ACC Defensive Charting: The Good (BC and Miami), The Bad (FSU), and the Ugly (Still FSU)

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. Boston College

Player FG-FGA 3Pt-A FT-FTA Pts All. TOF (OFD) Defl. Floor burns DR (ORA) Denies
Marshall  1-4 1-4 0-0 3 2.5 (0) 5 1 1 (0)  2
Strickland 1-2 0-1 0-0 2 4 (0) 6 2 2 (0) 3
Barnes 3-7 1-5 1-1 8 4.5 (0) 8 1 4 (0) 0
Henson 6-14 1-5 1-2 14 3 (0) 6 0 6 (2) 0
Zeller 0.5-8.5 0.5-1.5 0-2 1.5 4 (0) 2 0 6 (1) 1
Bullock 0.5-0.5 0-0 0-0 1 2 (0) 1 0 5 (0) 0
McAdoo 3-6 0.5-1.5 0-0 6.5 0 (0) 0 1 4 (1) 0
Hairston 3-5 1-3 1-4 8 0 (0) 0 0 1 (1) 1
Watts 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 (0) 2 2 0 (0) 0
Simmons 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 (0) 0 0 0 (1) 0
Hubert 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 (0) 0 0 1 (0) 0
Dupont 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 (0) 0 0 0 (0) 0
White 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 (0) 0 0 0 (0) 0
Team 5-7 4-6 0-0 14 0 (0) 0 0 0 (1) 0
Totals  24-57 9-27 3-9 60 20 (0) 30 7 30 (7) 7

Boston College Shooting by Level of Contestedness:

  • Open: 4-6 (2-4 3-pt.); 83.3 eFG%
  • Lightly contested: 15-28 (7-18); 66.1 eFG%
  • Contested: 4-14 (0-2); 28.6 eFG%
  • Heavily contested: 1-9 (0-3); 11.1 eFG%

% well-contested: 40.4%

Defensive Box Score vs. Miami

Player FG-FGA 3Pt-A FT-FTA Pts All. TOF (OFD) Defl. Floor burns DR (ORA) Denies
Marshall  1-8 0-1 3-3 5 2 (0) 6 0 2 (2)  2
Strickland 0.5-3.5 0-3 0-0 1 2.5 (0) 3 0 2 (0) 2
Barnes 2.5-4.5 0-0 0-0 5 1 (1) 1 1 3 (0) 1
Henson 5.5-10.5 1-3 0-1 12 2 (1) 3 1 11 (1) 0
Zeller 2.5-7.5 0-0 0-0 5 2 (0) 2 0 4 (0) 0
Bullock 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 1 (0) 2 0 3 (0) 4
McAdoo 4-5 0-1 2-2 10 1 (0) 0 0 0 (0) 1
Hairston 0-2 0-2 1-2 1 1.5 (0) 2 0 1 (0) 1
Watts 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 (0) 1 0 2 (0) 1
Cooper 1-2 1-1 0-0 3 0 (0) 0 0 0 (0) 0
Simmons 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 (0) 0 1 1 (0) 0
Hubert 1-2 0-0 1-2 3 0 (0) 1 1 0 (1) 0
Team 5-7 1-3 0-0 11 2 (0) 0 0 0 (1) 0
Totals 23-55 3-16 7-10 56 17 (2) 21 4 29 (5) 12

Miami Shooting by Level of Contestedness:

  • Open: 5-7 (0-2 3-pt.); 71.4 eFG%
  • Lightly contested: 11-19 (3-9); 65.8 eFG%
  • Contested: 7-26 (0-5); 26.9 eFG%
  • Heavily contested: 0-3 (0-0); 0.0 eFG%

% well-contested: 52.7%

Defensive Box Score vs. Florida State

Player FG-FGA 3Pt-A FT-FTA Pts All. TOF (OFD) Defl. Floor burns DR (ORA) Denies
Marshall  3-7 2-5 3-5 11 5 (2) 6 3 2 (1)  0
Strickland 4-7.5 2-4.5 0-0 10 0 (0) 1 0 1 (0) 1
Barnes 3.5-5.5 1.5-2.5 1-3 9.5 0.5 (0) 3 1 3 (2) 0
Henson 4-11.5 0-1.5 4-4 12 2 (0) 4 0 3 (3) 0
Zeller 2.5-10.5 0.5-1.5 6-6 11.5 2 (1) 4 2 7 (3) 1
Bullock 4-5 3-4 0-0 11 0.5 (0) 2 2 3 (0) 0
McAdoo 1-3 0-1 0-0 2 1 (1) 3 1 0 (0) 0
Hairston 1-3 0-2 0-1 2 2 (1) 0 1 0 (0) 0
Watts 0-0 0-0 1-2 1 0 (0) 1 0 0 (1) 0
Dupont 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1.5 (1) 1 1 0 (0) 0
Simmons 0-0 0-0 1-1 1 0 (0) 0 0 0 (1) 0
White 1-1 0-0 2-2 4 0 (0) 2 0 0 (1) 0
Crouch 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0.5 (0) 2 1 0 (0) 0
Team 6-8 3-5 0-0 15 2 (0) 0 0 2 (3) 0
Totals  30-62 12-27 18-24 90 17 (6) 29 12 21 (15) 2

FSU Shooting by Level of Contestedness:

  • Open: 9-11 (3-5 3-pt.); 95.5 eFG%
  • Lightly contested: 18-25 (9-13); 90.0 eFG%
  • Contested: 3-16 (0-7); 18.8 eFG%
  • Heavily contested: 0-10 (0-0); 0.0 eFG%

% well-contested: 41.9%

While the defensive effort was largely pilloried against Florida State (right, Dickie V?), Carolina actually graded out pretty well in the defensive charting effort categories. The 12 floor burns were a season high for the Heels, and the six offensive fouls drawn tied a season high (also set vs. South Carolina). Moreover, the 29 deflections were well above the team’s season average (of 24.1). Even the rate of well-contested shots (41.9% of all FSU attempts) was consistent with the season-to-date average (43.0%).

