The four factors and efficiency: Indiana vs. Pittsburgh

  • 12/05/2009 11:10 am in

If you caught Ryan’s post a little over a week ago, one thing we’re hoping to do this season is look more at on the court numbers rather than expectations. In doing so, one of the best tools available is to look at the four factors to winning, established by Dean Oliver. The four factors are building blocks for Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency formula.

The below chart shows how the Hoosiers rank nationally in comparison with Tuesday’s opponent, Pittsburgh, in the four factors — effective field goal percentage/effective field goal percentage defense, turnover percentage/opponent turnover percentage, offensive rebounding percentage/defensive rebounding percentage and free throw rate/opponent free throw rate.

The final number, which Ryan used in his piece last week, is adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency, defined by Pomeroy as:

Raw offensive efficiency is points scored per 100 offensive possessions. The adjusted version adjusts for the quality of opposing defenses, the site of each game, and when each game was played (recent games get more weight). Defensive efficiency is points allowed per 100 defensive possessions, adjusted for the same things.

iupitt

One thing that immediately jumps out is that Pittsburgh is superior in essentially every category and in a few, they’re considerably better.

Factors in Indiana’s favor: The one factor in which Indiana holds a measurable advantage is defensive turnover percentage. IU is forcing a turnover on 25% of opponent possessions. But you could argue that the effect of this stat is negated by the fact that IU is turning it over on 22.4% of its possessions.

Factors in Pittsburgh’s favor: The Hoosiers are a respectable 113th in the country in offensive rebounding percentage, rebounding 35% of their missed shots. However, Pitt ranks sixth in defensive rebounding, corralling 75.8% of their opponents’ missed shots.

Opponent free throw rate (311th/51.4% for IU), which is FTA/FGA, is also troublesome when you consider how good of a job Pittsburgh (39th/48.7%) does in getting to the line.

And finally, the adjusted offensive/defensive efficiency numbers are pretty one-sided. Pitt has been 20 points better than opponents in offensive efficiency (107.5) compared to defensive efficiency (87.0). IU, meanwhile, has both numbers riding side-by-side: 97.3 offensive efficiency versus 97.7 defensive efficiency.

(Thanks to mgoblog for the idea on the chart layout.)

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  • iufrank

    I am not a big numbers follower, but understand the need have playing sports myself years ago. I do know that the team lacks alot of fundamental disciplines of the game. 1. Being able to handle the ball with confidence in full court or in the half court. We all know when good defensive players sence a lack of confidence their intensity ramps up even more. 2. Discipline in the half court offense, after they push the ball and there is nothing there. Fundamentals and discipline in the half court defense, too many bunnies. I am sure it is hard for players (young players at that) and coaching staff to push the cerrebral one day and the next just play you're thinking to much. I wouldn't miss an IU game though and appreciate what is being done. I believe the polarity in the basketball program is changing and for the good. Players and coaches are going to be tested more so every week. Tom, players and coaching staff will be rewarded soon enough for their hard work. Keep Pushin On and GO IU!

  • jdhoosier

    Great stuff, I really like these stats and hope you continue these types of posts. The only part I don't like is what the numbers tell me…..we're going to lose.

  • dabig

    I’m not sure stats mean very much at this stage. I’m convinced Crean is trying to implement an offensive and defensive philosophy on a bunch of guys who have never before played against anything close to the level of talent they are seeing now. It took several years for Bob Knight’s philosophy to yield results, and the program he took over wasn’t nearly the ruin that Crean got.

  • dabig

    I’m not sure stats mean very much at this stage. I’m convinced Crean is trying to implement an offensive and defensive philosophy on a bunch of guys who have never before played against anything close to the level of talent they are seeing now. It took several years for Bob Knight’s philosophy to yield results, and the program he took over wasn’t nearly the ruin that Crean got.

  • brian

    way to incorporate kenpom into ITH. this should be a regular pre-game post. all of us at “our hoosier board” appreciate your work.

  • Bryan

    Yeah, even though the season sample size is admittedly small at this point, the numbers don't paint a pretty picture, especially with this being away from Assembly Hall. If you look at Pomeroy's overall ratings, this is a 37 vs. 167 match-up, with IU having no wins against anyone in the top 150.

    I really enjoy KenPom.com, so I really hope we'll be seeing more of his stats here on ITH. I'd be really interested to discuss his player-specific data and match-up predictions once he's collected enough data to post them.

  • JerryCT

    I like the stats too…………..but they are the only the beginning. The next step is to identify and understand WHY the stats are what they are.

    Example: If we were a better 3pt shooting team , or better at getting uncontested shots or better FT shooting team our points per 100 possessions would go up fast and alot. Thus I think we miss Roth more than anybody expected and Dumes must play well for more minutes

  • cooper

    Free throws are the main issue right now. Easiest to change because of no defense involved. Tough to improve shot % and other areas when the go to guys are so young and competition is tougher. They need the off season to work on shot, handle etc which will result in more quality possessions. But a less talented team must shoot at the line well. Especially Rivers. He may never shoot well from the field, and he doesn't necessarily need to. He does penetrate and draw fouls. Look at Vasquez's line from the Maryland game. 4-14 from field, and 13-14 from line. Rivers could put together lines similar to this. The rest of the guys need to make them as well.