February 1, 2010 11:48 PM
(Edit: Fixed the link to the original NEM article.)
A few quick observations from the dance floor:
Think Ohio State missed Evan Turner? In their first 7 full games with Turner in the lineup (excluding the game in which Turner fractured multiple vertebrae), the Buckeyes posted an average 30.1 Net Efficiency Margin (abbreviated NEM and introduced last year). In the 6 full games sans Turner, they dropped to a 11.2 NEM. In his first game back, Turner helped the Buckeyes shut down Indiana en route to a 32.6 NEM.
Or, if you like your data in visual form as I do, here you go:
All told, with Turner in the lineup full-time Ohio State is roughly 20 points per 100 possessions better than without him. Their 30.7 NEM with Turner would currently put them in the top five teams in the country. Of course, accounting for the absence of a single player is not that straightforward, but it's pretty clear that (1) the Buckeyes missed Evan Turner and that (2) the selection committee should account for the two losses during his absence. That's also why he's my choice for player of the year.
It should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention that Duke has had trouble on the road. Exactly how much trouble have they had?
NEM takes the location of a game (home/neutral/away) into account, so a perfectly consistent team would have the same NEM across all games. Duke, on the other hand, has been about 17 points per 100 possessions worse in true road games than at Cameron and their arguably neutral-court games in New York (frequent site of Blue Devil visits and often called their home away from home) and Chicago (hometown of head coach Mike Krzyzewski). It will be interesting to see how this trend continues through the rest of the ACC season (games in Chapel Hill, Charlottesville, and College Park await) and the somewhat more neutral courts of the Big Dance.