Monday, February 12, 2007
A Statistical look at the 'Dogs in the WAC
Since the team will be off this week and return to action on Saturday, I felt it was worth taking a look at what this team has been able to accomplish statistically thus far.
I will preface this post by stating that Im a stat guy, not in the Fantasy Sports kind of way but more in the was of seeing trends and gauging teams successes and failures through them. Here is my attempt to explain that.
Fresno State is 5th at 71.2 ppg. New Mexico State is the leader at 80 ppg with Nevada just behind them at 77 ppg. I would have predicted this team would be right around 75 ppg during the conference schedule but that 42 point effort vs. Hawaii didnt help.
This is the stat that has to please Coach Cleveland. Leadind the WAC giving up 66.1 ppg through 12 games. This is an area that has been a focus for the staff this season and for the most part they have put themselves in a position to win games with their scoring defense.
Free throw percentage:
Currently fifth at 66% which is not good. For some teams this may be acceptable like New Mexico State due to their size and multiple post players getting to the line. The Bulldogs are a perimeter oriented team that should be shooting no less than 70% and probably in the 72-75% range. It has hurt them on multiple occasions this season.
Field Goal percentage:
The killer stat in my opinion. They are sixth at 41.5%. A lot of this can be attributed to a perimeter oriented team, but those that have watched every game would know that there have too many missed opportunities around the rim. After the top five teams in this category the number drops off dramatically and those under those five struggle at times. The Bulldogs have had too many sub 40% field goal games, and when that occurs it will always be difficult to win.
Field Goal percentage defense:
The saving grace. The Bulldogs may not be the best shooting team, but neither are the teams they face. Is this good defense or two teams clashing with anemic offense? In the last three home games, they have come out flat and primed to be decimated by the opposition. Thankfully opponents have been equally bad out of the gate and allowed FSU to stay in the game.
Three-point field goal percentage:
Sixth at 34.1%, a number that would be nice to see in the 36-38% range. A few atrocious shooting efforts helped push this number down. They have attempted 150 more 3s than anyone else in the conference.
Another difficult stat to ovecome, average margin is -2.5 rebounds per game. The Nevada game was the killer being outebounded 51-25. Explained by the lack of post presence and inability to keep opponents off of the offensive glass.
Leading the conference at 6.64 per game. Mostly due to Dominic McGuires's 3.5 bpg. Speaks to the athleticism of the team when they can lead the conference in this category without true inside players garnering the numbers.
Assists per game:
A stat I would like to see the Dogs lead the WAC in. I like teams that share the ball, the success level rises as teams are willing to make the extra pass. Currently third at 14.5 per game. Not bad but this is one category I want more of.
Steals per game:
Here is one category one would think FSU would average more than 6 per game. Im guessing it is more the lack of real gambling that the defense does. I give them a pass here due to the fact that defense has been great for the most part.
Turnover margin and assist/turnover ratio:
Done a nice job and find themselves at second in both categories. Comparitive to their conference foes, not too bad of a job protecting the basketball. Like Ive said all year, Hosley and McGuire need to average only 4-5 turnovers per game combined, but that number has been far too high in a number of games.
3 point field goals made:
Not a surprise at all that they lead at 9.24 made 3s per game. This was what they needed to do to compete in the WAC. With the volume they shoot they are going to be in this range. A little higher percentage would put this team over 10 per game which would be big.
The only WAC team with a home average over 10K fans per game. Although that may be enough for top honors in the conference, with an arena like the Save Mart Center with a 15.5K capacity its not enough. If the program can make strides next season and improve then this number will climb considerably.
McGuire leads the conference in blocks per game because he is 6'8", has long arms, and he can elevate with anyone. He needs to be careful or he will be in foul trouble much like he was against NMSU.
Kevin Bell is leading the conference in assists at 5.16 per game. Its what you like to see out of your point guard obviously, but if his teammates could knock down a few more threes and finish a few more around the rim Bell could be at 7 per game.
Quinton Hosley at 4th in the WAC at 2.76 offensive rebounds per game. This stat shows the effort that Q plays with and just how hard he works. These arent those happen to fall into to your hands because your big rebounds-these are the fight, claw, and scratch your way to an offensive board.
Lastly, the Bulldogs feature three players in the top ten in minutes per game in the conference. This also may be a reason for some of the difficulties experienced at times this season. Other teams have great players but they have young talent to spell them. This team does not have that luxury and hopefully next season we can be begin to see a more versatile team that has multiple options.