It's time for THAT post

touchdownvikings

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It’s time for that post I do every year: point totals for games won in the B1G. Below you see a distribution presenting the point totals of the winning team in each game in B1G competition, to date.



Some takeaways:

(1) The interquartile range is 71-86, with the median being 80 points: 50% of the time, the winning team in B1G play scores 80 points or more. If you are trying to win scoring 70 points or fewer, you are trying to win with a point total accounting for fewer than 1-in-4 B1G victories.

(2) The 10th percentile is pegged at 66 points. If you are trying to win with 65 points or fewer, you are trying to win with a point total accounting for fewer than 1-in-10 B1G victories.

(3) The Gophers losses this year have come on offensive performances wherein they score 57, 59, 65 and 71 points. In 3 of the 4 instances, their losses came when they scored a point total falling short of the 10th percentile. In those cases, their problem is not defense: it is offense. They simply do not score enough points for there to be a significant chance of victory even if they played lights-out defense.

(4) The Gophers have not lost when they produce a point total equal to or better than the median for B1G victories. Stated another way, their defensive performance has been such that they have never squandered an opportunity when “on average” a B1G team should have expected a victory.

(5) If this team can figure out how to score on the road, the numbers suggest they will be a very competitive team.
 

builtbadgers

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It’s time for that post I do every year: point totals for games won in the B1G. Below you see a distribution presenting the point totals of the winning team in each game in B1G competition, to date.



Some takeaways:

(1) The interquartile range is 71-86, with the median being 80 points: 50% of the time, the winning team in B1G play scores 80 points or more. If you are trying to win scoring 70 points or fewer, you are trying to win with a point total accounting for fewer than 1-in-4 B1G victories.

(2) The 10th percentile is pegged at 66 points. If you are trying to win with 65 points or fewer, you are trying to win with a point total accounting for fewer than 1-in-10 B1G victories.

(3) The Gophers losses this year have come on offensive performances wherein they score 57, 59, 65 and 71 points. In 3 of the 4 instances, their losses came when they scored a point total falling short of the 10th percentile. In those cases, their problem is not defense: it is offense. They simply do not score enough points for there to be a significant chance of victory even if they played lights-out defense.

(4) The Gophers have not lost when they produce a point total equal to or better than the median for B1G victories. Stated another way, their defensive performance has been such that they have never squandered an opportunity when “on average” a B1G team should have expected a victory.

(5) If this team can figure out how to score on the road, the numbers suggest they will be a very competitive team.
To properly frame it you need to see what happens when you hold someone to 50, 60, 70 or 75.
 

touchdownvikings

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To properly frame it you need to see what happens when you hold someone to 50, 60, 70 or 75.
I don't have those stats handy right now... It's actually quite a bit of labor for an idiot like me to pull these numbers together! I'll try to pull those together some time this week.

But these numbers tell a significant story: "Can I expect to win if my point total is X?" So, if we take Wisconsin, we will see that they have lost twice in B1G play, and in both cases they posted a point total failing to hit the 10th percentile. So the point is not that you CAN'T win - you can. About 1-in-10 times. But, you can't EXPECT to win. Even Wisconsin can't expect to win at those point levels. In fact they've lost more than they've won when they've posted point totals like that. That is the literal definition of no expectation of winning.

The Gophers biggest issue right now is scoring. And the numbers show that.
 

builtbadgers

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I don't have those stats handy right now... It's actually quite a bit of labor for an idiot like me to pull these numbers together! I'll try to pull those together some time this week.

But these numbers tell a significant story: "Can I expect to win if my point total is X?" So, if we take Wisconsin, we will see that they have lost twice in B1G play, and in both cases they posted a point total failing to hit the 10th percentile. So the point is not that you CAN'T win - you can. About 1-in-10 times. But, you can't EXPECT to win. Even Wisconsin can't expect to win at those point levels. In fact they've lost more than they've won when they've posted point totals like that. That is the literal definition of no expectation of winning.

The Gophers biggest issue right now is scoring. And the numbers show that.
Actually our offense ranks slightly ahead of our defense. We gave up huge point totals in our losses. You can not expect to hit shots every game to keep up. You must bring your defense because it is easier to control your optimum defense. When you do that you can win in games in which you do not score a great total. The teams that lead in defense win a higher % of those off night games than teams that defend poorly. Just be great at PPP on both ends and you will be great.
 

Gold Vision

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Appreciate the effort, but total points is a pretty worthless stat. At a minimum, you should be looking to normalize per possession.
 

GophersInIowa

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Thanks for putting this together. Do you know how this compares to last year? Seems like scoring is up?
 

touchdownvikings

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Thanks for putting this together. Do you know how this compares to last year? Seems like scoring is up?
Here it is from 2 years ago when I did THAT post...



