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Four Factors: St. John’s win over Nebraska

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The Red Storm ran all over the visiting Big Ten side

Wendell Cruz

After a beating like that, it’s good to check into the box scores and see the good - and bad - in the final numbers, though in a game that is a blowout, there is the understanding that a young team might throw up goofy shots JUST BECAUSE.

Some of that happened last night, as the Johnnies cruised through most of the second half in their 79-56 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

There is something about seeing an opposing game plan crumpled. To wit:

Nebraska’s head coach Tim Miles said:

Miles said NU has done a good job eliminating the number of 3-point attempts teams have had by “chasing guys off the line”, but the issue is teams have still made those limited attempts at a fairly high clip.

And guard Evan Taylor added “we don’t want to get in a pick-up type of game. We want to be like a veteran team under control.”

That didn’t happen. The Red Storm missed shots, but certainly pushed the ball up the court, prompting a 72-possession game which played into the dunking hands of St. John’s.

A look at some of the team numbers, below.

What are the Four Factors?

The “Four Factors” are

Effective Field Goal percentage (field goal percentage with extra credit for three-pointers made);

Turnover percentage (Percentage of possessions ending in a turnover);

Offensive rebound percentage (percentage of misses that each team gets back as an offensive rebound);

and Free Throw Rate/ Free Throw-to-Field Goal Attempted ratio (to show how often a team gets to the line, relative to shots taken).

Effective Field Goal Percentage

St. John’s: 47.1% | Nebraska 33.3%

St. John’s shot 25/52 (48%) inside the arc, 5/17 outside the arc (29%). That’s not even that great, and the Johnnies STILL blew out Nebraska. The defense rotated well for much of the game, the shot blockers were in position. And the team played high-energy on-ball defense to keep the Nebraska team flummoxed for much of the game.

The 10 shots blocked were effective blocks, keeping Nebraska out of rhythm. St. John’s only had 10 assists - low ball sharing? Which doesn’t seem true, the team had good flow; but given the Nebraska defense, attacking off the dribble was quite effective. Something to keep an eye on.

Turnover percentage

St. John’s: 10.4% | Nebraska 19.1%

For Nebraska, the disruption was steady and constant, the kind of disruption that causes a Nebraska rebounder to hold the ball and look for a teammate... only to be stripped by Marcus LoVett (this was mid-second half).

Off. rebound percentage

St. John’s: 37.5% | Nebraska 22.5%

St. John’s faced a larger team and didn’t get abused on the defensive glass. Justin Simon, put your hands up, because 12 defensive rebounds from a guard is strong work against those trees. Tariq Owens added five defensive rebounds and four on the offensive end, helping to keep possessions going. Shamorie Ponds added six defensive boards and Kassoum Yakwe had three.

Free Throw Rate

St. John’s: 20.3% | Nebraska 31.6%

Here is the place where Nebraska made a little bit of an impact, working to attack the basket vs leaning on their shake outside shooting. But it didn’t last long, and wasn’t a huge factor in the game (though Bashir Ahmed’s end-of-first-half foul on Anton Gill could have sparked a Cornhusker comeback).

Five of the nine players who saw court time for Chris Mullin’s team drew at least two attempts each.

Shamorie Ponds offset some struggles outside the arc by drawing seven free throw attempts. Marcus LoVett had three free throw attempts.