The Sports Report

A Statistical Take on Sports and Politics

Dayton Basketball Game #7

Dayton Flyers (7-0) 87
Troy Trojans (3-5) 70
Tuesday, December 2
UD Arena, Dayton, OH

The Dayton Flyers remain on the cusp of being ranked in the top #25 in the nation as they defeated the Troy Trojans of Alabama by the final score of 87-70. It was a fast paced game throughout, and the Flyers put up their most impressive offensive performance in a first half thus far this season en route to the 17 point victory. One of the most surprising aspects of this game, was not the fact that it was the highest paced game and highest scoring game since last January (a streak of 15 games in terms of points, 18 in terms of possessions), but it was the fact that the Flyers did this without much help from Chris Wright. The sophomore out of Trotwood-Madison High School arguably had the worst game of his career, and his 13 minutes played were the least in the 21 of his career, besides the game against Rhode Island when he suffered an ankle injury last January.

This marked the second consecutive offensive outburst for the young Dayton Flyers this season, and this 87-pointer and the 89 mark against Marquette followed our worst shooting night of the year against Auburn. In the first five games this season, the Flyers averaged 63.27 points per 40 minutes, while shooting 43.6% from two-pointers and 30% from threes at an average pace of 66.23 possessions per 40 minutes. In these last two games against Marquette and Troy, they have averaged 88 points while shooting 60.5% from two-pointers and 37.8% from threes at an average pace of 75.6 possesions. There is a distinctly positive correlation between the recent up-tempo offense and the newfound efficiency of the Dayton offense.

Official Dayton recap: “LITTLE PLAYS LARGE AS FLYERS BEAT TROY, 87-70
Official Troy recap: “Trojans Fall to Flyers, 87-70”

Official ESPN recap: “Dayton 87, Troy 70”

The first thing I want to do after today’s recap, is to go over the details of the statistics I put out with my last post. I am using the rating system from ESPN’s best game statistic along with the Floor Index Counter formula according to Real GM to illustrate efficiency on the basketball court. Through six games thus far this season, the two Chris’ on the team were at the very top of both formulas, as their rebounding per 40 minutes totals were by far the best on the team.

The most surprising thing is who was my leading my own rating based on the original formula from ESPN. It It is one of the Chris’, but which one was it? Well it isn’t the sophomore Chris Wright, the preseason first team Atlantic 10 selection and Chicago Invitational Challenge MVP, it is the freshman Chris Johnson. The 6-5, 176 pound forward out of Cleveland, Tennessee had been the most efficient player for the Flyers mostly because of his 20 point, 8 rebound totals in 26 minutes off the bench against Delaware State and Bethune-Cookman. Through those first six games, his FIC per 40 minutes was an incredible 19.35, quite similar to the totals being produced by Marcus Camby, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Carlos Boozer in the NBA right now. Chris Wright on the other hand, has a 19.46 placing him in exactly the same neighborhood. Johnson then led him in my rating per 40 minutes just barely, by a lead of 35.761 to 34.627.

I am a stats freak, just like Ken Pomeroy, Dave Berri and Nate Silver on his new web site, and I believe these statistics tell a vivid story of who is responsible for the early season success of the Flyers. In comparison to the possible newspaper headlines, some of the statistics I have will point out that senior Charles Little did very little outside of scoring in the first six games this season. Although he did average 6.83 points per game on only 5.67 field goal attempts per game, his total of 15 personal fouls and 13 turnovers countered the effect of his 26 total rebounds and 6 assists. In this game against Troy, however, all this changed as the only senior on roster had by far his best performance of the year.

In comparison to his previous totals that I just mentioned, Little scored 17 points on 10 field goal attempts, committed 2 personal fouls and 2 turnovers, along with grabbing 10 rebounds in only 29 minutes. While in the first six games of the season, Little averaged a rating of 20.138 per 40 minutes along with 7.52 unrelated to points scored, in this game he posted a rating of 40.483 per 40 minutes and 17.03 of that was outside of points. He was theoretically two times better than he had been thus far this season, and that was a big reason why the Flyers were so efficient even without Chris Wright for much of the game. Wright finished with 8 points and 3 rebounds in 13 minutes of play before fouling out, and still the Flyers out-rebounded the Trojans by 10. This game proved that when the Flyers are hitting their shots, they can be quite a dynamic team even without the star and most valuable player.

Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball efficiency statistics can be viewed at this link here.


December 3, 2008 - Posted by | College Basketball, Dayton Flyers | ,

1 Comment »

  1. As both a Flyers fan and a closeted stats nerd, I say keep up the good work, Jacob.

    Comment by Ray | December 3, 2008 | Reply

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