Now that basketball season has officially begun, we will be doing a weekly series looking at notable analytical statistics regarding Iowa State, and other notable news around the Big 12. I will be recapping last week’s games, and previewing the upcoming week’s matchups.
The main website rankings that we will use for team rankings in KenPom.com. KenPom is a statistical team ranking that uses and algorithm with adjusted offensive, defensive, and tempo efficiency, along with a simple luck rating, and strength of schedule is included.
Last Week’s Notable Iowa State Team News:
- Nov, 5th: Iowa State vs. Mississippi Valley State 110-74
Iowa State’s first matchup of the season was against the second worst ranked team in the entire country on KenPom. Yes, Mississippi Valley State is the 352nd ranked team out of 353. The Delta Devils are statistically one of the worst teams in country, ranking in the bottom three of offensive and defensive efficiency in the entire country. So allowing 74 points might be a little concerning for the Cyclones defensive outlook the rest of the season. The Cyclones now rank as 79th team in country in defensive efficiency after two games.
Although, it was promising to see Iowa State’s offense to put up 110 points in a rather efficient sense. Where they now rank 27th in the country in offensive efficiency.
- Nov 9th: Iowa State @ Oregon State 74-80
Iowa State faced a tougher opponent Saturday with, Oregon State. The Beavers rank as the 65th best team in the country on KenPom.
They are led by one of the best players in the country Tres Trinkle who has averaged 17.7 points per game in his four-year career. An individual-analytical stat that I like to look at is player efficiency rating (PER). In a simple sense P.E.R. sums up all a player’s positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player’s performance. Trinkle ranks as the 35th player in the country in PER, so Iowa State’s suspect defense had their hands full.
Iowa State’s ranks higher than Oregon State in offensive efficiency (27th vs. 52nd) and defensive efficiency (79th vs 80th), so it is a little concerning that the Cyclones struggled to get their offense going. At the end of the day, it is still early in the season and Iowa State’s peak of offensive efficiency has been one of the highest in the country, but their biggest weakness in the season so far has by far been their defense.
Notable Iowa State Individual Stats:
- Tyrese Haliburton is tied for fourth in the country in offensive win shares (0.4).
Offensive win shares is a statistic that in a simple sense, measures how a player’s offensive success is affecting their team’s success. So Haliburton ranking fourth in the country reassures that he is one of the most offensively valuable players in the country.
- Haliburton is first in the country in assists per game (13.0).
Although assists aren’t necessarily an analytical stat, it certainly shows that Tyrese is one of the best passers in the entire country. Especially having only three turnovers on the season is just another stat that shows how special Haliburton is.
- George Conditt is second on the team in PER (33.3), and 8th in the country in BLK% (20.0).
This might just be a small sample size, having only played two games in the season. But Conditt has been one of the Cyclones’ most efficient players when he has been on the floor, especially on the defensive end where he ranks 8th in the country in block percentage– so some more playing time could be in line, for the talented sophomore.
- Michael Jacobson’s Plus Minus has been atrocious (-13.4).
Jacobson has been a great surprise this season, in what has looked like a very efficient season. He has been playing great offensively and defensively, putting up great efficiency numbers overall. This might be over-analyzing a small sample size, but Jacobson has a plus minus of -13.4. For a team that has only lost one game six, a plus minus that low is a little concerning.
Previewing Week 2 for Iowa State:
- Nov. 12th: Iowa State vs. Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois is currently ranked as the 158th team on the KenPom rankings, having the 183rd offensive efficiency rating in country, and ranking 148th in defensive efficiency. The Huskies are coming off of a 54-64 loss against Northern Iowa, who is the 101st ranked team in the country. So this should be a game that Iowa State’s offense can hopefully open up the game and put together a dominating performance.
Overall, Iowa State’s early season statistics show that they have the potential the be one of the best offensive teams in the country. If they want to make an NCAA tournament appearance they still have light years to go on the defensive end. Lastly, the sophomore pair of Tyrese Haliburton and George Conditt have been arguable the two most impressive players for the Cyclones so far.