Stats & Info: St. John's Red Storm

NCAA, BPI correspond, to a point

March, 17, 2014
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Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesDakari Johnson and Kentucky received a worse seed than BPI would have given them
Comparing the top of the NCAA men’s basketball championship field to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index shows a lot of similarity in how the selection committee and ESPN’s rating system evaluated teams. Although 31 of the 36 at-large teams in the field would also have been selected had only BPI been used to select the field, there are notable differences in the seeds of some prominent teams and how BPI would have placed them.
BPI rankings corresponded with the first three No. 1 seeds, as Arizona, Florida, and Wichita State are the top three teams in BPI (in that order). But unlike in the previous two official seasons of BPI, the No. 1 overall seed (Florida) is not the No. 1 team in BPI as of Selection Sunday.

The fourth No. 1 seed is Virginia, which is sixth in BPI. Ahead of Virginia in BPI are Louisville and Kansas.

That said, in each of the three official seasons of BPI, the No. 1 seeds all have been ranked in the Top 6 on Selection Sunday. And for the second straight year, three of the four No. 1 seeds ranked better in BPI than RPI.

Differences between committee, BPI
Among the teams in the field, below are those that are most “overseeded” according to BPI (based on their seed if only BPI were used to seed the 68 teams). Second-seeded Michigan was given a seed four spots better than its BPI would suggest, while four other schools are overseeded by three lines from where their BPI ranking would put them:
Similarly, in the chart at the right are the seven teams most underseeded according to BPI -- all at least three seeds worse than they should be, according to the metric. Kentucky, Pittsburgh and Iowa are each seeded five spots below where they would be if the field were seeded by BPI.

Snubs and undeserved bids
BPI was not designed to predict who would make the field of 68, but rather who deserved to make the field (and where they deserved to be seeded) based on a very specific measure of team strength based on its season results.

That said, 63 of the 68 teams -- more precisely, 31 of the 36 at-large teams -- that made the field would have also made the field if it had been selected entirely according to BPI.

The best-ranked at-large team that didn't make it was No. 33 Southern Methodist, while the worst-ranked at-large team that did make it was No. 66 North Carolina State.


BPI Talk: Duke is not a top-25 team

December, 17, 2013
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The Duke Blue Devils came into the season as a preseason Final Four contender, but after losses to Kansas and Arizona and a one-point win over Vermont, the Blue Devils are ranked No. 31 in BPI.

Duke's BPI game score in its six-point loss against Arizona (ranked No. 4 in BPI) was higher than two of its wins (vs East Carolina, vs Vermont). Other than its wins over No. 40 Michigan and No. 63 Alabama, Duke doesn't have any other wins over teams ranked in the top 180.

Duke has the best adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom.com, but its adjusted defensive efficiency ranks 101st.

Is Wisconsin the best team in college basketball?
The Wisconsin Badgers rank No. 1 in BPI after starting 12-0 with five wins over top-50 BPI teams -- St. John's, Florida, Saint Louis, West Virginia and Virginia. Their five wins against top-50 teams are the most by any team. Kansas and Davidson are the only other teams that have even faced five top-50 teams.

Wisconsin has the 11th-most difficult schedule according to BPI. Seven of their 12 wins are against top-100 opponents and none of them are against teams outside the top 175.

The Badgers have been successful playing a slow pace (17th-fewest possessions per game). Two of their three worst BPI game scores this season have come in the two games in which they played at the fastest pace (at Green Bay, vs North Dakota).

Michigan State barely cracks the top 25
The Michigan State Spartans, previously ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll, come in at No. 24 in BPI. The Spartans only have one loss, but it was by far their worst BPI game score and it came against their second-best opponent (No. 23 North Carolina).

Why else is Michigan State's BPI lacking? The Spartans have five wins against teams ranked outside the BPI top 100. Three of those wins are by 15 points or fewer, including two by single digits, and one of the five wins is against No. 338 McNeese State. Also, they haven't played a single true road game yet.

