We've Moved!

We've Moved!
Click here to head to riddickandreynolds.wordpress.com!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Should Tracy Smith Get More Of Ben McCauley's Minutes?

Tracy Smith's 31 points against Towson in just 23 minutes got me thinking: Should Tracy Smith get more of Ben McCauley's minutes?

My gut says yes. Certainly 31 points is a guady number, but I didn't want to give it too much weight because it came against Towson, a team not nearly of the caliber State will face during the conference season. Nevertheless, he always seems to be playing at a high level whenever he's in the game, regardless of the opponent.

So why is it that Smith is averaging 13.0 MPG to McCauley's 27.2? Let's look at their numbers to see how they stack up.


(NOTE: These charts can be a little tough to read with all the lines active. You can disable individual lines by clicking their respective checkmarks in the legend.)


Offensive Rating - Advantage: McCauley
The offensive rating formula is: Offensive Rating = (Points Produced / Individual Possessions) x 100. Tracy made a big leap forward in catching up to Ben in this regard, but Ben still leads 120.3 to 117.5.

Assist Percentage - Advantage: Smith
This was the one that surprised me. I thought for certain that Smith would've trailed McCauley here, but while Ben started the year hot and Smith essentially a black hole (h/t Slack), Smith has obviously made a point to get the ball to his teammates. He currently leads McCauley 14.5 to 12.6 in this category. Smith's numbers here are boosted by the limited time he's in the game--more minutes make it harder to maintain this ranking. It's questionable whether Smith would perform at this high a level were he getting the same minutes McCauley is currently.

Effective Field Goal% - Advantage: McCauley
Big Ben holds a slight edge here (56% to 55.1%) but both players are shooting the ball at a high level in the paint.

Offensive Rebounding % - Advantage: Smith
Here's where Smith's effort is yielding some tangible results. He's smoking McCauley on the offensive boards, snagging 22.6% of the possible offensive rebounds against McCauley's 10%. Smith doesn't have anyone close to him in this regard; great for Smith, and a sad statement for the rest of the Pack squad.


Defensive Rebounding % - Advantage: McCauley
Big Ben owns Smith here, which is somewhat surprising given how much of an advantage Smith has over McCauley rebounding on the other end of the court. Ben is grabbing 22.9% of the defensive rebounds up for grabs versus Smith's 9.7%--almost an exact reversal of the offensive rebounding percentage stats.

Steal % - Advantage: McCauley
McCauley has the edge here again, though he's losing ground to Smith. McCauley was at 3.5% versus Smith's 1.1% back on the 29th of December. Since that time Smith has closed the gap--3.2% to 1.7%.

Block % - Advantage: Smith
Smith started the season with a huge advantage over McCauley here (at one point 4.2% to 0.9%), but his numbers are starting to slide over time. This could be at the urging of Sidney Lowe to stop focusing so much on getting the big block at the detriment of his low post defense. McCauley is holding steady, still at 0.9%, but it's evident that Smith is the better of the shot blockers on the court.

So what can we glean from these numbers? McCauley leads Smith in four of the seven categories. Smith's limited minutes played could be skewing things, however, since most of these stats are so dependent upon time played. It'd be an easier comparison to make if Smith played roughly equal minutes per game.

Which brings us back to the original question: Should Smith be getting more minutes? I'd love to see all three big men on the court at the same time--just to see what they can do--but Sidney's stated before that he doesn't want to play all three of his bigs (Costner, McCauley and Smith) at the same time, at least not for extended periods of time. Not to mention it wouldn't make sense against smaller, more athletic teams.

I'd like to see McCauley and Smith's minutes split more evenly than they currently are because I think the team responds to Smith's high effort level when he's out on the court. It's tough to argue against McCauley's production so far, though. He leads the team in points per game, which at the end of the day, there's not much more you can ask for. Ben is a better interior passer at this point in his career, as well.

Let me know what you think. My gut says yes, but I'd like to know what you think.


  1. i wouldn't mind seeing smith get more minutes, but i do think mccauley is a bigger piece to our overall success. he's a senior leader and we need him on the floor, especially at crunch time (despite the poor decision he made in the Marquette game). It seems to me that McCauley does not respond well after being on the bench for extended periods of time. Smith has played very well off the bench. I think it's working the way it is, until Lowe can find a way to have them both on the court at the same time.

  2. No not bens but why in the heck did harris get all his playing time?