The Sports Report

A Statistical Take on Sports and Politics

Dayton Basketball Games 5 and 6

Dayton Flyers (5-0) 60
Auburn Tigers
(3-2) 59
Friday, November 28 (Final in OT)

Dayton Flyers (6-0) 89
#15 Marquette Golden Eagles
(5-1) 75
Saturday, November 29

Dayton wins the Chicago Invitational Challenge
Sears Center, Hoffman Estates, IL

I can’t believe it. In two of the most opposite games in history, the Dayton Flyers improve from the worst three point shooting performance in thirteen years, to beating the fifteenth ranked team in the nation. In both games, however, the Dayton Flyers of 2008-2009 beat “BCS” conference opponents and won an early season tournament with other mid-major schools such as Northen Iowa, Chicago State, and Texas Southern.

Official Dayton recap (Auburn): “JOHNSON’S FREE THROWS HELP UD TO A 60-59 OVERTIME WIN OVER AUBURN”
Official Auburn recap: “Auburn Basketball Falls Short In Overtime To Dayton, 60-59”
Official ESPN Recap
: “Clang! Dayton tries, misses 24 3-pointers, still beats Auburn”

Official Dayton recap (Marquette): “FLYERS UPSET NO. 15 MARQUETTE 89-75 TO WIN THE 2008 CHICAGO INVITATIONAL”
Official Marquette recap:
“Marquette Falls to Dayton, 89-75”
Official ESPN Recap:
“Dayton’s depth, quickness too much for No. 15 Marquette”

I don’t really know what I can say about Friday night’s game against Auburn besides repeating the same old-line: 0 for 24. If you haven’t seen the official recap over at ESPN, please just read this sentence here about the Flyers historic performance: “That broke the previous NCAA record of 0-for-22, set by Canisius against St. Bonaventure on Jan. 21, 1995.” In the other day’s recap about our win over Mercer I talked about how we would need better offensive performances in order to win this weekend.. Our defense was tremendous in this game, and they certainly did everything necessary to win in overtime, but come on….

For the game Friday night against Auburn, the Dayton Flyers attempted 72 field goals, including the 24 missed three-pointers. They went 20-48 on two-pointers (41.7%), meaning that they scored a grand total of 40 points on their 72 field goal shots. That figures out to be 0.556 points per shot, when the expected average in the game of basketball should be 1.000 as you should get a point every possesion and the break-even margins for two-point shots and three-point shots are 50% and 33.3%, respectively. Not only did the Flyers shoot miserably from threes, but they were below average from two’s. It was just a miserable offensive performance, but in the end it was the rebounding and free throws that made the difference for Dayton.

In 2008, Auburn was the 200th best offensive rebounding team, and the 195th best at preventing teams at getting offensive rebounds according to Ken Pomeroy (his college basketball efficiency statistics can be viewed at this link here.) Dayton, on the other hand, ranked 69th and 15th in these two categories respectively. Despite this numbers, it is one thing entirely to simply out-pace an SEC team with a more difficult strength of schedule in rebounding percentages, and an entirely different ting altogether to actually kill them on the boards at a neutral location.

When Dayton missed a shot in this game, they grabbed 16 of the 42 official rebounds, and when Auburn missed a shot, Dayton still managed to grab 34 of the 41 official rebounds. This means that in the end, Dayton out-rebounded an actual SEC team 50 to 33, and you didn’t read that wrong at all. The combination of Little, Huelsman and Wright, the three starting forwards, combined for 31 rebounds in this game, by far improving upon their old combined high of 18 rebounds this year. One of the more defining aspects of the game, however, was the Flyers and their free throw shooting. After going 4-13 from free throws in the first half, they proceeded to finish the game going 16-18 from the charitry stripe, including six straight freebies in overtime for junior Marcus Johnson to ice it.

In the Saturday game against #15 Marquette, I was suprised to see the headline from ESPN that “Dayton’s depth, quickness too much for No. 15 Marquette.” Coming into this season, no one expected Dayton’s depth to be an advantage in big time games in neutral locations, but Rob Lowery was a big reason why this all changed in Hoffman Estates. Off the bench in 23 minutes, Lowery was 9-13 off the field and 2-4 from three’s for a grand total of 21 points, and 3 turnovers. I had been saying in the game recaps against Mercer and Bethune-Cookman that his shots were going to start falling, and they kept falling and falling against the Golden Eagles from Wisconsin.

