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Lineups in Review: The Postseason and Projection

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3 Final Games and My Very Early Shot at Next Year’s Rotation

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Iowa vs Indiana Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

I’m going to get into the weeds with some overarching lineup analysis in the coming weeks and months during the barren wasteland of the basketball offseason. So I’m going to go straight to the game-by-game lineups and, since I can hardly wait for next year, follow up with a way-too-early minutes projection. It’s all the rage.

v. Indiana (L, 73-95)

Indiana Lineups by Net PPM

Lineup Points For Points Against Minutes Net Points Per Minute
Lineup Points For Points Against Minutes Net Points Per Minute
Bohannon-Dailey-Baer-Pemsl-Cook 3 0 0.53 5.63
Bohannon-Ellingson-Baer-Uhl-Pemsl 4 0 1.53 2.61
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Pemsl-Cook 13 7 4.82 1.25
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Pemsl-Kriener 7 6 3.23 0.31
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Uhl-Pemsl 0 0 0.40 0.00
Bohannon-Moss-Baer-Pemsl-Cook 2 2 1.37 0.00
Bohannon-Moss-Baer-Pemsl-Kriener 5 5 1.52 0.00
Bohannon-Moss-Baer-Wagner-Pemsl 0 0 0.97 0.00
Bohannon-Moss-Jok-Baer-Cook 0 0 0.40 0.00
Bohannon-Moss-Jok-Baer-Pemsl 13 15 6.83 -0.29
Bohannon-Moss-Jok-Cook-Kriener 6 7 2.58 -0.39
Bohannon-Moss-Jok-Pemsl-Cook 2 5 2.70 -1.11
Bohannon-Moss-Jok-Pemsl-Kriener 7 14 4.52 -1.55
Bohannon-Moss-Jok-Wagner-Cook 5 9 2.17 -1.85
Bohannon-Moss-Jok-Wagner-Pemsl 0 3 1.15 -2.61
Williams-Jok-Baer-Pemsl-Cook 6 14 2.85 -2.81
Williams-Jok-Wagner-Cook-Kriener 0 6 1.90 -3.16
Williams-Moss-Jok-Baer-Pemsl 0 2 0.53 -3.75

v. South Dakota (W, 87-75)

South Dakota Lineups by Net PPM

Lineup Points For Points Against Minutes Net Points Per Minute
Lineup Points For Points Against Minutes Net Points Per Minute
Bohannon-Williams-Jok-Baer-Uhl 3 0 0.12 25.71
Bohannon-Ellingson-Jok-Baer-Cook 2 0 0.35 5.71
Bohannon-Jok-Wagner-Pemsl-Kriener 4 0 2.03 1.97
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Cook-Kriener 5 2 1.60 1.88
Williams-Jok-Baer-Cook-Kriener 4 2 1.82 1.10
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Uhl-Pemsl 7 5 2.38 0.84
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Wagner-Cook 4 3 1.65 0.61
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Wagner-Pemsl 9 8 3.28 0.30
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Uhl-Cook 14 13 8.78 0.11
Bohannon-Ellingson-Jok-Baer-Pemsl 0 0 0.07 0.00
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Wagner-Kriener 9 9 4.28 0.00
Bohannon-Jok-Wagner-Pemsl-Cook 0 0 1.02 0.00
Bohannon-Moss-Baer-Uhl-Cook 2 2 1.28 0.00
Bohannon-Moss-Baer-Uhl-Kriener 0 0 0.32 0.00
Bohannon-Williams-Jok-Baer-Pemsl 0 0 0.05 0.00
Williams-Moss-Jok-Cook-Kriener 0 0 1.28 0.00
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Pemsl-Cook 9 10 3.00 -0.33
Bohannon-Moss-Jok-Wagner-Cook 13 16 5.87 -0.51
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Pemsl-Kriener 7 10 2.45 -1.22
Bohannon-Ellingson-Baer-Uhl-Pemsl 0 6 2.07 -2.90
Bohannon-Moss-Jok-Cook-Kriener 0 4 0.93 -4.29
Bohannon-Jok-Pemsl-Cook-Kriener 0 2 0.32 -6.32
Bohannon-Williams-Jok-Wagner-Uhl 0 2 0.05 -40.00

v. TCU (L, 92-94)

