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Linking Laconically has some coal for your statistical stocking

Bonus nonlaconical/noncheerful pre-holiday statistics

To follow-up on the concerns I expressed last night about the MSU basketball team's lackluster performances to date against quality opposition, here are the team's tempo-free numbers when you isolate just the Gonzaga/Florida/UNC/Texas games:

Offense Defense
Pace 75.8  
Efficiency 98.7 104.3
Effective FG% 48.4 51.2
Turnover % 25.1 18.5
Off Reb % 40.0 31.9
FT Rate 32.8 36.3
2pt FG% 52.4 53.1
3pt FG% 23.2 30.9
FT% 74.1 68.4
3PA/FGA 22.7 27.8
Steal % 11.6 11.2
Block % 7.9 4.5


There's not a lot to hang your hat on there.  The team has shot the ball well inside the arc and from the free throw line, and the offensive rebounding has been up to Izzo standards.  But the turnover issues and poor 3-point shooting--not two areas in which you'd expect a team that returns a big group of perimeter players to struggle--have really held the offense back.

Defensively, the numbers are pretty uninspiring across the board.  And it's hard to say exactly where we can expect significant improvement going into Big Ten play--maybe 2-point percentage as the big men get more experience and we don't face Tarheel/Longhorn-quality post players (fewer easy baskets off turnovers would help there, too). .

The four teams against whom these statistics were posted are currently ranked 1, 28, 55, and 74 by KenPom (1, 15, 47, and 61, if you prefer Sagarin).   So you're talking about roughly the equivalent of the top two-third of the Big Ten.  Some fundamental statistical shifts are going to have to occur as the team moves from this 4-game sample into the 18-game sample of conference play.

Alright, with that does of noncheer delivered, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas.  Things will likely be pretty dead around here over the long holiday weekend.  We'll start afresh next week and hope that the new year heralds more jocund* times for the Spartan faithful.

*Good find in the old online thesarus, eh?