Welcome to the top 10, Saint Mary's
The undefeated Saint Mary's Gaels are ranked No. 8 in BPI, and it's not due to any wins over top-notch opponents. The Gaels haven't faced a single top-50 team yet, but five of their eight wins came against top-100 opponents and six of their eight wins are by double digits.

Saint Mary's has performed well against top-100 teams, posting a BPI game score higher than 95 in four of those five wins.

Why isn't Pittsburgh ranked yet?
The Pittsburgh Panthers are ranked No. 9 in BPI but aren't in the top 25 in the AP Poll. The Panthers are 10-0 with each of those 10 wins coming by at least nine points and nine of the wins coming by at least 17 points.

Pitt doesn't have any top-50 wins, but the Panthers do have two wins against teams just outside the top 50 (No. 51 Penn State, No. 55 Stanford). Their three best BPI game scores came against their three best opponents -- Penn State, Stanford and Texas Tech (No. 110).

Pitt is one of seven teams ranked in the top 20 in both adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com, along with Louisville, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Wisconsin, Kansas and North Carolina.

BPI Rankings

Monday recap: Lamb key in UConn victory

February, 21, 2012
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Player of the Night Jeremy Lamb
This was supposed to be Lamb’s season, but the preseason All-American was averaging just 15.6 points per game in Big East play coming into last night. Shabazz Napier may have hit the big shot, but Lamb was the key to Connecticut’s 73-70 overtime win over Villanova. He scored a career-high 32 points, as the Huskies rallied from an 18-point deficit.

Scoring Star - Parker Smith
Smith scored a school-record 46 points as North Florida beat Mercer 75-66. It’s the second-most points scored in a game this season behind only Kevin Murphy’s 50. It also tied an Atlantic Sun record for a conference game. Coming off a 1-for-11 performance from 3-point range on Saturday, Smith went 11-for-17 from beyond the arc. That’s the most 3s in a game this season.

Freshman of the Night – Amir Garrett
Garrett entered Monday as the sixth leading scorer for St. John's, and lowest scorer in the all-freshman starting lineup. But in a 79-72 win over DePaul, Garrett poured in a career-high 18 points and nine rebounds. Maybe it has something to do with pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. Garrett was a 22nd-round pick of the Reds, who gave him a $1 million signing bonus.

Record Breaker – Antwan Carter
Longwood came up short in a 66-52 loss to Norfolk State, but the Lancers got a new all-time leading scorer in the process. Antwan Carter scored 19 points to give him 1,808 for his career. That surpassed Kevin Jefferson’s school record. A more familiar name is third on that list: Former Portland Trail Blazer Jerome Kersey.

Free Throw Star – Pierre Jackson
Jackson scored 18 of his career-high 25 points in the second half as Baylor overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Texas 77-72. Jackson went 6-for-6 from the line in the final 30 seconds to seal the win. He hit all 12 of his free throws on the night.

Stats in the Paint: Weekend outlook

January, 27, 2012
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Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty ImagesNorth Carolina lost starting junior guard Dexter Strickland to a torn ACL, and replacing him will have
an effect both on the offensive and defensive sides of the floor.
Let’s get you warmed up for the "College GameDay" road show (live Saturday from Tucson at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN) by taking a look at some notes and nuggets from our college hoops advanced stats research team (a group we call the "Stats in the Paint" team).

Saturday’s Matchups
(5) Kansas at Iowa State, 2 ET on ESPN and ESPN3
Key stat: The Cyclones are the best team in all of college basketball in plays after timeouts, ranking first in points per play (1.14), adjusted field goal percentage (65.1) and scoring percentage (49.4). But Kansas is one of the best half-court defensive teams in the nation, ranking fifth overall in opponent field goal percentage (35.3) and seventh overall in opponent scoring percentage (33.4).

St. John’s at (6) Duke, Noon ET on ESPN and ESPN3
Key stat: Duke allows 31.4 points per game in the paint this season, which is the most in the ACC and the fourth most among schools from the "Power Six" Conferences. Duke allowed opponents to shoot 57.9 percent on two-point field goals in its three losses this season.

