Which lineup has been Maryland's best this season?

Will Jake Layman point Maryland in the right direction the rest of this season? - Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Terrapins are known for using a lot of different court pairings, but which has been the most effective?

Editorial Note: Please welcome UMDTerps11, who will be doing some statistical stuff for us.

Mark Turgeon and the Terps have used a lot of different lineups already this season. And when I say a lot, I mean 90(!). Once Seth Allen returns, that number will soar well into triple digits, but for now let's look at some of the strengths and weaknesses of the lineups (and players).

If you need a refresher course on some of the statistics and what they mean, head over here.

I always like to start these types of posts with a disclaimer, since it's way too easy to hide meaning behind stats (and lose the audience in the process).

  • I'm only going to be looking at lineups that have been on the floor at least five minutes so far this season, which currently sits at 21. (Full disclosure: it's actually 22, but I deleted a lineup with John Auslander since that's a bit of the outlier here).
  • The sheet is looking at three primary categories (by lineup): offensive/defensive shooting percentages, offensive/defensive rebounding percentages, and offensive/defensive turnover percentages. I also included the plus/minus breakdowns for each lineup (with individual player breakdowns at the bottom), as well as how many minutes each unit has logged on the court so far.
  • I have all the data maintained in my sheet (and will continue to throughout the season), so if you have any questions on something I didn't touch on, feel free to ask in the comments and I'll do my best to answer everything I can.
  • Also, there are a few blank boxes in the chart for some of the 3-pt sections. Those just mean the lineup either didn't take a three or didn't defend one. Promise, no missing data.
  • Despite my best efforts to keep this brief, it's still pretty lengthy so I apologize in advance, but there really are a lot of numbers to talk about and cool stories worth telling.

And with that out of the way, on to the good stuff...

Plus/Minus

The first question most of us want to know right off the bat: what's Maryland's best lineup been this season? Well, one definitely stands above the rest.

FG%
3-pt%
Opp FG%
Opp 3-pt%
OR%
DR%
TO%
Opp TO%
Plus/Minus
Mins
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 49.6 51.2 35.3 36.8 23.5 75 15.4 16.9 37 82.4
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz 54.5 33.3 38.5 0 88.9 50 5 13.3 9 5.1
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 37.5 0 42.9 100 17.6 25 6 6.9
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 46.2 60 50 0 44.4 50 5.6 28.6 5 8.3
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 9.1 48 50 27.8 100 18.9 28.3 5 21.3
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 34.8 33.3 47.6 12.5 37.5 83.3 15.8 17.6 4 17.6
Peters, Wells, Faust, Mitchell, Cleare 50 50 37.5 0 0 66.7 0 26.7 4 5.9
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Mitchell 54.2 44.4 61.9 66.7 69.2 54.5 9.4 14.3 3 15.8
Ram, Wells, Layman, Mitchell, Cleare 38.5 0 50 0 62.5 66.7 0 30 3 5.8
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 50 37.5 52.4 36.4 46.2 70 10.7 11.1 2 12.9
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Dodd 42.9 25 50 100 25 66.7 10 20 1 5.3
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 46.7 41.7 45.7 66.7 34.5 68 14.1 13.8 1 28.9
Ram, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 33.3 0 57.1 50 9.1 20 1 5.4
Peters, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Graham 42.9 28.6 33.3 50 80 18.2 10 1 5.1
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 27.3 0 12.5 0 50 87.5 21.1 20 0 6.8
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 0 0 14.3 28.6 57.1 0 23.1 0 5.7
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Cleare 38.5 0 42.9 0 37.5 75 25 33.3 -2 7.9
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Cleare 33.3 0 35.3 0 42.9 45.5 19.2 14.8 -4 11.7
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 33.3 50 33.3 33.3 37.5 11.8 13.6 -5 5.5
Ram, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Dodd 42.9 0 40 50 25 83.3 22.2 0 -5 5.5
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 34.4 36.4 46.3 46.7 46.8 70.3 15.1 15.1 -12 41.8

Yes, you're reading that correctly. Maryland's original starting lineup (which has drawn numerous groans from many of us, myself included), has been the Terps' best combination by far this season.