Here are the bench statistics for both teams in the game:

Marquette Golden Eagles
51 total minutes – 5 pts, 5 rebounds, 1 assists, 9 personal fouls and 3 turnovers on 2-5 field goal shooting

Dayton Flyers
78 total minutes – 36 pts, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 11 personal fouls and 4 turnovers on 15-26 field goal shooting

Looking at the Flyers numbers it does not seem odd that A) the Flyers bench totalled 78 minutes or B) that they attempted 26 field goals in those minutes. Thus far on the year, the Flyers bench outside of Kurt Huelsman, Charles Little, Chris Wright, Marcus Johnson and London Warren is averaging 84.67 minutes per game. The Marquette game was actually sub-average when you look at how many minutes the bench totalled in the earlier games thus far this season. Then from there, the Flyers bench led by Rob Lowery, Chris Johnson, Mickey Perry, Luke Fabrizius, and Devin Searcy, has averaged 28.2 field goal attempts per game and in fact, the Flyers bench has totaled only 2.3 less shots per game than the entire Dayton starting lineup. Marquette’s starting lineup had 56 of their team’s 61 shots in this ball game, and I think that is the more abnormal statistic. Looking at the statistics for the season thus far, actually, the Flyers bench was been more efficient, especially on the boards, then the Flyers starting lineup.

Coming into this year, the Dayton Flyers were not supposed to be that good anyway. Coach Brian Gregory created a plan to play his bench this many minutes to provide an advantage for the team, because they were not going to win very ball games at all with the starting five totaling 140+ minutes per game. With this game plan, there would be nights much like the Auburn game where shots would not fall and they would have severe difficulty winning unless the defense and rebounding were absolutely phenomenal. On the other hand, like in this fast-tempo game, sometimes the shooting would fall and the Flyers would be up there with some of the best teams in the nation. I am not going to joke with anyone and say that the Flyers are technically one of the 25 best teams in the nation. With these two wins, however, they deserve to be ranked in that top #25 sometime soon, and will probably be there if they survive the home game with Troy on Tuesday December 2nd, and then the road game at Akron on Saturday, December 6th.

Here are my statistics for the Dayton Flyers team thus far this season. I have the points, assists and rebounds per 48 minutes, along with the Floor Index Counter according to Real GM and my own rating formula similar to the one that is used by ESPN to evaluate the best individual basketball performance (I subtract a little for personal fouls) of the season. In the table, I compare these numbers to the established average for all 262 players in the NBA last season that totaled 900 minutes or more during the year:

Jrt40

MPG

First

Last

TM

rt/usg

P40

A40

R40

FIC40

34.627 28.17 Chris Wright T6 3.51 19.645 1.657 12.544 16.21
24.160 27.00 Marcus Johnson T6 3.33 16.790 0.988 4.938 9.35
28.061 16.33 Rob Lowery T6 1.71 17.959 6.939 5.306 9.49
35.761 15.33 Chris Johnson T6 4.31 18.696 0.870 14.348 19.35
20.138 21.67 Charles Little T6 1.84 12.615 1.846 8.000 6.81
23.400 10.00 Luke Fabrizius T6 1.71 16.000 2.000 6.667 8.33
15.000 12.67 Mickey Perry T6 1.34 12.105 1.053 1.053 4.21
22.835 19.17 London Warren T6 1.58 8.000 8.348 4.174 11.91
14.085 23.50 Kurt Huelsman T6 1.92 6.525 0.567 8.794 6.21
22.595 12.33 Devin Searcy T6 2.13 10.811 2.703 8.108 10.00
20.567 11.17 Stephen Thomas T6 2.45 10.149 2.985 6.567 8.88
24.193 204.17 Team Totals T6 2.33 13.453 2.547 8.327 10.60
24.882 84.67 Bench Totals T6 2.19 13.701 2.756 8.898 11.03
23.704 119.50 Starting Totals T6 2.44 13.278 2.399 7.922 10.30
29.575 27.64 07-08 NBA Avg with 900+ MP 3.11 17.053 3.723 6.938 12.59
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November 30, 2008 - Posted by | College Basketball, Dayton Flyers | ,

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