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KenPom: Wake Forest individual numbers (through the Seton Hall game)

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One of the best things about the KenPom website is the breakdown of individual numbers into percentages, which gives us a much better look at how well our guys are playing compared to everybody else in the country/ACC.

For those unfamiliar with the KenPom numbers and what they mean, they essentially break everything down to percentages that are adjusted for tempo. So rather than saying Travis McKie average X rebounds per game, it puts into percentages how often he gets an offensive or defensive rebound while on the court. For example, through the Seton Hall game, he rebounds 6.5% of all the misses on the offensive end when he is on the court(or approximately 1/16 shots missed for the Deacs). On the defensive end he rebounds 12.6% of all misses of our opponents when he is on the court.

Through stats like this it provides a better look at who may be a little undervalued (see Nikita at 19.2% of DR%).

More breakdowns coming after the jump.

The biggest thing that jumps out to me is that we basically rely on 6 people to get the majority of our minutes. Fields comes in 7th 36% of all the minutes, and Green is in 8th at 16.8%. Everybody else averages over 63% of the minutes. I would guess that with Ty coming back, Chase will get more minutes and Nikita's minutes will drop.

What these numbers do is often times quantify what we already knew based on watching the game:

  • CJ is very good at drawing fouls for a PG/SG. For an adjusted 40 minute game (if he played all 40 minutes in every single game), he would draw 6 fouls per game against the opponents. This is good enough for 135th in the country. I'm a little surprised that Nikita isn't a bit higher in this given his aggressive nature to the basket, as well as his pump fake at the perimeter.
  • We have 5 guys that get to the line a fairly high amount. This is very important in the overall FTA/FGA rate that is one of the 4 Factors to decide the overall KenPom rank. Once again CJ tops this list at 60.2%, and Nikita is second at 55.2% (this makes up a bit for the lack of FD/40).
  • Chennault and Fields are both doing an adequate job of distributing the ball for the Deacs. Making up 21.4% and 24% of all assists when they are on the court. Tony ranks 11th in the ACC in this category, and Fields would rank 6th but does not surpass the 40% minutes played threshold to qualify for individual categories as of right now.
  • CJ and Chase both rank in the top 12 in the ACC in terms of TS%. CJ comes in at 4th with a percentage of 64.5%. He is ranked below Scott Wood of NCSU (an astounding 76% which is aided greatly by his proclivity to only shoot 3-pointers, which he makes an an astonishing rate), Jarrell Eddie of Virginia Tech, and Mike Scott of Virginia. That's pretty good company for Harris. Fischer is ranked at 12th at 60.8%, helped out by his (at then) a perfect 7-7 from the FT line and success from inside the arc as well. McKie ranks 15th at 59.3%.
  • Chase is a very smart and efficient basketball player. He leads the team in ORTG at 116.0 (and ranks 16th in the ACC). We could definitely afford to get him the ball more because right now he is only getting 14% of the shots when he is on the court. Chase also protects the ball very well, leading the team with a TO Rate of just over 14%, which is well under the 20% if turnovers were distributed evenly.
Sometimes the numbers debunk myths as well as provide some surprises:
  • Nikita and Carson are actually both doing an ok job at rebounding on the defensive end according to the stats. They rank 14th and 17th respectively in DR% in the ACC. I would argue that at 7'0 tall (in Carson's case) he should be doing a better job, but it is not completely woeful like some people think. Definitely needs to improve though as the season goes on if we want to get opponents to be one-and-done on the offensive end.
  • Wake Forest does a very good job of protecting the ball (including Tony Chennault). Our "big three" of McKie, Harris and Chennault all have helped the Deacs improve a great amount from last year with regards to turnovers. Yesterday was one of our worst games of turning the ball over (with McKie, Harris and Desrosiers struggling to protect the ball), but it isn't like we are throwing the ball away 20 times a game like last year.
  • Carson Desrosiers is one of the best shot-blockers in the country by percentage. At 11.7% he leads the ACC over the likes of Henson, Miller and James. The team's block% overall will go up tremendously with the return of Walker as well.
Things the Deacs need to work on:
  • Forcing turnovers and stealing the ball. Nobody on the team ranks above 2.5% of steals when they are on the court. That means that out of every 100 possessions from the opponent, nobody on the court at any given time is expected to steal the ball other than 2.5 possessions (Chennault). It makes sense then that Wake ranks 233rd in the country at 8.9% of steals. Coincidentally enough, we allow exactly 8.9% of steals on our possessions too, which ranks 111th in the country.
  • Rebounding overall. This is just beating a dead horse at this juncture, but our offensive rebounding in particular is atrocious. Nobody on our team is "nationally ranked" individually with regards to getting the ball off of our own missed shots. In fact, Travis McKie leads the team at a woeful 6.5%. Daniel Green would lead the team with his 9.4%, but does not qualify because of % minutes played. McKie ranks 27th in the conference in OR%, and the next closest is Carson Desrosiers at 39th. I understand that this may be a schematic theme, but we have to do better with the height on our guys. Once again, these numbers will go up greatly once Ty returns, who by himself grabbed 5 OR's yesterday (Carson has grabbed 10 all year).
  • Most possessions are ending with an event by Travis, CJ, and Tony. When these three are on the court at the same time (which I would guess is around 55-60% of the time, complete guess though), there is around a 75% chance that the possession will end with either a shot or a turnover by them. CJ and Travis are both where I would like to see them (with perhaps CJ taking more shots, but Tony is too high in the %shots category for my liking. If he would bump up his assist rate to around 24-25% then his %shots would drop, CJ and Chase would likely be benefactors, and the whole team would get a bump in efficiency.
There are a lot of things that can be learned from going over the numbers. A lot of time your eyes will deceive you about what you are seeing on the court until you see it quantified in some manner. I'll try to do a lot more of these to see how the Deacs are progressing individually, as well as a team throughout the year.

If anything here is confusing, or I misinterpreted something incorrectly (which is likely for as good as my math skills are), let me know and I'll either explain it or fix it!