A hard look at Purdue defense/offense shooting numbers

Thanks to JPZ, whose comments in the MSU post game inspire me to dig into looking at Purdue's defensive numbers, I decide to share my findings as two fanposts. Also, with apology to JPZ, I mistook some of the numbers in my response, and here are the correct ones.

The short version is that on defense, we need to do a better job protecting the rim. We are pretty good in transition D and blocking/defending 2-pt jumpers, but that's the wrong battle to fight. We are allowing too many conversion at the rim and that's killing us. On offense, we are shooting waaaaaaaaaaay too many 2-pt jumpers, whether as a result of not having enough shooters or just b/c the offensive system we run isn't aim at getting open looks from 3s (nor attacking the rim). Our transition O this year is utterly HORRIBLE, which everyone who watches the game loses count of how many times we fail to score on fast breaks b/c our guard decides to take a contested layup (and miss or get blocked) rather than passing to an open teammate.

To read the table, the first row for each year represent the raw number, while the second row is the ranking among the three hundred some D-1 schools.

Team Defense by Year eFG% % shots at rim FG% at rim %blocked at rim % shots 2pt J FG% 2pt Jumpers %blocked 2pt Jumpers %of shots 3pt 3FG% %blocked 3pt %shots in Transition Transition eFG% Non-transtion eFG%
2012 49.9 16.6 69.1 6.8 49.8 42.4 9.2 33.6 34.4 0.5 22 0.572 0.479
225 1 332 293 1 343 61 198 180 227 268 262 202
2013 45.5 31.6 56.2 13 38.2 33.6 9.1 30.2 32.8 1 19.7 0.568 0.427
58 114 88 77 52 114 66 71 122 127 120 258 26
2014 47.6 30.7 63.6 8.9 34.9 31.1 18 34.4 33.3 1.2 21.3 0.484 0.473
103 50 290 232 71 38 1 223 123 82 180 32 143

Here's the long version: the first thing I look for is what kind of shots are we allowing. On defense, you don't want the opponents to shoot at the rim b/c they tend to be high percentage shots (median eFG% 59.7%), and you don't want the opponent to shoot from threes b/c each made basket is worth 50% more (median FG% 34.4%, or 51.6% eFG). The best you can do then is to force them to shoot 2-pt jump shots (median and eFG% 36%). On defense, we tend to do a reasonably good job at that, ranking near the Top fifth in the nation, including an overall #1 ranking in Hummel's senior year.

But Rob's team was a poor defensive team despite limiting the opponent to take (relatively) more "bad" shots, instead of the "good" ones at the rim. The reason being, they are nearly dead last in opponent eFG%. The opponent are converting at nearly 70% at the rim and 42% on 2-pt jumpers, and these are VERY, VERY, VERY bad numbers (nearly worst in D1).

Fast forward to this year, and we are allowing only 31% on 2-pt jumpers, which is pretty good. Problem is, we are allowing the opponent to convert 64% of their shots near the rim, and that's the main problem. We are blocking a lot of 2-pt jumpers but not enough blocking for shots at the rim. I think Painter's strategy is to keep Hammons from foul trouble, so once an opponent attacks the rim we aren't putting enough challenge. That, along with the very many defensive lapses (e.g. Hammons rotates to help, but the opponent finds the dump man for an uncontested basket) allow a high eFG% by the opponents. Numbers don't lie, and that's the biggest problem with our defense. I'll give credit to our transition D, which is actually pretty good.

Team Offense by Year eFG% % shots at rim FG% at rim %assisted at rim % shots 2pt J FG% 2pt Jumpers %assisted 2pt Jumpers %of shots 3pt 3FG% %assisted 3pt %shots in Transition Transition eFG% Non-transtion eFG%
2012 51.1 15.2 57.2 29.1 47.5 44.8 36 37.3 37.7 93.3 19.4 0.579 0.494
92 345 259 345 340 1 184 74 41 11 210 83 108
2013 46.3 35.4 58.5 52.3 41.6 34.9 42.7 23 32 91.7 18.6 0.582 0.435
280 130 224 60 318 177 88 339 259 23 248 62 307
2014 47.9 32.5 62.8 40.8 39.6 33.1 37.4 27.9 34.5 92.1 23.7 0.473 0.481
260 290 82 218 327 271 151 286 170 29 95 339 196

What about offense? Well, the biggest knock is that we are never a team with high eFG%. Per Kenpom, since 2003 there are only 3 seasons where our eFG% barely got us Top 100 in the nation, but 6 years (including the last 2 and Gene Keady's last 3) our eFG% is outside Top 200. A main reason I suspect - at least for the last 3 years when I look at it - is that we are shooting too many 2-pt jumpers, which are low percentage shots and without the added 50% bonus like a 3-point shot. Even in Hummel's last season when we led the nation in FG% for 2-pt jumpers, and the fact that we have 3 solid shooters in {Rob, DJ and Ryno}, our eFG% is still only 51.1%. As a comparison, this year's Michigan team which also features many shooters are taking A LOT of threes, and their eFG% is a whopping 55.6%, or 12th in the nation. Their offensive system makes the best use of their players' strength while we are not getting enough shooters and our offensive system is not making enough use of the 3-pt or attacking the rim enough.

Another thing that stands out re: our offense this year is our poor transition O. We shot a HORRIBLE 47% eFG% on transition, which is actually WORSE than our non-transition O (as if that can actually happen! Median transition O among D1-schools, 55% in eFG; median non-transition O, 49% eFG). Until the IU game, our transition O was horrible b/c guards were making incredibly poor decisions, opting to go contested instead of finding the open teammates. And here's one reason for optimism: I am seeing guys, esp. Bryson, changing. When we do share the basketball, the offense is a lot more pleasing to watch. It is no coincidence that our last two games are our best offensive game in a long time. Maybe they finally "get it"?

One thing stands out from doing this exercise: we need shooters to space the floor for better O, and take more 3s instead of 2-pt jumpers. Our O was bad for two consecutive seasons b/c we only have one legit 3-pt threat, so we aren't really shooting 3s. And throughout the years, we are just shooting too many 2-pt jumpers!! If there's one thing for Painter to fix, this is it. Our offense has been mediocre for the last decade, and if we can hire an offensive guru as an assistant, this first thing he should work on is to get more open looks for 3-pt shooters. That, or getting more shots attacking the rim, but just stop taking so many 2-pt jumpers. I cringe every time Ronnie took those (admittedly though he is getting better). I cringe every time Jay took those (even when he made them they were still long 2s "bad" shots). I cringe every time Hammons took those (you are a f***ing 7-footer!, and until you can shoot like Payne, screw the jumper and work on your post game!).

Stuff in the FanPosts is entirely at the discretion of those that post them. They do not represent the views of Hammer & Rails, SBNation, or Purdue University in any way.

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