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Pac-12 Basketball: Introducing Individual Efficiency Margin

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Here is a new way to assess offensive and defensive efficiencies.

NCAA Basketball: Western Oregon at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Identifying statistics and analytics that aren’t influenced by outside factors in sports is no easy task.

I have recently created a formula, however, that filters out a given team’s strength in order to determine how much true value a player holds. I call it Individual Efficiency Margin.

For those who aren’t familiar with tempo-free stats, basketball has now been boiled down to possession-by-possession stats to better understand the game, most notably showcased by the highly popularized efficiency ratings - complex measures of points scored/allowed per 100 possessions. As far as wins and losses are concerned, the stat is fairly simple: if a team’s offensive efficiency rating is higher than its defensive rating, the team will always win. (You always want to score more points per possession than you allow.)

Two noteworthy names on the basketball analytics Mount Rushmore, Dean Oliver and Ken Pomeroy, have found great value in individual efficiency ratings and “net” ratings, which are computed simply by subtracting offensive rating by defensive rating. (UCLA’s Lonzo Ball has recorded an offensive rating of 136.6 and defensive rating of 98.1 through 11 games this season, giving the freshman a +38.5 net rating.)

Using each Pac-12 player’s net efficiency rating, their team’s ratings, and average ratings for the D-1 this season, I compiled a complete list of efficiency margin ratings that are not specific to any given team. This means that net efficiency ratings will not be impacted by a team’s strength, so a UCLA and Oregon State player will be weighted equally.

Minute percentage (a measure of how many possible minutes a player appears on the floor) also plays the role of filtering out players that have skyrocketed up rankings due to small sample size. The entire list of Pac-12 individual efficiency margins is attached below:

