Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Orange Offense 2017-18

The Orange basketball team has some unusual statistical oddities occurring this season. This is being driven by the reliance on three guys to do virtually all of the scoring: Tyus Battle, Oshae Brissett, and Frank Howard.

Hopefully Matthew Moyer continues to exploit the defensive coverage being given to him and he  keeps improving his value as a fourth scorer. A tip of the hat to Howard who recognizes that Moyer is getting weak coverage and giving him the ball in those situations.

The Orange have a three headed offensive attack right now with three guys averaged 15.4 ppg or more.  The 1993-94 team was the last team with three guys with 15+ ppg:  Lawrence Mote 21.5, Adrian Autry 16.7, and John Wallace 15.0.  The 2012-13 team, which made the Final Four had a leading scorer C.J. Fair with just 14.5 ppg, lower than all three scorers this year.  The 2011-12 team's leading scorer had 13.4 ppg (Kris Joseph), and 2010-11 had 14.3 ppg (again Joseph).

The downside is that the fourth leading scorer on this year's squad barely averaged 5.3 ppg (Pascal Chukwu).  I have to go back to 2004-05 to find a team where the fourth leading scorer was even remotely close to that low, and that was Terrence Roberts with 7.2 ppg.  Fourth leading scorer on the 2001-02 team was Hakim Warrick with 6.1 ppg.  Fourth leading scored on the 1989-90 team was Dave Johnson with 6.5 ppg.  You would have to go all the way back to 1948-1949 to find a Syracuse team where the fourth leading scorer averaged 5.4 ppg or less.

I'd expect Moyer and Marek Dolezaj's numbers to improve as the year moves on, and for them to end up in the 6-7 ppg range; I'd also expect our top three scorers numbers to start to dip as the others on the team start to score more.

But it is interesting from an historical perspective how unusual our point spread is right now.

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