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Processing the Numbers, Basketball Edition | Florida Gators

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This edition of the Donovan Gators hasn't lived up to the hype, and now they get a feisty Tide squad in Coleman

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

RPI information courtesy of CBS Sports.
BPI information courtesy of ESPN.
All other statistics are courtesy of KenPom.com, Ken Pomeroy’s outstanding basketball analytics site.

So, how’d last game go?

The first half is barely worth discussing — it was commented upon in the game thread how dead it was at the break, and the reason for that is there’s not much to talk about when nearly every possession ends with a missed shot, turnover, or off-the-ball-foul[1]. After falling behind early, the Tide headed into intermission with a 25-23 lead.

1 | The REC was clearly outbid in this one.

The game got significantly more interesting after the break. Leading scorers K.T. Harrell and Antoine Mason got going, and API had scrabbled to a 45-39 lead with about 8 minutes left. After Ricky Tarrant was ejected from the game under dubious circumstances, Levi Randolph decided to flip the switch and take over the game, igniting the crowd with a steal and thunderous dunk, the first of 13 points he scored down the stretch. At the end, the universe’s scales finally rebalanced for the Tide, as it was a man in crimson — Rodney Cooper, specifically — tipping in an errant shot at the end of the game for a 57-55 win. As a result of Tarrant’s ejection, Randolph was the only Tide player in double figures with 18. Poor Bruce Pearl and Cinmeon Bowers had to leave Tuscaloosa with their heads hanging after subjecting the SEC to another 40 minutes of buffoonery.

For a more in-depth, qualitative review of the game, check out btbama22's splendid game recap.

The Four Factors

The Four Factors
Metric ALABAMA ALABAMA POLY
eFG% 50.0% 42.2%
TO% 21.3% 21.3%
OR% 35.7% 32.3%
FTR 35.6% 29.4%
Win Index 43 39

The Tide finally rebounded the basketball a bit, and managed to win the OR% factor for the first time in three games[2]. They also won eFG% and FTR, the latter of which has been critical to the Tide’s success on the year. The Tide’s only lost one game this season in which they won FTR — the debacle two weeks ago at South Carolina. The two teams tied on TO%, but added all up the Tide took a 43-39 edge in Win Index and the game.

2 | Clearly, someone’s been reading Bama Basketball Breakdown.

Wait, aren’t you supposed to be previewing something, nerd?

Right! Next up, the Alabama Crimson Tide welcome the Florida Gators to the warm, comforting environs of Coleman Coliseum. The game is on Tuesday, January 27th, at 8 PM CST / 9 PM EST, and will be televised on ESPN and WatchESPN.com. The Gators are reeling at 10-9 on the year, fresh off losing three straight in the SEC.

The Goods

Overall Quality
ALABAMA FLORIDA THE EDGE
RPI 0.5846 (50) RPI 0.5532 (84) ALABAMA
BPI 72.2 (58) BPI 77.2 (33) FLORIDA
PYTH 0.8185 (45) PYTH 0.8343 (36) FLORIDA
Luck 0.016 (159) Luck -0.154 (350) ALABAMA

Efficiency Ratings
ALABAMA FLORIDA THE EDGE
OE+ 107.3 (68) DE+ 92.9 (37) FLORIDA
DE+ 94.1 (46) OE+ 106.9 (73) ALABAMA
T+ 63.6 (267) T+ 62.6 (298) PUSH

Schedule Ratings
ALABAMA FLORIDA THE EDGE
Sched. PYTH 0.6254 (45) Sched. PYTH 0.6604 (17) FLORIDA
Opp. OE+ 104.6 (19) Opp. OE+ 103.9 (45) ALABAMA
Opp. DE+ 100.1 (94) Opp. DE+ 98.1 (15) FLORIDA
NCS PYTH 0.5001 (185) NCS PYTH 0.6168 (56) FLORIDA

(Bold) numbers indicate national ranking.

Ratings information as of 26 January 15.

Wondering what all these terms are?

  • RPI: The Ratings Percentage Index, a measure of team strength based on winning percentage, the winning percentage of a team’s opponents, and the winning percentage of those opponents’ opponents. For a more detailed excoriation discussion of RPI, check out this section of the PTN Basketball Primer.
  • BPI: The Basketball Power Index is an opponent-adjusted statistic created by ESPN that accounts for scoring margin, pace, game location, and absence of critical players. It can be used both predictively and as a measure of a team’s strength to that point in the season.
  • PYTH: The Pythagorean Rating, a measure of a team’s expected winning percentage against an average D-I team, which is based on the concept of Pythagorean Expectation. For a more detailed discussion of PYTH ratings, check out this section of the PTN Basketball Primer.
  • Luck: A measure of how a team’s actual performance has outstripped that of its expected performance based on PYTH rating.
  • OE+: Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, a measure of a team’s offensive performance on a possession-by-possession basis, adjusted to provide the expected performance against an average D-I team. Expressed in points scored per 100 possessions.
  • DE+: Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, a measure of a team’s defensive performance on a possession-by-possession basis, adjusted to provide the expected performance against an average D-I team. Expressed in points allowed per 100 possessions.
  • T+: Adjusted Tempo, a measure of a team’s expected pace against a team that wants to play at an average D-I pace. Expressed as possessions per game.
  • Sched. PYTH: The Schedule PYTH Rating, a PYTH rating based on the adjusted offensive and defensive efficiencies of a team’s opponents, used as a strength-of-schedule rating.
  • NCS PYTH: The Non-Conference Schedule PYTH Rating, simply the schedule PYTH calculated for non-conference opponents only.
  • Opp. OE+: Opponents’ Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, the average adjusted offensive efficiency of a team’s opponents.
  • Opp. DE+: Opponents’ Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, the average adjusted defensive efficiency of a team’s opponents

Wondering what all of this means? Check out the PTN Basketball primer!

So, what do we know?

A win over a cruddy API team did little for the Tide’s standing in the advanced metrics, as they are still a top-55 team or so regardless of which system you prefer. The Gators’ bad record has their RPI ranking lagging behind the BPI and PYTH ratings, where they are definitely a top 50 team. Per usual Florida’s a very talented squad, but they have seriously underperformed this year, with only Cal State Bakersfield posting a worse Luck rating.

That ugly win over a hapless API squad took a bit of the shine off the Tide’s offense, which is now back in the lower 60s in OE+ after a flirtation with the top-50. Florida’s defense isn’t on the order of South Carolina’s or Kentucky’s, but it’s more than solid and will give Randolph and company a lot of fits. The same sort of relationship exists on the other side of the court, but watch out for Michael Frazier II and Dorian Finney-Smith, both of whom are lethal at times from deep and can get going in a hurry. Neither of these teams likes to push the pace.

Florida’s played one of the country’s toughest schedules, facing the 15th best defensive slate among a strong non-conference schedule. The Tide’s faced the better offenses, and have a top-50 schedule themselves. This team is well-positioned to make a run to the tourney if they can continue to find ways to win tight games like on Saturday. Speaking of winning, while Florida is certainly a capable team, I think their season is circling the drain and they are going to run into a rejuvenated[3] buzzsaw in Tuscaloosa. The magic box has it at 63.4% for the Tide, and I can’t argue with that[4].

3 | Part of the reason the Tide were sluggish is they were just two days removed from an overtime slugfest in Arkansas.

4 | Provided Tarrant doesn’t get himself into foul trouble, or elbow anybody in the face.

THE PICK: Alabama Crimson Tide

ROLL TIDE