Before the story a quick announcement; You may have noticed that post have been infrequent (irr…nonexistent) recently. There are a variety of reasons for that, but mostly because I am trying to decide the role of the blog. I did a few posts with game preview and reviews, but there are already a lot of sites that cover that material well. As of now, I’m going to focus more on analysis pieces. Also, continue to check the Twitter page, as I continuingly keep it up to date. Now to the story.
Going into the season, a few key concerns DePaul fans had surrounded depth, due the injuries, and Cleveland Melvin’s new perimeter game. Under the El takes a look at how those two elements have played out early this season.
Under the El ran a story in October after injuries to Montray Clemons and Tony Freeland coupled with Macari Brooks being ruled ineligible, that depth was going to be an issue this season. To see if there was any correlation between the loses and the lack of bench production, Under the El looked at the percent of bench minutes and points along with the rotation.
In DePaul’s three loses, there was not a noticible dip in bench minutes or production. Purnell also was not forced to use a smaller rotatation than he prefers. So depth has not been as big of an issue as many, including myself, thought it may be in the beginning of the season. Given the circumstances of injuries and an inexpereicned bench, the production has been better than expected. According to KenPom.com, the average NCAA team’s bench contributes 31.7% of minutes, so DePaul falls in line with the majority of the NCAA.
Melvin’s 3 Point Shot
The other major worry of DePaul fans going into the season was that Cleveland Melvin’s new focus on three point shooting would hurt the team. Lets take a game by game look at Cleveland’s three point shooting this season.
At a glance it appears Melvin has struggled connecting on only 26.3% of his three point attempts. However, there is a noticeable difference in his game beginning in December as indicated with the red line. Statistically, there is no definitive explanation for the increased shooting percentage. Perhaps it was Purnell limiting his shot selection or just an adjustment period for his new offensive weapon. If at the beginning of the season I told you Melvin would be hitting at 37.5% of his shots and averaging 3.4 three-point attempts per game, I’d imagine you’d be pretty satisfied. I would too, and if Melvin keeps up his post December numbers, it will only help his and DePaul’s offense.
As DePaul enters Big East play fans will have to hope that the bench production and health remains and that Melvin maintains his post December shooting numbers.