Madness before March

Overview

March is here.  For me, the beginning of March is a reminder of March Madness, the most exciting weeks of college basketball.  As the regular season winds down, it is a great time to look at  some statistical madness from this season that may impact the upcoming conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament.

UNC has put up some impressive numbers in team offense and assists

Davidson is shooting free throws almost like they’re layups (I’m not joking)

Jordan Hulls has proved himself to be an excellent three point shooter

If you haven’t heard of Mike Muscala, you should read about the season he is having.

Summary and Analysis

Teams

1.

I admit it, I am a bit biased, but the UNC basketball team has produced some impressive stats this season.  UNC’s offense is currently ranked 14th in the nation (77.7 ppg).  UNC is averaging 17.8 assists per game, which puts the team at 2nd in the nation in assists per game.   Reggie Bullock is 13th in the nation in three point field goal percentage (44.4%).  Also, Dexter Strickland has the 5th best assist-to-turnover  ratio in the nation (3.22).

2.

As of February 28, the Davidson College basketball teams free throw percentage is 81.2%… the team has made 492 of its 606 free throw attempts.  To put that in perspective, only 42 players in the NBA are shooting a higher free throw percentage than Davidson’s entire teamNik Cochran leads the Wildcats (and the country) shooting an astonishing 95.4% from the line (103 for 108)Davidson,  23-7 (17-1), is first place in the Southern Conference.  That is not a team that you want to be forced to intentionally foul at the end of a game.

Individuals

1.

Jordan Hulls, a junior guard at Indiana, currently leads the country in 3 point field goal percentage shooting 48.6% (71 of 146) from behind the arc. This season, Kyle Kover and Stephen Curry lead the NBA in three point percentage. Although they have both shot more three pointers, they have shot 46.2% and 45.2% respectively from behind the arc.

Indiana is ranked number 2 in the nation in this week’s polls, and Hulls is someone to look out for in Big Ten conference tournament and NCAA tournament.

2.

Bucknell, 25-5 (12-2), are currently in first place in the Patriot League.  They are 12th in the nation for win-loss percentage.

Bucknell Forward Mike Muscala has lead the team to their success.   Muscala is ranked 3rd in the nation in double-doubles (he has had 19 double-doubles in 30 games).  In addition he is 4th in the nation in rebounds per game (11 rpg), 24th in the nation in blocked shots per game (2.5 per game), 25th in the nation in points per game (19.1 ppg), and 63rd in the nation in field goal percentage (52.3%).

Muscala has been dominant this season.  Look out for him the rest of this season.

Sources

http://www.ncaa.com/stats/basketball-men/d1

http://www.nba.com/statistics

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Deadline Doldrums

Overview

Today was the NBA trade deadline.  While there were speculations that some prominent players in the NBA may be changing cities, 3 pm came and passed and not a whole lot happened.

The biggest news is not who was traded but the trades that did not happen.

Summary

Here are the facts:

Dwight Howard remains  the center for the L.A. Lakers.  Despite rumors of Howard going to the Brooklyn Nets or Dallas Mavericks, there was no trade which is consistent with what the Lakers organization has said all along about Howard.  He will finish out his one year contract and possibly be traded after the season.  Howard, who was traded to the Lakers this year from the Orlando Magic, has not had a seamless transition on his new team.  Although he is averaging 16.4 points and 11.8 rebounds in games this season (which is slightly lower than his career averages), his relationship with Kobe Bryant has not appeared to be perfect.  There were high expectations for the Lakers (only missed the playoffs two times in the last 20 years), but at the moment the playoffs are a long shot for this season.  We will find out after the season if Howard is a long-term player for the Lakers.  The team had a big win against Boston last night, so maybe things are looking up for Dwight and the Lakers.

Speaking of the Celtics, there were also rumors that Rajon Rondo, Boston’s point guard, might be traded.  Rondo was averaging career high 13.7 points and 11.1 assists before he tore his ACL the end of January.  There was a rumored Rondo and Howard trade, but none of this happened today.

Kris Humphries (also known as Kim Kardashian’s husband for 72 days), a power forward on the Brooklyn Nets, was also among those who were not traded.  While the Kardashian relationship did not make Humphries the most popular guy last year, he did average a respectable 13.8 points and 11 rebounds (pretty good for fantasy basketball).  This year he plays less time and averages are down to 6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.  Humphries’ rumored trade to the Atlanta Hawks did not happen. On a side note, this advertisement featuring Humphries is worth watching.

There were a few trades. As a result of a multi-player deal between the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic,  J.J. Redick will now be a member of the Bucks.  Also, the Boston Celtics traded for the Washington Wizards shooting guard, Jordan Crawford. Crawford was not fitting with the Wizards and the Celtics needed help in the guard positions.

Sources

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/dwight_howard/

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/rajon_rondo/

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/kris_humphries/

http://www.nbauniverse.com/teams/records_los_angeles_lakers.htm

Kobe Bryant Vs. LeBron James

Overview

There has been much debate concerning Michael Jordan’s statement last week that he would pick Kobe over LeBron because “five (championships) beats one every time I look at it.”

Kobe’s 5 championships trump LeBron’s one championship.  Kobe also backed up MJ’s statement by taking it to LeBron in the All-Star game over the weekend.  LeBron definitely holds his own in this dispute by having higher career averages in every major category (points, rebounds, assists, and steals).

Summary and Analysis

Kobe has played 16 seasons in the NBA.  In addition to 5 championships, Kobe has average 26.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.5 steals.  He also defended his case last Sunday  in the All-Star game, but then again, it was the All-Star game…

MJ made a bold statement choosing Kobe given that LeBron is averaging 27.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.7 steals in his career.   Also, the last couple weeks LeBron went on a run of scoring 30 points while shooting over 60% from the field 6 games in a row.  That’s something no one in NBA history has ever done. LeBron has won 1NBA championship and has played in the NBA for 9 years

LeBron also looked impressive against the LA Lakers last month.

Sources

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/kobe_bryant/

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/lebron_james/