In advance, I'll just apologize to those who felt that basketball season was more fun without something like this. But on the other hand -- and this is my motive with the football play-calling breakdowns too -- we're really just looking for interesting trends and tendencies throughout specific games. So let's dive into the first one of these...
As you're aware, the Syracuse Orange unfortunately lost another game last night. That's bad. But we should probably figure out how that transpired, which is where this shot breakdown (no charts, sadly, unless there's a volunteer?) comes in. Of course there are other factors to a game beyond shots, and maybe we'll get into those some other time. For now, though, the shots:
First Half: 40.63%
Second Half: 44.44%
For just over three minutes of last night's contest, the Orange were shooting over 50 percent from the floor. That doesn't sound great, but it's also foolish to hold a team that's shooting just 43.8 percent on the year to much more than that. The team finished the game at 42.6 percent, however, which you can and should be concerned about -- especially considering North Carolina's overall lack of defense. SU scored 83 points, which is nice. But much of that could also be attributed to shot volume. We'll be able to get more on these points as we continue tracking these throughout the season.
Some other numbers of interest:
|Shots Per Minute|
|Makes Per Minute|
Additionally, Syracuse's longest streak without a made shot was three minutes and 16 seconds. Again, without similar numbers for every game, I can't be sure. But given this team's consistent shooting issues, that seems okay, right?
Lastly, player-specific figures. The overall shooting broke down as follows:
Rakeem Christmas: 6-for-12 (50 percent)
Tyler Roberson: 6-for-9 (67 percent)
Kaleb Joseph: 1-for-2 (50 percent)
Trevor Cooney: 10-for-26 (38 percent)
Michael Gbinije: 6-for-14 (43 percent)
Ron Patterson: 0-for-5 (0 percent)
(B.J. Johnson also played, but did not attempt a shot in his time on the floor)
For Christmas, the night started poorly from the floor (0-for-5), but then he proceeded to make six of the next seven -- with the only miss being a late, desperate three-point attempt. UNC was able to be physical with Christmas a bit, and that was surely a factor here. Though at the same time -- just 12 (!!!) shots for the Orange's best player and the focal point of its offense. There were three different stretches where Christmas did not take a shot for upwards of five minutes. That seems weird, no? He was able to contribute from the free-throw line (went 10-for-10, actually), so that explains some of it. But you have to think that once he got in rhythm late, you can find ways for him to get more shots.
For Cooney... I am both impressed and concerned with what we saw tonight. He attacked the rim at times and was able to get himself to the line. But... 26 shots?! That's more than the last two games combined, and five more than his previous season high of 21 (against Virginia Tech). In fact, that's easily the most shots he's ever taken in a game. As our own Jared Smith pointed out to the TNIAAM staff internally following the game, if Cooney took as many shots (a lot) as Gerry McNamara did, perhaps we'd think of him differently as a shooter. Well, maybe he somehow heard Jared in the future, because wow. Soooo many shots.
Regarding everyone else: Patterson is going to be stuck in the doghouse for awhile. Sorry, Buss. Joseph was largely a ghost out there. And when he was noticeable, it was rarely for good reasons, unfortunately. Gbinije and Roberson both had some great moments tonight, even if it took the former awhile to get going (started 2-for-7 from the floor). Roberson's night is tougher to gauge based on shooting alone, since watching the game (and checking the box score) is what tells you he was once again a force on the offensive glass. Those heads-up boards resulted in quick put-back points that make for high shooting percentages too.
Like I said: work in progress here, so we can adjust as we go. Enjoy what you saw here? Great! Didn't? How can it be made better? Thanks, as always, for the feedback.