The Daily Iowan

Luka Garza, Jordan Bohannon among analytical heroes for Hawkeye hoops

Advanced analytics are complicated, but the DI has you covered in the ‘statisphere’ — who are Iowa’s most valuable players?

Iowa+forward+Luka+Garza+%2855%29+celebrates+after+making+a+contested+shot+during+the+NCAA+men%27s+basketball+game+between+Iowa+and+Minnesota+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+on+Tuesday%2C+Jan.+30%2C+2018.+
Iowa forward Luka Garza (55) celebrates after making a contested shot during the NCAA men's basketball game between Iowa and Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018.

Iowa forward Luka Garza (55) celebrates after making a contested shot during the NCAA men's basketball game between Iowa and Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018.

Ben Allan Smith

Ben Allan Smith

Iowa forward Luka Garza (55) celebrates after making a contested shot during the NCAA men's basketball game between Iowa and Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018.

Adam Hensley, Pregame Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Analytics have taken over the game of basketball. No longer does a basic eye test suffice for determining which players are more efficient offensively and defensively. A player who comes off the bench may be more effective in his contributions than a starter who scores more and grabs more rebounds, for instance.

Last season, Iowa finished 14-19 and struggled to find consistency. Just with a basic view, it’s obvious that head coach Fran McCaffery and his Hawkeye team relied heavily on Tyler Cook and Jordan Bohannon.

While they’re key cogs in Iowa’s machine, they’re not carrying the team alone. Using advanced analytics, we can dive further into the basketball world and find out which Hawkeyes are Iowa’s best contributors.

Some of the advanced stats are self-explanatory, like total rebound percentage (TRB, percentage of rebounds a player grabs — also offense ORB and defense DRB), steal percentage (STL%,), block percentage (BLK%), assist percentage (AST%), turnover percentage (TOV%), and points produced (PProd). Others, not so much. Here are a few terms we’re going to look into:

Player efficiency rating (PER)a player’s productivity per minute. One of the most commonly used analytics in basketball. A PER of 15 is average.

Win shares (WS)one way to represent the success a player brings to his team, it’s the number of wins a player produces for his team throughout a season.

Box plus/minus (BPM) how many points better a player is than the league average per 100 possessions (0 is average, 5 is good). There are offensive (OBPM) and defensive (DBPM) ratings as well.

Use percentage (USG%)an estimation of the percentage of plays directed toward a certain player while he’s on the court.

True shooting percentage (TS%)a shooting efficiency taking account for 2-pointers, 3-pointers, and free throws.

One thing worth noting: Players who played worthwhile minutes were considered for these five spots (example: Charlie Rose, who played 14 total minutes last season, had a team-high 27.7 use percentage). To be considered for this list, Hawkeyes must have played at least 280 minutes.

Taking that into account, who are Iowa’s most valuable players?

Luka Garza

Nick Rohlman
Iowa forward Luka Garza dribbles on the baseline under a Alabama State defender during a men’s basketball game in Carver on Nov. 12, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hornets, 92-58.

2017-18 per-game stats: 12.1 points, 55.7 field goal percentage, 6.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1 block

Notable advanced statistics: 26.6 PER, 61.3 TS%, 12.8 ORB, 4.6 BLK%, 9.7 TOV%, 3.4 WS, 6.3 BPM

You name any advanced statistical category you’d like, and chances are Garza leads the pack. He’s not the flashiest Hawkeye and does not get the most attention, but he should — Garza is Iowa’s most effective starter offensively, and he’s just as solid defensively. Oh, and he did this all as a freshman last season.

Garza’s PER is nearly 5 points higher than Cook’s. Putting Garza’s 26.6 PER into perspective, Marvin Bagley III (the second pick in the 2018 NBA Draft) had a PER of 30.6 at Duke.

According to creator John Hollinger’s levels of ratings, Garza’s mark falls under “Weak MVP Candidate.” That’s good. When it comes to rebounding, Garza’s 16.7 TRB% is the fourth-best mark in the past 10 seasons from Hawkeyes with at least 14 starts (that’s a mouthful, but a quick translation: In his first season, Garza was one of Iowa’s best rebounders in the past decade).

Garza’s block percentage was also the highest among Hawkeye starters last season, as he anchored the post defensively.

Combining his solid defense with his effective offense, Garza ties Bohannon for the team-lead in win shares. While Bohannon’s OWS rating is higher, he only has a 0.2 DWS rating. Garza has a 2.7 OWS and a 0.6 DWS rating.

Jordan Bohannon

Ben Allan Smith
Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon (3) passes the ball to a teammate during the NCAA men’s basketball game between Iowa and Minnesota at Carver on Jan. 30. Iowa went on to defeat the Golden Gophers 94-80.

2017-18 Per game stats: 13.5 points, 5.4 assists, 42.3 field goal percentage

Notable advanced stats: 17.6 PER, 29.2 AST%, 3.4 WS

It’s pretty obvious, but Bohannon is one of Iowa’s biggest sparks offensively. He’s third on the team in TS% (second among last season’s starters), first in AST%, and is tied for the highest WS.

