Thursday, December 3, 2009

Statistically speaking

What did your team do best and worst through November? The NCAA ranks 332 teams in most of the categories. And remember, early season stats are often skewed by the widely differing quality of the various schedules.


Best: Scoring (81.5, 13th), fewest turnovers (14.5, 13th)

Worst: Fouling (19.8, 258th)


Best: Scoring (77.0, 27th)

Worst: Assists (10.0, 289th)


Best: field-goal defense (32.4, 16th), 3-point defense (19.5, 9th)

Worst: free throws (66.1, 195th), 3-pointers per game (4.7, 195th)


Best: avoiding fouls (14.3, 19th)

Worst: Blocking shots (1.9, 266th)


Best: Scoring defense (43.6, 5th)

Worst: 3-pointers per game (3.2, 295th)


Best: Rebounding (14.0, 4th)

Worst: 3-pointers per game (4.0, 247th); blocked shots (2.2, 244th)


Best: Blocked shots (3.6, 105th)

Worst: Assists (9.0, 313th), FG defense (48.1, 325th)


Best: Steals (12.4, 17th); turnover margin (6.4, 19th)

Worst: Shooting (33.3, 313th); fouling (22.6, 316th)


Best: FG defense (33.2, 23rd)

Worst: free throws (54.3, 327th)


Best: blocked shots (6.0, 11th); avoiding fouls (13.8, 14th)

Worst: free throws (57.1, 318th); 3-pointers per game (2.0, 329th)


Best: blocked shots (4.7, 48th)

Worst: steals (6.1, 302nd)


Best: steals (10.4, 70th)

Worst: Assists (7.8, 328th)


Best: Avoiding fouls (14.8, 28th)

Worst: Scoring (44.8, 329th); Assists (7.8, 329th)

Other tidbits from the NCAA's first batch of Division I national statistical rankings through games of Nov. 29:

No place like home: VCU's 19 straight home wins ties it with Lehigh for the 5th-longest active winning streak. The Rams will go for 20 in a row Sunday against Richmond. Liberty had won 12 straight at home before falling to JMU on Tuesday.

Curse of JMU? Liberty entered Tuesday's game against the Dukes ranked 5th in scoring defense (43.6), 6th in field goal percentage 50.2 and 10th in rebounding margin (12.4). Meanwhile, star freshman Devon Brown was 10th nationally in scoring (21.6). While the Lady Flames did outrebound JMU by five, they also gave up a season high in points (60) and shot 20 percentage points below their lofty average. As for Brown, she was limited to 9 points on 1-of- 16 shooting.

(Mis)firing line: No team in the Commonwealth is really getting it done at the free throw line. Hampton's state-leading 72.0 percent is just 77th nationally. Richmond is the only other school in the top 100 (70.7, 95th), and George Mason (57.1) and William and Mary (54.3) are making just over half. By the way, the state's best free throw shooter so far (minimum of 2.5 made per game) is Norfolk State's Whitney Long (86.7).

They do these well: State teams' best attributes? Avoiding fouls and rebounding margin: Six Virginia teams rank among the nation's top 100 in both categories. Heading into tonight's game against Richmond, Virginia Tech is outrebounding its opponents by 14, the fourth-best figure in the country.

The Longwood eraser: Lancers freshman Heather Tobeck ranks 8th in blocked shots (3.1). JMU's Dawn Evans ranked third nationally in scoring (26.8) through November before managing just 14 Tuesday at Liberty.

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