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Pac-12 Basketball: Lineup Analysis Through First Month of Season

Expect to see a lot of Lonzo Ball and the dynamite UCLA offense in the coming months.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

We are approaching the end of non-conference play in the coming weeks, a decent enough portion of the season where it's possible to start discovering trends and assess players/teams.

Using Ken Pomeroy's lineup frequency charts and Sports Reference's BPM, Box Plus/Minus stat (a measure of points per 100 possessions a player adds over an "average" player), I analyzed each Pac-12 lineup that has a lineup frequency greater than 10% this season.

The purpose of this exercise is to obviously find the most effective lineup, but also potentially discover lineups that should be used more or less. If there is a lineup that is not producing significantly positive efficiency results and it is the team's most-used lineup, you might see a rotation adjustment in the near future.

Oregon State is the only team that is not represented in this exercise. Interestingly enough, OSU's most frequent lineup is only used during 7.7% of play, while most Pac-12 teams have at least a handful of lineups that are utilized over 8.0% of the time. Below is a list of each Pac-12 lineup used more than 10% and the overall lineup plus/minus so far this season.

Team PG SG SF PF C Lineup Frequency Lineup BPM
UCLA Ball Alford Hamilton Leaf Welsh 32.2% +41.8
UCLA Ball Holiday Alford Hamilton Welsh 10.6% +35.5
Colorado White Fortune King Johnson Gordon 33.8% +30.6
Arizona Jackson-Cartwright Allen Alkins Markkanen Ristic 11.5% +30.5
Oregon Pritchard Ennis Dorsey Boucher Bell 21.0% +30.4
California Moore Singer Moute a Bidas Rabb Okoroh 12.1% +29.2
Arizona Allen Simmons Alkins Markkanen Ristic 15.0% +29.1
California Moore Mullins Moute a Bidas Rabb Okoroh 12.4% +26.6
Utah Daniels Zamora Bonam Kuzma Rawson 12.6% +24.6
Utah Daniels Van Dyke Bonam Kuzma Rawson 14.4% +23.1
USC McLaughlin Stewart Aaron Boatwright Metu 19.1% +21.5
Washington Fultz Crisp Thybulle Dime Dickerson 11.8% +21.1
Stanford Sanders Allen Pickens Humphrey Travis 16.4% +20.8
Utah Bonam Zamora Van Dyke Kuzma Rawson 11.3% +19.7
Washington State Flynn Callison Iroegbu Hawkinson Clifford 15.3% +8.6
Washington State Flynn Iroegbu King Hawkinson Clifford 11.2% +2.3
Arizona State Evans Holder Graham Cunliffe Oleka 16.4% +1.0

Best offensive lineup

Almost doubling the next best Pac-12 lineup in terms of offensive efficiency, UCLA's quintet of Lonzo Ball, Bryce Alford, Isaac Hamilton, T.J. Leaf and Thomas Welsh is (to no surprise) the elite offensive lineup in the conference. With Ball and Alford averaging an offensive BPM of 8.6 in the Bruin backcourt and a win over ex-#1 Kentucky in Lexington last weekend where UCLA amassed 97 points, you're looking at one of the premier rotations in the country.

Best defensive lineup

California, Pac-12's current leader in defensive efficiency (11th in the nation), deservedly owns the stingiest defensive lineup. Charlie Moore, Sam Singer, Roger Moute a Bidas, Ivan Rabb and Kingsley Okoroh combine for a +25.2 DBPM, helping combat the 4th-worst offensive lineup in this data set. With two of the better shot blockers in the conference in Kingsley Okoroh (2.9 BPG) and Kameron Rooks (2.3 BPG), it's no wonder why this Cal defense is so difficult to score against.

What are your thoughts on the most frequently used lineups in the Pac-12 this season? With conference season nearing, we might see changes to these lineups to ignite a spark heading into the new calendar year. For now, UCLA's electric offense leads the way.