Fun with numbers

You find a lot of interesting things if you stare at a stat sheet long enough. And I have been looking at IU’s season statistics for about an hour now, and found a wide array of them that were either telling, intriguing or otherwise entertaining that I thought I might share while I wait to head to Tom Crean’s radio show. Some of them can simply be explained by the varying positions of some of the individuals in question, but I still think they provide some interesting perspective.

  • With his shot volume increased and with opposing defenses focusing more of their attention on him, sophomore guard Jordan Hulls has seen his season field goal percentage fall under .500 for the first time since Nov. 21.
  • Hulls still hasn’t missed a free throw since Dec. 11
  • Christian Watford and Verdell Jones are the only two players who have had more field goal attempts than Hulls’ 229. However, they’ve also done it in far fewer minutes. Watford has attempted 315 shots in 758 minutes. Jones has taken 248 in 688 minutes. Hulls has taken 229 in a team high 895 minutes.
  • Watford, Jones and Hulls are the only three players on the team with more than 100 made field goals. Victor Oladipo is fourth on the team with 81.
  • The Hoosiers have four players with more than 100 rebounds in Watford (145), Tom Pritchard (116), Derek Elston (110) and Victor Oladipo (108). Jeremiah Rivers is fifth on the squad with 88, which matches the number of team rebounds the Hoosiers have this year.
  • Pritchard leads the team with 48 offensive rebounds, but the Hoosiers have 51 team offensive rebounds. That means IU kept the ball because it went out of bounds more often than it did because of any individual offensive rebounder.
  • Matt Roth has taken 16 more shots than Tom Pritchard in 315 fewer minutes on the court. He’s made seven fewer shots than Pritchard.
  • Matt Roth is 2-for-5 from inside the arc, 25-for-66 outside of it.
  • Tom Pritchard and Bobby Capobianco both have more fouls than points. Pritchard has 83 fouls to 75 points and Capobianco has 44 fouls and 26 points.
  • In 207 fewer minutes than Jordan Hulls, Verdell Jones has one fewer assist and 30 more turnovers. In 249 fewer minutes than Hulls, Jeremiah Rivers has 31 fewer assists and one fewer turnover.
  • Five Hoosiers have more assists than turnovers. One of those is Tom Pritchard. Another is Daniel Moore. The other three are Hulls, Rivers and Jones.
  • Maurice Creek is still third on the team in made 3-pointers, even though he shot 31.0 percent from beyond the arc.
  • The only players with better free throw shooting percentage than Jeremiah Rivers at .784 are Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, Maurice Creek, Matt Roth and Daniel Moore.
  • Indiana is shooting 22 points better at the free throw line than its opponents, but has taken 176 fewer free throws.

25 comments

  1. In 207 fewer minutes than Jordan Hulls, Verdell Jones has one fewer assist and 30 more turnovers. In 249 fewer minutes than Hulls, Jeremiah Rivers has 31 fewer assists and one fewer turnover.

    Dustin-

    Wow..Are you sure these figures are correct? I know Jones was out for almost three games, but where on earth do the rest of the fewer minutes come from? 207 minutes? Isn’t that almost six games of basketball(avg. of 35 minutes per game)on the court less than Hulls? And still 30 more turnovers? What a glaring statistic. What is Jones averaging?…about 12 ppg? Is it fair to say he’s likely accounted for more offensive output the opposing team than what he’s put through our own nets?

    You don’t have to answer that last question, Dustin. Just pass it on to Hugh for a commentary.

  2. Dustin, great job with this.
    8 things:
    1) Thanks for helping to prove that IU is awful at basketball.
    2) You might want to hide this information from Crean, he is already completely lost and this would only confuse him more.
    3) I did the number’s crunching thing awhile ago between Hulls/Jones, and yes it is sad how much more
    4) How can Crean in anyway think he is doing the right thing as a coach of this group of young men if this is the what the numbers tell him? Any coach, and I do mean any coach, would realize that evidence is greater than theory. And in theory Crean thought he knew what was best, however the evidence clearly shows he does not know how to effectively get positive things done with this group of players.
    5) I hate to say this again but when you try to run the offense Crean has tried to use, with guys like Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls, it is a slap in the face to that type of offense. You don’t go one on one dribble drive with guys who should be playing at Kent State.
    6) That isn’t a knock on Hulls, but Hulls does not have the skill set to regularly get open by going one on one.
    7)This didn’t make it in your number crunching guide but: there is only one guard in America who takes the ball and backs up to the circle as the shot clock is running down, if you guessed Jeremiah Rivers you are correct, that is a 17 year old kid’s AAU move, to get a running start to blow by the defender, Rivers is now 28 years old and has never learned that the guys guarding him are just as athletic as he is. That’s on Doc though.
    8) The announcers on BTN and CBS said the same thing I just did, 2-3 times, hopefully Crean was listening, but he was probably instead Tweeting about how great the fans were.

