 possessions (would rank #295 of 353 in D-1)

4. Marian Knights (Indianapolis, IN)

Marian

  • Points Per Possession: 1.245
  • Best Play Types: Spot-Up (1.112 PPP/457 possessions, 96%), Transition (1.218 PPP/440 possessions, 99%), P&R Ball Handler (1.1 PPP/420 possessions, 100%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 33% Rim, 31.6% Non-Rim Twos, 35.4% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 63.6% Rim, 46.9% Non-Rim Twos, 42.5% 3PT
  • Tempo: 71.05 possessions (would rank #80 of 353 in D-1)

3. Nebraska Wesleyan Prairie Wolves (Omaha, NE)

NWU

  • Points Per Possession: 1.246
  • Best Play Types: Transition (1.171 PPP/598 possessions, 98%), Spot-Up (1.074 PPP/557 possessions, 97%), Cuts (1.422 PPP/268 possessions, 99%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 41.7% Rim, 14.7% Non-Rim Twos, 43.6% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 69.8% Rim, 44.6% Non-Rim Twos, 40.6% 3PT
  • Tempo: 72.43 possessions (would rank #44 of 353 in D-1)

2. West Liberty Hilltoppers (Wheeling, WV)

WLU

  • Points Per Possession: 1.26
  • Best Play Types: Spot-Up (1.111 PPP/845 possessions, 97%), Hand-Off (1.075 PPP/214 possessions, 93%), Off Screen (1.12 PPP/183 possessions, 93%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 43.3% Rim, 17.5% Non-Rim Twos, 39.2% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 61.4% Rim, 37.2% Non-Rim Twos, 42.5% 3PT
  • Tempo: 80.02 possessions (would rank #1 of 353 in D-1)

1. Northwest Missouri State Bearcats (Maryville, MO)

NWMO

  • Points Per Possession: 1.269
  • Best Play Types: Spot-Up (1.131 PPP/870 possessions, 99%), P&R Ball Handler (1.021 PPP/426 possessions, 100%), P&R Roll Man (1.22 PPP/268 possessions, 10%)
  • Percentage of Shots Attempted: 43.1% Rim, 11.4% Non-Rim Twos, 45.5% 3PA
  • Shots Made by Category: 62.5% Rim, 45.3% Rim, 40.9% 3PT
  • Tempo: 64.92 possessions (would rank #336 of 353 in D-1)

Later this offseason, you’ll see video investigations of most of these offenses in a series to be revealed soon. Any and all questions may be directed to statsbywill@gmail.com OR on Twitter @statsbywill.