Interquartile range was 69-80.

The interesting thing is this: I hear what Gold Vision is saying about points per possession, etc. But, over 4 years of doing this, the 25th percentile never moves more than 1 point up or one point down from 70. And the fact remains constant that once you score a couple of buckets less than 70, you hit the 10th percentile. EVERY YEAR. No exceptions.

So the thing about defense is this: if your offense is average, then playing great defense will consistently turn into wins. But that assumes at least competent offense. Will great defense turn into wins if you score, say, 65 or less on the road? It might turn into a win - over a season of such events. But you will not expect to win, and you will lose far more often than you win. That is the Gophers' story this year when they struggle. They simply do not score enough points for defense to matter.

The Gophers road syndrome goes like this:
-start out playing intense defense.
-miss just about every shot.
-at about the time when the fist half is 75% elapsed, look at the clock and perform the mental math leading you to conclude "my god, we may not score 20 by the half. No amount of defense or rebounding can dig us out of this hole. We need points!"
-abandon defense as the focus of your effort because it is not working - you are way behind. And defense can't work. You'd need to hold your opponent to under 40 at the rate you're playing offense. That's not realistic. You need points.
-but on offense, no amount of passing works either. Because everyone simply misses their shots. So you begin playing hero ball because that's all that is left.

I was impressed with Michigan, because they did not abandon defense or transition into hero ball mode when down to the Gophers on the road. But guess what? It didn't make a difference. Score 57? Lose. It's just not enough points. So you played defense and passed. That'll make your coach happy. But you'll still lose. It makes no difference in terms of winning and losing.
 

Otis

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Statistically speaking, you win more games when you outscore your opponent or when you hold your opponent to less points than you score.

It's all in if you look at it offensively or defensively.
 

Bayfieldgopher

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Here it is from 2 years ago when I did THAT post...



Interquartile range was 69-80.

The interesting thing is this: I hear what Gold Vision is saying about points per possession, etc. But, over 4 years of doing this, the 25th percentile never moves more than 1 point up or one point down from 70. And the fact remains constant that once you score a couple of buckets less than 70, you hit the 10th percentile. EVERY YEAR. No exceptions.

So the thing about defense is this: if your offense is average, then playing great defense will consistently turn into wins. But that assumes at least competent offense. Will great defense turn into wins if you score, say, 65 or less on the road? It might turn into a win - over a season of such events. But you will not expect to win, and you will lose far more often than you win. That is the Gophers' story this year when they struggle. They simply do not score enough points for defense to matter.

The Gophers road syndrome goes like this:
-start out playing intense defense.
-miss just about every shot.
-at about the time when the fist half is 75% elapsed, look at the clock and perform the mental math leading you to conclude "my god, we may not score 20 by the half. No amount of defense or rebounding can dig us out of this hole. We need points!"
-abandon defense as the focus of your effort because it is not working - you are way behind. And defense can't work. You'd need to hold your opponent to under 40 at the rate you're playing offense. That's not realistic. You need points.
-but on offense, no amount of passing works either. Because everyone simply misses their shots. So you begin playing hero ball because that's all that is left.

I was impressed with Michigan, because they did not abandon defense or transition into hero ball mode when down to the Gophers on the road. But guess what? It didn't make a difference. Score 57? Lose. It's just not enough points. So you played defense and passed. That'll make your coach happy. But you'll still lose. It makes no difference in terms of winning and losing.
Only in retrospect. At the time, the focus had to be on playing D. Try to keep the other team from widening the lead and hope that you can all of a sudden start generating points. The key is not to give up.

If MI would have know that they would only score 57, then yeh, lets just throw in the towel! But MI didn't so I assume they were still playing to win and that starts and ends with good D.
 

touchdownvikings

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Only in retrospect. At the time, the focus had to be on playing D. Try to keep the other team from widening the lead and hope that you can all of a sudden start generating points. The key is not to give up.

If MI would have know that they would only score 57, then yeh, lets just throw in the towel! But MI didn't so I assume they were still playing to win and that starts and ends with good D.
Except that the kids have experienced years of this. And they know that when they enter this "groove" they're going to score in the 50's or low 60's. It's happened time and again. A coaching response that only focuses on defense will not be accepted by the kids because they intuitively understand it can't work given their circumstances - and they're right.

Here's the thing. Let's say that playing great defense somewhere between doubles and triples your likelihood of winning at a given level of point production. Call it a 2.5x bonus for great defense. If you score 55-59 points (as the Gophers did in two losses), you have about a 3% chance of winning in the B1G, so with great defense, you've improve your chances to 7.5%. So you'll still lose. If you score 65 (as the Gophers did in one loss), your chances are about 8-9%, so with great defense, it goes up to 20%. You'll still lose most times.

