Thursday, December 14, 2006
Looking Toward Southern Miss
I had a few extra minutes in my day so I thought I might try to learn something from Bama's performance statistics so far this year from the rolltide.com site
First, our three point shooting numbers are not where they need to be. We attempt about 22% fewer threes than our opponents (164-212), but we have made almost the same number (61-59). We've shot threes at 32% and held opponents to 28%, but much of that was against inferior competition. Iowa and Xavier both shot at 23% while Bama it at 21% and 26% against them, respectively. Notre Dame was the killer. They went 12 for 28 (or 43%) outside the arc, while Bama shot a respectable 9 for 24. I'd say it's too early to draw any conclusions from those numbers.
What does look like good news is that Riley seems to have found his shot. He shot pretty well in the first two games but was an abysmal 1 for 11 against Xavier and Iowa. (Maybe he enjoyed the beach too much?) Against Notre Dame he went 2-6 outside the arc and shot 54% over all.
Torrance and Hollinger have not been much help here. Torrance is shooting at 18% outside the arc. Hollinger is hitting one-third of his threes, but he's only shot 20 of them. Geeks three point numbers are similar to Hollinger's (9 of 23).
Some people thing Tubbs is the answer, but he's only had the one good game. Tubbs did play solid defense, so perhaps he can be a good first replacement for Riley while Hollinger and Torrance trade time at the point. (I think Torrance is Steele's heir apparent, but he's not in condition yet and he is not yet playing at the level that will be required to edge out Hollinger.)
The numbers that jump off the page are turnovers and free throws. We have committed an appalling 117 turnovers for a margin of -1.3. I know we are playing a lot of youth, but with all the true ball handling guards and big men with gifted hands, those numbers are way too high.
Our team free throw shooting is bad at 65%. Inside those numbers, Gee is at 60% (33 of 55) and Hendrix is at 67% (25 of 37). Given the numbers of minutes they play and the number of times they both will be fouled, if they do not improve those numbers we will lose several games we should win at the line alone.
A good friend of mine likes to say, "Whatever you measure improves." I hope he's right because those FT numbers really need to improve.
I guess that's enough whining for one afternoon. Hopefully we will pad all those numbers a bit against USM and Steele will be ready to play before Oklahoma.
P.S. Sorry for any misspelled words. I cannot seem to make the spell checker on this site work.