Quick Hitters: Iowa, Memphis, Hawaii

Posted by on February 9, 2014

1. Iowa quick hitter to end first half vs. Michigan.

Roy Devyn Marble lit Michigan up from behind the arc in the first half yesterday. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when Fran McCaffery called for a Marble three to end the half, but the play worked anyway.
Here’s the play in real time in GIF form. Iowa creates more than enough space for Marble to hit the three-pointer:
Iowa Quick Hitter

2. Memphis’ defensive gameplan in win over Gonzaga.

Josh Pastner decided to front 7’1″¬†Przemek Karnowski all game yesterday. Memphis held Gonzaga to just .92 points per possession, Gonzaga’s second worst performance of the season. Mark Few went high-low often with Dower and Karnowski, attempting to take advantage of the height advantage by lobbing over the top.
For the most part, Memphis put no ball pressure on Dower in the high post. The idea here was to dare him to take a long two. However, the lack of pressure does make post entries significantly easier. Pressuring the passer is equally as important as pressuring the receiver. Regardless, Memphis’ D was fantastic in the second half comeback.
I think Gonzaga’s offense execution is partly to blame here. The statement play of the game was 6’1″ Joe Jackson blocking Karnowski. The play was triggered by the aforementioned Dower lob pass:
Leaving Kevin Pangos alone in the corner isn’t the best idea, but Jackson made an incredible individual play to get the block at the rim.

3. Keith Shamburger’s misleading stats for Hawaii.

Hawaii got past Cal Poly last night to improve to 5-4 in the Big West. Hawaii, led by 6’8″ big men Christian Standhardinger and Isaac Fotu, is a strong offensive team. The Rainbow Warriors rank 61st in the country in AdjO. San Jose State transfer Keith Shamburger leads Hawaii in minutes and is a fairly reliable distributor.
Shamburger has really struggled to shoot the ball from the floor this season. He is 36% on twos and 29% on threes. However, Shamburger wisely only takes a shot on 14% of Hawaii possessions. Leaving the bulk of the shots for Standhardinger and Fotu is probably a good idea. Still, Shamburger’s offensive rating seemed wrong to me. How can a player with his shooting inefficiency have an offensive rating just under 110?
The answer here explains a bit of a flaw in evaluating point guards. Shamburger’s efficiency is respectable due to his work at the foul line. He’s taken 70 free throws and made 83% of his attempts. Of these 70 free throw attempts, 32 have come in the last two minutes of the second half and OT. Shamburger’s free throw rate is more of a product of Hawaii being in position to win close games this season than Shamburger’s ability to draw fouls.
This problem is certainly not unique to Shamburger. End of game fouling definitely inflates point guard stats. This isn’t to say that being able to hit foul shots late in games isn’t an important skill, but I think offensive rating is overvaluing Shamburger’s season to date.

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