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Basketball: Statistical Season Review

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A look at some advanced statistics to explain Georgia Tech’s season

NCAA Basketball: NIT Championship-Georgia Tech vs Texas Christian Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re anything like me, you are weird and love statistics and what they tell you about a team. So let’s get right into the stats.

15.6%

That is Georgia Tech’s block percentage. More than one in seven of an opponents 2 point shots ended well before they got to the rim. That is good for 4th best in the country. This was a massive portion of Georgia Tech’s success. In addition to all of those blocked shots, teams became scared to attack the rim and missed a lot of shots due to perceived pressure. Most of this, was of course due to the machine, Ben Lammers. He was a force around the rim for 38 or 39 minutes a game. It wasn’t just him though, Quinton Stephens and Josh Okogie had more than a few blocks and even Tadric Jackson got in on the fun occasionally. This was a huge factor this season, and this team should be right up there again.

68.1

This is the average number of possessions per game for Georgia Tech. The country’s average was 68.0. Before this season there was a large amount of excitement for Pastner’s uptempo, and instead this team played just slightly faster than Gregory’s teams (who generally were slightly slower than average). This is not entirely the result of Pastner’s scheme, there are several other reasons for this. First is the strength of the defense and the weakness in the offense. Teams playing Tech often took the entire shot clock before getting a shot off because they weren’t open, and on the other end, Georgia Tech often needed nearly all 30 seconds to find a decent shot. This extends the possessions and slows down the game. Another major factor is that Georgia Tech was getting destroyed on the boards early in the season. Not only does this lower the number of possessions (getting an offensive rebound doesn’t count as a new possession), but it also forced the Jackets to crash the defensive boards hard which doesn’t lend itself to fast breaks. Jackson was pretty much the only one who would leak out instead of staying in to rebound, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they played much faster with him in.

32.5

This is Georgia Tech’s 3-point percentage, good for 280th in the country. This is actually better than any season under Brian Gregory except for his final Adam Smith-fuelled season, though it is still not very good. This team was really missing a three point shooter to open up the floor. That would have made a huge difference to a struggling offense. Quinton Stephens played like that at times, but was unable to keep it consistently going. He also took a lot of... ill advised shots which could have lowered his percentage.

59.4

This is the percentage of points scored by Tech that were on 2-point baskets. This is the second highest in the country. Given Tech’s relatively weak shooting, and the fact that they actually refrained from shooting this season (coming 349th in the country in 3 point attempts per FGA at .20), this is not wholly surprising. Tech’s struggles at the line (68%) and average ability to get to the line further pushed the team to rely on points from the field.

24.6

This is the percentage of minutes that were played by Georgia Tech’s bench. This year’s team was very short-benched. This number is probably higher still than the actual number as Tadric Jackson played more minutes than Corey Heyward or Justin Moore despite the fact that they usually started over Jackson. Only 28 teams played fewer bench minutes than Tech, and that number would probably be even lower if Jackson was counted as a starter. A key to next season might be finding some more depth and longer rotations so the team doesn’t tire out as they seemed to do this season.

1,000,000

Approximately the number of times that an announcer remarked on one of the following:

  1. Corey Heyward’s athletic family
  2. Ben Lammer’s academic prowess
  3. Josh Heath’s dad
  4. Josh Pastner getting told that he wouldn’t win an ACC game this season
  5. Ben Lammers for most improved player
  6. Okogie breaking the freshman scoring record against Tulane

These were just some stats that I thought was telling about how Georgia Tech’s season played out.