About Northwestern's decision making

Luka Mirkovic

Today Basketball Stats came up with a random musing, Offensive Decision %, that I thought was pretty interesting. Basically the goal was to capture all the good decisions a player makes on offense and all the bad decisions and then divide. While I have a little quibble with the fact that free throws are included in the formula as a negative when you miss, even though I think they're almost always a "good" decision, I decided to take a further look.

Turns out that Mike Rogers over at The Only Colors beat me to it. He did the entire Big Ten. Not many Northwestern players show up in the study though. So I thought I'd go a little deeper with the Wildcats' roster and see what I found.

First here are the "raw" numbers for all Northwestern players with greater than 100 minutes played this season:

  1. Luka Mirkovic - .568
  2. Jeff Ryan - .568
  3. John Shurna - .567
  4. Mike Capocci - .564
  5. Alex Marcotullio - .563
  6. Michael Thompson - .557
  7. Davide Curletti - .549
  8. JerShon Cobb - .502
  9. Drew Crawford - .483
There are definitely some surprises there, right? For instance, Crawford ranks at the bottom and Mirkovic ranks at the top. A reminder that this is offensive decision percentage. I don't think anyone questions Mirkovic's decisions on offense. He seems to have a good feel for the offense. (But about that defense...)
It also seems that the Princeton Offense seems to invert the ratings in this formula. For instance, here were the averages that Mike came up with for the Big Ten for guards, forwards and wings.
  • Guards - .529
  • Forwards - .515
  • Wings - .483
If you look at Northwestern though "forwards" Mirkovic, Shurna and Capocci make up three of the top four. (At least I think they'd all be forwards.) Ryan is technically a "wing" in this discussion. That said, most of these are excellent scores. While Mike limited his sample to Big Ten players with at least 350 minutes played this season, Marcotullio and Thompson finished 16th and 17th in the entire Big Ten.
Any other thoughts from these numbers?

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