Now, their plus/minus is definitely helped by the fact that the lineup has played nearly twice as many minutes as any other lineup so far, but when you look at the bottom of the chart and see that the lineup with the second-most minutes has the worst plus/minus...well that argument falls apart a little bit.

But here are a few other quick observations from this chart...

  • All five of Maryland's best lineups this season have been with Layman and Smotrycz on the floor together. Don't think that's an accident.
  • But somehow, Faust is also in all of those top five lineups, which I didn't expect. However, Faust is also the only player in all five of Maryland's worst lineups, which seems fitting given how streaky his play (and in particular shooting) has been this season.
  • And just wanted to throw this one in here. One lineup didn't have enough minutes to qualify (only 3.7), but would've tied for the second-best lineup with a plus/minus of 9. That lineup was Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman and Graham. I have a feeling by the time conference play really kicks off, that lineup will be more than qualified, and could be one of the best going forward.

Offense

Now, with the plus/minus argument out of the way, let's move on to see which lineups have been the best offensively for Maryland so far...

FG%
3-pt%
Opp FG%
Opp 3-pt%
OR%
DR%
TO%
Opp TO%
Plus/Minus
Mins
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz 54.5 33.3 38.5 0 88.9 50 5 13.3 9 5.1
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Mitchell 54.2 44.4 61.9 66.7 69.2 54.5 9.4 14.3 3 15.8
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 9.1 48 50 27.8 100 18.9 28.3 5 21.3
Peters, Wells, Faust, Mitchell, Cleare 50 50 37.5 0 0 66.7 0 26.7 4 5.9
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 50 37.5 52.4 36.4 46.2 70 10.7 11.1 2 12.9
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 33.3 50 33.3 33.3 37.5 11.8 13.6 -5 5.5
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 49.6 51.2 35.3 36.8 23.5 75 15.4 16.9 37 82.4
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 46.7 41.7 45.7 66.7 34.5 68 14.1 13.8 1 28.9
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 46.2 60 50 0 44.4 50 5.6 28.6 5 8.3
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 37.5 0 42.9 100 17.6 25 6 6.9
Ram, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 33.3 0 57.1 50 9.1 20 1 5.4
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Dodd 42.9 25 50 100 25 66.7 10 20 1 5.3
Peters, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Graham 42.9 28.6 33.3 50 80 18.2 10 1 5.1
Ram, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Dodd 42.9 0 40 50 25 83.3 22.2 0 -5 5.5
Ram, Wells, Layman, Mitchell, Cleare 38.5 0 50 0 62.5 66.7 0 30 3 5.8
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Cleare 38.5 0 42.9 0 37.5 75 25 33.3 -2 7.9
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 34.8 33.3 47.6 12.5 37.5 83.3 15.8 17.6 4 17.6
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 34.4 36.4 46.3 46.7 46.8 70.3 15.1 15.1 -12 41.8
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Cleare 33.3 0 35.3 0 42.9 45.5 19.2 14.8 -4 11.7
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 27.3 0 12.5 0 50 87.5 21.1 20 0 6.8
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 0 0 14.3 28.6 57.1 0 23.1 0 5.7

Lots of things to talk about here...

  • Five of Maryland's six best shooting lineups have been with Peters on the floor. Again, not an accident. We've all seen it. As he starts to manage those turnovers, the offense could be truly special with Peters out there.
  • Most of us already knew the offense was better with Mitchell out there compared with Cleare, but this just confirms it. Four of the top six shooting lineups are with Mitchell out there. Only one with Cleare is up there, which happens to be when he's playing with Mitchell.
  • Layman's the only player in all five of the bottom shooting groups. Didn't expect that.
  • Again, the top seven shooting lineups have come with Faust on the floor. The counter? The four worst shooting lineups are also with Faust out there.
  • And if we're looking for a late three? Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman and Smotrycz is the lineup for the job.

