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Username Post: Harvard 2017-18        (Topic#20596)
mrjames 
Postdoc
Posts: 4856

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
10-26-17 03:40 PM - Post#234696    

Might as well get a thread started about Harvard's 2017-18 prospects.

Harvard finished 112th last year in Pomeroy. The first adjustment is that it loses Siyani Chambers.

Siyani on floor (1439 poss): 108 ORAT, 100 DRAT
Siyani off floor (304 poss): 100 ORAT, 102 DRAT

That doesn't appear to be a great sign, but...

Bryce on floor (1205 poss): 112 ORAT, 97 DRAT
Bryce off floor (538 poss): 96 ORAT, 107 DRAT

Bryce + Siyani on floor (930 poss): 115 ORAT, 96 DRAT
Bryce, no Siyani (276 poss): 102 ORAT, 99 DRAT
Siyani, no Bryce (510 poss): 97 ORAT, 106 DRAT

Obviously, they were better together, but Bryce actually did a much better job keeping the curtain up without Siyani than Siyani did without Bryce.

This is especially important given that Bryce played a lot of sixth man and with a lot of different lineups and a lot of questionable lineups. For instance, Siyani appears in ALL 14 lineup combinations that played 25 poss or more together last season. Bryce appeared in 8, and wasn't included in No. 4, 6, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Overall, 57% of Siyani's possessions came with lineups that got 25 poss together or more. Only 46% of Bryce's did.

So, when you narrow Bryce down to "good" lineups, you start to see that Siyani matters, but not as much as you might initially believe.

Bryce + Seth + Siyani + 2 (589 poss): 117 ORAT, 104 DRAT
Bryce + Seth, no Siyani (159 poss): 106 ORAT, 94 DRAT

Chris Lewis makes the sample super low, but the data leads well into my next point:

Bryce + Seth + Siyani + Chris (261 poss): 112 ORAT, 108 DRAT
Bryce + Seth + Chris, no Siyani (52 poss): 122 ORAT, 93 DRAT

Bryce and Siyani could only play together if you put defensive stoppers around them.

Remember from above...

Bryce + Siyani on floor (930 poss): 115 ORAT, 96 DRAT

Now... grab just the plus Seth Towns possessions...

Bryce, Siyani and Seth on floor (589 poss): 117 ORAT, 104 DRAT

BUT... take out all of the possessions that Zena was there to clean up the team's defensive mistakes:

Bryce, Siyani, Seth AND Zena (237 poss): 111 ORAT, 99 DRAT
Bryce, Siyani, Seth NO Zena (352 poss): 121 ORAT, 108 DRAT

You can see it even more when you look at defenders that can't cover up those perimeter mistakes:

Bryce, Siyani, Henry Welsh (125 poss): 113 ORAT, 113 DRAT

And that was a big problem for Harvard last year... *plenty* of offensive weapons, but Tommy, who loves defense, couldn't figure how to get all those weapons on the floor while having a defense he could live with.

Now, it's Bryce's show, and without Siyani in the picture, Harvard has a lot more options to play around with at the 2-3-4 to find complementary players that can space the floor and cover up for weaker players on the defensive end.

The other huge issue for Harvard last year was fielding lineups that were complete surrenders. Harvard was +3 PTS/100POSS better than its average in the 90% of poss that Corbin Miller didn't play. The same story is true for Henry Welsh.

The primary thing those lineups had in common: HUGE turnover rates. Between 23-25%.

Egi caused a similar efficiency differential, but his was based on opponents' shooting 48% from three when he was on the floor and getting 43% of shots at the rim. Wouldn't close the book on Egi just yet.

So what does this all mean?

Losing Zena would be a massive problem, if Harvard hadn't played more without him than with him last year anyway. Losing Siyani is not good, but because the team was really put into a box with Bryce and Siyani on the floor, the loss might not be that big of a deal, due to the options it opens up, especially with Bryce, Corey, Seth and Justin able to cover most of the 1-2-3 mins if they had to and Tommy McCarthy and Christian Juzang as a potential serviceable mins candidates, before even getting to the freshmen, who should see time.

Harvard's biggest issue will be in how to manage the 4-5 rotation. Chris Lewis will obviously get a chunk of minutes but is prone to foul trouble. Likely, Welsh, Egi and Baker will get looks from the tall side of the 4/5s and Towns and Djuricic will be top candidates on the small side (maybe Perez). Solving those two spots in a way that won't clog the floor offensively but will be imposing defensively will determine Harvard's fate this season. (And potentially, next, FWIW).

 
H78 
PhD Student
Posts: 1418
H78
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Reg: 01-06-11
Re: Harvard 2017-18
10-27-17 08:27 PM - Post#234871    
    In response to mrjames

  • mrjames Said:
Might as well get a thread started about Harvard's 2017-18 prospects.

Harvard finished 112th last year in Pomeroy. The first adjustment is that it loses Siyani Chambers.

Siyani on floor (1439 poss): 108 ORAT, 100 DRAT
Siyani off floor (304 poss): 100 ORAT, 102 DRAT

That doesn't appear to be a great sign, but...

