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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 3, 2008 at 10:24 PM

Tuning out turnovers

Lost in some of the individual performances that have keyed UW’s surge of late (Joe Wolfinger, Venoy Overton, Justin Dentmon) is a team stat steadily getting better — turnover margin.
Last year, that was something harped on a lot in this space as a key reason for UW’s disappointing season as the Huskies finished ninth in the conference in turnover margin at minus-1.72 (meaning UW lost 1.72 more turnovers per game than its opponent). The problem was even more pronounced in Pac-10 play as UW had a minus-2.06 turnover margin in conference games. Each of those ranked ninth in the conference ahead of only Stanford.
But those numbers have all gotten better this season. After losing just six turnovers Saturday at Cal, the Huskies are now third in the conference for the season in turnover margin at plus-1.23, behind WSU (3.03) and UCLA (2.10), and fourth in Pac-10 games only at plus-.82 (WSU, UCLA and Arizona ranking 1-2-3).
For the season, UW is losing 13.8 turnovers per game while gaining 15.12 compared to losing 15.6 and gaining 13.9 last season
That’s a net gain of almost three possessions a game.
The numbers are also good in Pac-10 play as UW is losing 12.8 turnovers per game while forcing 13.6.
And when coach Lorenzo Romar says the Huskies have been “playing right” the last seven games, turnover margin is one of the numbers to which he is referring.
In the last seven games, UW has a turnover margin of plus-2.7 per game, losing 11.8 while forcing 14.5, losing the turnover battle only once (against Stanford).
Twice in that span UW has had single-digit turnovers (six against Cal, eight against Arizona) something it managed to do only once all of last year.
Obviously, that all just means the Huskies are being more careful with the ball. One of the biggest reasons is the emergence of Overton, allowing Dentmon to play more off the ball. Dentmon led the Huskies with 96 turnovers last season, exactly three a game. This year, he has just 48, or 1.6 a game. Jon Brockman leads UW with 69 turnovers but is still down just a bit from last season (2.6 per game to 2.3). Overton is next with 59, an average of 2.03 per game
Unfortunately, none of that helps the Huskies make any more free throws.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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