  3. Stats,
    He was out for four games, actually, including the SIU-Edwardsville game in December with the ankle injury. He didn’t play much against Kentucky either, plus he was limited in the first few games back from the knee. In addition, Hulls has simply been averaging more minutes regardless. But yeah, that’s what the stat sheet says. Hulls has played 895 minutes, Jones has played 688.

  4. Stats- I like Jordan Hulls as well and I root for him. I think he is a good kid and a good player. But he wouldn’t be starting at any top 20 team in the US. He is a steady back up at best on any top20 team. You said he is doing well? He’s playing for the last place team in the B1G, they are 3-13, there are a hundred pgs in the nation who could do what Hulls is doing for the last place Hoosiers. “Hulls will be good once we get really good players around him.” That’s like saying once Crean gets future nba players he’ll be a ‘good coach.’ Hulls is a good player and I’d like to think in 2 years he’ll get his due with a nice NCAA tourney moment or 2 but he isn’t as untouchable as all the Bloomington faithful want to believe.

  5. 3-17
    You are yet another one that will get proven wrong with your quotes about Jordy Hulls. You must not know him well and must not have seen what he can do. He would be a starter at Purdue right now, according to our good friend Matt Painter. With great players around him, he becomes better and the other players become great. Imagine him making passes to their caliber of players and then knocking down shots when available. Again, I can’t wait for the day that Hulls proves you wrong along with others. IU should be glad they have him because he only gets better and accepts the challenges that come his way. Now that the focus is on him, his level of play will get better because he will be in the gym working on what needs to be done.
    I love the kid and he knows how to win. Count on it sir…..

  6. John,I agree with everything you said. I haven’t once bashed him. Sure when he gets way better teammates he will be way better, he’ll be open and he’ll hit shots, he is a winner and makes the right plays. I agree with all that. But that doesn’t mean he is a top PG nationally. He scores 11 ppg on a 3-13 last place big ten team, there are an amazing amount of kids in this country who could score 11ppg on a last place team in the big10. Is he a good player and could he be a starter for a ‘good’ team, sure. Once IU gets great recruits will he be open more and get shots? Yeah hopefully. Is he one of the best players in the B1G right now? Not close. Please let us know exactly what to expect from Hulls since you seem to think I misrepresented his talents: PPG for next year? Win total for IU? B1G player of the week honors? Assist per game next year? You can say he’s good all you want, thats great, it doesn’t change the fact that IU is a horrible basketball team. Hulls might be the starting PG when they are good again but it’ll be because he’s a senior. The reason they’ll be good and winning will be because of/if the ‘top recruits!’ that everyone is so giddy over actually show up.

  7. 3-17
    Gus Johnson, Dan Dakich, etal have made comparisions……….
    Hulls scored 18 against Michigan State/Lucas
    Hulls scored 15 & 13 against Purdue/Jackson Barlow
    Hulls scored 16 against Wisconsin/Taylor
    Hulls scored 18 against Illinois Richardson/McCamey
    Hulls scored 15 against Ohio State/Craft (1st game)
    Hulls scores 10 against Michigan/Morris
    I am not saying he is better than any of them. Some nights certain players are better than others. Every player has a bad game now and then too. Is it all about scoring? Hulls does a lot more than score the ball.
    We can lose every game, but he
    still has to play against some top Point Guards and
    he has clearly held his own………The Big Ten Coaches
    have even talked about him being the most improved in the
    Big Ten…….Unfortunately for this IU team there were some major injuries and a player that became ineligible. Nobody can say who is going to do what……. Anything can happen. Yes there are a lot of kids that could score 11 points in this league, but only a few get the chance and Hulls is one who gets the chance.
    Just prove’m wrong Hoosiers and Jordy!

  8. Don’t tell me there are a hundred guards in the nation that could do what Hulls does, that’s just idiotic and a nonsense statement. He is on a last place team but in no part is that his fault, the fault lies with our post players in large part. hulls plays his heart out night in night out, find fault where it needs to be found.

  9. You guys have always been very clear as to why you feel you shouldn’t be ‘fans’ of the Hoosiers. I do think it might be nice if you ‘kinda like’ the team.