The kids will want an approach that gives them a reasonable shot of winning. And no approach that doesn't focus on offense - given their abysmal production on the road - will give them that. So they shut down.

Where I think a defensive focus works is if you have a system that has you generally scoring in the high 60's or better - reliably - on the road. Because if your chances of victory are 20% (you're scoring just below the interquartile range, i.e., high 60's), then a 2.5x boost gets you to a 50% chance of victory. Winning half your road games puts you at or very near the top of the B1G year in and year out. That's basically Wisconsin's model. ...But you have to be at least competent on offense for that to work. The Gophers' problem has been for years that they are absolutely incompetent on offense on the road, in which case no amount of defensive focus can really help.
 

MplsGopher

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Appreciate the effort, but total points is a pretty worthless stat. At a minimum, you should be looking to normalize per possession.
How many possessions do teams not even get a shot off? Not 0%, sure, but probably pretty low. So if you're getting some kind of shot up every possession, what it really boils down to is how well you're shooting. Captain obvious to an absurd degree, and many factors go into how well you shoot beyond just putting up any shot.

Would wild guess that in each of the four losses: we shot significantly poorer than league game average, and the opponent shot significantly better than league game average.
 

builtbadgers

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Except that the kids have experienced years of this. And they know that when they enter this "groove" they're going to score in the 50's or low 60's. It's happened time and again. A coaching response that only focuses on defense will not be accepted by the kids because they intuitively understand it can't work given their circumstances - and they're right.

Here's the thing. Let's say that playing great defense somewhere between doubles and triples your likelihood of winning at a given level of point production. Call it a 2.5x bonus for great defense. If you score 55-59 points (as the Gophers did in two losses), you have about a 3% chance of winning in the B1G, so with great defense, you've improve your chances to 7.5%. So you'll still lose. If you score 65 (as the Gophers did in one loss), your chances are about 8-9%, so with great defense, it goes up to 20%. You'll still lose most times.

The kids will want an approach that gives them a reasonable shot of winning. And no approach that doesn't focus on offense - given their abysmal production on the road - will give them that. So they shut down.

Where I think a defensive focus works is if you have a system that has you generally scoring in the high 60's or better - reliably - on the road. Because if your chances of victory are 20% (you're scoring just below the interquartile range, i.e., high 60's), then a 2.5x boost gets you to a 50% chance of victory. Winning half your road games puts you at or very near the top of the B1G year in and year out. That's basically Wisconsin's model. ...But you have to be at least competent on offense for that to work. The Gophers' problem has been for years that they are absolutely incompetent on offense on the road, in which case no amount of defensive focus can really help.
UVA is 34-9 the last 6 years on the road when scoring 65 or less themselves. That is what historically great defense can do. Of course when they won the national title they were simple elite at both offense and defense. Last year they were horrible on offense but still went 10-3 on the road even when scoring 65 or less and most of those were even less than 60 !
 

SixBySix

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I think Gold Vision and built are talking about two sides of the same coin: league-wide stats that don't account for individual team tempo can be misleading. If WI is going to sit on the ball for 25+ seconds every possession, they will score a below average number of points compared to the average B1G team, but so will you! On the other hand, if you're playing Iowa, you'll have far more opportunities, but also likely need more points to win.
 

MplsGopher

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I think Gold Vision and built are talking about two sides of the same coin: league-wide stats that don't account for individual team tempo can be misleading. If WI is going to sit on the ball for 25+ seconds every possession, they will score a below average number of points compared to the average B1G team, but so will you! On the other hand, if you're playing Iowa, you'll have far more opportunities, but also likely need more points to win.
And then folding in my post #11, maybe the best metric would be points per non-turnover possession?
 
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Statistically speaking, you win more games when you outscore your opponent or when you hold your opponent to less points than you score.

It's all in if you look at it offensively or defensively.
In other words: Play defense & take high percentage shots.
 

WhoFellDownTheGopherHole?

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Gophers offense sucks only when their defense does, because when their defense sucks the Gophers start jacking up contested threes and don't see a pass into the post for 5 straight minutes of the game at a time.
 

golf

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Gophers offense sucks only when their defense does, because when their defense sucks the Gophers start jacking up contested threes and don't see a pass into the post for 5 straight minutes of the game at a time.
I would reverse this and agree with izzo. He said if shots dont fall it is then very difficult to remain in sync offensively and defensively.
 
