NEW YORK – The Big East’s annual get-together tips off at the “world’s most famous arena” on Wednesday. That makes this a perfect time to get a tempo free look at the conference. It will give us a little idea of what we can expect over the next few days.
Only Big East games are figured in for these listings, with all numbers courtesy of bbstate.com
1. Villanova 21
2. Georgetown 8
3. Butler 5
4. Xavier 3
5. Providence 2
6. St. John’s 1
7. Seton Hall 8
8. Creighton -9
9. DePaul -10
10. Marquette -10
Efficiency margin is offensive efficiency minus the defensive. Obviously regular season champion was well ahead of the pack.
1. St. John’s 68.6 possessions
2. Providence 67.2
Creighton 64.7 possessions
Interestingly only 3.9 possessions separated most deliberate from fastest pace in the league. The entire conference was under 70 possessions, the boundary mark for uptempo (70 or more) and the moderate to deliberate sixties.
1. Villanova 116
2. Xavier and St. John’s 105
1. Villanova 95
2. Georgetown 96
Twenty percent is the cutoff for turnover rates. Under twenty is an objective on offense. Above it means one fifth or more of your possessions are wasted on the dreaded “TO”. In the Big East, every team was under 20%, from leader St. John’s at 14.9% to Marquette (19%) at the other end. Conservative games without a premium on transition and the moderate to slower-paced games had an effect. Still, credit the teams and players for having a big part in avoiding turnovers. Defensively Marquette at 18.7% was the leader in forcing turnovers.
Villanova ruled the conference in eFG percentage at 55.8%. The Wildcats were also the most proficient at getting to the charity stripe with a free throw rate (FT attempts divided by FG attempts) of 23.9%.
Besides the gaudy number put up b Villanova in eFG percentage, Xavier (50.6) and St. John’s (50.5) were the only other conference teams to crack 50% in that category.
The numbers show that Big East teams defended more by half court denial and defense rather than forcing turnovers in a full court environment.
At any rate, the tournament shapes up as another highly-anticipated event.