  10. Davis, John- Read the comments, no one is bashing Hulls. He is IU’s best basketball player, he isn’t their most talented(Watford) or most assertive(Jones) but he is their best/strongest ball player. With that said IU is 3-17 on the season, 3-17! With your rationale after Pritchard’s freshman year if he was from Bloomington you’d be on here claiming Pritchard was one of the best PF’s in the nation(his stats were good right? but IU stunk). There is this thing called winning, which you may have forgot about. IU is 7-27 and last in the B1G in Hull’s career. He averages 8.5 ppg for his 2 year career. What I am stating is the obvious: on a really great team, even on an IU team in the pre-Crean era, Jordan Hulls is a hometown fan favorite reliable sub at best. That is not a knock on Jordan Hulls but it is the truth, the state of the program has given him a golden opportunity of major minutes, etc but a kid like Hulls is not capable of winning in the B1G as a primary option. Could he be a solid pg if he had 2-3 all big ten players around him? Sure. could IU win in that situation, sure. Can they with him as a primary major minute guy? Uhhhh 7-27 so far would say nope.

    Chet- I do ‘like’ the team. Hulls, Pritch, Oladipo, Sheehey. If you want me to lie and say IU is good at basketball, not happening, strangely enough though you can still be a fan with my mindset, try it sometime, its called critical thinking. You can root for and hope for the best from a team without thinking they are perfect. I’d love to see IU win the rest of their games and make the NIT, but it isn’t happening. And instead of sitting back and waiting for the 16 year olds to get here(HS recruits), I’m looking around and seeing numerous programs winning with teams as good or worse talent-wise than IU. But the players/coaches here currently don’t seem to have what it takes. If you are saying it’s not Crean’s fault then you are throwing the players under the bus, if you are saying it is the players fault(and not Crean) then you are throwing the team under the bus. So how are you a real fan? If you think it is impossible to win without 2-3 5 star recruits then you simply don’t see what is happening all over the country: college teams winning without big name coaches or recruits. But some how they still WIN.

  11. For now, everyone that calls themselves an IU basketball fan should just chill and stop comparing this team to past and present programs. Comparing will make you miserable and has no positive outcome. Take THIS TEAM as they are, win or lose, and enjoy them. Find positive aspects of the team NOW.

  12. Like I said before, you cannot say that Hulls cannot do it…………….He has proven a lot of people wrong so far and will do it again. He has held his own against the top guards in the league as stated above. I would rather listen to people who call the game, coaches and people around the Big Ten than see what is written by a person who hides behind 3-17. Enough said,
    Go Hoosiers!

  13. That was directed at Doug, Hugh, etc. They seem to actually dislike having to cover the Hoosiers. It’s just my impression, not an indictment. I have no idea what’s flying around in the heads of most of those posting here.

  14. I’m sorry. I meant Dustin. I was answering an email from a guy named Doug as I wrote that.

  15. I thought Dumes ran out of eligibilty. But everytime I watch Jones play I keep seeing Dumes.

  16. Most people discredit the amount of points scored by good players on bad teams because it is often the case that the good player is the only source of offense for his team and as a result, shoots the ball as much as he wants and records a lot of points each game. Does that sound like Jordy to you? cause it doesnt to me. I would say the fact that Jordy is on a bad team makes it even harder for him to be productive, he oftens draws a top defender who does nothing but simply shadow him because there is no real other threat on offense.

    I am not saying he would be a starter on top 20 teams, because honestly, I have no clue. But his success should not be discredited because he is on a last place team

  17. Dustin…Chet has a point; it does seem as if both you and Hugh believe that by demeaning Hoosier teams (whether football or basketball now, recruitment efforts, IU athletics in general, past history…etc) it will somehow add to the appeal of stories, columns or commentary.

    Nothing wrong with critiques (as opposed to criticism). Critiques point out weaknesses, suggest alternatives, even points towards strategies for improvements…but it does not overly obsess on the weakness and it does not resent nor ridicule the messenger.

    Critique is instructive. As a whole, the team has been way over-analyzed offensively. Take your blog on numbers. I looked at it hoping and initially impressed and pleased that I would to see a deeper analysis both offensively and defensively. But, as I read it I was quickly disappointed to see that out of the X categories of analysis you chose, only XY had anything to do with defense…which is exactly the area the coach (Crean) considers his strength and describes as his point of emphasis.