Bryce on floor (1205 poss): 112 ORAT, 97 DRAT
Bryce off floor (538 poss): 96 ORAT, 107 DRAT

Bryce + Siyani on floor (930 poss): 115 ORAT, 96 DRAT
Bryce, no Siyani (276 poss): 102 ORAT, 99 DRAT
Siyani, no Bryce (510 poss): 97 ORAT, 106 DRAT

Obviously, they were better together, but Bryce actually did a much better job keeping the curtain up without Siyani than Siyani did without Bryce.

This is especially important given that Bryce played a lot of sixth man and with a lot of different lineups and a lot of questionable lineups. For instance, Siyani appears in ALL 14 lineup combinations that played 25 poss or more together last season. Bryce appeared in 8, and wasn't included in No. 4, 6, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Overall, 57% of Siyani's possessions came with lineups that got 25 poss together or more. Only 46% of Bryce's did.

So, when you narrow Bryce down to "good" lineups, you start to see that Siyani matters, but not as much as you might initially believe.

Bryce + Seth + Siyani + 2 (589 poss): 117 ORAT, 104 DRAT
Bryce + Seth, no Siyani (159 poss): 106 ORAT, 94 DRAT

Chris Lewis makes the sample super low, but the data leads well into my next point:

Bryce + Seth + Siyani + Chris (261 poss): 112 ORAT, 108 DRAT
Bryce + Seth + Chris, no Siyani (52 poss): 122 ORAT, 93 DRAT

Bryce and Siyani could only play together if you put defensive stoppers around them.

Remember from above...

Bryce + Siyani on floor (930 poss): 115 ORAT, 96 DRAT

Now... grab just the plus Seth Towns possessions...

Bryce, Siyani and Seth on floor (589 poss): 117 ORAT, 104 DRAT

BUT... take out all of the possessions that Zena was there to clean up the team's defensive mistakes:

Bryce, Siyani, Seth AND Zena (237 poss): 111 ORAT, 99 DRAT
Bryce, Siyani, Seth NO Zena (352 poss): 121 ORAT, 108 DRAT

You can see it even more when you look at defenders that can't cover up those perimeter mistakes:

Bryce, Siyani, Henry Welsh (125 poss): 113 ORAT, 113 DRAT

And that was a big problem for Harvard last year... *plenty* of offensive weapons, but Tommy, who loves defense, couldn't figure how to get all those weapons on the floor while having a defense he could live with.

Now, it's Bryce's show, and without Siyani in the picture, Harvard has a lot more options to play around with at the 2-3-4 to find complementary players that can space the floor and cover up for weaker players on the defensive end.

The other huge issue for Harvard last year was fielding lineups that were complete surrenders. Harvard was +3 PTS/100POSS better than its average in the 90% of poss that Corbin Miller didn't play. The same story is true for Henry Welsh.

The primary thing those lineups had in common: HUGE turnover rates. Between 23-25%.

Egi caused a similar efficiency differential, but his was based on opponents' shooting 48% from three when he was on the floor and getting 43% of shots at the rim. Wouldn't close the book on Egi just yet.

So what does this all mean?

Losing Zena would be a massive problem, if Harvard hadn't played more without him than with him last year anyway. Losing Siyani is not good, but because the team was really put into a box with Bryce and Siyani on the floor, the loss might not be that big of a deal, due to the options it opens up, especially with Bryce, Corey, Seth and Justin able to cover most of the 1-2-3 mins if they had to and Tommy McCarthy and Christian Juzang as a potential serviceable mins candidates, before even getting to the freshmen, who should see time.

Harvard's biggest issue will be in how to manage the 4-5 rotation. Chris Lewis will obviously get a chunk of minutes but is prone to foul trouble. Likely, Welsh, Egi and Baker will get looks from the tall side of the 4/5s and Towns and Djuricic will be top candidates on the small side (maybe Perez). Solving those two spots in a way that won't clog the floor offensively but will be imposing defensively will determine Harvard's fate this season. (And potentially, next, FWIW).


Thank you, Mike.

This is well thought-out, valuable information.

It prompts some additional questions, both number-based and "other." Can we read between the lines to project some of the following:

1. Mike, you mention "Harvard's biggest issue will be in how to manage the 4-5 rotation." Are there any statistically significant ORAT and DRAT numbers Re: which 4-5 combos look best?

2. Will Bryce modify his apparent "shoot-first" mentality to be a more passing-oriented point guard? I recall Coach TA commenting last year that Bryce needs to do this.

3. What do or did folks see (perhaps in Crimson Madness) that may identify improvements in the returning players' games? I've read good things on Baker & Towns. Any others?

4. Can Lewis curb his tendency to take himself out of games with fouls? I remember Kyle Casey making significant improvements his final year, to become an absolute lock-down defender in key games. Specifically his coverage of Columbia's Rosenberg in their last encounter in Cambridge.

5. Other than Rio Haskett, who looks promising (or stands out) in the Freshman class?

 
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