[LATE EDIT] AT BOTTOM
One of the worst, hip cliches this college basketball season is also a big reason for the conference’s horrifically slow start. Pick your version of: “we have got to value the basketball.” It makes sense when you consider the transition elements to this year and all that reality entails, especially at the guard spot.
Turn that over in your mind for a few minutes. Think about the point guard spot. Now the graduations. Now the youth. Got it?
Now let me hit you with a stat: Seven of the CAAs 12 teams are in the bottom 106 in the nation in turnover percentage. This stat, simply, is the number of possessions that end in a turnover.
You want a comparison? Last season, seven CAA teams were in the top 100 of this category. One more: last season, eight CAA teams turned the ball on fewer than 20% of its possessions. This year that number is three.
(Stats courtesy of Ken Pomeroy, where you will not spend $20 in a better way this week. Not even on Aunt Elaine’s cab fare Thursday afternoon.)
Let’s go team-by-team, and for giggles include primary ballhandlers:
1. James Madison–16.3% (Humpty Hitchens, Julius Wells, AJ Davis)
2. Georgia State–17.9% (Jihad Ali, Devonta White)
3. Delaware–18.4% (Devon Saddler)
4. Hofstra–20.6% (Dwan McMillan, Mike Moore)
5. VCU–20.8% (Darius Theus, Brad Burgess)
6. Drexel–23.9% (Frantz Massenat, Derrick Thomas, Damion Lee)
7. George Mason–24.4% (Bryon Allen, Corey Edwards)
8. Old Dominion–24.9% (Marquel DeLancey, Trian Illiadis)
9. William & Mary–25.3% (Brandon Britt, Quinn McDowell, Julian Boatner)
10. UNCW–26.4% (Craig Ponder, Adam Smith)
11. Northeastern–27.1% (Jon Lee, Joel Smith)
12. Towson–35.9% (Kris Walden, Deion Jones)
Youth and newness clearly have played a primary role in CAA squads not even getting to shoot. Here’s the other thing that chart shows me: Northeastern has looked pretty good this year, and their two best players have not shot the ball well and have been turnover machines.
Okay, so we realize not everybody buys into tempo free stats. For you traditional stat hounds, let’s put it into perspective on terms that will give you fried-egg eyes: Delaware is the only team in the CAA with more assists than turnovers, and that number is just 26/25.
Delaware: 26 assists, 25 turnovers
James Madison: 24/25
Georgia State: 47/50
George Mason: 56/73
Old Dominion: 58/83
William & Mary: 57/98