After 10 games, we now have a decent sized data set to begin to analyze the contributions of each of the individual players. All data is from sports-reference.com. Player rank in the Big East is presented in parentheses and is subject to the qualification standards listed here.
|D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera||2.6 (10)||0||13.4||22.5||155||125.7 (3)||100.6||1.2 (8)||0.6||1.7 (10)||0.205|
DSR has quickly become one of the most efficient offensive players in the conference by improving on his 3-pt shooting (45.1% vs 33.6% last year) and becoming a better distributor in the offense (18.7% assist rate vs 12.2% last year). Yet, despite the jump in efficiency and the departure of Otto Porter, DSR's usage rate in the offense is almost identical to last year. Although DSR is the most efficient perimeter player offensively, his usage rate is only 3% higher than the team's least efficient offensive perimeter player (Aaron Bowen - 95.6 Offensive Rating on 19.5% usage). JTIII should consider adjusting his line-ups so that DSR can get more possessions away from other high usage players (Smith and Starks) so that DSR can have the opportunity to carry the offense when surrounded by less efficient bench players.
|Markel Starks||10||354||17||45.8%||31.5%||53.8%||46.4%||1||4.9||3.1||25.3 (5)|
Markel has continued to improve as a ball handler each year while continuing to assume a larger role in the offense:
Markel's improved efficiency in operating the offense has resulted in him posting his highest offensive rating this year even while having a down-year shooting (46.4% eFG vs 55% the prior two seasons). The drop in his shooting numbers primarily results from a decline in his 3-pt shooting (31.5% this year vs 37.0% lifetime). I would expect his 3-pt shooting to regress to his lifetime average, but I think that its important to monitor the quality of the shots that he's taking.
|Joshua Smith||10||205||28.4 (2)||70.6% (1)||0.0%||70.1% (1)||69.6%||12 (5)||7.9||9.8||9.5|
|Joshua Smith||2.3||3.6||15.3||27.4 (6)||115||126.9 (2)||100.5||0.9||0.3||1.2||0.239 (5)|
Joshua Smith is an offensive juggernaut. Multiple offensive efficiency metrics show his dominance in scoring the ball and he's doing so at the highest usage rate on the team. Taking time-off last year seems to have improved his post game as his TS% is now 11.6% higher then his previous career high.
Since joining the Hoyas, Joshua's offensive rebounding rate has declined 5.8% (although he's still 5th in the Big East among qualifying players) and his defensive rebounding rate has dropped 8.4% off his UCLA rates. On the defensive side, I think that some of this has to do with opponents drawing Smtih outside the paint where he can't recover fast enough to challenge shots or bid for rebounds.
Defensive efficiency is harder to measure, but the early statistics suggest that the team is much better defensively with Smith on the bench. The challenge is for the coaching staff to design a defensive scheme that can hide Smith's limited mobility and keep him close to the basket. Be sure to watch for how Smith hedges pick-and-rolls and how often he drifts from the paint.
|Nate Lubick||10||259||11.7||57.1%||0.0%||55.6%||57.1%||5.2||21.2 (4)||13.7 (7)||13.3|
Nate's performance this season has been fairly consistent with his prior years except for his defensive rebounding and his assist rate. Nate improved his defensive rebounding by 5.2% over his previous career high and his defensive rebounding rate ranks him fourth among qualifying players in the Big East conference. On offense, Nate played at a 20% assist rate for his prior two seasons, but this has declined to a 13.3% rate this season. Nate's turnover rate has remained high at 24.3% and so Nate is currently giving up almost two turnovers for every assist he creates. While Nate has a reputation for creating some breathtakingly difficult assists, the coaching staff should consider how many possessions Nate loses trying to create them.
Mikael is the best defensive frontcourt player on the team. He has the lowest defensive rating, the highest block percentage and the highest total rebound rate. Mikael is getting almost twice the rebounds that he did last year (18.1% vs 9.1%) and has dropped his turnover rate from 23.6% to 15.3%, which is much closer to the team's average. With a 49.9% true shooting percentage, Mikael still struggles to score offensively and is still using an above-average share of the possessions (23.4% vs 22.5% for DSR).
I think one of the most important questions facing the coaching staff is whether Nate or Mikael should receive more minutes next to Joshua Smith. I'd need to go through the line-up data for a better answer, but based on the individual statistics, I think that Smith-Hopkins would be a better pairing. Hopkins is more capable than Lubick in covering for Smith's defensive lapses and Smith would take more offensive possessions away from Hopkins, leading to better team efficiency.
Jabril's statistics this year suggest to me that he's now a player that's well aware of his skill set and the role he needs to play to help the team win. He improved his eFG% by 8.2% through better shot selection. Jabril has always been a below average 3-pt shooter, but is now taking 2.9 2pt attempts per 3pt attempt compared to 1.2 last year. Jabril's been much more efficient in his 2pt attempts by shooting 65.6% from the field, a 15% increase from last year.
Elsewhere on offense, Jabril cut his turnover rate from 23.0 to 16.9%. The result of these changes has led Jabril to improve his offensive efficiency by 14 pts per 100 possessions and he is now the 4th most efficient player on the team. Jabril is probably not ever going to be a high volume scorer or distributor on offense, but is emerging as one of the more efficient finishers on the team. The offense should look for more opportunities to get Jabril the ball in the paint through cuts or help him to create drives off of perimeter ball movement.
Aaron Bowen is a player that you need an advanced box score to appreciate. He has the lowest defensive rating of any wing defender on the team, has the highest steal rate and is the best rebounder of all the perimeter players. On offense, Aaron profiles similarly to Jabril in that he's a strong finisher (64% 2pt%), but is not a strong shooter or distributor. Much like Jabril this year, Aaron can improve his offensive efficiency by being more mindful of his skillset. Despite being a lifetime 17.8% 3pt shooter, Aaron still takes 1.5 3-pt attempts per game and would probably be better served using his athleticism to drive the ball into open space then to take what for him is a low percentage shot. Aaron's turnover rate of 21.5% is also second highest on the team and offers further room for improvement.
Moses has made strides a player this offseason in improving his post abilities (+9.0% eFG% & +14.8% TS%), but his absurdly high turnover rate still makes him a liability on the offensive end. On the defensive end, he can serve as an effective sub for Nate or Mikael with only a slight drop-off in rebounding and his defensive rating is similar to the two other players. However, Moses still commits 9.8 fouls per 40 min (highest on the team for players w/ 80+ minutes) and needs to foul less to further improve his impact on the defensive end.
Reggie has limited minutes so far, but has demonstrated some potential that he could emerge as a successful role player and the elusive third perimeter shooter that the team needs. Reggie's converted a third of his 21 three point attempts, which is about at the team average. His eFG% and TS% are brought down a strangely low 16.7% 2pt percentage, but that is very likely to improve over the course of the season. His defensive rebounding percentage suggests that he could provide plus rebounding if he can defend the 3 position.
Further analysis is needed to analyze his defense, but at 101.6, that's close to the other wing defenders and so it doesn't seem that he's so lost on defense. Reggie also has one of the lowest turnover rates on the team at 8.9%.
For Reggie to add value to the team, he needs to work to get open 3-pt shots while on the court. If Reggie can continue to find and make open 3-pt shots, he could be a valuable weapon when teams pack the paint against Georgetown.