SI: Is Buzz one of the best at building an elite offense? The data says....

Wanted to post this in-depth piece by Dan Hanner of SI, who does their predictive modeling stuff for college hoops, because I think some might be interested in where Buzz lands on the list both overall and in each of the 5 quantifiable metrics they determined to be the best indicators of an "elite" offense. The article is from March 2016, so the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons are not included. Yet, Buzz is STILL near the top of the list, coming in at 26th in the country.

It also stipulates a theory for why measuring offense can be a key indicator of overall success, and includes charts that show how coaches stack up in each category that they determined goes into an elite offense. I apologize if this has been posted before, but I think people will still find it interesting today, even as a second-look, since we now know that Buzz's best two offensive years at VT weren't included at the time.

It begins with data from 2006–07 and ends with the 2015–16 regular season, up until the beginning of conference tournaments. It focuses strictly on offense because it's possible to analyze players on an individual level (not so with defense), and because great offense is critical in the NCAA tournament. Just one national champ in the past 10 years (UConn in 2014) has entered the dance ranked outside the top 20 in adjusted offensive efficiency.

We operated under a theory that there are five quantifiable components of college offense building.

1. Recruiting for Instant Impact: Bringing in freshmen or transfers talented enough to boost the offense in Year 1.

2. Recruiting for the Future: Players who will make their biggest impact in Years 2, 3 and 4.

3. Talent Retention: Having valuable players put the NBA draft on hold longer than expected—and avoiding transfers.

4. In-Season Development and Optimal Deployment: Having players exceed their projected performance (based on past stats and recruiting rankings) on a year-to-year basis, and structuring an offense so that the best players take the most shots.

5. Future Development and Succession Planning: Using rotation spots to groom younger (and often underrated) players who will remain at the school and assume bigger roles following key departures.

The next part is what stuck out to me the most regarding recruiting:

What we call Recruiting for the Future—adding players who fall just below the one-and-done profile and make impacts in Years 2, 3 and 4—tends to be the most valuable aspect of offense building

The data shows that "second tier" recruits, guys who fall short of the McDonald's AA status but are in the Top 30 to Top100 are the actually the best indicator of elite offensive success over a sustained period (see: Kentucky, of course, but also Kansas as a team that has had a lot of success with this level of player). Buzz's best performance in the 5 categories is in this one, by ALOT. So much so that he outperforms most of the top 25 here, and I think is in the top 10. Again, this doesn't include the last two classes either so he's certainly risen, one would think.

The full data table is at the bottom of the article. Here's a few names of note:
1. Coach K
2. Mike Brey
3. Roy Williams
5. Coach Cal
15. Shaka Smart
20. Boeheim
26. Buzz Williams
32. Matt Painter, Purdue
33. Gregg Marshall, Wichita St.
37. Bob Huggins, WVU
43. Bruce Pearl, AUB
51. Larranaga, Miami
53. Leonard Hamilton, FSU



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Tony Bennett at 61 seems a bit generous.

He's had efficient offenses pretty frequently, it's the pace of play that throws the counting stats.

Surprised Coach K is tops when he's clearly been recruiting for instant impact the past decade. For every Grayson Allen who stays 4 years there are 5 Jahlil Okafors or Jabari Parkers.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

If you look at it, and it goes into more detail in the article, he really hasn't been successfully recruiting for instant impact as long as it may seem. This goes back 10 years (starting in 2015-16) so some of his more recent championship teams have been with the Jon Scheyer group and others. He had been landing one and done for about 3-4(I think) classes at that point.

But it also doesn't negate the instant impact recruiting has as it's still one of the main pillars, especially since "talent retention" is also one of them. Getting some of those guys to come back for a 2nd year was big, and then of course the occasional Grayson Allen like you said. I think the main reason they say that second tier group is the biggest factor is probably when you're looking at the top 20 or so group. I read somewhere else that this year's Villanova team could be the most efficient offense ever (or at least in a decade, I can't remember).

Wasn't "Duke's system doesn't translate to the NBA" was a thing for a long time? I thought I even remembered Jay Williams and Tristan Langdon (?) as examples. Forever, Coach K was the king of recruiting kids who stayed 4 years. it wasn't until the last decade that switched (Jabari Parker and Luol Deng seemed to be a bit of a turning point)

jay williams was rookie of the year before his motorcycle accident ended his career. shelden williams was there with JJ reddick and turned out to be garbage

he started getting one and done's when he hired jeff capel who left oklahoma amid rumors of "impermissable benefits"

Right, thanks. I couldn't remember which one of those Duke stars sucked and which one was in an accident. They all blend together.

I'm kind of surprised Jay Wright isn't higher on the list.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Definitely agree. After this year especially. I'd like to see this revisited after the season