Saturday, January 22, 2011

Is Cartwright Getting Better?

Recently, Iowa's point guard Bryce Cartwright has been scoring more and more of the team's points. He is averaging 10.89 points per game currently, which has given off the appearance that he may indeed be finally putting it together.  Now, he has gone from 10.33 points per game in non-conference play, to 12 points per game in Big 10 play. Does that mean he's gotten better though? Not necessarily. Let's take a look.

First, we've already established that Cartwright is scoring more points per game recently. So, let's look at his effective FG% to see if he's shooting more efficiently than he was in the beginning of the season.

I added a trendline because the pattern is hard to discern otherwise. As you can see, Cartwright's shooting has been on a very very slight downward trend since the beginning of the season. When you look at his effective FG% in non-conference play and Big 10 play it tells the same story. In non-conference play he shot a 42.15% effective FG%. In Big 10 play so far, he has shot a 41.67% effective FG%. Not a huge difference, but clearly his shooting has not gotten any better.

The only other explanation could be that he is just taking more shots per game. Well, let's see.

The trendline is increasing here. So obviously, Cartwright has taken more shots per game recently. During non-conference play, Cartwright put up 10.08 shots per game. In the Big 10 portion of the schedule, he has put up 12 shots per game. Two more shots per game seems to explain the rise in points scored.

So, is that it? Is that all Cartwright should be judged on? Not quite. Since he's the point guard, it would only be fair to look at his assists and turnovers too. First, assists:

That's good to see. The trendline shows a tiny increase. Overall, Cartwright has averaged 0.16 assists per minute in Big 10 and non-conference play. So, just like with his shooting, his assist rate has remained pretty stable.

What about Turnovers?

Also good to see. However, in Big 10 play, he has averaged 0.11 turnovers per minute compared to his 0.10 turnovers per minute during the non-conference part of the schedule. That doesn't fit with the trendline. What gives? Well, it's not necessarily bad news. I lean more toward it meaning Cartwright is the same as he has been. If you look at his performances against really good Big 10 defenses in Ohio State (0.17 and 0.14 turnovers per minute) and Purdue (0.14 turnovers per minute) he turns the ball over more against them. When he plays a soft defense like Northwestern, he only averaged 0.05 turnovers per minute. Those high numbers against the good defenses are more than plenty to inflate his Big 10 average so far through only six games. After playing the rest of the Big 10 schedule that number could very well level out to around 0.10 again.

Now, I'm not trying to say anything negative about Cartwright, because I'm glad he is on this team. I can't imagine what this team would do if Fran never recruited another point guard. But, it doesn't look Cartwright has improved as the season has gone on. Good news is, he hasn't gotten worse either. There is still a little over a month of basketball left to play, which means he still has time to show some improvement. He also has the whole off season, as it definitely isn't unheard of for players to make huge strides out of season. I just wanted to see if Cartwright had indeed made strides or not. In this case it turns out not. But, hey, at least he's consistent.

No comments:

Post a Comment