Don’t get me wrong, there were some glaring and egregious breakdowns in effort and execution. Barnes was sprinted past in transition on a couple of occasions, leading to easy FSU lay-ups. There were several blown box-out assignments in the second half (Henson was the main culprit here) that were largely effort-related. Marshall had a couple of plays in which he failed to get into a defensive stance and was thus beaten off the dribble. Barnes and Marshall also had some issues in fighting over top of screens.

Despite a few poor defensive plays, Marshall’s performance on that end was quite strong versus the Seminoles (continuing a trend over the past several games). He drew a couple of offensive fouls (his first two of the season), continued his quality work as a disruptive help-side defender against dribble penetration (using his quick hands to force turnovers with reach-ins), and made a couple of great hustle plays to secure possession for the Heels. Strickland, nursing an injured ankle, was visibly less active on the defensive end– a fact reflected in his disruption stats. Usually among UNC’s leaders in those categories, Strickland had just 1 deflection and 0 forced turnovers against FSU.

A huge story, of course, was FSU’s barrage from behind the arc (particularly Deividas Dulkys). How did the ‘Noles create their perimeter looks?

high screen: 3-6
drive-and-kick: 3-6
half-court trap: 1-4
inside-out: 2-3
off-screen: 1-3
perimeter pass: 0-3
transition: 2-2

Most were created via high screen action (including effective sets in which FSU set a double high ball screen or used the roller to set a down screen for a shooter to pop out behind the arc versus a conflicted help defender) or using drive-and-kicks (without the aid of a ball screen). Marshall (twice), Strickland, Barnes, Bullock, and Zeller (after switching on a high screen and being isolated) all allowed drive-and-kick penetrations. Some of FSU’s 3-point attempts were created from very good offensive execution (like the high screen sets noted above, or some good inside-out and around-the-horn ball movement). Some were just a result of poor UNC defense (inability to fight through/over screens, inability to contain the dribble, and one egregious ball-watching breakdown from the usually-sound Strickland on FSU’s second possession of the game). A couple resulted directly after live-ball turnovers– a function of offensive breakdowns rather than defensive ones.

And, really, FSU deserves plenty of credit for just knocking down its perimeter looks. 67% of FSU’s 3-point attempts were open/lightly contested (18 of 27), of which the Seminoles made 67% (12-18). On the season, 68% of the 3-pointers that UNC allows are open/lightly contested (about the same rate as against FSU), but opponents only knock down 39% of these clean opportunities. There’s no denying that FSU played at a very high level on Saturday (both in terms of offensive execution and simply from a shooting perspective). That said, the game vs. the Seminoles provided plenty of film-room fodder for Roy Williams and staff to use as defensive teaching points– related both to execution and effort.

Defensive Stop% through 18 games:

Zeller: 70.1%
Henson: 67.9%
Bullock: 67.5%
Strickland: 61.8%
Team Average: 60.3%
Marshall: 60.1%
McAdoo: 59.6%
Barnes: 57.2%
Hairston: 54.9%

Defensive Stop% through 3 ACC games:

Zeller: 74.4%
Marshall: 70.2%
Strickland: 68.4%
Bullock: 66.4%
Hairston: 61.0%
Tema Average: 59.1%
Barnes: 57.4%
Henson: 57.2%
McAdoo: 41.5%

As seen in the two lists above, Marshall and Strickland (especially Marshall) have really stepped up their level of defensive play in the 3 ACC games so far. While the perimeter defense regressed against FSU, it was unbelievably good in the first two ACC contests. Zeller and Bullock have maintained a very high level of defensive play in the ACC.

On the other end of the spectrum, Henson has really struggled (at least based on his lofty standards) in each of the three ACC games to date. He’ll need to pick up his level of defensive play for Carolina to become the type of defensive team it’s capable of. McAdoo (nursing a nagging ankle injury) has also struggled on the defensive end lately, although he was much, much better (one of the few defensive bright spots) against FSU.

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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2 Responses to ACC Defensive Charting: The Good (BC and Miami), The Bad (FSU), and the Ugly (Still FSU)

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  1. bruinsNheels says:

    Adrian
    Great stuff as always. Much to ponder.

    This is not a big topic in the grand scheme of things, but I wonder if you could say a few words about JWatts. UNC fans love to complain that he shouldn’t be out there, but he seems really steady. In those three ACC games he played 15 minutes and you have him for (I think) 4 deflections, 2 floor burns and only 1 point allowed. Meanwhile, the boxscore tells me he had 4 points, 3 rebounds and a steal. None of that sets the world on fire, but I’ll take it.

    Better yet, Watts has only 1 TO in 108 minutes of play. That must be some sort of record?

  2. in addition to FSU hitting 67% of their open/light contest 3’s, they simply got a ton of 3’s. UNC for the year is giving up just 22.3% of FGA’s as 3’s and FSU got off 43.5% of the FGA’s as 3’s. And frankly the fact that prior opponents hit just 39% of open 3 opportunities before might speak more to scheduling than anything else. I can’t imagine giving up 18 open 3’s to say, Duke, would result in a different outcome defensively than what happened against FSU.

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