So, this stats-based feature was supposed to provide you with things that make you go "hmm." Sometimes in a good way, sometimes not, but that was the idea.
I wrote about Baye Keita doubling his season average for rebounds in the Miami game. Remember? And before, I mentioned how surprising it was that the Orange only committed 10 turnovers against UNC, matching its season average, despite having 8 in a sloppy first half. Those little nuggets may not have been game-changing, but they probably made you go "hmm, that's interesting," right?
That's the problem with last night's game against Notre Dame. Stats reigned supreme; they were the stars of the show. Trevor Cooney hit 73% of his shots. C.J. Fair was 15% on 2-of-13 shooting. Syracuse was outscored in the paint. Bla bla bla. You already know the interesting numbers that I'd highlight, so what could I possibly tell you?
Well, in an effort to keep my "job," I got creative. Behold: The Mini Trend Report. As we approach the back end of the regular season, I took a look at some overall numbers. A few caught my eye, so I thought I'd fill you in.
Turnovers Per Game
Along the same lines, you might also expect Syracuse's turnovers to go up slightly once they start playing teams that have upped the ante on defense, right? Wrong! The Orange averaged 10.3 turnovers in the non-con, as opposed to 8.1 in conference play so far. That's significant. Syracuse is playing better opponents and turning the ball over less? Yes, please. This is a great indicator of maturity and all-around improvement.
Assists Per Game
This is an unfortunate trend. Not only does Syracuse have fewer assists in conference play, but the Orange assists on a smaller percentage of its buckets, too. In the first 13 games, Syracuse assisted on 52.7% of its makes, but in the ACC, that percentage has dropped to 49.9%.
I'm not explaining this trend away by any means, but don't forget that recently, a couple players have taken over games by themselves, which cuts down on assists. Not only that, but a few have been able to create more of their own shots lately, and that's a good thing. However, Syracuse needs a healthy balance in this category to be successful, so it's something to keep an eye on.
Some of this is due to playing more minutes once DaJuan Coleman was injured, but his rebounds got a lift, too. During non-conference games, Christmas averaged 3.6 per game. In conference play, he's averaging 5.6. That's a huge difference in both stats to be explained away by an increase in time on the floor. It's making me wonder whether Rak just feels better playing the 5, than the 4.
C.J. Fair Turnovers
There hasn't been much griping about C.J.'s performance in this regard lately, and that's for good reason. Many who watched in the beginning of the season noted that the increase in turnovers was likely because he was trying to force too much. Sure, he's had a larger role as a senior, but this massive decrease in turnovers is proof that he just needed to settle in.
Tyler Ennis FG%
Jerami Grant Rebounds
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