This is part of a series of posts examining whether offense or defense has more control of various aspects of a typical college basketball game. The introduction is here. A description of the methodology is here.
In the last post, I looked at the “battlefield” of college basketball which was inside the 3-point arc. It’s not the only stat that is virtually an even struggle between the offense and defense. Turnovers are under 51% influence of the defense. Turnovers can be considered another battlefield stat, although the location of this battle is more virtual rather than a particular place on the floor.
Given that we’re separating turnovers into steals and non-steals in other pieces in this series, it doesn’t make much sense to get too deep with the analysis here. Just know that your team’s bad turnover night was, as a default, equal part bad offense and good defense. Maybe it’s best to blast out trivia at this point.
Here is the top ten of low turnover coaches:
1 Bo Ryan 16.0% 2 Mike Brey 16.7 3 John Beilein 16.9 4 Dave Rose 17.4 5 Mike Anderson 17.6 6 Don Maestri 17.7 7 Andy Kennedy 17.7 8 Bob Huggins 17.9 9 Mike Krzyzewski 17.9 10 Lon Kruger 17.9
It’s no surprise that Bo Ryan tops the list but extra credit to Mike Anderson and Dave Rose who run uptempo systems that will never be considered disciplined because of the fascination with counting stats.
Ryan is the king of ball security, but perhaps he is waiting to retire until he sees his team play a perfect no-turnover game. According to my database, such a game has happened once since 2002 in a game involving two D-I opponents.
It took place on February 19, 2009 when Fairfield had a clean sheet in a game at Marist. The interesting thing is that Fairfield lost 75-66 and it wasn’t even that close, with the Stags trailing by as many as 20 in the second half. Fairfield was then coached by Ed Cooley, whose teams haven’t been exceptional in taking care of the ball. But on one magical night, against a defense that didn’t force many turnovers, it all came together in a way that has made Bo Ryan envious ever since.
Here are the ten coaches whose teams have forced the most turnovers:
1 Mike Anderson 25.3% 2 Vann Pettaway 25.0 3 Bobby Braswell 24.1 4 Joe Scott 23.7 5 Horace Broadnax 23.6 6 Ron Everhart 23.6 7 Greg Jackson 23.2 8 Rick Pitino 23.1 9 Jeff Neubauer 23.1 10 Danny Kaspar 23.1
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this list is that because of the even-handed nature of turnover rate, a coach can look good if he’s regularly playing teams that aren’t so good at taking care of the ball. That explains Alabama State’s Vann Pettaway’s location on this list. He turned in ten seasons in my database in the notoriously turnover-happy SWAC. His defenses were probably good at forcing turnovers, but they got a boost from the opposition as well.
And maybe we ought to look at Bo Ryan’s status in this light as well. Big Ten defenses aren’t all that interested in forcing turnovers and to some extent all of its coaches benefit from this on the offensive end. John Beilein ranks third on the offensive list, and not shown were Thad Matta (11th), Matt Painter (15th) and Bill Carmody (16th).
Last season, three of its 14 teams ranked in the top 100 of defensive turnover percentage while seven teams ranked in the bottom 100. Ryan may still rank as the best in a schedule-adjusted version of turnover percentage, but he’d probably be closer to the pack if someone did the calculations.
That’s the scoop on turnover percentage and here’s the data on it by season.
Year %Offense HCA 2015 45 -0.7% 2014 48 -0.7% 2013 40 -0.9% 2012 44 -0.7% 2011 46 -0.8% 2010 53 -0.9% 2009 51 -0.9% 2008 51 -0.9% 2007 56 -0.9% 2006 54 -1.0% AVG 49 -0.7%
There are only three more stats to go. Look forward to an exciting trilogy subtitled Hooray for Defense!
Offensive Spectrum – Ordered by pct of offensive “control”
FT% 98% (HCA=+0.5%, r(off)=.19, r(def)=.04) APL 86% (HCA=-0.1s, r(off)=.55, r(def)=.23) 3P% 83% (HCA=+0.7%, r(off)=.12, r(def)=.06) OR% 73% (HCA=+1.1%, r(off)=.23, r(def)=.08) 3PA% 71% (HCA=0.0%, r(off)=.52, r(def)=.33) A% 71% (HCA=+2.6%, r(off)=.32, r(def)=.21) PPP 64% (HCA=+3.7, r(off)=.51, r(def)=.36) NST% 59% (HCA=-0.4%, r(off)=.24, r(def)=.20) 2P% 50% (HCA=+1.4%, r(off)=.26, r(def)=.25) TO% 49% (HCA=-0.7%, r(off)=.31, r(def)=.30) ??? 36% ??? 30% ??? 15%