Carolina vs. Miss. Valley St.: +/- and Defensive Charting

Caveat: Single-game +/- figures are so “noisy” (i.e., influenced by randomness) that they’re rendered practically useless. Even with a complete season’s worth of data, the +/- metric (especially in this– its unadjusted– form) suffers from this noisiness. Still, when taken in conjunction with the defensive box score, traditional box score, and old-fashioned “eye test,” the single-game +/- can be a part of the total evaluation process. It also serves as a good summary of Roy Williams’s substitution patterns/rotation.

Some definitions:

Pts-Pts All.: the points scored and points allowed by the team during a given player’s minutes
Off Eff: the points scored per 100 possessions with a given player on the court
Def Eff: the points allowed per 100 possessions with a given player on the court
Net Eff: the scoring margin per 100 possessions with a given player on the court

+/- Stats vs. Miss. Valley St.

Player Minutes Pts-Pts All. Off Eff Def Eff Net Eff
Henson 23.1 63-37 127.3 73.3 +54.0
Zeller 23.8 64-40 132.0 82.5 +49.5
Strickland 24.4 61-39 119.6 75.7 +43.9
Barnes 24.5 64-43 124.3 81.9 +42.4
White 9.2 25-18 119.1 81.8 +37.3
Marshall 24.9 61-45 117.3 85.7 +31.6
TEAM 40.0 101-75 117.4 86.2 +31.2
Hairston 13.8 35-29 114.8 96.7 +18.1
Bullock 19.9 53-45 120.5 103.5 +17.0
Hubert 8.9 23-20 118.0 108.1 +9.9
McAdoo 15.4 33-30 93.0 84.5 +8.5
Simmons 3.3 11-11 157.1 137.5 +19.6
Crouch/Dupont/Cooper 1.7 2-3 50.0 66.7 -16.7
Watts 3.8 6-9 75.0 105.9 -30.9
+/- by Backcourt
Combo Minutes Pts-Pts-All.
Marshall-Strickland 16.9 41-27
Marshall-Bullock 7.3 20-18
Strickland-Hairston 5.6 14-9
White-Hairston 3.3 13-13
White-Bullock 2.6 5-2
White-Crouch 1.7 2-3
White-Strickland 1.5 5-0
Marshall-Hairston 0.7 0-0
Strickland-Bullock 0.4 1-3
+/- by Frontcourt
Henson-Zeller 18.8 51-30
McAdoo-Hubert 5.1 8-10
McAdoo-Henson 4.3 12-7
Watts-McAdoo 3.5 6-7
McAdoo-Zeller 2.5 7-6
Hubert-Zeller 2.2 6-2
Cooper-Simmons 1.7 2-3
Simmons-Hubert 1.6 9-8
Watts-Zeller 0.3 0-2
Most-used Line-ups
Marshall-Strickland-Barnes-Henson-Zeller 13.5 36-18
Marshall-Bullock-Barnes-Henson-Zeller 5.4 15-12
White-Bullock-Barnes-McAdoo-Henson 2.6 5-2
Strickland-Hairston-Bullock-McAdoo-Hubert 2.6 4-5

A few +/- nuggets:

– The offense was much better with Strickland running the point than it has been in the first two games. Against MVSU, Carolina had a offensive efficiency of 115.4 in Strickland’s PG minutes, up from just 77.3 over the first two contests.

- Likewise, the starting 5′s offensive efficiency was much improved versus MVSU– 128.6 as compared to 94.7 over the first two games. The starting unit’s defensive efficiency remained consistently dominating– 64.3 versus MVSU, 67.6 in the first two games.

– After not playing at all in the first two games, the Marshall-Bullock-Barnes-Henson-Zeller line-up played 5.4 minutes against MSVU. It was terrific offensively (OE of 150.0), but mediocre on the defense end (DE of 114.3).

Shifting gears, I’ve been charting every Carolina defensive possession since the 2004-05 season. This concept, aided by Luke Winn’s terrific Sports Illustrated piece, is finally getting some national attention. It’s a great way to measure individual defensive contributions and to see who’s making consistently timely and effective help-side rotations (the backbone of Roy Williams’s- and virtually any– defensive system). Click on the Winn link to read a little more about the charting process. (And here’s a piece by David Hess with even more on defensive charting.)

