Twelve games into the season and with the nonconference schedule complete, an identity is forming for Mike Woodson’s first Indiana team.
While no questions are answered until they emerge from the conference meat grinder, it seems clear to the eye that these Hoosiers are stylistically different than the prior regime, and of course the roster has changed significantly as well.
Let’s take a look at what the advanced metrics say about these 2021-22 Hoosiers as Big Ten play starts back up this weekend.
All numbers and rankings are through December 31 and via KenPom.com unless otherwise noted.
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. A measure of points per possession, IU is fairly consistent with the Archie Miller era with a No. 67 national ranking. But Woodson’s team is getting there in an opposite manner, with better shooting and worse ball security.
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. Woodson’s first team has been hanging its hat on defense going all the way back to the Bahamas. There is a long way to go, but Indiana’s No. 13 national ranking, if it held up, would be its best since the 2001-02 season. That’s a season many recall well, including assistant coach Dane Fife.
Tempo. While it is nothing of note nationally (No. 120 according to KenPom), Indiana’s current tempo, a measure of the number of possessions per game, is its fastest since, wait for it, the Bob Knight era. This one will be interesting to watch as Big Ten play continues. Indiana wants to play even faster than it is now, but that is easier said than done in the physical and athletic league.
Effective field goal percentage. At 55.2 percent, IU’s effective field goal percentage is No. 22 nationally and No. 4 in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers have been productive both from 2-point range (55.1 percent, No. 35) and 3-point range (37 percent, No. 42). At 55.2 percent overall, IU is more than four percentage points higher than any Archie Miller team. Because he has been so effective from three, Parker Stewart leads the team with an effective field goal percentage of 65.7 percent. Trayce Jackson-Davis, Race Thompson and Anthony Leal are all above 60 percent.
While Indiana’s 3-point percentage is its best since the 2016-17 season, they aren’t shooting a high volume from long range. Just 33.3 percent of their total field goal are from behind-the-arc. That’s No. 278 nationally.
(Effective field goal percentage is computed from (FGM + 0.5*3PM)/FGA.
Turnovers. At 21.4 percent, Indiana is sporting its highest turnover rate since Tom Crean’s last team in 2016-17, which had the same rate. Only one of Crean’s final seven IU teams had a turnover rate higher (21.8 percent, 2013-14). Indiana’s current turnover rate is the second worst in the Big Ten, ahead of only Illinois. Nationally IU is No. 289. Khristian Lander has the highest turnover rate on the team at 40.4 percent. Michael Durr is next at 35.8 percent. At 11.4 percent, Miller Kopp’s turnover rate is the lowest.
Assist rate. Indiana is assisting on 57.5 percent of their made shots. That’s good for No. 57 nationally. Xavier Johnson’s 33 percent assist rate is best on the team by a wide margin and No. 42 nationally. Rob Phinisee is next at 21.4 percent.
Free Throws. Indiana is one of the better teams in the country at getting to the line. Their free throw attempts are 37.7 percent of their field goal attempts, good for No. 31. But at just 67.7 percent from the stripe, the Hoosiers rank No. 254.
Overall this is the concern with the offense as the schedule ramps up: Can IU continue to make shots at a high rate against better competition, and will the turnover rate increase further due to those better defenses? If the former drops and the latter rises, things could get dicey.
Effective field goal percentage. Indiana has been elite in this regard thus far, coming in at No. 2 nationally. Opponents have an effective field goal percentage of just 40.4. Particularly noteworthy is their No. 3 ranking in 2-point field goal defense at 39.4 percent. That’s a number in large part impacted by a 15.7 percent block rate (No. 18), and countless other shots influenced by Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson. Jackson-Davis’ block rate is No. 28 nationally. Indiana has never finished a season with an effective field goal percentage defense ranked higher than No. 6 (44.1 percent, 2000-01).
Turnovers. Indiana has not been effective at forcing turnovers. Their 17.3 percent defensive turnover rate is just No. 267 nationally. While they do often extend the defense to full court, that is often more of a token pressure to eat up a little shot clock. For the most part Indiana is content to not gamble, and instead apply heavy pressure on the ball, help aggressively on drives, and close-out strong on shooters.
Assist rate. Opponents are assisting on just 44.9 percent of made shots, good for No. 61 nationally.
Offensive rebounding rate. Indiana has been effective at limiting second chances. Opponents have just a 22.6 percent offensive rebounding rate, good for No. 21 nationally. Jordan Geronimo has a team high defensive rebounding rate of 23.6 percent. If he qualified with enough minutes that rate would put him in the top-100 of all players nationally. Race Thompson is next at 21.8 percent.
The concerns on the defensive end are largely the same as the offense. As the schedule stiffens, will Indiana struggle to get stops against quicker, more athletic and efficient teams, especially if they continue to not generate turnovers?
BIG TEN SUPERIORTY
As league play gets set to resume, take a look at who is the best of the best.
- Offensive efficiency – Purdue (No. 1 nationally)
- Defensive efficiency – Indiana (No. 13 nationally)
- Tempo – Nebraska (No. 10 nationally)
- Effective field goal percentage – Purdue (No. 2 nationally)
- Two-point shooting – Purdue (No. 3 nationally)
- Three-point shooting – Purdue (No. 5 nationally)
- Turnover rate – Iowa (No. 1 nationally)
- Offensive rebounding – Illinois (No. 1 nationally)
- Free throw attempt rate – Purdue (No. 26 nationally)
- Free throw percentage – Iowa (No. 12 nationally)
- Assist rate – Northwestern (No. 5 nationally)
- Three-point attempt / all field goal attempts – Illinois (No. 51 nationally)
- Effective field goal percentage- Indiana (No. 2 nationally)
- Two-point shooting – Northwestern (No. 2 nationally)
- Three-point shooting – Minnesota (No. 5 nationally)
- Turnover rate – Iowa (No. 78 nationally)
- Offensive rebounding – Northwestern (No. 10 nationally)
- Free throw attempt rate – Purdue (No. 8 nationally)
- Assist rate – Michigan (No. 5 nationally)
- Three-point attempt / all field goal attempts – Illinois (No. 31 nationally)
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