Hoops Scoring Output Redux

Thanks to a suggestion by RiVAHokie, I'm taking this opportunity to do a quick follow-up on a post I made in the February about the drop in scoring output from the 2010-11 season (70.3ppg) to the 2011-12 season (65.1ppg).  The TL;DR of that post is that team scoring was down, and that the contributions of the leading scorers were down.

I updated that spreadsheet with the end-of-season stats for 2011-12 and added a line for the 2012-13 stats.

What a difference a season makes.

NOTE: Cells in the Final Four team area that highlighted in green are maximums, and cells highlighted in yellow are minimums.

First off, a quick review of the 2011-12 stats:

  • 65.1 points per game was the lowest in the Greenberg era
  • 15.6ppg by Erick Green was the lowest from our leading scoring since 2005-06
  • 10.9ppg by Dorenzo Hudson was the lowest from our 2nd leading scorer since 2003-04
  • Our top 2 scorers contributed 40.7% of the total team scoring, and our top 4 scorers contributed to 66.4% of the total team scoring - both lows under Greenberg

I won't go over the 2012-13 stats as they compare to last season, as the numbers speak for themselves.  Our top 4 scorers this season are close to averaging more points per game than the entire 2011-12 squad!
So, what does the stark contrast to last season mean?  Here are the only conclusions I can draw:

  • Scoring trended down at the end of the Greenberg era, and our offense is leaps & bounds better this season.
  • We have a big-time playmaker this season.  Erick Green has started this season absolutely red-hot.

Yes, you can file both of those under No shit, Sherlock, but our top guys are making huge contributions this year compared to last year.  When I looked at the 2012-13 numbers compared to the previous 9 seasons, I had a Keanu Reeves Woah moment.  That said, there's not much else to talk about other than James Johnson is not Seth Greenberg.  His offensive philosophy is drastically different, so it's a little unfair to compare the offensive statistics from 7 games to the stats from 9 seasons - even though I did just that.
The real question is: Will we keep winning?

That I don't know.  I have not raised my expectations for this season, which were pretty low.  In the grand scheme of things, this team hasn't accomplished much.  It has beat 5 crappy teams, 1 decent team, and 1 good team.  Only one of those wins came outside of the cozy confines of Cassell.  The road game at West Virginia this Saturday will provide another solid benchmark for the Hokies.  WVU may be 2-3, but they have played a tougher schedule, and road wins against good opponents are tough to come by.

And even though we're getting more contribution from the bench than I expected, we're by no means a deep team.  Who knows how we'll respond to the grind of the ACC season.  Three day turnarounds aren't bad when you're going from East Tennessee State to Rhode Island to VMI; they're a little different when you're going from Duke to Florida State to @Miami.

So, don't let the excitement of our newly found offense raise your expectations for the season - just enjoy the ride.

PS: Here's a copy of the spreadsheet.


It's great that our top 4 are contributing so much but that's not good if one of them has a bad stretch. Hopefully someone else can step up and pick up some of the scoring. From what I've seen this year Marshall Wood has the best shot at being that guy, so hopefully he keeps progressing and becomes a dependable scorer come January.

Rip his freaking head off!

This is an excellent point.

If you look at the Final Four teams, only a few of them relied on their top-4 as much as we do now.

I'm hoping that Marshall keeps progressing (as you mentioned), and I hope Rankin improves, as well. Until that happens, we will live and die by Erick Green.

Great article

Thanks for putting things in perspective once again. The success should be congratulated with the caveat that its just the beginning of the season. These guys are especially fun to watch though.


that's the key number I see, we're averaging more PPG than every Final Four team but the up-and-down UNC team with Hansborough at the C.

Our PPG will drop by 10, then how will we win games? We are going to be in a lot of very tight games, luckily we're good FT shooters. But we need more efficiency in half court sets ....and ......of course....TO PLAY DEFENSE.

You say it like it's a bad thing

"Our top 2 scorers contributed 40.7% of the total team scoring, and our top 4 scorers contributed to 66.4% of the total team scoring - both lows under Greenberg"

If you ask me, that's almost desired. If you depend on one person, what happens when they get in foul trouble or injured? We saw that the team struggles without Green on the court last Saturday, but to me, you want your team to spread out the scoring. I want to see our top 4 averaging double digits and everybody capable of putting the ball in the hoop. If we can do that and know that regardless of who is on the court we can still score and make things happen, this team could be capable of making some noise.

What I would like to see is to do the same comparison but on the defensive side. How many points, rebounds, turnovers, etc. were we (and the other teams) allowing and how does that translate into their success? You can score 86 points a game and that's great, but if you give up 87 per game... Those Final Four teams not only had good offenses, but strong defenses that made sure that no matter how many points they scored, the other team scored less.

Not necessarily a bad thing.

Re: "Our top 2 scorers contributed 40.7% of the total team scoring, and our top 4 scorers contributed to 66.4% of the total team scoring - both lows under Greenberg"

I think they were bad things under Greenberg. I feel like his offense depended very heavily on one or two guys making plays at the end of the possession. I posted this with the intention to highlight the drastic change we've seen thus far from last season to this season.

But I agree with your point - the best teams generally do not rely on their top 4 guys as much as we are this year. In order to be successful in March, we will absolutely need other guys to step up when Green or Eddie have off games.


regarding this line:

"the best teams generally do not rely on their top 4 guys as much as we are this year."

The data in this chart shows that we are above average, but not egregiously. We are at 74%, the Final Four avg is 70% with about 1 out of every 4 Final Four teams in our neighborhood.


I believe Indiana and Duke have 5 players scoring double digits+ and are ranked 1-2. Either way as it pertains to Tech its impressive to have that many people scoring in double figures when you have someone avg 24 ppg.

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