Name Binghamton’s most productive offensive lineup this season. Reflect on the games you have seen the Bearcats play, and take a second.
I would surmise you guessed the group of Yosef Yacob, Marlon Beck, Jordan Reed, Magnus Richards and Nick Madray. I expected that, too.
You have seen those five take the floor for nearly twice as many possessions as any other quintet thus far, a disparity that would have been even greater if Yacob’s groin had not incapacitated him for Monday’s game at Buffalo.
But even though that lineup has produced more points per possession (1.02) than the average Binghamton lineup (0.92), it has not been as efficient as one other set of five that has taken the floor together for more than 20 possessions this season.
With Reed at the three, a legitimate America East four in Richards and a non-traditional center in Madray, that group at least approaches the asymptote of a standard mid-major lineup.
But Binghamton has produced points more efficiently when fielding a smaller lineup, with Reed shifting to the four and Rayner Moquete replacing him at the three. The group of Yacob, Beck, Moquete, Reed and Madray, which initially flourished together in the 19-point second-half comeback against Cornell, has scored 80 points in 66.675 possessions (1.20 PPP) through the first 11 games of 2013-14. That’s an impressive scoring rate, especially when you consider Louisville tops Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings with 119.4 points per 100 possessions (of course, “adjusted” is the key word in that sentence, but it’s impressive, nonetheless.).
How do they do it, with Madray as the only player taller than 6-foot-4 (if you believe that Reed is actually 6-foot-4)?
This group has the potential to force opponents to shift out of their comfort zone, assuming the opponent has a more traditional ideal lineup. Madray lures the center towards the perimeter, which affords Reed even more of an advantage on the offensive glass (this lineup grabbed two more rebounds in 48 fewer possessions than the group featuring Richards instead of Moquete.). If a power forward marks Reed in an attempt to hinder his path to the backboard, the sophomore would have an advantage with the ball in his hands.
If the opponent plays zone, Binghamton has two very reliable 3-point shooters in Beck and Madray, an improved marksman in Reed and a pair of capable shooters in Yacob and Moquete who can all score from the perimeter. By extending the zone, the shooters also afford Reed—who, according to hoop-math.com, has taken 47.6 percent of his 126 field goal attempts at the rim—an extra inch of space to attack.
Binghamton’s least efficient offensive lineup has produced 15 points in 22.375 possessions, which would equate to slightly more than 45 points per game. Interestingly, though, it is not all too different than the team’s most efficient squad—just substitute Alex Ogundadegbe for Moquete.
That change pushes Reed to the three and Madray to the four, which generally all but eliminates the aforementioned mismatch.
But having Madray and Ogundadegbe on the floor together has helped defensively, and Binghamton’s most efficient defensive group has been its “big” lineup of Beck—wait for the rest—Moquete, Reed, Madray and Ogundadegbe. That quintet has allowed just 17 points and forced seven turnovers in 29.9 defensive possessions (0.57 PPP and 23.4 TO Rate), equating to almost a full half of play. Only four other Bearcat lineups have taken the floor for more defensive possessions.
Unfortunately for Binghamton, that group has not had as much success on the offensive end, scoring just 0.72 points per possession. Nonetheless, no other lineup has outscored its opponent by a margin greater than this quintet’s 15.5 points per 100 possessions. Next? Yacob, Beck, Moquete, Reed and Madray, who have outscored the opposition by 8.7 points per 100 possessions.
As for the greatest margin in favor of Binghamton’s opponent? That would be 60.7 points per 100 possessions, produced by Yacob, Beck, Reed, Richards and Ogundadegbe through 28.275 possessions.
It should be noted that only two of Binghamton’s lineups have played at least a full game’s worth of possessions, as 11 games provide only a small sample size. But even lineups that have played close to half of a game together can tip us to certain trends.