Ivy Offensive Rating Leaders

It's no secret around here that we love us some KenPom statistics. Being that we've got over half of a season of data, I thought it was time to check in with Pomeroy's Offensive Ratings to see who the most efficient players in the Ivy League are this season.

First off, let's look at the big-time players who are used in at least 20% of their team's possessions and play at least 40% of their team's minutes.

At least 20% of possessions used
Rank Player Team Ht Wt Yr ORtg
1 Pennsylvania 6-6 205 Sr 117.5 (21.5)
2 Pennsylvania 6-1 175 Sr 116.2 (25.6)
3 Columbia 6-9 245 Jr 112.3 (21.7)
4 Yale 6-10 240 Sr 111.1 (27.5)
5 Yale 6-4 194 Sr 106.2 (22.7)
6 Columbia 6-1 175 Jr 106.1 (25.7)
7 Harvard 6-8 240 Sr 105.2 (22.1)
8 Princeton 6-7 226 Jr 100.8 (32.5)
9 Harvard 6-7 225 Jr 100.7 (26.3)
10 Harvard 6-1 195 Jr 100.0 (20.6)

Pretty interesting to see two Penn guys at the top. Bernardini is getting it done by taking care of the ball, maintaining a high true shooting percentage, and holding his own on the boards. Rosen is one of the nation's elite passers and also knocks down his shots at a very high rate. For Penn, the efficiency ends there though. Belcore posts a reasonable 99.5, Cartwright clocks in at 88.9, good for 41st of the 44 players in the league who played more than 40% of minutes and qualified for this list. Yikes. Makes me think that Penn could really become Harvard's toughest competition if Cartwright could turn it around. He finished his freshman year at an encouraging 96.2.

Anyway, Cisco is surprisingly high on the list, too, until you think about his game. His offensive rebounding numbers are Top 100 in the nation and he only shoots from the paint, so he's shooting over 60%. Makes sense. Still, I feel like the Lions could make even more of an effort to work it inside to the big man. It would free up Lyles and Barbour for more open looks, too.

Mangano gets here with the high shooting percentage and dominant performance on the offensive glass (best in the league, just ahead of Cisco). Willhite always fills up a box score, and lands high on this list thanks to an impressive assist rate*, along with good shooting numbers.

Barbour lands at 6 thanks to great passing and decent shooting numbers. He also draws a lot of fouls (nearly 5 per 40 minutes) and shoots 89% from the stripe.

The rest of the Top Ten is Harvard's trio of Wright, Casey, and Curry, while Hummer slides in at 8. Keith's game is high percentage shooting and offensive boards, as you might expect. Casey too, but his shooting and rebounding numbers are worse, though he does draw more fouls per 40 mins than Wright. Hummer has solid shooting percentages, but it's his passing that has been most impressive this year (25.5% assist rate at 6'7″ is nuts). He's also shouldering a bigger load than any other player in the league at 32.5% of possessions.

As for Curry, who hasn't shot the ball that well this year, it's all about the assists. His 35% assist rate is good for 32nd in the nation…but only 3rd in the Ivy League. It truly is the year of the point guard as Rosen (14th), McGonagill (22nd), Curry and Wroblewski (58th) all rank among the national leaders in assist rate.

*In case anyone needs to brush up on their advanced metrics:

Assist Rate: Assists divided by the field goals made by the player’s teammates while he is on the court.

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Now let's take a look at all players who play a minimum of 40% of their team's minutes.

All players
Rank Player Team Ht Wt Yr ORtg
1 Yale 5-11 185 Jr 123.2 (19.3)
2 Harvard 6-5 215 So 120.3 (18.2)
3 Princeton 6-9 225 Jr 119.9 (16.2)
4 Harvard 6-3 180 Sr 118.4 (15.2)
5 Pennsylvania 6-6 205 Sr 117.5 (21.5)
6 Pennsylvania 6-1 175 Sr 116.2 (25.6)
7 Columbia 6-9 245 Jr 112.3 (21.7)
8 Yale 6-10 240 Sr 111.1 (27.5)
9 Cornell 6-4 175 Sr 107.1 (16.5)
10 Dartmouth 6-6 215 Fr 106.6 (17.5)
11 Yale 6-4 194 Sr 106.2 (22.7)
12 Columbia 6-1 175 Jr 106.1 (25.7)
13 Harvard 6-8 240 Sr 105.2 (22.1)
14 Columbia 6-3 190 So 104.8 (18.5)
15 Princeton 6-6 207 So 102.8 (15.0)
16 Yale 6-9 235 So 102.4 (18.0)
17 Princeton 6-7 226 Jr 100.8 (32.5)
18 Harvard 6-7 225 Jr 100.7 (26.3)
19 Harvard 6-1 195 Jr 100.0 (20.6)
20 Princeton 5-11 164 Sr 99.8 (21.7)

Two sharpshooters who can also dish the rock top this list. Rivard at #1 and McNally at #4 explains why Harvard is such a massive favorite to win the league this year. Three of their starters rank in the Top Ten in the league in offensive efficiency among major contributers. The other two are 1st and 4th when you include all contributors. Ridiculous.