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builtbadgers

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Oh yeah, and what does Izzo know? His team is 8-4. My team is 11-4. ;)
He gave a tremendous demonstration of this years ago at a clinic and made it clear it was the coaches job to keep the team locked in. He did this by showing how players drop their shoulders and lose energy when shots are not going and stressed that is when you must rise up and stop people. He has had several highly rated defenses. Easy to guess which coaches have great defenses.
 

MinnGopher

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Oh yeah, and what does Izzo know? His team is 8-4. My team is 11-4. ;)
I think this kinda correlates to the post me and you were debating on the other day. We didn't get there but felt you were saying the D was the problem (you are right, it does need to improve) while I was having a hard time getting over how we couldn't shoot over 40% and 35% or lower twice. Both have been streaky at times, inconsistent against the best competition.
 

EG#9

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Thanks for posting this. I'd be interested in knowing if there are teams that consistently win more than their share (ex more than 10%) of the league games won with fewer than ~65 points scored. My suspicion is Wiconsin has consistently won at a much higher rate than league average when scoring below that number. Of course, Wisconsin games have typically featured fewer possessions than a typical B1G game so the offense could be socring at a rate comensurate to say 75 points in a typically paced B1G game.

Specific to the Gophers, how do they score more consistently? For a number of years this team has been very reliant on one ball handler/creator (Mason, Coffey, Carr). If that player is having an off game and/or the other team locks him down, there isn't a great second option to create offense. They've also been a better team in transition than in the half court and you can only get out in trasition if you get stops and that gets back to the defensive end and getting stops/securing the rebound.
 

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It seems like the right thing, that you need to normalize in some fashion for the average length of time of a team's possession to have any kind of meaningful discussion about how the offensive statistics correlate with winning.
 

sal

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It’s time for that post I do every year: point totals for games won in the B1G. Below you see a distribution presenting the point totals of the winning team in each game in B1G competition, to date.



Some takeaways:

(1) The interquartile range is 71-86, with the median being 80 points: 50% of the time, the winning team in B1G play scores 80 points or more. If you are trying to win scoring 70 points or fewer, you are trying to win with a point total accounting for fewer than 1-in-4 B1G victories.

(2) The 10th percentile is pegged at 66 points. If you are trying to win with 65 points or fewer, you are trying to win with a point total accounting for fewer than 1-in-10 B1G victories.

(3) The Gophers losses this year have come on offensive performances wherein they score 57, 59, 65 and 71 points. In 3 of the 4 instances, their losses came when they scored a point total falling short of the 10th percentile. In those cases, their problem is not defense: it is offense. They simply do not score enough points for there to be a significant chance of victory even if they played lights-out defense.

(4) The Gophers have not lost when they produce a point total equal to or better than the median for B1G victories. Stated another way, their defensive performance has been such that they have never squandered an opportunity when “on average” a B1G team should have expected a victory.

(5) If this team can figure out how to score on the road, the numbers suggest they will be a very competitive team.
Point (3) was dead on today. They did not score nearly enough points to give themselves a chance to win. Not raving about the D today, sometimes we looked like we were in quicksand but giving up 63 points should keep you in most games. Especially at home. Offensive efficiency killed us.
 

builtbadgers

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Point (3) was dead on today. They did not score nearly enough points to give themselves a chance to win. Not raving about the D today, sometimes we looked like we were in quicksand but giving up 63 points should keep you in most games. Especially at home. Offensive efficiency killed us.
The offense was terrible and the defense needed to be the nations best and they were far from that.
 

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It’s pretty hard to keep teams under 49. If you make half your free throws, only have
one guy score in double figures, take more threes than twos but shoot less than 20% from three....chances of winning are even poor if the opponent was Macalester.
Gotta score!
 
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60's Guy

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Points per possession tells you how efficient your team is. Offense and defense...two different calculations. How do you compare to your opponents? Takes tempo out of the equation.
Number of possessions tells if you run or drain the clock. You also can rate yourself by your desired number and efficiency.
Million stats in basketball...number of dribbles per game, passes per game, rebounds, defections, steals, percentage of contested shots, turnovers, opponents turnovers, times opponents got the ball in the paint, times you did...on and on...you can emphasize anything you want.
If you score like today, none of it matters.
Was Mutaf our best game day three point shooter? I’d recruit some shooters and play them every game...at least some minutes.
Gotta score! Great defense means you lose closer if you can’t score.
 

touchdownvikings

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Gotta score! Great defense means you lose closer if you can’t score.
Correct. That's one of the significant points of my post. In the last - basically decade - the Gophers' main problem is that their offense descends to levels so low that no amount of defense can save them. Holding the opposing team to 63? That's great. They could have held them to 50.... So what? If you just don't score, none of it matters. That really has been their problem when they struggle.
 
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