[Bumped. Good post on a bad topic. -KJ]
Although last night's turnover meltdown against Michigan was discouraging, I figured we had to be doing something right this season, and we are. When we DON'T turn the ball over, we're the best scoring offense in the conference. John Gasaway uses a statistic he calls points per effective possession (PPEP). This measures how well you score in your turnover-less possessions. Here's how the conference stacks up so far this season (conference-only games, stats from Statsheet.com):
Not too many surprises here. It does show an interesting contrast in styles. We're better than only Indiana and Iowa at holding on to the ball, but we can light it up when we do. Wisconsin apparently needs to be as frugal as they are with their possessions, as points are not as easy to come by for them.
It was forecast by many before the season that we would need to improve on offense to offset the defensive losses of Travis Walton and Goran Suton. The most obvious way to do that would be to cut down on turnovers. In fact, the turnover problem has gotten worse (22.1% in conference last year) and our improved shooting (52.9 eFG% vs. 49.8 last year) and steady offensive rebounding (40.7% both years) have only left us pretty close to where we were last year (1.08 PPP vs. 1.11).
Which is still pretty darn good. But just think where we might be if we could just shave a little off those TOs. . .