FanPost

Bama Basketball Five-Man Stats

Edit: rugman11 has put together a really nice compilation of Alabama basketball's lineup data through the first 11 games this year. He's also added some nice analysis on the various lineup combinations and substitution patterns we've seen so far. A look at his work likely gives us a pretty good indication of what the playing rotation will look like as we get ready for conference play.

* * *

We're coming to the end of the non-conference season and I wanted to get one more five-man post in before doing a non-conference wrap-up post. With 11 games in the books (I haven't completed the Oklahoma State numbers yet) some trends are really starting to stand out. As always, the more in-depth discussion of five-man stats is here, but the important parts are:

  1. We're using offensive and defensive efficiency in terms of points per possession. It's a lot easier to score 80 points per game when you have 80 possessions per game rather than 60. Looking at efficiency instead of raw points per game allows us to control for the pace at which a team plays.
  2. The NCAA average for points per possession is 1.03.
  3. I can not control for opponent quality. The real stat people can. So scoring 1 point per possession against the best defense in the country is the same as scoring 1 point per possession against the worst in these numbers.
  4. Sample size matters, a lot. The more minutes a grouping has, the more accurate our conclusions will be.

With that out of the way, the charts for each game since Puerto Rico and a few others are after the jump.

Alabama 82, Alabama A&M 45

Okay, so I didn't code a table for this game. The simple reason is that there isn't much useful information that we can glean from a game in which JaMychal Green did not play, Tony Mitchell left after eight minutes with an injury, 25 minutes went to groupings who hadn't played together previously, and we still won by 37 points. Also, Ben Eblen played 16 minutes and Keon Blackledge played 15. I've included the stats in the cumulative table, but this game was too crazy to get anything useful.

Alabama 72, VCU 64

Five-Man Group Time Possessions Points Pts/Poss Opp. Possessions Opp. Points Opp. Pts/Poss +/-> +/- per 40
Releford - Randolph - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 7:04 13 12 0.92 13 12 0.92 0 0.00
Releford - Lacey - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 5:39 8 14 1.75 8 7 0.88 7 46.67
Lacey - Randolph - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 4:53 9 10 1.11 12 14 1.17 -4 -32.00
Releford - Lacey - Randolph - Jacobs - Green 3:18 4 2 0.50 4 8 2.00 -6 -80.00
Releford - Lacey - Cooper - Jacobs - Green 2:58 7 7 1.00 7 6 0.86 1 13.33
Lacey - Randolph - Hankerson - Mitchell - Jacobs 2:56 2 2 1.00 3 2 0.67 1 20.00
Eblen - Randolph - Cooper - Mitchell - Jacobs 2:44 4 6 1.50 3 2 0.67 4 53.33
Total 40:00 64 72 1.13 65 64 0.98 8 8.00

If you want to know how this game was won, look no further than the combo of Releford, Lacey, Cooper, Mitchell, and Green. Trevor Releford, Rodney Cooper, and JaMychal Green entered the game for Levi Randolph, Charles Hankerson, and Nick Jacobs down 55-52 with just under eight minutes to play and left the game five and a half minutes later with a 66-62 lead. Bama coasted to the finish on free throws after that. The Tide's second half output (40 points on 32 possessions) was its second-most efficient half against teams other than Alabama A&M (they scored 41 points on 32 possessions in the second half against Purdue). Also notable is how little time the starting five spent on the court. Their seven minutes together was the fewest number of minutes a starting lineup played together (again excepting Alabama A&M). Most likely, this was due to Releford picking up his second and third fouls three minutes into the second half. Finally, while this was the worst defensive performance to date in terms of efficiency, the offense put up its second-best performance of the year, behind only Oakland, when they scored 74 points on 65 possessions.

Georgetown 57, Alabama 55

Five-Man Group Time Possessions Points Pts/Poss Opp. Possessions Opp. Points Opp. Pts/Poss +/-> +/- per 40
Releford - Lacey - Randolph - Mitchell - Green 7:59 15 21 1.40 13 13 1.00 8 40.00
Releford - Randolph - Cooper - Mitchell - Jacobs 6:31 8 5 0.63 7 10 1.43 -5 -28.57
Releford - Lacey - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 4:59 5 8 1.60 6 10 1.67 -2 -16.00
Releford - Randolph - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 4:17 7 9 1.29 9 2 0.33 7 70.00
Releford - Lacey - Hankerson - Mitchell - Green 2:56 5 4 0.80 5 4 0.80 0 0.00
Lacey - Randolph - Hankerson - Mitchell - Green 2:56 4 2 0.50 4 3 0.75 -1 -13.33
Eblen - Lacey - Mitchell - Jacobs - Green 2:20 2 0 0.00 2 2 1.00 -2 -40.00
Total 40.00 55 55 1.00 55 57 1.04 -2 -2.00