Defense

In my previous post, I was able to draw a lot of conclusions on the best offensive options. But since defense is much more team-oriented, I think this chart will do a much better job at letting us know how Maryland's players rank defensively...

FG%
3-pt%
Opp FG%
Opp 3-pt%
OR%
DR%
TO%
Opp TO%
Plus/Minus
Mins
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 27.3 0 12.5 0 50 87.5 21.1 20 0 6.8
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 0 0 14.3 28.6 57.1 0 23.1 0 5.7
Peters, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Graham 42.9 28.6 33.3 50 80 18.2 10 1 5.1
Ram, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 33.3 0 57.1 50 9.1 20 1 5.4
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 49.6 51.2 35.3 36.8 23.5 75 15.4 16.9 37 82.4
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Cleare 33.3 0 35.3 0 42.9 45.5 19.2 14.8 -4 11.7
Peters, Wells, Faust, Mitchell, Cleare 50 50 37.5 0 0 66.7 0 26.7 4 5.9
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 37.5 0 42.9 100 17.6 25 6 6.9
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz 54.5 33.3 38.5 0 88.9 50 5 13.3 9 5.1
Ram, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Dodd 42.9 0 40 50 25 83.3 22.2 0 -5 5.5
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Cleare 38.5 0 42.9 0 37.5 75 25 33.3 -2 7.9
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 46.7 41.7 45.7 66.7 34.5 68 14.1 13.8 1 28.9
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 34.4 36.4 46.3 46.7 46.8 70.3 15.1 15.1 -12 41.8
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 34.8 33.3 47.6 12.5 37.5 83.3 15.8 17.6 4 17.6
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 9.1 48 50 27.8 100 18.9 28.3 5 21.3
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 46.2 60 50 0 44.4 50 5.6 28.6 5 8.3
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 33.3 50 33.3 33.3 37.5 11.8 13.6 -5 5.5
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Dodd 42.9 25 50 100 25 66.7 10 20 1 5.3
Ram, Wells, Layman, Mitchell, Cleare 38.5 0 50 0 62.5 66.7 0 30 3 5.8
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 50 37.5 52.4 36.4 46.2 70 10.7 11.1 2 12.9
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Mitchell 54.2 44.4 61.9 66.7 69.2 54.5 9.4 14.3 3 15.8

Some really interesting things from this one. To the bullet points...

  • Layman is the only player in the top six defensive lineups. His defense has been talked about a little here, but I definitely think it flies under the radar.
  • Faust may not be the defensive stopper Turgeon hoped for, but he's still in 9 of the 10 best defensive lineups for the Terps.
  • Two of the three best defensive units are with Graham on the court. We know Mitchell is the energy player on offense. Looks like we found a defensive energizer as well.
  • A noticeable absentee from Maryland's top defensive combos? Wells, who is great with a full head of steam, but struggles with lateral quickness to stay in front of his man.

Rebounding

If you'll bear with me here, I want to go a little more in-depth and breakdown both Maryland's rebounding on the offensive and defensive glass. I think you'll agree that a few things stick out...

Offensive rebounding percentage (percentage of Maryland missed shots rebounded by Terps)

