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Post#1 » by RealGM Articles » Mon Feb 9, 2015 5:55 pm

It is time once again for my annual injury splits column. I am essentially replicating Ken Pomeroy’s formula and showing how various teams have performed with and without key players on the floor. Given the small sample sizes, I leave it to the reader to conclude whether the differences in performance are meaningful and likely to continue.


Short-term injuries will only be noted if a player was missing in a loss. I don’t report splits for injuries that happened very early in the year, because Ken Pomeroy uses a recent games weight, and roster changes that happened early in November are already reflected in his rankings. I try to limit the analysis to players who played roughly 20 MPG when healthy/eligible. Numbers are through the games of Saturday, February 7th.






































































































































Team



Adj Off



Adj Def



Wins



Losses



Pyth.



Duke



119.4



94.2



17



3



0.9386



Duke (no Sulaimon)



130.2



94.4



3



0



0.9758


           

Indiana



114.9



100.9



12



4



0.8169



Indiana (no Mosquera-Perea)



123.8



110.9



4



3



0.7797


           

Wisconsin



120.1



89.6



15



1



0.9667



Wisconsin (without Jackson)



133.6



101.1



6



0



0.9610


           

Syracuse



102.9



90.1



12



4



0.8217



Syracuse (no McCullough)



106.2



102.9



3



4



0.5905


           

Kentucky



110.6



76.4



8



0



0.9860



Kentucky (no Poythress)



116.6



82.1



12



0



0.9826



Kentucky (no Poythress & Lyles)



126.7



93.9



3



0



0.9690



-I’m not sure if it will last, but Duke has been playing its best basketball of the season since kicking Rasheed Sulaimon off the team.


-Without big man Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Indiana has had to play a smaller, more perimeter-oriented lineup. The defense has dropped off significantly, but the offense has taken an almost equivalent jump forward.


-As Luke Winn noted in his column this week, Wisconsin’s offense has gotten better since Traevon Jackson went down with an injury, but the defense has gotten worse. Jackson was Wisconsin’s least efficient starter, so perhaps that explains the jump in the Badger’s offensive performance. With Jackson out, Wisconsin loses a player with quick feet who was effective at keeping opposing guards out of the lane. That may explain the drop in the team’s defensive performance. (Wisconsin was also without Frank Kaminsky in the team’s loss to Rutgers. Since it was only one game, I’m not showing that split, but the Badgers obviously played pretty terribly without their player-of-the-year candidate.)


-Syracuse has been playing like the 129th best team in the nation since McCullough went down. That 3-4 record looks bad, but it could be much worse. It includes an OT home win against Wake Forest and a two point home win against Virginia Tech.


-Trey Lyles illness may be having somewhat of an effect on Kentucky’s defense which has been more porous the last three games. (The Wildcats gave up over 1 point per possession to an Alabama team playing without its best player.) On the other hand, I wonder if all we are seeing in the table is the fact that Kentucky’s offense is getting better over the course of the season. And as Dean Oliver once famously showed, when a team’s offense is better, the defense tends to slack off a little. Early in the year, Kentucky had to win by shutting teams down. The team is now more balanced.






















































































































































Team



Adj Off



Adj Def



Wins



Losses



Pyth.



California (early season)



107.0



89.3



5



1



0.8891



California (no Bird)



96.2



94.2



6



4



0.5576



California (Bird returns)



97.1



101.7



4



4



0.3707


           

Colorado



105.0



95.2



4



4



0.7552



Colorado (with Scott)



100.5



96.4



7



7



0.6175


           

Dayton



101.3



90.2



7



2



0.7916



Dayton (no Scott and Robinson)



109.2



93.6



10



3



0.8551


           

Davidson



112.9



95.0



4



1



0.8791



Davidson (no Belford)



120.1



104.2



7



3



0.8359



Davidson (no Gibbs & Belford)



116.0



102.7



3



2



0.8027


           

Michigan



101.8



94.6



9



7



0.6988



Michigan (no LeVert)



107.0



94.3



1



1



0.8096



Michigan (no LeVert & Walton)



107.5



103.3



1



2



0.6129



-California has had an interesting season. The team started off playing fabulous basketball. Then Jabari Bird was injured and things fell apart. And after Bird returned, the team suddenly started playing like the worst team in the Pac-12. The splits might not quite match your narrative, since California has won its last four games. But it is worth noting that the team’s last 3 wins have come by a combined 5 points. It isn’t clear that California has righted the ship, even with a 4-game winning streak.


-A week ago, I wrote about teams that were disappointing, and I didn’t allow Colorado to use Josh Scott’s injury as an excuse. That’s because Colorado has actually played worse with Scott in the lineup. (This is even more shocking when you consider that when Scott was out, Xavier Johnson also missed four of those games.) Now, some of that is because Scott played in the team’s two blowout losses to Utah. But overall, the numbers are not currently suggesting that Scott’s return will lead to a big turnaround.


-Shockingly, Dayton has actually played better basketball since Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson were injured. With no one left on the roster over 6’6”, it seemed likely the Flyers would struggle defensively. They’ve been a shade worse, but they’ve actually been very competitive in that area. And the team has been able to spread the floor more effectively with a smaller lineup leading to a significant jump in the team’s offense.


-Davidson on the other hand, is finding that losing players is starting to catch up to them. They survived the loss of Jake Belford and were still playing at a pretty high level, but since Jack Gibbs went down, the team has been a bit short-handed. One final note on Davidson, Jordan Barnham did not play in the team’s early season loss to Virginia.


-Michigan actually played one of its best games of the season, a very competitive game with the Wisconsin Badgers, after Caris LeVert went down. But with LeVert and Derrick Walton out of the lineup, things are spiraling downward.






























































































































Team



Adj Off



Adj Def



Wins



Losses



Pyth.



Arizona St.



111.2



97.3



6



3



0.8228



Arizona St. (with Goodman)



106.8



94.7



6



8



0.7994


           

Auburn



94.2



98.5



2



4



0.3738



Auburn (with Mason)



105.1



101.2



8



8



0.6076


           

Iowa St.



119.1



99.8



8



1



0.8842



Iowa St. (McKay eligible)



115.5



96.2



9



4



0.8913


           

Kansas



116.8



96.7



6



1



0.8979



Kansas (with Graham)



114.0



90.7



13



3



0.9329


           

Marquette



104.7



99.8



4



4



0.6351



Marquette (with Fischer, w/o Burton)



102.7



94.4



7



8



0.7249



-Arizona St.’s splits also paint a misleading story. Savon Goodman has been a very good offensive player for this team, but for whatever reason, Arizona St. had an absolutely horrible start to Pac-12 play. But over the last six games, the offense has been performing at a high level, including the team’s upset of Arizona. Home cooking could account for the recent upswing, except that I adjust for the game location in the splits. Basically, Arizona St. has just started playing better basketball lately, after a rough patch of offensive games after Goodman debuted.


-Auburn isn’t necessarily a good team right now, but they were really struggling when Antoine Mason was out. Perhaps even more for bad teams, missing talented players matters.


-Iowa St. has been a bigger, more physical defense since Jameel McKay became eligible, but the offense has been a shade worse.


-I tried to limit this to players playing at least 20 minutes per game, but people have been talking a lot about Kansas PG Devonte Graham, so I thought I’d show the splits. Kansas defense has been better with Graham in the lineup. That might be in part because Graham is a better defensive player than Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, the player he edged out of the rotation.


-Much like Iowa St., since the 7 footer Luke Fischer debuted, Marquette’s defense has been much improved, but the offense has been a shade worse. Fischer himself has been a solid offensive player, so the split is a bit surprising.


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