ACC Morning Linkfest 3/5 - The stats behind the fall of Syracuse -

ACC Morning Linkfest 3/5 - The stats behind the fall of Syracuse

by WebMaster

Posted: 3/5/2014 8:32:28 AM

I got a late start to watching ACC hoops on Tuesday night after taking my son out for his birthday.  When I got home and checked out the scores on my laptop and found Syracuse was losing by double-figures to Georgia Tech.  The Orange ultimately lost 67-62 and are completely falling apart, more on them in a moment.  In other action, Maryland handled Virginia Tech fairly easily, Clemson held on to beat Miami 58-54 and FSU avoided a bad loss winning 74-70 at Boston College.

Back to Syracuse though, who has dropped 4 of 5 games after last night's loss.  There was some discussion around the Orange on what has changed.  Is it the absence of Jerami Grant?  The fact is the warning signs were apparent well before Syracuse's first loss to Boston College.  In looking at a graph of Syracuse's Offensive and Defensive Efficiencies, the performance of the offensive has dropped well below season averages in mid February.  The drop actually happened 2 games before their first loss to BC.  To make matters worse, the defense has fallen apart in their last 2 games posting 2 of their worst 5 defensive efficiencies of the season. 

Turning things around starts with getting Jerami Grant healthy.  Grant's rebounding and defense are critical to the Syracuse zone.  Of course its the offense that has been the problem.  Take a look at the chart below at how things have changed since mid-February.

Before 2/10 (players averaging > 5 mpg)   After 2/10 (players averaging > 5 mpg)
Player FGA pg FG%   Player FGA pg
CJ Fair 14.3 44.5   CJ Fair 17.1 40
Tyler Ennis 8.9 42.7   Tyler Ennis 12.8 37.8
Jerami Grant 8.3 48.7   Jerami Grant 6.4 44.4
Trevor Cooney 4.9 45.9   Trevor Cooney 4.8 27.9
Rakeem Christmas 3.2 68   Rakeem Christmas 4.7 48.4
Michael Gbinije 2.3 40.7   Michael Gbinije 3.7 26.9
DaJuan Coleman 1.5 58.3   Baye Keita 1.1 37.5
Baye Keita 1.5 55.5        

It's clear that Grant's absence is adjusting things on the table on the right as you see his FGA per game go down.  The interesting thing to me is the Syracuse FG% has gone way down and field goal attempts have gone way up over the past few weeks.  In looking at their stats, despite the increase in field goal attempts their possessions per game has only increased by one possession per game over the past few weeks. 

So, the question is how is Syracuse shooting more when the tempo has stayed the same?  Let's take a look at offensive rebounds.  If Syracuse is grabbing more offensive rebounds it would explain the increase in field goal attempts.  Of course Syracuse is grabbing 2 fewer offensive rebounds per game (12 ORPG before 2/10, 10 ORPG after 2/10).  The other thing it could be is turnovers.  If Syracuse is turning the ball over less, more possessions can result in a field goal attempt.  Syracuse is in fact turning it over slightly less (8 TOpg before 2/10, 7 TOpg after 2/10).  That isn't enough to explain the increase we are seeing though.  Finally, let's look at free throw attempts.  If Syracuse is getting to the free throw line less, then you'll see field goal attempts go up.  Prior to February 10th, Syracuse averaged 22 free throw attempts per game, but just 16 free throw attempts since.  One obvious factor is that Syracuse hasn't had as many late leads leading to their opponent fouling.

So, how do we sum this up?  Frankly, Syracuse has shot like **** the last few weeks.  Every Syracuse player has seen their FG% drop at least 4 or 5 percentage points over that span.  Throw in the fact that The Orange aren't getting to the free throw line as much, and you see a big drop in their offensive efficiency.  Prior to 2/10, Syracuse's offensive efficiency was close to 120, but in the games since their offensive efficiency has been below 100.

Tonight, Duke takes on Wake Forest.  Check out Game Sim's prediction and a preview below. Predictions

Duke at Wake Forest - Duke wins 76-66 Sim the game here

View more predictions at


 Team Conf Pct Overall Pct
 Virginia  16-1  0.941  25-5  0.833
 Syracuse  13-4  0.765  26-4  0.867
 UNC  13-4  0.765  23-7  0.767
 Duke  12-4  0.750  23-6  0.793
 Pittsburgh  10-7  0.588  22-8  0.733
 Clemson  10-7  0.588  19-10  0.655
 FSU  9-8  0.529  18-11  0.621
 NC State  8-9  0.471  18-12  0.600
 Maryland  8-9  0.471  16-14  0.533
 Miami  6-11  0.353  15-15  0.500
 Notre Dame  6-12  0.333  15-16  0.484
 Wake Forest  5-11  0.313  15-14  0.517
 Georgia Tech  5-12  0.294  14-16  0.467
 Boston College  4-13  0.235  9-21  0.300
 Virginia Tech  2-15  0.118  9-20  0.310


Yesterday's Games

 Georgia Tech 67 @ Syracuse 62  Box
 Virginia Tech 47 @ Maryland 64  Box
 Miami 54 @ Clemson 58  Box
 FSU 74 @ Boston College 70  Box

Today's Games

Time Matchup TV  
 7:00:00 PM  Duke @ Wake Forest  ESPN2  Preview


 Injury Report 
Darryl Hicks (BC)
Out - knee surgery, is expected to miss the entire season
Dennis Clifford (BC)
Out - sprained ankle, will miss the remainder of the season
Patrick Rooks (CL)
Out - hip surgery, will miss the entire season
Jason Morris (GT)
Out - foot, is expected to miss the remainder of the season
Solomon Poole (GT)
Out - disciplinary, was dismissed from the team
Travis Jorgenson (GT)
Out - right knee surgery, will miss the remainder of the season
Deandre Burnett (MI)
Out - left wrist surgery, will miss the entire season
James Kelly (MI)
Suspended - disciplinary, is suspended indefinitely
Steve Sorenson (MI)
Out - personal, has left the team
PJ Hairston (NC)
Suspended - legal/disciplinary, will miss the entire season
Durand Johnson (PI)
Out - knee surgery, will miss the remainder of the season
DaJuan Coleman (SY)
Out - bone bruise in left knee, will miss the remainder of the season
Jerami Grant (SY)
Out - strained back, missed Tuesday's game against Georgia Tech
Adam Smith (VT)
Out - stress fracture in left fibula/strained left calf, is out indefinitely
Ben Emelogu (VT)
Out - strained left Achilles, missed Tuesday's game against Maryland
Cadarian Raines (VT)
Out - sprained ankle, missed Tuesday's game against Maryland
Malik Mueller (VT)
Out - academics, will miss the entire season
Marquis Rankin (VT)
Out - personal, has left the team

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