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Saluki Basketball by the numbers

January 16, 2013

By Tom Weber
Saluki Media Services

No statistic is more meaningful than wins and losses, but here are an assortment of numbers to ponder after Saluki Basketball has completed one-third of its conference season.

1. After playing four of its first six games on the road, SIU will play four of six games at home, where the team is 4-1 on the season. That’s the good news. The bad news is that two of the home games are against Creighton and Wichita State, who have a combined record of 32-3.

2. The plus/minus stats for individual players on the 2012-13 Salukis are revealing. The higher the score, the better the team plays when that player is on the floor. Dantiel Daniels leads the team (+4.38), followed by Desmar Jackson (+3.41) and Jeff Early (+3.06). The top scores on last year’s team were Josh Swan (-1.57), Harry Whitt (-2.17) and Treg Setty (-2.42). Note that when you go 8-23, you wind up with a team full of negatives in the plus/minus category.

3. In the last two years, the team is 2-8 without the injury-plagued Daniels in the lineup. The wins came against Chicago State and Benedictine-Springfield. Daniels’ injury problems this year (pulled groin and ankle sprain) seem more severe than last, as his rebounding average has dropped from 4.9 to 3.2, while his blocked shots have slipped from 1.64 to 1.00. He is not the same explosive player he was last year.

4. Everyone wondered how Southern could replace F Mamadou Seck in the lineup at the four spot. Seck averaged 13.3 points and 7.9 rebounds last year for SIU. Through yesterday’s game, Jeff Early has virtually picked up where Seck left off, averaging 13.1 points and 7.7 rebounds at the four. Early is shooting a better percentage from the field than Seck did last year, converting 52 percent of his shots. He is a shoe-in for the MVC’s most-improved team.

5. What Southern has failed to replace off last year’s squad are the eight points and four rebounds per game that Treg Setty and Harry Whitt provided off the bench. Also, returning forward Davante Drinkard has slipped from 3.6 points a year ago to 2.2 points this season.

6. In conference games this year, the Salukis are much-improved offensively versus last season. They average 67.5 points compared to 63.0 a year ago. They shoot 47 percent from the field compared to 44 percent last season.

7. Conversely, the defense has slipped. The Salukis yielded 71.2 points per game a year ago and are giving up 73.8 this season. Opponents shot 49 percent last year against SIU and are converting 50 percent this season.

8. Anthony Beane is leading the MVC among freshmen with 10.4 points per game. His top competitors for MVC Freshman of the Year are Missouri State’s Marcus Marshall (10.1 ppg), Evansville’s DJ Balentine (8.8 ppg) and Drake’s Joey King (8.3). King has the best field goal percentage at .449, including .386 from 3-point, however he is a bench player for Drake and only plays 19 minutes per game.

9. Josh Swan is quietly improving. Last year, he averaged 3.5 points and shot 41 percent from the field in conference games. This year, he’s at 5.3 points and 48 percent shooting. He’s also gone from a 37 percent free throw shooter in league games last year to a 75 percent shooter this season.

10. Our stats program estimates the percentage of offensive plays that are run for each player, based upon field goal attempts and assists. Not surprisingly, the leaders are Desmar Jackson (31 percent), Jeff Early (23 percent), Dantiel Daniels (21 percent) and Anthony Beane (21 percent).


From → Men's Basketball

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