So this is ugly, but not nearly as ugly as I had expected. Yes, Alabama scored 16 points on 25 first-half possessions, but much of the low scoring was due to a slow-paced game. Both Alabama and Georgetown are in the bottom third of the country in possessions per game (Bama is 301 out of 345 at 65.1 possessions per game), so maybe this is the natural result of putting two teams who have no desire to push the ball against each other. The surprising part here, is that we actually had two groups who played really well. For 12 minutes we outscored Georgetown 30-15. Unfortunately in the other 28 minutes we were outscored 42-25. I can't really explain, but something was really off with Nick Jacobs this night. His individual line doesn't look crazy, 1-4 FG, 2 points, 3 rebounds, in 13 minutes. But he had five different shifts and not a single one of them resulted in positive Alabama points. If we calculated individual +/- stats like they do in hockey, he would have been -14 for the night. Just weird and probably less an indictment against them than a reflection of what Alabama did when anybody other than the starting lineup or Trevor Lacey was on the court. Lastly, the second half was Alabama's most efficient to date, scoring 39 points in 30 possessions.

Dayton 74, Alabama 62

Five-Man Group Time Possessions Points Pts/Poss Opp. Possessions Opp. Points Opp. Pts/Poss +/-> +/- per 40
Releford - Lacey - Mitchell - Jacobs - Green 5:52 10 13 1.30 11 7 0.64 6 40.00
Releford - Randolph - Hankerson - Mitchell - Green 5.40 7 8 1.14 7 11 1.57 -3 -20.00
Releford - Lacey - Randolph - Mitchell - Green 5:01 9 12 1.33 7 10 1.43 2 16.00
Releford - Randolph - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 4:14 6 6 1.00 7 10 1.43 -4 -40.00
Releford - Randolph - Cooper - Mitchell - Jacobs 3:43 6 5 0.83 7 10 1.43 -4 -40.00
Releford - Randolph - Hankerson - Mitchell - Jacobs 3:07 5 7 1.40 4 4 1.00 3 40.00
Releford - Lacey - Hankerson - Mitchell - Engstrom 2:21 3 2 0.67 3 4 1.33 -2 -40.00
Total 40.00 60 62 1.03 59 74 1.25 -12 -12.00

This one's on the defense, all on the defense. This was by far the worst defensive game of the year and had both of the worst defensive halves of the year as well. By the time Releford, Lacey, Mitchell, Jacobs, and Green made their second half run, the Tide were already down 16 points. Despite nobody having much foul trouble, no grouping got even six minutes together, which tells me that Grant was desperately trying anything he could to stop Dayton and by the time he found those personnel, it was too late.

Alabama 62, Detroit 54

Five-Man Group Time Possessions Points Pts/Poss Opp. Possessions Opp. Points Opp. Pts/Poss +/-> +/- per 40
Releford - Lacey - Randolph - Mitchell - Jacobs 11:56 16 15 0.94 15 18 1.20 -3 -10.00
Releford - Randolph - Mitchell - Jacobs - Green 10:59 15 18 1.20 16 14 0.88 4 14.55
Eblen - Lacey - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 3:30 6 5 0.83 7 5 0.71 0 0.00
Releford - Lacey - Cooper - Mitchell - Jacobs 2:35 4 8 2.00 4 4 1.00 4 53.33
Releford - Lacey - Randolph - Mitchell - Green 2:02 4 5 1.25 4 1 0.25 4 80.00
Total 40:00 59 62 1.05 60 54 0.90 8 8.00

The Tide rebounded from their back-to-back losses by putting together an average offensive performance and a pretty good defensive effort. A .90 defensive efficiency is nothing to sneer at, but against an opponent like Detroit, it could have been better. Obviously, the biggest story here is the change in the starting lineup with Nick Jacobs taking the place of Rodney Cooper, giving Alabama a three-forward lineup. Grant seems to have changed his substitution strategy completely from the Dayton game, with two lineups putting 22 minutes and 55 seconds on the floor. Honestly, they didn't even play all that well, although I think that was a function of the game as a whole, in which Bama ran out to a 16-point halftime lead and then coasted to the finish. The first half really was a marvel of efficiency: 1.31 offensively, .76 defensively. The second half, not so much: .80 offensive efficiency, 1.03 defensive efficiency.

Kansas State 71, Alabama 58

Five-Man Group Time Possessions Points Pts/Poss Opp. Possessions Opp. Points Opp. Pts/Poss +/-> +/- per 40
Releford - Lacey - Randolph - Mitchell - Green 9:52 18 17 0.94 16 16 1.00 1 4.00
Releford - Randolph - Mitchell - Jacobs - Green 7:49 11 10 0.91 10 7 0.70 3 15.00
Releford - Lacey - Hankerson - Mitchell - Green 4:16 11 9 0.82 10 8 0.80 1 10.00
Releford - Lacey - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 4:09 8 9 1.13 7 10 1.43 -1 -10.00
Releford - Cooper - Hankerson - Green - Engstrom 2:27 3 2 0.67 4 4 1.00 -2 -40.00
Eblen - Lacey - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 2:24 4 3 0.75 4 2 0.50 1 20.00
Releford - Lacey - Cooper - Mitchell - Jacobs 2:06 2 0 0.00 4 6 1.50 -6 -120.00
Total 40:00 69 58 0.84 67 71 1.06 -13 -13.00

