White’s World

I’ve been tracking it and shouting about it for awhile now and while I don’t think it can be completely ascertained whether it is correlation or causation at this point it is definitely very interesting.
When Royce White has 11 or fewer field goal attempts in a game ISU is 18-0 (9-0) and when he is on the flip side of that “Mendoza line” ISU is 2-8 (1-5).  It is my contention that this stat is a bit of an indicator with how the offense is preferably run.
White is admittedly a pass first guy but this seems to indicate that the Cyclones are at their best when he doesn’t carry the load in shot attempts.  There is no other stat for any other player on ISU’s roster or team stat that has a more defined link to the Cyclones success than this.
Pardon the lack of a qualified segue but let me jump into the real point of initiation for this column.
Back during the Baylor game I tweeted something to the effect of, “does anybody know of someone that can find out what percentage of Melvin Ejim’s made FGs come from Royce White assists?”  Of course, the only responses that I got were smart ass remarks about me doing it.
Since none of you slackers offered to fall on the sword, I again, will be your whipping boy—or in this case, I am my own whipping boy.
I went back through the 15 conference games and logged who the beneficiary was of every single Royce White assist.  I did this on a game by game basis and then compared that to the number of made shots for each player in those games.  The end result is a percentage of made baskets on the other end of a Royce assist.
The numbers are staggering.
First off, White is responsible for 89 of the 214 team assists in conference play; otherwise known as 41.6%.  But the craziness is only just beginning.  In Big 12 play Iowa State has logged 1,002 possessions and Royce has played in 776 of them for 77.4% of available possessions.  369 of those possessions have ended with a made shot by the Cyclones.
Working loosely with the numbers here, if you apply the percentage of possessions that Royce has been on the court to those made shots (77.4% of 369 made shots) you arrive at just under 286, the number of total made shots while Royce is on the court (that obviously assumes that shots are made at the same rate when he is off the court as on, but work with me here).  Subtract Royce’s 76 made shots and we have an estimated 210 made shots by Royce’s teammates while he is on the floor.  Take his 89 assists divided by those 210 made shots and Royce has assisted 42.4% of them while he is on the court. 
Then, if you add his assists to his own made shots together you get to 165.  While on the court Royce is estimated to be directly or indirectly (assists) responsible for 165 out of 210 made shots (78.6%) in conference play.  That is filthy absurd.
All of that aside, let’s jump back to where I was a few paragraphs ago…how many baskets has Melvin Ejim scored off of Royce White assists?
As I mentioned above, no one else would sacrifice their time for the tedious task so I volunteered.  Below is a game by game chart of every player that has benefitted from a Royce assist in conference play.  For each player the first column is their made field goals in that game, the second column is the number that were assisted by White, and the third column is the percentage that came from Royce assists.

I then totaled these numbers by player (at the bottom) and by game (to the far right) and shaded red any percentage that was 33.3% or greater—admittedly arbitrary.  Notice there’s a lot of red, especially for Ejim.
Melvin has made 60 shots in Big 12 play and 27 of them have been assisted by White (45%).  To me, that is astounding.  For the sake of comparison, in Big 12 games the average number of total field goals made coming from assists is 55.2%.  So, if you haphazardly apply that to Ejim then Royce by himself is nearly reaching that assist percentage before anyone else on the team has offered an assist to Mel.
Christopherson, Babb, and Allen have also greatly benefitted from White’s style of play scoring 33.9%, 29.7% and 27.9% off of White’s passes, respectively.
In seven of the 15 played Big 12 games so far Royce has accounted for more than 33.3% of made shots via assists—this excludes his 76 made field goals for the conference season as well as the two made shots from Railey and one from Sledge.
Also, for the seven players shown in the 15 conference games played…if you remove the instances where the player didn’t make a single field goal (14) from the 105 available instances you end up with 91 instances of one of these seven players making at least one shot in the given game.  Of those 91 times 43 of them had Royce dishing out assists for at least 33.3% of that player’s made field goals.  So, in a given game if a player makes at least one shot there is almost a 50/50 chance that Royce assisted 1/3 or more of that player’s made field goals.  That is a lot.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with this…it is unfair because of the varying sample size, roles, and surrounding cast but let’s compare some Royce White numbers to Jamaal Tinsley numbers.
Tinsley (99-00): 244 assists & 145 MFG – Rest of team: 305 assists & 859 MFG
y was responsible for 37.6% of assists and his assists & MFG accounted for 38.7% of the team’s made shots.
Tinsley (00-01): 187 assists & 139 MFG – Rest of team: 215 assists & 619 MFG
Tinsley was responsible for 46.5% of assists and his assists & MFG accounted for 43.0% of the team’s made shots.
White (all 28 games): 140 assists & 138 MFG – Rest of team: 266 assists & 556 MFG
White has been responsible for 34.5% of assists and his assists & MFG have accounted for 40.1% of the team’s made shots.
That is rarified air.
We’ve known for a while that his impact was profound even outside of the scoring column.  But the data suggests that he is far more important than any of us could have figured.  Whether it is his own usage rate, the percentage of assists to a given player, or the success of the team when he doesn’t carry the scoring load Royce White is off the charts.
This is Royce White’s world. We’re just living in it. 
This entry was posted in Chris Allen, Chris Babb, enCYCLONEpedia, Iowa State Basketball, Kirk Haaland, Melvin Ejim, Percy Gibson, Royce White, Tyrus McGee. Bookmark the permalink.

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