TCU Lineups by Net PPM

Lineup Points For Points Against Minutes Net Points Per Minute
Lineup Points For Points Against Minutes Net Points Per Minute
Bohannon-Williams-Jok-Baer-Uhl 3 0 0.12 25.71
Bohannon-Ellingson-Jok-Baer-Cook 2 0 0.35 5.71
Bohannon-Jok-Wagner-Pemsl-Kriener 4 0 2.03 1.97
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Cook-Kriener 5 2 1.60 1.88
Williams-Jok-Baer-Cook-Kriener 4 2 1.82 1.10
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Uhl-Pemsl 7 5 2.38 0.84
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Wagner-Cook 4 3 1.65 0.61
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Wagner-Pemsl 9 8 3.28 0.30
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Uhl-Cook 14 13 8.78 0.11
Bohannon-Ellingson-Jok-Baer-Pemsl 0 0 0.07 0.00
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Wagner-Kriener 9 9 4.28 0.00
Bohannon-Jok-Wagner-Pemsl-Cook 0 0 1.02 0.00
Bohannon-Moss-Baer-Uhl-Cook 2 2 1.28 0.00
Bohannon-Moss-Baer-Uhl-Kriener 0 0 0.32 0.00
Bohannon-Williams-Jok-Baer-Pemsl 0 0 0.05 0.00
Williams-Moss-Jok-Cook-Kriener 0 0 1.28 0.00
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Pemsl-Cook 9 10 3.00 -0.33
Bohannon-Moss-Jok-Wagner-Cook 13 16 5.87 -0.51
Bohannon-Jok-Baer-Pemsl-Kriener 7 10 2.45 -1.22
Bohannon-Ellingson-Baer-Uhl-Pemsl 0 6 2.07 -2.90
Bohannon-Moss-Jok-Cook-Kriener 0 4 0.93 -4.29
Bohannon-Jok-Pemsl-Cook-Kriener 0 2 0.32 -6.32
Bohannon-Williams-Jok-Wagner-Uhl 0 2 0.05 -40.00

Looking Forward by Looking Back

First things first: here are the minutes each player played and how they broke down in relation to the 875 in-conference minutes plus tournaments. (example: Peter Jok’s 606 minutes were composed of 875 x 0.3% + 875 x 28.0% + 875 x 40.9% + 875 x 0.1% at PG, SG, SF, and PF respectively)

2017 Rotation Breakdown (Conference Only)

Player Total 1 2 3 4 5
Player Total 1 2 3 4 5
Bohannon 667 75.8% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Jok 606 0.3% 28.0% 40.9% 0.1% 0.0%
Baer 536 0.0% 0.1% 45.2% 15.5% 0.4%
Cook 499 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 22.0% 35.1%
Pemsl 412 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 6.7% 40.4%
Moss 368 0.0% 38.0% 4.1% 0.0% 0.0%
Wagner 321 0.0% 0.0% 1.9% 33.8% 0.9%
Ellingson 299 1.4% 32.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Uhl 240 0.0% 0.0% 3.2% 20.1% 4.2%
Williams 220 22.4% 0.0% 2.8% 0.0% 0.0%
Kriener 167 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 19.0%
Dailey 25 0.1% 0.6% 1.9% 0.3% 0.0%
Jones 12 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.4% 0.0%
Rose 1 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Here are a couple things which stand out to me:

  • Jordan Bohannon led the team in minutes during this stretch, though Peter Jok would have been close if he were not injured for the Rutgers and Ohio State games. Bohannon’s minutes percentage (76.3%) exceeds his overall percentage (72.0%) which includes non-conference games. (via KenPom)
    As I went through Fran McCaffery’s history at Iowa to get a sense of how he’s allocated minutes in the past, I noticed the overarching threshold was 75% in terms of overall minutes allocated. Here are the players who played over 75% of total team minutes on the season: Bryce Cartwright (2011: 77.1%), Matt Gatens (2011: 77.8%, 2012: 86.6%), Aaron White (2015: 78.1%), Jarrod Uthoff (2015: 75.3%, 2016: 78.2%).
  • Jok’s allocation of minutes was very interesting to me, as he played the bulk of his minutes at small forward. For next year, I see it going one of two ways: McCaffery continues his recent trend of playing smaller, guard-oriented lineups by sliding Brady Ellingson or Christian Williams into the starting lineup with Bohannon and Isaiah Moss. Or he may revert to the lineups we saw earlier in his tenure with more beef along the frontlines - the Uthoff/White/Adam Woodbury/Gabriel Olaseni rotation provided Iowa with one of its best defensive seasons in recent memory.
    My gut says the defensive benefits of the second lineup style is worth exploring, yet, I don’t project someone in that phylum currently on the roster to start. Nicholas Baer is worthy of starting but I think he is far more comfortable serving as the energy guy off the bench.
  • Ryan Kriener’s minutes increased rather substantially as he found his role as a late first half post defender who made correct decisions on offense. If he played well, he often would see time in the second half. As such, he saw his minutes approach 20% of those available. Again, looking to Fran’s history, he has rarely dipped below 9 players receiving at least 15% of minutes (Devon Archie in 2011 was below that, though I believe he was injured and missed about 10 games). McCaffery has also limited his rotation to no more than 11 guys receiving the same amount of minutes.
    In fact, Fran has often limited his rotation to about 9 guys more often than not. In 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016 that was the case over the course of each season (i.e.: Olaseni in 2012 and Williams in 2016 do not register as rotation players):

Iowa’s Rotations Under Fran McCaffery (all games)