This game was a story of pace. The Tide's 39 second half possessions were more than 10 percent greater than any other half of the season and the Wildcats used them to their advantage. The Tide's .84 offensive efficiency was far and away its worst of the season and 1.18 second half defensive efficiency fell behind only the two Dayton halves as the worst of the year. The only time anything really good happened was when Trevor Lacey spent 6 minutes on the floor in place of Levi Randolph and the Tide put on a 13-7 run. But that was too little, too late. Nobody could get much done against K-State, especially in the second half.

Cumulative (8-3)

Five-Man Group Time Possessions Points Pts/Poss Opp. Possessions Opp. Points Opp. Pts/Poss +/-> +/- per 40
Releford - Randolph - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 71:46 117 122 1.04 115 98 0.85 24 13.33
Releford - Lacey - Randolph - Mitchell - Green 46:55 90 108 1.20 79 76 0.96 32 27.23
Releford - Lacey - Randolph - Mitchell - Jacobs 26:32 38 39 1.03 37 42 1.14 -3 -4.44
Releford - Randolph - Mitchell - Jacobs - Green 19:39 28 32 1.14 28 23 0.82 9 18.00
Releford - Lacey - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 18:51 28 36 1.29 27 33 1.22 3 6.32
Releford - Randolph - Cooper - Mitchell - Jacobs 12:36 17 15 0.88 16 21 1.31 -6 -18.46
Lacey - Randolph - Cooper - Mitchell - Green 11:25 19 29 1.53 24 17 0.71 12 43.64
Releford - Randolph - Hankerson - Mitchell - Green 9:25 12 8 0.67 12 15 1.25 -7 -31.11
Lacey - Randolph - Hankerson - Mitchell - Jacobs 9:16 10 9 0.90 12 6 0.50 3 13.33
Releford - Lacey - Hankerson - Mitchell - Green 8:44 20 18 0.90 18 14 0.78 4 17.78
Total 440:00:00 687 726 1.06 687 624 0.91 102 12.75

With 11 games down, we can start to get a better look at some of the trends of the season. Two points to note at the start. Kenneth Pomroy, who is capable of controlling his efficiency statistics for the quality of our opponents, has Alabama's offensive efficiency at 1.061 and its defensive efficiency at 86.9, meaning we have played roughly average defenses and slightly above average offenses. While 1.061 isn't a fantastic number (it's only 70th in the country and is lowest among all of Pomeroy's other top 24 teams except for Louisville) it is certainly enough to win us many games, especially when paired with our elite defense, ranked 9th in the country. By comparison, last year's Tide had an offensive efficiency of 1.039 (115th in the nation) and, though the defense was slightly worse in efficiency (88.7), it ranked 7th in the country.

It's becoming clearer and clearer that Alabama's "core four" of Releford, Randolph, Mitchell, and Green is the focal point of the team. Lacey, Cooper, Jacobs, and others will come in and out, but this is the heart of the team. They've played more than a third of Alabama's minutes together, which is especially impressive considering JaMychal Green has missed two full games. Exclude those and these four have contributed more than 40 percent of Alabama's minutes as a unit. Thus far, Lacey has been the clear offensive juggernaut, though the Tide have struggled defensively when he plays with the "core four". Jacobs's unit has been the best defensively while providing an upgrade over Cooper's unit offensively. So unless Rodney Cooper can figure out where he lost his offensive game (4.3 ppg, 38.3% from the field), I would expect to see the current starting lineup moving forward, with Lacey used as the offensive spark off the bench.

One last thing of note: For the most part, units will have a roughly equal number of offensive and defensive possessions. The numbers may vary by a couple depending on when the team subbed in and out, but they're usually pretty close. That's why it is so surprising to see Releford, Lacey, Randolph, Mitchell, and Green have almost 15 percent more offensive possessions than defensive possessions (90-79). Digging a little deeper, it becomes clear that this is Grant's crunch time offensive unit. When the game is late and close, and Grant can use timeouts and fouls to make offensive/defensive substitutions, this is the unit he trusts to score points. For example, at the end of the VCU game, Grant made five straight substitutions in which Rodney Cooper subbed for Trevor Releford on the defensive end and Releford came back in for Cooper on the offensive end. The result? The Tide outscored the Rams 6-2 over the final 1:54, securing an 8 point victory.

With the closing games of the non-conference schedule upon us in the next two weeks, I'll try to have a non-conference wrap-up post up some time between the Georgia Tech and Georgia games. I'll have game summaries for Oklahoma State, Jacksonville, and Georgia Tech, as well as more in-depth looks at Releford and Lacey, and the big men.

FanPosts are just that; posts created by the fans. They are in no way indicative of the opinions of SBN and the authors of Roll Bama Roll.

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