Previewing Florida

2009 Scouting Report / 2009 Game Plan / 2010 Scouting Report / 2010 Game Plan
2010 Stats
2010 Roster
2010 Schedule

 

Florida Offense 08-09
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 54.6 14
Turnover Rate 17.5 25
Off Reb Rate 32.5 187
FTA/FGA 30.0 315
Florida Offense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 49.8 140
Turnover Rate 19.5 99
Off Reb Rate 37.7 49
FTA/FGA 31.8 278

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should I Firebomb Billy Donovan's House?

I always think about the chapter by that name in Basketball on Paper (which was published years before Donovan's championship breakthroughs) whenever I stumble onto a Florida game because it seems such a ridiculous sentiment now.  In the years following Donovan's first Final Four appearance, his teams suffered a couple of first-weekend exits from the NCAAs, which prompted someone to ask Dean Oliver that question.  Oliver used it as impetus to investigate what effect--good or bad--coaches have on winning percentage.  He decided that no, you should not firebomb Billy Donovan's house.  Good call.

(Aside: Oliver evaluated NBA coaches with several different statistical approaches, and let's just say that none of them were very flattering towards Sidney Lowe.  Every method found that Lowe's presence had a negative effect on the Grizzlies' winning percentage.  That is, their actual win percentage was lower than their expected win percentage as estimated by said methods.  In conclusion, fire Lee Fowler.)

Right then.  On to matters at hand that are actually relevant.

As you might expect from a team that shot as well as Florida did in 2009, the Gators allocated their shots about as perfectly as possible.  The guys taking most of the shots were also their most effective scorers.  Not so this year.

Three most-frequent shooters (by %Shots):

2009 2FG% 3FG% eFG%
Nick Calathes 55.5 39.0 56.8
Alex Tyus 59.1 n/a 59.1
Erving Walker 46.0 41.9 56.6

 

2010 2FG% 3FG% eFG%
Kenny Boynton
52.1 26.3 44.9
Alex Tyus 52.1 n/a 52.1
Erving Walker 35.4 30.6 40.9

 

Based on their respective track records, Tyus and Walker figure to improve.  Tyus came into the year a career 57.7% shooter, and Walker is coming off that fine freshman campaign of his.  Boynton, a freshman who also happens to be the guy taking the largest chunk of the shots, is a bigger question mark.  But he has hit seven of his last 15 3FGAs, so perhaps he's coming around.  I just don't have any idea where his true shooting talent lies.

Last year's Florida team boasted one of the ten best 2FG percentages in college basketball, and while that percentage has dipped some in 2010, they're still effective inside (and with all the size they have, they should be).  Three point shooting, or the total lack thereof, has been the big issue.  Improved offensive rebounding has helped them compensate to some degree, but not nearly enough to avoid a significant overall decline.

I think NC State needs to force the Gators into more three-point attempts than they're comfortable with and let the chips fall how they may.  Though that might not matter if State can't improve on its poor defensive rebounding effort against UNCG. (The Spartans are comparable to Florida in terms of OR%.)

Starters:

Erving Walker (5-8, 171) -- The shooting isn't there right now, but he's distributing the ball effectively and taking good care of the basketball.

Kenny Boynton (6-2, 183) -- Probably needs to be a little more selective with his three-point attempts.  Aside from his perimeter struggles, he's been a useful contributor.

Dan Werner (6-8, 230) -- If I recall correctly, Werner was much more highly regarded than Dennis Horner coming out of high school, but Horner's going to have the better college career when all is said and done.  Not to sell Werner short--he's been a reliable role player throughout his career.  He's just never been able to take the next step, and he's shooting a modest 31.9% from beyond the arc in 3+ seasons, which feels disappointing in retrospect.

Alex Tyus (6-8, 220) -- Love this guy.  Efficient scorer, rarely turns the ball over, rebounds decently at both ends.  His usage is down this season, which is a head-scratcher.  I think the guards would be well served to give him a bigger piece of the pie.

Vernon Macklin (6-10, 240) -- Spent his first two seasons at Georgetown, where he hit 65.7% of his twos in limited action.  So his 60.4 2FG% this season is probably not a fluke.  Outstanding offensive rebounder and shot blocker.  Like the other big guys on the roster, his defensive rebounding leaves something to be desired.  Turnovers are a problem. 

Bench:

The Gators will be without Ray Shipman (6-5, 210) and Kenny Kadji (6-10, 248), who are banged up.  Neither would be significant contributors, but Shipman has at least been a competent scorer inside, and without these guys the Gators go seven, maybe eight deep.  Chandler Parsons (6-9, 215), Erik Murphy (6-9, 217), and perhaps Kyle McClanahan (6-1, 185) will see time.  Murphy is dealing with a shoulder injury in is not 100%.  McClanahan is a walk-on.  Parsons averages double-figures off the bench and should figure prominently.  No telling what the Gators will get out of the other guys.

 

Florida Defense 08-09
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 50.5 237
Turnover Rate 21.6 96
Off Reb Rate 32.1 144
FTA/FGA 29.9 35
Florida Defense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 43.4 34
Turnover Rate 24.6 29
Off Reb Rate 33.6 188
FTA/FGA 25.2 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between opponents' low 3FG% and low 3FGA/FGA ratio, Florida's perimeter D is looking positively Duke-esque.  They've turned around their interior defense as well.  And they're forcing lots of turnovers while avoiding fouls, which is the defensive ideal everyone should strive for.  I wonder about that TO%, though.  Their steal and block rates are right in line with last year's, so the higher TO% could be a function of a slate of crappy, mistake-prone foes.  But that's pure conjecture; obviously, there's much more to a team's defensive impact than block and steal rates.

I have a hard time believing their FG% defense is that much better, and if we manage to not throw the ball away willy-nilly, second chance opportunities should be available. 

The Pomeroy Predictor says flip a coin.

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