Bohannon’s assist percentage jumps off the charts. The next-best starter in that category was Isaiah Moss, and he had 14.1 — less than half of Bohannon’s percentage. Connor McCaffery’s return might drop Bohannon’s assist percentage down a bit, but that’s a good thing. Bohannon 1,050 minutes last season. That’s a lot.

Ben Allan Smith
Iowa forward Tyler Cook (5) celebrates a dunk during the NCAA men’s basketball game between Iowa and Wisconsin at Carver on Jan. 23.

Tyler Cook

2017-18 per-game stats: 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 56.6 field-goal percentage

Notable advanced stats: 21.9 PER, 468 PProd, 0.7 DWS, 26.6 USG%

Cook did the majority of his work in the paint last season, and he was effective in that regard, hitting 57.5 shots from 2-point range. Iowa used Cook the most out of any Hawkeye starter last season, and he lead the team in points – another testament to his ability to score efficiently.

His 468 points produced were a team high, too.

Nicholas Baer

Ben Allan Smith
Michigan guard Charles Matthews (1) dunks the ball in front of Iowa’s Nicholas Baer (51) during the NCAA basketball game between Iowa and Michigan at Carver on Jan. 2, 2017.

2017-18 per-game stats: 5.3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 0.9 blocks

Notable advanced stats: 2.6 STL%, 4.1 BLK%, 0.6 DWS, 3.5 DBPM, 6.9 BPM

Despite limited time off the bench, Baer is Iowa’s best defender. His DWS totals ties for second on the team, his BLK% ranks fourth, but his STL% ties for first among Hawkeyes with at least 280 minutes.

He’s consistently in the top group in Iowa’s advanced defensive statistics, something not every Hawkeye can claim, and his DBPM reflects that. His 3.5 rating leads the team. Jack Nunge is the next-best Hawkeye at 2.1, to put that in perspective.

Jack Nunge

Shivansh Ahuja
Iowa forward Jack Nunge prepares to pass during a basketball match between Iowa and Grambling State on Nov. 16, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers, 85-74.

2017-18 per-game stats: 5.7 points, 0.8 blocks, 0.6 steals

Notable advanced statistics: 17.2 PER, 2.3 STL%, 4.9 BLK%, 4.8 BPM

Nunge played the fewest minutes out of any Hawkeye on this list, but he’s right there with Baer with his impact off the bench (he did start 14 games last season, though). He’s got a PER just 0.4 behind Bohannon, which is better than Moss and Baer.

Technically, Dom Uhl led Iowa in block percentage last season. However, just like the Charlie Rose example, Uhl had nowhere near the sample size to be considered for this list (he played 72 minutes in his final season). Nunge’s block percentage was the highest among the returning Hawkeyes, and he did that while averaging roughly 16 minutes per game.

Also worth noting: his BPM was better than Bohannon’s and Cook’s.

Comments

comments

About the Writer
Adam Hensley, Pregame Editor

Adam Hensley is the current Pregame Editor at the DI, covering football, men's basketball, and baseball. Formerly the DI Sports Editor, Hensley has been...

Navigate Left
  • Luka Garza, Jordan Bohannon among analytical heroes for Hawkeye hoops

    Featured

    Hawkeyes taste victory champagne

  • Luka Garza, Jordan Bohannon among analytical heroes for Hawkeye hoops

    Football

    More snaps, more production for Noah Fant

  • Luka Garza, Jordan Bohannon among analytical heroes for Hawkeye hoops

    Football

    Photos: Iowa vs. Illinois football (11/17/18)

  • Luka Garza, Jordan Bohannon among analytical heroes for Hawkeye hoops

    Football

    Halftime reactions – Iowa vs. Illinois

  • Luka Garza, Jordan Bohannon among analytical heroes for Hawkeye hoops

    Higher Education

    Iowa regents’ multiyear tuition model ‘better for students,’ UI president says

  • Luka Garza, Jordan Bohannon among analytical heroes for Hawkeye hoops

    Latest News

    2020 hopeful Andrew Yang hosts rally in Iowa City over a year ahead of caucuses

  • Luka Garza, Jordan Bohannon among analytical heroes for Hawkeye hoops

    Featured

    Iowa defeats UConn, wins 2K Empire Classic

  • Luka Garza, Jordan Bohannon among analytical heroes for Hawkeye hoops

    Campus

    Regents approve addition of Carver name to UI Department of Biomedical Engineering

  • Luka Garza, Jordan Bohannon among analytical heroes for Hawkeye hoops

    Kid Captain

    This week’s Kid Captain takes on illness like a champ after waiting years for a diagnosis

  • Luka Garza, Jordan Bohannon among analytical heroes for Hawkeye hoops

    Featured

    Movie about Nile Kinnick hopes to première in namesake stadium

Navigate Right