FG%
3-pt%
Opp FG%
Opp 3-pt%
OR%
DR%
TO%
Opp TO%
Plus/Minus
Mins
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz 54.5 33.3 38.5 0 88.9 50 5 13.3 9 5.1
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Mitchell 54.2 44.4 61.9 66.7 69.2 54.5 9.4 14.3 3 15.8
Ram, Wells, Layman, Mitchell, Cleare 38.5 0 50 0 62.5 66.7 0 30 3 5.8
Ram, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 33.3 0 57.1 50 9.1 20 1 5.4
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 27.3 0 12.5 0 50 87.5 21.1 20 0 6.8
Peters, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Graham 42.9 28.6 33.3 50 80 18.2 10 1 5.1
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 34.4 36.4 46.3 46.7 46.8 70.3 15.1 15.1 -12 41.8
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 50 37.5 52.4 36.4 46.2 70 10.7 11.1 2 12.9
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 46.2 60 50 0 44.4 50 5.6 28.6 5 8.3
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Cleare 33.3 0 35.3 0 42.9 45.5 19.2 14.8 -4 11.7
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 37.5 0 42.9 100 17.6 25 6 6.9
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Cleare 38.5 0 42.9 0 37.5 75 25 33.3 -2 7.9
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 34.8 33.3 47.6 12.5 37.5 83.3 15.8 17.6 4 17.6
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 46.7 41.7 45.7 66.7 34.5 68 14.1 13.8 1 28.9
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 33.3 50 33.3 33.3 37.5 11.8 13.6 -5 5.5
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 0 0 14.3 28.6 57.1 0 23.1 0 5.7
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 9.1 48 50 27.8 100 18.9 28.3 5 21.3
Ram, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Dodd 42.9 0 40 50 25 83.3 22.2 0 -5 5.5
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Dodd 42.9 25 50 100 25 66.7 10 20 1 5.3
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 49.6 51.2 35.3 36.8 23.5 75 15.4 16.9 37 82.4
Peters, Wells, Faust, Mitchell, Cleare 50 50 37.5 0 0 66.7 0 26.7 4 5.9

And to everyone's great surprise, Mitchell is one of the best offensive rebounders. Shocking, I know. But a couple other things come to mind...

  • I saw in a thread a few days ago that someone asked the question: If someone asks you what Maryland does well, what would you say? The answer is absolutely rebounding, and especially offensive rebounding. Rebounding is just one of those things that is never fully appreciated when you're good at it (this season), but when you're bad at it (a few seasons ago), it's the first thing fans complain about.
  • Another under-rated aspect of Layman's game. Layman's on the floor on Maryland's top 11 offensive rebounding combos.
  • Wells is another under-the-radar rebounder for the Terps.
  • Cleare's absence from the top of this list is probably most alarming. He's only in one of the top eight offensive rebounding lineups, which won't cut it if other areas of his game don't start to improve.

And to the defensive glass...

Defensive rebounding percentage (percentage of missed opponent shots rebounded by Terps)

FG%
3-pt%
Opp FG%
Opp 3-pt%
OR%
DR%
TO%
Opp TO%
Plus/Minus
Mins
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 37.5 0 42.9 100 17.6 25 6 6.9
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 9.1 48 50 27.8 100 18.9 28.3 5 21.3
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 27.3 0 12.5 0 50 87.5 21.1 20 0 6.8
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 34.8 33.3 47.6 12.5 37.5 83.3 15.8 17.6 4 17.6
Ram, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Dodd 42.9 0 40 50 25 83.3 22.2 0 -5 5.5
Peters, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Graham 42.9 28.6 33.3 50 80 18.2 10 1 5.1
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Cleare 38.5 0 42.9 0 37.5 75 25 33.3 -2 7.9
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 49.6 51.2 35.3 36.8 23.5 75 15.4 16.9 37 82.4
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 34.4 36.4 46.3 46.7 46.8 70.3 15.1 15.1 -12 41.8
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 50 37.5 52.4 36.4 46.2 70 10.7 11.1 2 12.9
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 46.7 41.7 45.7 66.7 34.5 68 14.1 13.8 1 28.9
Ram, Wells, Layman, Mitchell, Cleare 38.5 0 50 0 62.5 66.7 0 30 3 5.8
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Dodd 42.9 25 50 100 25 66.7 10 20 1 5.3
Peters, Wells, Faust, Mitchell, Cleare 50 50 37.5 0 0 66.7 0 26.7 4 5.9
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 0 0 14.3 28.6 57.1 0 23.1 0 5.7
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Mitchell 54.2 44.4 61.9 66.7 69.2 54.5 9.4 14.3 3 15.8
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz 54.5 33.3 38.5 0 88.9 50 5 13.3 9 5.1
Ram, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 33.3 0 57.1 50 9.1 20 1 5.4
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 46.2 60 50 0 44.4 50 5.6 28.6 5 8.3
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Cleare 33.3 0 35.3 0 42.9 45.5 19.2 14.8 -4 11.7
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 33.3 50 33.3 33.3 37.5 11.8 13.6 -5 5.5

A lot of similarities to the offensive end, but a few things I think are important to point out...