Player School Min % Indiv Eff Margin
Lauri Markkanen Arizona 78.8 20.2441419972
Josh Hawkinson Washington State 83.9 17.6562835525
Drew Eubanks Oregon State 70.7 16.3440288483
Chris Boucher Oregon 66.4 15.049532562
Reid Travis Stanford 77.5 13.8181393178
De'Anthony Melton USC 62.5 12.5021451053
Grant Verhoeven Stanford 34.2 12.4822360537
Markelle Fultz Washington 83.3 11.3543764949
Tyler Rawson Utah 68.8 11.329404682
Tres Tinkle Oregon State 57.3 10.501382951
Matisse Thybulle Washington 63.6 9.4977363018
Daine Muller Oregon State 35.1 9.0542110329
TJ Leaf UCLA 74.1 8.6621048031
Kingsley Okoroh California 58.8 7.0348910682
Xavier Johnson Colorado 69.5 7.0255485579
Shannon Evans Arizona State 83 7.0136443667
Dorian Pickens Stanford 76.9 6.7003919403
Conor Clifford Washington State 48.1 6.1944735444
Devon Daniels Utah 60.8 6.0283747032
Deleon Brown Colorado 27.8 5.895568674
Lonzo Ball UCLA 85.5 5.8503785887
Thomas Welsh UCLA 52.3 5.7247440951
Derrick White Colorado 76.2 5.4158496403
Malachi Flynn Washington State 80.6 5.005241834
Kendal Manuel Oregon State 49.6 4.9126850362
Torian Graham Arizona State 76.8 4.7437734049
Kameron Rooks California 21.2 4.3838821137
Roman Sorkin Oregon 11.1 4.1195870076
Ivan Rabb California 58.5 3.9992889785
Charlie Moore California 78.5 3.7997420848
Cameron Walker Stanford 8.1 3.7061260358
Jeff Pollard Washington State 18.6 3.5878121393
Elijah Stewart USC 75 2.981986401
Keanu Pinder Arizona 41.8 2.9615045268
Jordan McLaughlin USC 81.1 2.5545531399
Kodi Justice Arizona State 60.5 2.1802138078
Obinna Oleka Arizona State 77 1.6627088955
Cole Welle California 5.6 1.5908348115
Dylan Ennis Oregon 76.8 1.535082314
Jayce Johnson Utah 36.7 1.5078952995
Maurice O'Field Arizona State 5.2 1.3052996394
Roger Moute a Bidias California 55.4 1.1759298361
Roman Davis California 4.4 1.0352231544
Chimezie Metu USC 73.9 1.0025419873
Alec Wulff UCLA 3.4 0.8280472441
Wesley Gordon Colorado 65 0.7999886783
Isaac Wulff UCLA 2 0.6594567726
Noah Dickerson Washington 65 0.5768217553
Charles Buggs USC 17.2 0.5363471657
Jakub Jokl Utah 3.3 0.4975712387
Ramon Vila Arizona State 33.2 0.3255597434
Viont'e Daniels Washington State 17.8 0.3091546135
JoJo Zamora Utah 63.8 0.25735509
Tra Holder Arizona State 77 0.0251421699
Ben Kone Oregon State 2.7 -0.046315684
Dominique Collier Colorado 6.5 -0.0587979463
Jake Connor Utah 7.5 -0.1218601508
Greg Bowman Washington 2.8 -0.1423427522
Steven Shpreyregin Washington State 2.8 -0.1603080434
Ike Iroegbu Washington State 80.6 -0.2335343061
Grant Mullins California 52.9 -0.2690202524
Parker Jackson-Cartwright Arizona 51 -0.4140922531
Malik Dime Washington 61.7 -0.4315145433
Dan Kingma Washington 3.3 -0.4579193025
Jabari Bird California 26.8 -0.5369521903
Ike Anigbogu UCLA 5.5 -0.5524349366
Kurt Karis USC 3.1 -0.7699830876
David Crisp Washington 73.1 -1.0878330688
George King Colorado 67.2 -1.1008358731
Tyler Dorsey Oregon 75.3 -1.1575637707
Bitumba Baruti Washington 4.2 -1.1915055966
Rawle Alkins Arizona 74.8 -1.3122107723
Dusan Ristic Arizona 57.5 -1.3338619304
Matthew Atewe Washington 9.4 -1.6729462779
Gyorgy Goloman UCLA 29.6 -1.6753597169
Charles Callison Washington State 55.6 -1.6779814179
Jerrold Smith UCLA 3.4 -1.6974745009
Bryce Alford UCLA 82.7 -1.7826579631
Keith Smith Oregon 16.8 -1.879203416
Dillon Brooks Oregon 33.3 -1.952275186
Josh Fortune Colorado 63.5 -1.9573986248
Nick Rakocevic USC 38.6 -1.9911089408
Matt Dahlen Oregon State 28.5 -2.2122828726
Kobi Simmons Arizona 73 -2.2208080229
Cheikh N'diaye Oregon State 24.7 -2.2307687967
Kyle Kuzma Utah 84.6 -2.2971939401
Jordan Bell Oregon 69.9 -2.4510356371
Kavell Bigby-Williams Oregon 25.2 -2.5029868182
Parker Van Dyke Utah 61.2 -2.7466338834
Tory Miller Colorado 25.2 -2.7711385636
Shaqquan Aaron USC 61.9 -2.8307224766
Harrison Henderson USC 6.9 -2.9433888595
Beau Rydalch Utah 7.1 -3.2112318027
Josh Sharma Stanford 28.9 -3.2403635267
Dominic Green Washington 54.2 -3.3288651678
Carlos Johnson Washington 34.2 -3.407907087
Devenir Duruisseau Washington 9.4 -3.8625496963
Trevor Stanback Stanford 5.8 -3.9794888394
Jethro Tshisumpa Arizona State 18.5 -3.9996142413
KJ Langston Washington State 18.3 -4.1670140443
Stephen Thompson Jr. Oregon State 38.1 -4.270183386
Aaron Holiday UCLA 65.2 -4.2941937161
Michael Humphrey Stanford 50.6 -4.3365101475
Jonah Mathews USC 43.6 -4.5779249841
Gligorije Rakocevic Oregon State 22.7 -4.6282954236
Robert Franks Washington State 40.3 -4.6833655937
Christian Sanders Stanford 50 -4.7788576555
Gabe Bealer Utah 23.3 -4.792382784
Sam Singer California 69 -5.1635113607
Kadeem Allen Arizona 67 -5.1738913926
Chance Comanche Arizona 45 -5.1866519489
Casey Benson Oregon 52.4 -5.2040032691
Tanner Sanders Oregon State 18.9 -5.4103981778
Lorenzo Bonam Utah 79.6 -5.672568723
Bennie Boatwright USC 34.2 -5.7427756774
Don Coleman California 24.9 -6.0141645299
Bryce Peters Colorado 31.2 -6.0458621801
Robert Cartwright Stanford 59.4 -6.3565589713
Jaquori McLaughlin Oregon State 79.7 -6.3642796707
Thomas Akyazili Colorado 36.5 -7.0786380418
Payton Pritchard Oregon 71.1 -7.4406354029
Lucas Siewert Colorado 29.2 -7.9223247782
Isaac Hamilton UCLA 77 -7.9823553843
Keondre Dew Oregon State 17.8 -8.0175273949
Sam Timmins Washington 34.4 -9.6209271421
Ronnie Stacy Oregon State 54.2 -10.1810399895
Marcus Sheffield Stanford 46.4 -10.3582239524
Sam Cunliffe Arizona State 63.5 -11.536128237
Marcus Allen Stanford 58.3 -15.4075612141
Stephen Domingo California 40.2 -15.6244402223
Derrien King Washington State 53.6 -17.7392309691




Median
50.6 -0.5524349366
Average
45.3908396947 -0.1047920099
St Dev
26.4600059608 6.327197523

Washington State forward Josh Hawkinson (who has single-handedly held together the Cougar program the past three seasons) has a 112.8/95.8 efficiency slash line through 10 games, which may seem like a decent mark to some, but is fairly significant when you consider the strength of his WSU team. Washington State is one of very few power conference teams in the country with a negative efficiency margin in conference play, further showing Hawkinson’s worth to the Cougars.

Drew Eubanks and Markelle Fultz, two players that do not rank in the top 15 in the Pac-12 in offensive or defensive efficiency, are other examples of quality players on weak teams that continue to log strong efficiency margins.

Conversely, UCLA’s T.J. Leaf leads the league in offensive efficiency with a blistering 141.6 rating, but due to the Bruins’ historic offensive start this season, he doesn’t carry nearly as much relative value to his team as players like Hawkinson, Eubanks or Fultz.

These numbers will constantly fluctuate as the season progresses and efficiency numbers rebalance, but non-team specific efficiency margins should be something on every basketball stat geek’s radar. Look for more on this subject in the near future.