With 345 Division I teams (a number which changes annually), college basketball is a stats-geek heaven. Here are 12 to monitor in the upcoming season. Have one of your own? Leave it in the comments.
6.99: Percent of opponent possessions which ended in a steal for Virginia Commonwealth’s freshman Briante Weber. Essentially, once every fourteen times an opponent brought the ball up the floor, they never got a shot because Briante Weber stole the ball. Never mind all the steals generated by his teammates – that’s just him, alone. Only five other players in the nation generated steals on as many as 5% of the possessions, and no one has reached 7.0% since Alexis McMillan (Stetson) in 2003. The departure of Bradford Burgess, and his 32.2 minutes per game, should open up some more playing time for Weber.
8.6: Fouls drawn, per 40 minutes, for Lipscomb freshman Malcolm Smith. This led the nation and was the seventh player in seven years to draw that many fouls. And since Lipscomb graduates 6-8 Justin Glenn, it means that the 6-5 Smith will once again be matching up against other teams’ fives. Expect some of those guys to be fouling out.
14.9: Block percentage for Manhattan’s Rhamel Brown. The sophomore finished 2nd in the nation that in category behind Anthony Davis Jeff Withey. Remarkably, he’s only 6-6, and along with South Alabama’s Javier Carter was one of two players in the nation’s top-35 blockers under 6-7. And according to CBS New York he’s already added six pounds of muscle and cut his body fat.
15.4: Percentage of minutes played by the Youngstown State bench, which was fewest in the nation. All five starters averaged at least 30 minutes a game, and none of the bench players even averaged 10. The same starting lineup was used in every game. The team did lose two seniors, so expect a bigger role for this year’s bench, at least for the front court. In the back court the Penguins return what is likely the best guard tandem in the Horizon with Kendrick Perry and Blake Allen.
20: Years since Indiana received better than a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament (No. 1 in 1993). The Hoosiers – who return four of five starters – will be the preseason favorite for one of the No. 1 seeds. Coincidentally, the entirety of the Pac-12 has gone four years without receiving a better seed than Indiana drew last year (No. 4).
22.5: Percent of his own team’s misses that UC Santa Barbara’s freshman Alan Williams rebounded. The Gauchos lost three starters from last year’s team, and now it will be impossible to keep Williams off the floor. He had double-digit rebounds five times, and was the best offensive rebounder in the nation.
23: Consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances for Kansas, which is six years longer than the next closest streak. The Jayhawks lose Thomas Robinson (No. 5 pick in the NBA draft), Tyshawn Taylor (No. 41) and Conner Teahan. Will that be enough for them to break the streak? No.
33: Combined losing streak for the US Service Academies entering the 2012-13 season. Air Force (5 games), Army (4) and the Division III US Coast Guard Academy (2) combine for 11 of those losses, while the Navy is on a 22-game streak. Don’t blame the US Merchant Marine Academy for any of this, as they ended their 12-13 season with a win. While the stars of college basketball will be getting next season warmed up on aircraft carriers and on bases in foreign countries, these players – who should be the ones we’re honoring in those games – will simply be looking for a win.
45.9: 3-point % of the 6-10 Wear twins who play for UCLA. Travis Wear made 3-7, and older brother David made 14-30. In their freshmen year (at North Carolina) they made 10-21 (47.6%).
59.8: Kris Davis’ 3-pt%. The freshman at SIU-Edwardsville made sure that for the 3rd season in a row, exactly one player in the nation knocked down over half their 3-point attempts. But that’s not the most interesting part about the stat. Davis, from the free throw line, only made 56.8% of his attempts (46-81), and barely registered on 2s, making just 37%.
71.96: Percentage of minutes played by seniors for Lamar. The Southland Conference champion, coached by Pat Knight, graduated every player who all averaged more than 17 minutes, and six of their most-experienced nine.
115: National rank for Missouri’s defense (defensive efficiency). They were the only team in Ken Pomeroy’s top-30 which did not feature a top-100 defense. The good news – defensively – is that Mizzou only returns two players who saw meaningful minutes. The bad news – defensively – is that Frank Haith has only coached a top-50 defense once in his career: 2008-09 Miami (No. 47).