Thirteen games in, a look at the numbers

  • 02/17/2011 4:18 pm in

A little over a month ago, I took a look at Indiana’s efficiency numbers just four games into the Big Ten season.

Things were not pretty on the defensive end.

Have things changed with a larger sample size?

Read on:


Last time around, Indiana ranked last in the Big Ten, as it was giving up 1.26 points per possession to its opponents. Though not a spectacular defensive squad now, the Hoosiers have improved. They now sit at 1.11 points per possession, ahead of only basement-dwelling Northwestern (1.15), tied with Michigan and just behind both Iowa (1.1) and Michigan State (1.1). So if Indiana flashes some solid D the rest of the way out, it’s possible it could leapfrog the Hawkeyes and Spartans and finish seventh or better in the conference in terms of defensive efficiency, provided Michigan and Northwestern don’t jump ahead of them.

Better communication, more resolve and less lapses have allowed the Hoosiers to defend the 3-point line better. After being up at 51.4 percent (eleventh) through four games, the team has now allowed Big Ten opponents to shoot 39.2 percent (ninth), ahead of Michigan State (42 percent) and Northwestern (39.5 percent). This has helped drop their opponents’ effective field-goal percentage from 59.9 percent (tenth in conference) to 51.9 (seventh).

Indiana has also done a better job of fouling less frequently, as their opponents’ free-throw rate has dropped from 69.5 (eleventh) to 53.6 percent. Mind you, this is still dead last in the league by a long shot, as Northwestern is tenth at 43 percent.

Again, not stellar, but it’s an improvement. This team is better defensively than their wayward start showed.


Indiana’s offense has regressed since the first four games of the season, going from 1.08 point per possessions to 1.04. Such a mark now has moved them from fifth in the conference to tenth. Yet, there’s a lot of teams just ahead of the Hoosiers (Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern are all at 1.05 with Illinois at 1.06 and Penn State 1.07), which speaks to the bunched-up nature of the middle of the Big Ten pack this season.

So just like on the defensive end, the gap isn’t that wide between the Hoosiers and the next teams — meaning a strong showing here at the end of the season could have them reaching the middle of the pack offensively. Thanks in part to Jordan Hulls, the Hoosiers’ effective field-goal percentage still remains among the conference’s top half: through four games: 50.9 percent (fifth); through 13 games: 49.7 percent (fourth). But a midding free-throw rate (28.5 percent, ninth) — though they’re shooting a strong 77 percent from the line (second)  — and a turnover percentage of 18.4 percent (seventh), has kept their offense from more efficient play.

Filed to:

  • Am I reading the chart right? Did the earth spin off its axis? Wisconsin leading the lead in Offensive point per possession.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I don’t know if that’s completely mind blowing. For a team as meticulous as Wisconsin is on offense, you would think they get plenty of point production out of their opportunities. They just don’t have as many possessions as other teams due to their style of play.

  • Anonymous

    Really nice update. Thanks.

  • You know I thought about that after I posted. It’s not like they are leading in ppg, they are just effective at running their offense. Less possessions more points per….duh. Had a momentary laspe there.

  • HoosierSmitty

    It’s still an interesting stat nonetheless when you think about their style compared with Ohio State.

  • Anonymous

    What’s fun to me is how close everyone plays…there’s no real outlier in terms of possessions per game. I’d also wonder how the Big Ten averages, in terms of possessions per game, compared to other conferences.


    Off the topic, but anyone knows about news that a JUCO big man from Texas is in IU recruiting radar? I wonder who.

  • Anonymous

    Couple of names I have heard throw around: Moussa Gueye 7-1, DeMario Hinesb 6-8, Kader Tapsuda 6-8 (Assist. Tom Cloverdale). This is all speculation though. There is no facts backing any of this info.

  • Anonymous

    Couple of names I have heard throw around: Moussa Gueye 7-1, DeMario Hinesb 6-8, Kader Tapsuda 6-8 (Assist. Tom Cloverdale). This is all speculation though. There is no facts backing any of this info.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone else mortified by potential eligibility nightmares after reading what appear to be foreign names?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Anyone else bothered by the fact that by the number IU shouldn’t be the last place team in the league? It seems as if this team just figures out ways to lose games they shouldn’t lose. If it weren’t for a couple of good home wins they’d be sitting with one win against Michigan at home despite appearing to be a middle of the pack team. Hopefully next year they start to learn how to win and some of these close games start to go our way!

  • deedubbadoo

    I thought that Gueye signed with Alabama?

  • Anonymous

    They have the #1 offense in the nation according to Pomeroy, with OSU being #2 nationally.

  • Anonymous

    Below average. The national average is about 67, I believe. No Big Ten school is even close to being in the top 100 in possession per game.

    Wisconsin has the slowest tempo in the country, and Penn State is in the bottom 10.

  • Anonymous

    I would hope that with another year of experience and the addition of CZ next season, some of the close losses would turn into narrow victories. If we could have found a way to win vs Iowa, @ MSU, vs PSU and even @ WIS, we would actually have be 7-6 instead of 3-10. We currently lack the ability to will ourselves to a win. Hopefully, that can change. I feel like we are so close right now to breaking through!