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What's The Price Of A Turnover These Days?


Turnovers can have a significant impact on a team's offensive efficiency--they used to kill Sidney Lowe's teams, which shot the ball extremely well over his first three years but also turned it over a shit-ton--so I like to look at how each ACC school performs on possessions that do not end in a turnover. That is:

(Pts Scored / (Total Possessions - Turnovers))

As John Gasaway put it years back:

This, of course, is merely a measure of how well each team shoots, hits the offensive glass, and makes free throws in a frictionless TO-less universe.

Here's a look at this year's figures (conference games only):

1. NCSU 131.3
2. Duke 130.8
3. Miami 128.8
4. UVA 128.8
5. UMD 128.5
6. BC 124.4
7. UNC 124.0
8. FSU 121.4
9. Wake 117.7
10. VT 117.2
11. Clemson 115.9
12. GT 112.4

There aren't a lot of huge shifts here relative to standard offensive efficiency--the top four are the same, with NC State leapfrogging Duke. Maryland, the league's most turnover-prone team, moves up a couple of spots. UNC, which has the second-lowest turnover rate but doesn't shoot particularly well, drops a couple.

Turnover rates seem to be declining in college basketball, which lessens the movement described above. When I looked at this in February of--*checks watch*--forever ago, only two ACC teams had a TO% under 18.0. This year, half the league does. You wouldn't know it by watching, but the 2013 ACC is taking a lot better care of the ball than the 2007 ACC. This would in theory lead to more enjoyable basketball, but there has been an overall decline in scoring efficiency despite the declining turnover rates, which I'm sure you have noticed by watching. SHOOTING IS DEAD.

Honestly if I have to watch one more team struggle to score 40 points in regulation I am quitting everything and moving to a shed in the wilderness.

Anyway, we already knew that the Pack has one of the best offenses in the league, and this just further illustrates that fact. And Clemson and Georgia Tech are just plain terrible whether they're turning the ball over or not.