After yesterday's post about Greivis Vasquez's coming off a rough night, I got an interesting comment that was worth following up on from Cristian (who offered no last name or e-mail address for me to say it was an intriguing idea, so I guess this will have to do):
With regards to Vasquez hoisting shots I always felt that in the last year or so he started to do so when he saw that Hayes, Mosley or others weren't making their shots. Certainly was the case against Georgia Tech, when nobody was shooting particularly well. Would be interesting to see in games where he shot more than 20 times what the shooting percentages of Hayes Milbourne, and Mosley were.
As you might recall, the Terps are 6-9 when Vasquez shoots it 20 or more times.
Two of those --- both losses --- were in 2008.
Seven --- amounting to a 3-4 record --- came in Vasquez's junior season.
And then six --- which the Terps split --- came this season.
For a fair comparison, I'm going to toss the two games from Vasquez's sophomore year out the window. Landon Milbourne wasn't as significant an offensive option that season, and Sean Mosley was still playing high school ball in Baltimore.
But as for the 13 games the last two seasons? Why not take a peek and see how Milbourne, Mosley and Eric Hayes shot it in whenever Vasquez launched 20 or more shots?
|at N.C. State
|William & Mary
|at Wake Forest
|at Virginia Tech
|vs. Georgia Tech
If we break it down exclusively into this season's games, Milbourne's percentage dips .026, Hayes' falls .040 and Mosley's also falls .040.
So what to make of this?
First of all, there is a competition factor that needs to be accounted for. There's only one game in this entire mix that occurred against a team that was (a) Outside the ACC and (b) Not a serious postseason contender. That would be the Florida Atlantic game from just after this past Christmas.
That said, the games when Vasquez starts chucking coincide with decreases in shooting percentage from the Terps' other three guys averaging double figures.
Which begs the question: Does Vasquez shoot more because his teammates are slightly off? Or do they not receive as many good looks when he calls his own number more frequently? Or is this just a wild goose chase?
I don't have that answer. I do know Milbourne and Hayes seem less affected (by the numbers, anyway) when Vasquez has one of his high-shot nights than they did last year.
That said, it's tough to draw any sweeping conclusions because there aren't garbage games thrown into this study. Those games often inflate the shooting percentages (remember when Mosley was firing at some ridiculous percentage early in the season), leaving it to the more difficult opponents to help bring the stats back in line with the actual talent.
So, yes, Hayes, Milbourne and Mosley all shoot worse in games when Vasquez hoists 20 shots. Whether there's a particularly strong correlation (if any) between the two, though, would be difficult to truly figure out without a more extensive background in mathematics.