(16) Mississippi State at (13) Florida, 1:30 ET on ESPN3
Key stat: Mississippi State averages 33.6 PPG in the paint, second most in the SEC, but allows 31.7 PPG in the paint, which ranks last in the conference. However, the Bulldogs allow opponents to grab only 27.5 percent of their missed shots and score 8.5 second-chance points per game, both of which lead the SEC. Florida is averaging 13.2 second-chance points per game, the second most in the conference.

Game Plans
West Virginia -- Limit easy baskets
Syracuse scored a season-low 11 points off turnovers against Notre Dame -- its only loss so far. The Orange average 22.6 points off turnovers this season, which leads all schools in the power six conferences.

Florida -- Score on pick and rolls
Among the 102 teams with at least 100 shots off pick-and-roll plays this season, Florida’s effective field goal percentage (50.0) ranks fifth in the nation. Forty-seven percent of Florida’s shots off pick-and-roll plays have been 3-pointers, the second-highest percentage in the SEC. The Gators are making 40 percent of these threes, the highest percentage in the conference.

Arizona -- Get Kyle Fogg open shots
Fogg is shooting 44.4 percent from 3-point range this season, third in the Pac-12, and just 39.1 percent on 2-point field goals this season. Fogg also averages one point per field goal attempt when coming off screens this season.

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
Among the topics Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis plan to tackle:

How will North Carolina fare without Dexter Strickland?

The Tar Heels were at their best defensively with Strickland, the team’s best on-ball defender, on the floor. The Heels were allowing 64.1 points per 40 minutes with Strickland on the court, compared to 72.0 with him off.

Offensively, however, the Tar Heels have been more efficient with Strickland off the court, playing with Reggie Bullock at the off guard spot. North Carolina averaged 91.9 points per 40 minutes with Strickland off the floor. With him on the court the Heels averaged 80.6.

North Carolina’s offense has a different identity with Bullock, who leads the Heels with 93 3-point field goal attempts this season. When Strickland was on the floor, North Carolina attempted a 3 on just 17 percent of its shots. That number jumps to 30 percent when Strickland is on the bench.

Wednesday Recap: Nash key in upset win

January, 26, 2012
1/26/12
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Player of the Night - Le'Bryan Nash
Nash scored 13 points during a pivotal 17-4 run late in the second half, as Oklahoma State knocked off No. 2 Missouri, 79-72. The freshman finished with a career-high 27 points. Nash came into this one shooting just 37.8 percent from the field, but hit 12 of 18 shots in the best shooting night of his career. It was the first time since 1957 that an unranked Oklahoma State team defeated the No. 2 team in the nation.

Board Monster - Mike Moser
One of the best rebounders in the nation had the best rebounding game of his career. Moser pulled down 21 rebounds to go with 18 points as UNLV topped Boise State 77-72 in overtime. Moser is the only player with multiple 20-rebound games this season. He fell five shy of Jimmie Baker's school record set in 1973. Moser's 11.7 RPG would be the highest for an UNLV player since Sidney Green's 11.9 in 1982-83.

Youth Is Served – St. John’s
In Wednesday’s 78-62 win over West Virginia, St. John’s featured a starting lineup consisting of five freshmen. It’s believed to be the first time the school has done that since 1927-28. The Red Storm were led by 23 points and 13 rebounds from Moe Harkless, the fourth-leading freshman scorer in the nation. According to kenpom.com, St. John’s has the least experienced roster in the nation, averaging just 0.56 years.

Free Throw Focus - Julius Mays
Mays went 19-20 from the free throw line in Wright State’s 69-63 win over UIC, setting a school record for free throws made in a game. It’s the second-most free throws made in a game this season behind 20 from Oregon State’s Jared Cunningham. Mays, a transfer from N.C. State, finished with a career-high 33 points.

Ugly Stat Line of the Night - Herb Pope
Pope went 2-for-16 from the field in Seton Hall's ugly 55-42 home loss to Notre Dame. It was the fewest points Seton Hall has scored at home since 2005. Even without Pope's bad night, the rest of the Pirates still shot just 31.7 percent. Pope missed his first six shots and was 1-12 going into halftime. Of his 14 misses, seven were listed as layups in the box score, and one was a dunk.

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