Louisville Basketball is 7 games into the season. With another game not around the corner until Saturday we thought it was time to take a pause and examine what’s different about this year’s team from last year’s.
For example, the general consensus around town is that this team is more fun to watch, more likable, and generally the outlook is much better. Without getting TOO DEEP (as we tend to do) into the analytics let’s take a look at points scored, points allowed, FG %, Opponent FG %, and the Rebound Rate.
Of course, this year & last year are playing by a different set of rules. In 2015-16 there is a 30-second shot clock and officials are emphasizing freedom of movement among other small changes that are affecting play.
2014-15 First 7 Games
|First 7 Games||7-0|
|2014||Points Scored||Pts Allowed||FG%||Opponent FG%||Reb Rate|
|Minnesota||81||68||46.0% (23-50)||40.0% (22-55)||51.38% (37-72)|
|Jax State||88||39||47.3% (35-74)||28.0% (14-50)||69.77% (60-86)|
|Marshall||85||67||38.6% (27-70)||36.5% (23-63)||48.45% (47-97)|
|Savannah State||87||26||52.5% (31-59)||19.6% (10-51)||65.85% (54-82)|
|Cleveland State||45||33||31.9% (15-47)||25.0% (13-52)||55.42% (46-83)|
|Ohio State||64||55||35.2% (19-54)||30.4% (17-56)||52.87% (46-87)|
|Florida Int’l||82||57||57.1% (32-56)||37.0% (20-54)||50.75% (34-67)|
|76.00||49.29||44.39% (182-410)||31.23% (119-381)||56.44% (324-574)|
2015-16 First 7 Games
|2015||Points Scored||Pts Allowed||FG%||Opponent FG%||Reb Rate|
|Samford||86||45||53.6% (30-56)||21.0% (13-62)||55.42% (46-83)|
|Hartford||87||52||50.8% (33-65)||32.6% (14-43)||62.86% (44-70)|
|North Florida||89||61||50.7% (38-75)||35.1% (20-57)||70.67% (53-75)|
|St. Francis (BKN)||85||41||53.8% (35-65)||29.8% (14-47)||68.00% (51-75)|
|St. Louis||77||57||53.1% (26-49)||48.8% (20-41)||72.00% (36-50)|
|Michigan State||67||71||43.3% (26-60)||42.6% (23-54)||42.86% (30-70)|
|Grand Canyon||111||63||54.3% (38-70)||37.0% (20-54)||73.33% (55-75)|
|86.00||55.71||51.36% (226-440)||34.64% (124-358)||63.25% (315-498)|
Cardinal Basketball is scoring 10 more points per game than they did in their 1st seven games of this season than they did last year. Opponents are scoring 6.42 more points per game. Some of the scoring increase can be attributed to the rule changes, but the MARGIN increasing (from +26.71 to +30.29) is definitely sign in the positive direction. Especially when considering that Louisville is 6-1 with a loss in 2015-16 rather than 7-0 in its 1st seven game in 2014-15.
Additionally the Cards have taken 30 more shots than a year ago BUT have also made 44 more shots than they did last year resulting in an increase of 6.97 percentage points on the field goal percentage.
Defensively, Louisville opponents have also increased their shooting % but the rise has not been as dramatic. Cardinal opponents are shooting 3.41% better. BUT HERE IS THE KEY DIFFERENCE: With the new rules teams should be shooting more shots (like Louisville) but UofL’s opponents have actually taken 23 FEWER shots this year than last.
Lastly, on the glass Louisville is scooping up MUCH MORE available rebounds with an increase of 6.81 percentage points. There are fewer available rebounds with teams making more shots but the Cards are just 5 rebounds shy of last year’s total with an decrease of 76 available rebounds. The shot clock is resulting in more possessions, but the freedom of movement is resulting in more makes. As the season goes on, REBOUNDING will become a more premium statistic than ever before.
Overall the rules changes have changed the perception so far of College Basketball in general. But also, this Louisville team is performing better than it was a year ago at this same time. We will probably revisit this again in mid-January and see how an expanded data set and more conference games affects results.
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