  • Smotrycz is a much better defensive rebounder than on the offensive end. But not too surprising from a stretch four.
  • The team struggles to rebound defensively a little more when they bring in Peters and Ram. The best part of having Wells as the smallest player on the floor is it does wonders for rebounding.
  • And just reinforcing a few others points. Layman's rebounding is great for a perimeter-oriented player. Graham and Mitchell are rebounding vacuums. And how Cleare can't grab more rebounds when he's always so close to the basket still boggles my mind.

Turnovers

Again, I want to break down both the offensive struggles with turnovers and the best lineups at forcing turnovers on defense...

Turnover percentage (percentage of possessions that end in a turnover)

FG%
3-pt%
Opp FG%
Opp 3-pt%
OR%
DR%
TO%
Opp TO%
Plus/Minus
Mins
Ram, Wells, Layman, Mitchell, Cleare 38.5 0 50 0 62.5 66.7 0 30 3 5.8
Peters, Wells, Faust, Mitchell, Cleare 50 50 37.5 0 0 66.7 0 26.7 4 5.9
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 0 0 14.3 28.6 57.1 0 23.1 0 5.7
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz 54.5 33.3 38.5 0 88.9 50 5 13.3 9 5.1
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 46.2 60 50 0 44.4 50 5.6 28.6 5 8.3
Ram, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 33.3 0 57.1 50 9.1 20 1 5.4
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Mitchell 54.2 44.4 61.9 66.7 69.2 54.5 9.4 14.3 3 15.8
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Dodd 42.9 25 50 100 25 66.7 10 20 1 5.3
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 50 37.5 52.4 36.4 46.2 70 10.7 11.1 2 12.9
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 33.3 50 33.3 33.3 37.5 11.8 13.6 -5 5.5
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 46.7 41.7 45.7 66.7 34.5 68 14.1 13.8 1 28.9
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 34.4 36.4 46.3 46.7 46.8 70.3 15.1 15.1 -12 41.8
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 49.6 51.2 35.3 36.8 23.5 75 15.4 16.9 37 82.4
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 34.8 33.3 47.6 12.5 37.5 83.3 15.8 17.6 4 17.6
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 37.5 0 42.9 100 17.6 25 6 6.9
Peters, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Graham 42.9 28.6 33.3 50 80 18.2 10 1 5.1
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 9.1 48 50 27.8 100 18.9 28.3 5 21.3
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Cleare 33.3 0 35.3 0 42.9 45.5 19.2 14.8 -4 11.7
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 27.3 0 12.5 0 50 87.5 21.1 20 0 6.8
Ram, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Dodd 42.9 0 40 50 25 83.3 22.2 0 -5 5.5
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Cleare 38.5 0 42.9 0 37.5 75 25 33.3 -2 7.9

The zeros are probably a bit misleading since those lineups barely played more than five minutes together, but still some players stand out...

  • Four of the five best groups at avoiding turnovers are with Cleare on the floor. From watching, I'd say the team simply plays at a slower pace with Cleare on the court, which helps them avoid turnovers.
  • Ram has gotten a lot better over the last few games at cutting down on the turnovers.
  • Not only has Faust struggled with his shot selection, he's also on the floor for our seven most turnover-prone lineups. Not the best combination in the world.
  • And to nobody's surprise, Peters has had his freshman mistakes. Seth did a good job of working through his in the back-end of conference play, and I think we're already seeing that improvement from Peters so hopefully this is something that gradually goes down as the season progresses.

And one of the best overlooked aspects of the game. The ability not just to play good defense, but to force turnovers to create easy offense...