Player 2017 Games 2017 %Min 2016 Games 2016 %Min 2015 Games 2015 %Min 2014 Games 2014 %Min 2013 Games 2013 %Min 2012 Games 2012 %Min 2011 Games 2011 %Min
Player 2017 Games 2017 %Min 2016 Games 2016 %Min 2015 Games 2015 %Min 2014 Games 2014 %Min 2013 Games 2013 %Min 2012 Games 2012 %Min 2011 Games 2011 %Min
Bohannon 34 72.0%
Jok 32 70.5% 32 66.7% 34 49.3% 27 19.0%
Baer 34 57.9% 33 35.9%
Cook 27 47.5%
Pemsl 34 47.0%
Moss 34 41.6%
Wagner 34 39.1% 32 24.2%
Ellingson 34 34.7% 27 18.6%
Uhl 32 33.5% 33 42.7% 33 24.2%
Williams 34 31.2%
Kriener 28 16.9%
Uthoff 33 78.2% 34 75.3% 33 44.9%
Gesell 33 74.1% 34 63.2% 33 58.5% 34 55.6%
Clemmons 33 73.4% 34 49.4% 32 27.1% 38 41.6%
Woodbury 33 62.9% 34 50.9% 33 41.7% 38 40.8%
White 34 78.1% 33 69.2% 38 72.2% 35 59.6%
Olaseni 34 46.3% 33 41.2% 37 25.8%
Oglesby 33 45.6% 21 30.6% 37 39.2% 35 46.7%
Marble 33 74.3% 37 73.6% 35 73.6% 31 47.4%
Basabe 32 42.4% 38 45.7% 35 50.1% 31 60.7%
McCabe 33 38.8% 38 38.6% 35 53.6% 31 48.6%
May 38 53.9% 33 34.6% 30 50.9%
Gatens 35 86.6% 29 77.8%
Cartwright 32 54.1% 31 77.1%
Brommer 30 16.9% 31 31.0%
Archie 23 14.7%
Cole 31 62.6%
KenPom.com

First Cut

Credit to Hawkeye Nation and Jon Miller, for getting the ball rolling and my mind thinking. Please don’t get mad at me like Bill Simmons did with Jonah Keri. With the aid of the above KenPom numbers, I’ve outlined a few rules:

  1. No one plays over 75% of minutes,
  2. Pure post players do not receive more than 65%, and
  3. A player must receive at least 15% of minutes or none at all.

Without accounting for any incoming players, here’s what I’ve come up with:

Initial 2017-18 Rotation

Player 1 2 3 4 5 Minutes
Player 1 2 3 4 5 Minutes
Bohannon 75% 30
Williams 25% 10
Ellingson 35% 14
Moss 50% 10% 24
Baer 50% 20
Wagner 30% 12
Cook 30% 30% 24
Pemsl 25% 30% 22
Kriener 25% 10
Uhl -
Dailey -

Perhaps the biggest issue people will take is how conservative it is when it comes to Nicholas Baer. And I absolutely may be incorrect. My sense is, however, Fran is not afraid of reducing a player’s minutes year-on-year if he feels it will benefit the team. In this case, I think it would benefit both the player, and the team. Baer would be more fresh more often, and it would allow Iowa to press more often with him up top, since I don’t have him slotted for any power forward minutes, though they are available.

Dom Uhl is an absolute wild card. I have no minutes allocated to him at the moment because I’m not sure what the heck he is. Can he morph into a longer version of Baer or Ahmad Wagner, who played within himself and had a nice finish to the season? Uhl’s game regressed this year as he lost his assertiveness, reflected in nearly every advanced stat. He will get the first shot at the remaining minutes at forward, but I would not be surprised to see him take a backseat as other players emerge.

If you include Uhl, though, you are already allocating a rotation spot to 10 guys. As I mentioned earlier, Fran has never gone over 11 and I would be surprised to see him do so now. He mentioned weeks ago, both Jack Nunge and Luka Garza will get playing time. With only seeing high school highlights of each I think Nunge is more ready-made to slide right into wing minutes as a souped-up Baer.

Because of this, I anticipate Uhl’s minutes will slowly siphon into Nunge, especially if Nunge takes to the offensive and defensive principles quickly. Garza will likely have a similar trajectory to Kriener’s from this year, ultimately settling in the 15% target I set. None of this takes into account what impact Connor McCaffery might have. He has yet to sign his letter of intent, as Iowa has allocated the overflow spot to Nunge. Until any and all transfers shake out, I will not project Connor’s playing time.

Updated (but Still-too-Early) 2017-18 Rotation

Player 1 2 3 4 5 Minutes
Player 1 2 3 4 5 Minutes
Bohannon 75% 30
Williams 25% 15% 16
Ellingson 40% 16
Moss 45% 15% 24
Baer 60% 24
Uhl/Nunge 25% 15% 16
Wagner 30% 12
Cook 30% 30% 24
Pemsl 25% 30% 22
Kriener 25% 10
Garza 15% 6
Dailey -

In addition to factoring in the new guys, I tinkered around the edges to get each position to 100%. Do you hate it? Do you love it? Let us know what you think in the comments.