DePaul's statistical averages against Top 100 opponents are not very dynamic. The following graph makes it look like DePaul's offensive efficiency was very volatile, but in actuality the scale I think throws off the analysis. The range is between 87.2 and 98.3 for the entire season.
DePaul's efficiency spiked again late in the season because of the Blue Demons' excellent performance against Providence. Yes, DePaul's final game of the season was probably its best of the season in terms of offensive performance. Prior to the final game, DePaul's best performance on offense was Dec. 31, 2008 against Notre Dame.
Once play in the Big East began, DePaul's pace slowed. Maybe the Blue Demon coaches were attempting to compensate for a lack of talent by playing fewer possessions?
The difference here is just four possessions from an average high of 68.4, after the Jan. 7 loss to Syracuse, to an average low of 64.4. DePaul was very consistent in pace during the second half of the season. The Blue Demons' average pace stayed within a two possession range from Jan. 28 onward.
One thing that did improve during the season was DePaul's turnover rate. As discussed in the earlier post, the Blue Demons' turnover rate really wasn't the problem during the season. In fact, even as it improved, DePaul continued to lose games.
The Blue Demons hit their average turnover rate low in the final game of the season. Just 14 percent of possessions against Providence ended in a turnover. For an individual game, the previously mentioned Notre Dame game was the best of the entire season at 11 percent.
The turnovers didn't matter too much because DePaul shot poorly from the field the entire season. As the graph below shows, it went in streaks.
There appears to be three stages in the graph. In early season Big East play the Blue Demons were making a high percentage of their shots. The early averages are held back by the disastrous 26.7 effective field goal percentage DePaul shot against Northwestern. The five-game average rose to an average around 48 percent for the next few contests. Then there was a volatile mid-season stretch. Finally, DePaul settled into a pattern of shooting an effective field goal percentage of approximately 44 percent. Like the other graphs, the shooting performance improved dramatically during the Big East Tournament.
The takeaway from the above graphs seems to be that DePaul was the same, consistently poor shooting, moderately paced team for the entire regular season. The ballhandling moderately improved during the season. Also, the Big East Tournament appeared to bring a fresh start for the Blue Demons.
With the loss of sophomore Dar Tucker, there's no telling what this means for the 2009-10 season, but a key will be DePaul's early season ball control and shot selection.
John Templon is the photographer and writer of the Chicago College Basketball blog on ChicagoNow.com. John recently received his Master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
A Statistical Look at DePaul - Part II
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