Some definitions:

FG-FGA: the made field goals and field goal attempts that a player is responsible for (both as a primary and help defender)– same for 3Pt-A and FT-FTA
Pts All.: the number of opponents’ points that a defender is responsible for allowing
TOF: forced turnovers (including offensive fouls drawn (OFD))
Defl.: deflections
DR (ORA): defensive rebounds and offensive rebounds allowed
Denies: when a player can deny an opponent or force an offensive reset by making a strong individual defensive play (of the type that doesn’t force a turnover or missed shot– i.e., wouldn’t otherwise show up in the defensive box score)

Defensive Box Score vs. Miss. Valley State

Player FG-FGA 3Pt-A FT-FTA Pts All. TOF (OFD) Defl. Floor burns DR (ORA) Denies
Marshall  5.5-10 2-5 0-0 13 1.5 (0) 4 0 1 (1) 1
Strickland 1.5-4.5 1-1 1-1 5 3 (0) 2 0 5 (0) 1
Barnes 4.5-6.5 1-2 1-2 11 1 (0) 3 0 1 (2) 3
Henson 2-10 0-4 2-2 6 1 (0) 1 0 10 (0) 1
Zeller 3-14.5 0-3 0-0 6 4.5 (2) 6 3 4 (1) 1
Bullock 1.5-6.5 0.5-2.5 3-4 6.5 2.5 (0) 3 1 1 (1) 1
McAdoo 0.5-2.5 0-1 0-0 1 3.5 (0) 3 1 1 (2) 0
Hairston 3.5-6 1.5-1.5 0-0 8.5 0 (0) 2 1 2 (1) 0
Watts 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 (0) 0 0 0 (0) 1
White 1-3 1-3 2-2 5 1 (1) 1 1 3 (0) 0
Cooper 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 (0) 1 0 0 (1) 0
Simmons 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 (0) 0 0 0 (1) 0
Hubert 1.5-3 0.5-0.5 0-0 3.5 0 (0) 1 0 1 (0) 0
Crouch 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 (0) 0 0 0 (0) 0
Dupont 0.5-1.5 0.5-0.5 0-0 1.5 0 (0) 0 0 0 (0) 0
Team 4-6 0-1 0-0 8 1 (0) 0 0 3 (5) 0
Totals 29-76 8-27 9-11 75 21 (3) 27 7 32 (15) 9

MVSU Shooting by Level of Contestedness:

  • Open: 5-7 (0-1 3-pt.); 71.4 eFG%
  • Lightly contested: 15-33 (4-16); 51.5 eFG%
  • Contested: 9-28 (4-10); 39.3 eFG%
  • Heavily contested: 0-8 (0-0); 0.0 eFG%

After only “well-contesting” 31.8% of UNC-Asheville’s attempts, Carolina improved that number to an outstanding 47.4% against MVSU (anything in the 40s is considered good in this category). The Delta Devils did knock down 9 contested shots (MSU and UNC-A combined to make just 5 in the first two games), many of them by freshman Brent Arrington on his way to shredding the Heels for 33 points.

MVSU shot a combined 20.4% (5.5-27) against Carolina’s frontcourt regulars (Zeller, Henson, and McAdoo). On the season, those three are allowing just 25.1% shooting from the field (Henson: 23.0%, Zeller: 31.0%, McAdoo: 21.7%).

While displaying flashes of brilliance combined with plenty of hustle (his deflection of an MVSU lob pass was reminiscent of Danny Green), Hairston continues to struggle a little on the defensive end. His Stop% of 41.6 is the lowest among the regulars through three games (Barnes is next lowest at 50.7%). Bullock, the other wing reserve, registered his third consecutive outstanding defensive performance. His Stop% of 64.8 trails just Zeller, Henson, and McAdoo through three games (and is just ahead of Strickland’s also-excellent 63.8%).

Transition defense continues to be a weak spot for Carolina. Barnes had a couple more glaring breakdowns in transition, and has especially struggled at this facet of defense so far (he’s also struggled on the defensive glass, both in terms of gathering rebounds and preventing offensive rebounds; his halfcourt defense has been generally very solid). Marshall’s lack of consistent ball pressure contributes to the transition woes, too (as opposing guards are often able to gain a full head of steam prior to crossing the halfcourt stripe).

Through three games, Strickland has combined for more forced turnovers (9.5) and denies/forced resets (6) than field goal attempts allowed (15). That’s basically the definition of “lockdown defender.” Strickland isn’t forcing a ton of missed/contested shots; he’s simply not allowing any shooting opportunities at all.

Adrian

About Adrian

I'm the editor of Maple Street Press's Tar Heel Tip-off, and live in Raleigh with my wife and 2-year-old daughter. I grew up along the banks of the Allegheny River, and terrorized the WPIAL as a pass-first point guard. Follow me on Twitter @FreeportKid.
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