Monday, August 1, 2011

Nebraska comes to the Big Ten

I crunched the efficiency numbers for Nebraska in Big XII games last season, and I don't think they really need to be adjusted much as that conference was relatively neck-and-neck with the Big Ten for toughness of schedule.
The full spreadsheet for the 2011 Big Ten season can still be found here, for comparison, but I'll break it down for you.

Nebraska basketball
player (possessions per game) production per game, production per possession
Lance Jeter (49.9) 24.2, .4858
Brian Jorge Diaz (43.3) 12.8, .2942
Toney McCray (38.3) 12.9, .3359
Brandon Richardson (39.9) 10.7, .2684
Caleb Walker (33.7) 11.6, .3458
Brandon Ubel (29.7) 7.3, .2469
Drake Beranek (27.8) 6.3, .2274
Andre Almedia (19.8) 7.5, .3779
Eshaunte Jones (18.8) 4.5, .2374
Ray Gallegos (11.2) 0.3, .0284
Christopher Niemann (4.1) 0.0, .0000

The first thing that pops out is that for possessing some decent if underwhelming per-game stats, Lance Jeter's efficiency performance would've landed him between Jordan Taylor & JaJuan Johnson last season. Woof. It's a good thing the Big Ten won't be facing him, as he and shooter Drake Beranek graduated. The next most-efficient player was Andre Almeida, who despite looking good on this scale, would've been slotted between Adriean Payne and David Curletti for reserve bigs. Returning forwards Toney McCray & Caleb Walker look pretty decent among returing Big Ten players, and rank in the top 25 in per-possession efficiency (although just 25th & 22nd, respectively). The other two big men, Brian Jorge Diaz & Brandon Ubel, are pretty mediocre, and the bench outside of Almeida is really unimpressive. Throw in an underwhelming recruiting class and the fact that low-efficiency gunner Bo Spencer is slated to take Jeter's minutes, and the inaugural Big Ten basketball road schedule looks fairly challenging for Doc Sadler's squad. While I think McCray & Walker will be nice features of the Nebraska 2012 team, and I do believe that individual statistical performance is no sure measure of future team success (cough* Illinois *cough), on the other hand, there's not much here to suggest that these guys could be any better than Michigan or Indiana. It really must fall on guards Brandon Richardson (who's right in the statistical neighborhood of Jordan Hulls) and Eshaunte Jones (ditto ...Will Sheehey) to improve their efficiency if the Huskers are to have achieve their hope and advance to a postseason.