The team’s offensive efficiency hinged significantly on their shooting accuracy. In the four games where Saint Vincent’s shooting percentage exceeded 39.3%, they were undefeated, scoring on 40% of their possessions. This contrasted with a lower 23% efficiency in the games where their shooting percentage dipped below that threshold, leading to a split of 4 wins and 2 losses. They could still win when they weren’t shooting well, but the efficiency gap of 17 percentage points when they shot above 39% suggests that the victories were much closer affairs when they weren’t as accurate.
Individual player contributions were especially indicative of the team’s fortunes. Caleb Hawkins emerged as an offensive linchpin, with Saint Vincent going undefeated in the seven games where he scored two or more goals and managing a 34% scoring efficiency. When he scored zero or one goals, the team went just 1-2 and their efficiency was 12 percentage points worse, on average.
Jordan Billet’s role as a facilitator was equally telling; Saint Vincent boasted a perfect 3-0 record and a 43% efficiency in the three games where he tallied four or more assists. When Billet’s assist count fell below this mark, the team’s win-loss record was 5-2, and their efficiency dropped to 23%. Again, look less at the record and more at the efficiency gap. They were 20 percentage points better on offense when he was dominant as a passer. No other player played such an important role as a facilitator.
Similarly, Jacob Visalli’s general offensive involvement was a bellwether for success. When he took seven or more shots, the team went a flawless 5-0 record with a 37% scoring efficiency. A less-involved Visalli, correlated with a less convincing 3-2 record and a 22% efficiency.
As much as Billet’s role as a passer was crucial, he was really a multi-faceted contributor. Saint Vincent won all five games when he scored at least two goals, as opposed to a 3-2 record when he did not reach that mark.
This season’s analysis underscores that Saint Vincent’s offensive potency was frequently concentrated in the hands of a few individuals. Their dependence on key players to meet or exceed certain statistical thresholds was a consistent theme throughout the season. This reliance on individual performance presents a potential vulnerability, as defenses equipped with this knowledge could focus on neutralizing these players to disrupt Saint Vincent’s offensive rhythm. The team’s statistical trends from the 2023 season offer a blueprint for opposing coaches to strategize effectively against them, highlighting the importance of individual matchups and defensive schemes tailored to limit the impact of Saint Vincent’s pivotal players.
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P.S. What did I miss? Data-centric analyses like this can miss things that don’t show up in the stats (i.e. injuries/coaching changes). If you can help explain any of the above, put it in the comments.