    Even in the actual analysis of offense, so much attention is given to shooting and converting and so little to shot selection (I’m sure you know how to do a shot chart – wouldn’t that be a great illustration of games in place of a picture of a player wiping his sweat or Coach Crean clapping his hands?). How about analysis of the frequency of assists vs. total shots…etc? Defensive rebounds vs. offensive rebounds, unforced errors vs. error totals (under pressure)?

    How about evaluating rebounding positioning? Charges taken/blocking fouls (an indicator of poor technique or lack of recognition). Why not a shot chart and analysis for the other team?

    Instead, the analysis describes something closer to a game of H-O-R-S-E than basketball.

    * [Jordan Hulls’]shot volume over time.
    * [Jordan Hulls] field goal percentage over time.
    * field goal attempts. (Top 4 over 100 fg attempts)

    * More than 100 rebounds.
    Note: Almost mentioned some aspect of basketball without possession of the ball (offense). You blew it by mining down to Pritchard’s 48 offensive rebounds. By the way, how do you conclude “..[it] means IU kept the ball because it went out of bounds more often than it did because of any individual offensive rebounder. I do not see (or perhaps understand) the basis for your extrapolation.
    * Matt Roth:Tom Pritchard total shots.
    * Matt Roth inside the arc:outside of it.
    * Tom Pritchard and Bobby Capobianco fouls/points. both have more fouls than points. Pritchard has 83 fouls to 75 points and Capobianco has 44 fouls and 26 points.
    * Hoosiers assists/turnovers:minutes

    * Creek 3 point from beyond the arc.
    * Free throw percentage vs Jeremiah Rivers
    * Total IU free throws vs. opponents.

    Does anyone ever analyze (really analyze) defense? Why are readers only given half the story and players evaluated only for their offensive contribution. (Other than general impressions not based on specific evidence)?

    Why are some players continually praised or defended by the writers (seemed to be the case with Hulls) or continually demeaned (seems to be the case with Rivers, even Creeks)?

    Balance…whether in playing the game of basketball (or football, or soccer…polo…) or writing about it readers need to be instructed to see the entire game. And, that is the role of the sports writer when well done.

    IU fans in general are a sophisticated and demanding bunch. That is what Coach Crean is learning…and how he will be evaluated. Hoosiers look at the detail of basketball with and without the ball; on offense and on defense. Hoosiers are also pretty demanding in that we want it all in our coaches…and our writer’s emphasis.

    Bob Hammel earned himself a pantheon as a great sports writer because he understood the entire game, wrote about it in its whole, did so with humor and without destroying the person or abusing those who played or coached it with demeaning sarcasm.

    I hope, that like coaches, as a professional you are accepting rather than defensive of critique.

  18. Oops. Sorry, I forgot to replace the X quantities in the number of offensive point/total number of point made by Dustin in my blog. Out of a total of 13 points eleven were an analysis of IU players ‘with the ball’. Only two would consider any facet of defense.

    Sorry, my gross oversight.

  19. Dustin, I will. Thanks. I didn’t mean to be perceived as ‘dogging’. Like I said, it’s just my impression.

  20. Tsao,
    It ain’t the greatest piece of statistical analysis in the world. And I don’t intend for it to be the definitive set of numbers to describe the Indiana basketball team. Heck, in most cases, I didn’t even say what each statistic should be said to mean. They’re just a list of numbers. No more, no less. I was sitting at the office not doing much, looked at the stat sheet, and found some things I thought were interesting. I wouldn’t do that for a newspaper story, but for the purposes of the blog, I think it fits.
    I will grant you a very real criticism that I need to work on. I should make a point to watch more film and I should become more intimate with Ken Pomeroy style statistics. Those are very real professional flaws I need to work on and I grant you that. Clearly, an in-depth shot chart as you suggested would be more valuable than this and I should do more things like that.
    But again, this wasn’t meant to be definitive or be-all, end-all. It’s just a blog piece pointing out a few numbers. Take it for what you will. I think it’s interesting.
    As for the rebounding numbers, you know what a team rebound is. If the ball goes out of bounds off a shot and you get the ball, it’s a team rebound. If you were shooting, it’s a team offensive rebound. If you weren’t it’s a team defensive rebound. Indiana has more “team” offensive rebounds than any individual IU player has offensive rebounds. The Hoosiers are the only Big Ten team in which that’s the case. What does that actually mean in the grander scale? I really don’t know, I just never recall seeing that before and I found it interesting. So I put it in the blog.
    Chet,
    I understand. But it’s clearly an issue that’s been bothering you and you’ve expressed that in several threads. Just figured it’s something we could better discuss in a less public forum.

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