Pretty surprising to see Mack Darrow so high. His assist rate numbers are quite good, he doesn't give the ball away, and he knocks down a pretty high percentage of his shots, but the sample sizes are pretty low as he plays only 55% of minutes and has only taken 75 shots this year. (Compare that to someone like Hummer who has put up 250 shots).

Jvonte Brooks

is the only other big surprise for me on this list. The Dartmouth freshman checks in at 10 for one reason: his FT Rate. Your FT Rate measures your ability to get to the line given the number of shots you take (free throw attempts/field goal attempts). Brooks has 66 FTAs this year and has only shot the ball 80 times from the field, good for a 83% FT Rate, 13th in the nation. The Dartmouth forward has nearly twice as many made freebies as anyone else on the Big Green roster.

Top 20 Breakdown by Team-

Harvard- 5
Yale- 4
Princeton- 4
Columbia- 3
Penn- 2
Cornell- 1
Dartmouth- 1
Brown- 0

All stats were pulled from kenpom.com. If you're into these stats, consider the $20 subscription. It's worth it.

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5 thoughts on “Ivy Offensive Rating Leaders

  1. “Massive” favorites don’t lose to bottom 20% teams, even on the road. “Favorites” occasionally do.

    Both the other teams in the league and I are now having a hard time buying Harvard as a “massive” favorite.

    • I hear what you’re saying, but theres little doubt that Harvard is a massive favorite to win the league. Check out this simulation from Big Apple Buckets- http://nycbuckets.com/2012/01/ivy-league-projection-the-rise-of-the-middle-class/. The Crimson are projected to win the league outright over 87% of the time and a share of the title 95% of the time. Besides Murray State in the OVC, there probably isn’t a bigger favorite to win their league in the nation. The numbers above just reinforce the gulf between the Crimson’s starting five and anyone else’s. Obviously, anything can happen, but its extremely unlikely that someone else will be cutting down the nets if you believe the numbers, which I do.

    • Here’s why Harvard is indeed a “massive favorite” to win the title. First, they are the best team. That always helps. Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly for any simulation or probability analysis, the next five teams are all fairly comparable.

      While Harvard might drop a game or two (or not) along the way, it’s highly likely that Yale, Penn, Princeton, Cornell and Columbia will come out of their five-way round robin with at least two losses to each other. If any of them loses on the road in Boston, they’re up to three L’s and that’s the season for them.

      Contrast this parity among the “chasers” to last year’s situation. At the end of non-conference play, I thought that Harvard was a marginal favorite even though the preseason polls generally gave the nod to Princeton. The Crimson had done more over their first 15 games than the Tigers had.

      But the gap between H-P and the rest of the field was greater. Only Brown and Yale were able to hang one loss each on either of the co-favorites, although of course there were many close games. So it came down to a neck-and-neck photo finish at the wire between Harvard and Princeton. Given a small sample size of only three games, it’s no surprise that the “weaker” team, the Tigers, was able to overcome the “stronger” team. (In this case, better coaching beat greater athleticism by a hair.)

      But this season, there is no Princeton to chase Harvard. There are instead five relatively equal teams, which pretty much guarantees that none of them will be standing at the final bell.

  2. Observer makes a strong argument. To assume, however, that Harvard can lose only two games in a worst case scenario overlooks some differences between last year’s Ivy field and this year’s. Harvard has shown at times a tendency to play down to the competition, taking Fordham for granted and going to sleep for a long stretch against Dartmouth. The four second tier teams all have the ability to stay close to the Crimson deep into games. The biggest early game occurs next weekend when the Elis host Harvard. A Yale win could send shockwaves through the League, especially if Penn can survive its Palestra matchup with the Tigers on January 30. At 3-0 the Quakers will control their own destiny. Amaker may have to coach this team, not just recruit it.

  3. I think GC makes the right point just above.

    If one looks at Harvard’s Top Five players as individuals in the stat sheet shown in this article, they look great. Last year, the Top Six was all they had. That thinness was probably one of several factors that hurt them in big games. With the addition of Miller, Mondou-Missi, Saunders, and Travis, Harvard now has quality depth behind the Top Six.

    The problem for Harvard is that the “whole” has been less than “the sum of the parts.” The Crimson, a 40RPI team, should handle 300RPI teams like Dartmouth and Fordham with ease. It’s in the books; it did not happen. Sure, they can win, but they struggle.

    Your guess is as good as mine as to why the Crimson do not dominate in these situations, but the fact remains that it is not happening. Ivy fans have every reason to believe that Harvard’s IVY road games with 120-160RPI teams are going to be nip-and-tuck, inspiteof all that talent.

    The truth begins to be told Friday night in New Haven, where the Crimson came up empty twice last year.

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