Georgia Basketball

Georgia Basketball: Some Hidden Metrics

Georgia Basketball is filled with falsehoods and myths, metrics can help bring things to light.

Georgia Basketball has played seven official games this season because Morehouse does not count.  There are plenty of metrics out there as far as efficiency, pace, boxscore plus/minus and shot distribution.  However, these metrics have yet to be explored.  Unfortunately, the metrics were not able to be collected for the Georgia win over Gardner-Webb.

It is one thing to discuss shot distributions, but yet another to discuss how far away these shots are being taken.  A shot chart does not do proper justice as the shots are mere illustrations that do not specify the length of the shot.  The shots just all bunch together.

2 Point Shots in Between the Restricted Arc and Three Point Arc

On offense:

Georgia was taking the closest shots to the basket in their game at Clemson.  In no game was there such a difference in the length of the shots made and the length of the shots attempted than this one.

UNC-Asheville and Kansas played the most zone against Georgia and it resulted in Georgia’s toughest shots taken in this range.  It also resulted in Georgia’s worst offensive performances of the season.

On defense:

Georgia let Marquette get shot opportunities closer to the basket than any other opponent this season and Marquette was content to hit these shots.  Georgia played Marquette in the man-to-man for much of this game and in the games that Georgia played more man-to-man, the shots were taken closer to the basket.

Georgia’s defense was most effective against Kansas at forcing them away from the basket.  This was due to Georgia’s zone defenses and Kansas’ foul trouble.

It was a case of too little, too late offensively in this zone for Georgia against Clemson and Marquette.  However, this is not the ideal zone to be taking shots anyway.

In every game with the exception of the UNC-Asheville and Kansas games, Georgia took closer shots in the second half in this area.

Unfortunately, Georgia could not keep the shots attempted in this area from becoming shorter.  Every single opponent was able to take closer shots in the second half in this area of the court.  The goal is to keep opponents from taking shots close to the basket.  It’s about making opponents take tougher shots for the same number of points.

3 Point Shooting

Both Georgia and Marquette enjoyed the ability to attempt closer three point shots. Georgia struggled for most of this season from three point range and the length of the three point shots taken may not explain it rather well.  However, Marquette and Furman had the best shooting days against Georgia and they made the closest three point shots against UGA.  George Washington was able to hit threes against the Dawgs and were attempting closer threes as well.

Marquette actually was 5/19 from three point range against Georgia in the second half, which is interesting considering that they enjoyed the closest three point shots taken in any half against UGA.  Three point shot lengths did not vary much, but the length of Georgia’s threes against UNC-Asheville could explain some of the struggles in that one.

Restricted Arc Shots By Half:  Was there a mid-game emphasis on getting to the rim?

Georgia would start off attacking the rim and and fade against George Washington and Marquette.  Georgia became a jump shooting team in these games.  The Dawgs would attack the rim at around the same consistency in the games against Furman and UNC-Asheville.  However, UGA attacked more in the second half against Kansas and Clemson.

Opponents did significantly attack the rim more in the second half.  UNC-Asheville, George Washington and Kansas turned up the intensity and looked to work the ball into the restricted arc.  However against George Washington, Georgia completely dominated the interior and destroyed the Colonials’ will.

Marquette and Furman were eerily similar in their restricted arc shooting patterns, but the big difference was that Georgia was fouling more and letting Marquette get to the Free Throw Line.  Georgia’s second half fade in offensive aggressiveness can help explain why Marquette won this game.

Assists Playing a Role?

The stop-and-pop was not working against UNC-Asheville, George Washington and Kansas.  This is a team that has fared better shooting rhythm threes off passes coming from inside the perimeter.  Because of Georgia’s post-entry feed emphasis this season, Georgia’s percentage of assisted points in the restricted arc is rather high.

Clemson and Marquette were effective off the dribble drive while Kansas was able to score off assists in a game that was a bit devoid of offense.

Georgia has been transitioning into a team that is more assists and post-entry feed driven than using dribble drives.  These metrics certainly indicate that this is the case.

Foul Distributions

Georgia’s willingness to push pace in the wake of the CBE Classic has resulted in more shooting fouls for opponents.  Georgia started the season committing a lot of offensive fouls, mostly in the form of moving screens and this has decreased as the season has gone along.

Georgia committed 12 shooting fouls against George Washington and the Colonials only shot 62.5% from the Free Throw Line in that game.

Marquette fouled Georgia on the defensive end, but Georgia was unable to take advantage of the foul situation.  In fact, Georgia did not take a single Free Throw off a non-shooting foul in this game.  Georgia attempted 20 Free Throws and Marquette committed 10 shooting fouls.

Clemson was able to get to the Free Throw Line more than Georgia and they were able to get 50% of their Free Throws from non-shooting fouls.  Georgia only took one Free Throw off a non-shooting foul in this game.

Georgia attempted 23 Free Throws against Kansas and made only 13, 7 of these shots came off non-shooting fouls.

Taking Care of the Ball

The toughest fouls to swallow are the lost ball turnovers, which are turnovers from steals.  Georgia had this generally under control against Clemson, George Washington and Furman.  However, there was a failure to take care of the ball against UNC-Ashevlle, Kansas and Marquette.

Georgia’s ball distribution and security issues were most on display against Clemson, UNC-Asheville, Kansas and Marquette.  In the six games highlighted (because of the data being available), when Georgia committed ball distribution and security turnovers (Bad Pass and Lost Ball), the team went 1-3 when they committed eight or more of these turnovers.

Offensive fouls are aggravating, but they are done out of aggression and result in dead ball situations.  Bad passes happen due to lapses in judgment and poor execution.  Lost Balls are steals that usually come from a position of offensive weakness.

Georgia is forcing more opponent turnovers through steals this season and this has grown since the Furman game.  However, Georgia is not causing bad passes from opponents.  Georgia is forcing some more lost balls, but the bad passes are not there.  Georgia’s opponents do a better job when it comes to ball security than Georgia.  Mark Fox’s approach of forcing opponents to take bad shots does not work when the defense has lapses and fails to control the glass.

Georgia is less comfortable on offense than opponents, the metrics reflect and confirm it.

The next metrics article will focus on the individual student-athletes, this should be fun.