Looking at PPP

When you think about all the basketball analytics out there, along with the dozens of variables that factor into them, coming to an overall conclusion based upon one single analytic is just asking for ridicule. No reason to let THAT stop me!

So in my overly-simplistic way of looking at the game, the only thing that really matters is scoring more points than the other team. And the one analytic that seems (to me) to capture that best is points per possession (PPP). If our team PPP is better than that of the other team, we probably win (understanding that offensive rebound differential can skew this).

Now that Scottie has finished his year-end player reviews, I thought it’d be fun to see which ones had the most positive impact on team/opponent PPP (based upon Scottie’s numbers).

Offense: As a Team, Arkansas had at least an even or better Offensive PPP with these 4 players on the court:

+0.20 - Jimmy Whitt
+0.07 - Isaiah Joe
+0.04 - Desi Sills
+0.00 - Mason Jones

With the all the points Mason put up, I was surprised to find Arkansas’ Net Offensive PPP was zero!

Defense: As a Team, Arkansas had at least an even or better Defensive PPP with these 4 players on the court:

-0.11 - Isaiah Joe
-0.10 - Jeantal Cylla
-0.03 - Adrio Bailey
-0.02 - Mason Jones

I never realized our opponents found scoring so difficult with Cylla in the game.

My “Most Valuable 5” (okay, 6) based upon Player Net PPP (Team Offensive PPP - Team Defensive PPP):

+0.13 - Jeantal Cylla
+0.11 - Isaiah Joe
+0.09 - Jimmy Whitt
+0.08 - Mason Jones
+0.08 - Desi Sills
+0.08 - Adrio Bailey
(next best was +0.05)

Well, one result certainly surprised me.

Individual Awards:
+1.03 - Highest (best) Offensive PPP (Jimmy Whitt)
-0.84 - Lowest (best) Defensive PPP (Jeantal Cylla)

Probably meaningless stuff, here … but gotta entertain myself somehow now that the NV governor shut down private golf clubs.

With Cylla, have to remember about half of his minutes and possessions came in the first month of the season when Arkansas was scoring the ball well and holding opponents down defensively. That plays a role in the figure you mention. Below, take OR minus DR to get their net rating/100 poss.

Great point, Scottie.

While you’re on the phone, can you explain how in the world Arkansas’ Offensive PPP was exactly the same (1.00) … regardless of whether Mase was on/off the court?

One thing to consider is Mason was on the floor for almost 1,900 offensive possessions, and he sat out a little more than 500 possessions on that end, so it’s not exactly apples to apples. Arkansas was just average all the way around offensively, really.

But without Mason on the floor, the team was OK in some areas over a small sample size - good 2FG percentage (54.6), offensive rebounded misses at a higher rate (25%), attempted free throws at a nice clip. I think that’s part of it. Perhaps someone else has some thoughts.

Wow, that is a lot of data. But I agree the only thing that is important is the final score.

Funny that you should say that; it was exactly my feeling as the season was playing out. I rarely ever thought we’d run anyone out of the gym, that holding the other team down was probably more important.

I dunno, Scottie. Net Rating / 100 Possessions sure sounds like a better metric to look at, but definitely not getting a warm fuzzy on these results (if I understood you correctly):

+32.5 - Ethan Henderson
+19.5 - Mason Jones
+18.6 - Reggie Chaney
+08.8 - Jimmy Whitt
+08.1 - Adrio Bailey
+07.2 - Isaiah Joe
+01.2 - Desi Sills
-04.3 - Jalen Harris
-29.6 - Jeantal Cylla

  1. Since Isaiah was such a “high” scorer and considered one of our “better” defenders, would have expected his rating to be much closer to that of Mason’s.
  2. Reggie’s rating seems high; Ethan’s rating looks positively unreal.
  3. All the other ratings seems reasonable.
  1. Isaiah was not the scorer Mason was, so his OR makes sense to me. Without looking, would have thought his DR would have been a little better.

  2. Reggie was a productive player when his head was in the right place. Good finisher, solid defensively. He didn’t play 500 minutes this season. It maybe wouldn’t be as high with more minutes. On Ethan, same thing. Small sample size. He did not even play 200 minutes, so that’s probably a little inflated, too.

Thnx, Scottie; all good points.

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