Opponent turnover percentage (percentage of opponent's possessions ending in a turnover)

FG%
3-pt%
Opp FG%
Opp 3-pt%
OR%
DR%
TO%
Opp TO%
Plus/Minus
Mins
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Cleare 38.5 0 42.9 0 37.5 75 25 33.3 -2 7.9
Ram, Wells, Layman, Mitchell, Cleare 38.5 0 50 0 62.5 66.7 0 30 3 5.8
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 46.2 60 50 0 44.4 50 5.6 28.6 5 8.3
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 9.1 48 50 27.8 100 18.9 28.3 5 21.3
Peters, Wells, Faust, Mitchell, Cleare 50 50 37.5 0 0 66.7 0 26.7 4 5.9
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 37.5 0 42.9 100 17.6 25 6 6.9
Ram, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 0 0 14.3 28.6 57.1 0 23.1 0 5.7
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 27.3 0 12.5 0 50 87.5 21.1 20 0 6.8
Peters, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Dodd 42.9 25 50 100 25 66.7 10 20 1 5.3
Ram, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 44.4 0 33.3 0 57.1 50 9.1 20 1 5.4
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 34.8 33.3 47.6 12.5 37.5 83.3 15.8 17.6 4 17.6
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Cleare 49.6 51.2 35.3 36.8 23.5 75 15.4 16.9 37 82.4
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 34.4 36.4 46.3 46.7 46.8 70.3 15.1 15.1 -12 41.8
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Cleare 33.3 0 35.3 0 42.9 45.5 19.2 14.8 -4 11.7
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Mitchell 54.2 44.4 61.9 66.7 69.2 54.5 9.4 14.3 3 15.8
Peters, Wells, Layman, Smotrycz, Mitchell 46.7 41.7 45.7 66.7 34.5 68 14.1 13.8 1 28.9
Peters, Wells, Faust, Smotrycz, Mitchell 50 33.3 50 33.3 33.3 37.5 11.8 13.6 -5 5.5
Peters, Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz 54.5 33.3 38.5 0 88.9 50 5 13.3 9 5.1
Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, Graham 50 37.5 52.4 36.4 46.2 70 10.7 11.1 2 12.9
Peters, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Graham 42.9 28.6 33.3 50 80 18.2 10 1 5.1
Ram, Faust, Layman, Mitchell, Dodd 42.9 0 40 50 25 83.3 22.2 0 -5 5.5

I'm definitely one of the biggest advocates of going small and pressing more often (especially given the team's depth). And the best players suited for forcing those turnovers are...

  • Peters and Faust both appear in four of the five groups that force turnovers the most frequently. Long arms and great athleticism will do that for you.
  • Surprisingly, Cleare is also in four of those five groups. I've lost count of the number of times opposing players have dribbled or jumped into him and just lost the ball while bouncing off him. You don't necessarily have to have quick hands to force turnovers.

Player Breakdowns

If the first question that came to mind when I started this was, What's Maryland's best lineup? then the second was, How do the players compare to one another? Well, here's the list of each player's plus/minus numbers so far...

Player Plus/Minus
Layman 80
Faust 53
Wells 51
Smotrycz 49
Peters 42
Cleare 34
Graham 25
Ram 15
Dodd 11
Mitchell 5

Whoa, right? A lot of us might have guessed that Layman was the Terps' best player, but I don't think anyone would've expected that big of a margin of victory.

But for me, the most compelling story is at the bottom. All those times Turgeon has talked about Mitchell not getting it done on the defensive end have reared their ugly head in this list. For all Mitchell's energy and despite the fact that he's Maryland's best interior scorer, there are clearly other things going on that don't appear in a box score that have limited his effectiveness on the floor.

A few other thoughts to close things out...

  • I was definitely surprised to see Faust second on the list, but the difference between him, Wells and Smotrycz is only a few baskets so they all could easily switch following Saturday's game.
  • I think most of us expect Peters and Graham to continue to climb the list as the season goes on.
  • If you remember back to the original plus/minus chart at the top, you'll see Cleare had a 37 when on the floor with the starters (Wells, Faust, Layman and Smotrycz). Without that exact group on the court with him, Cleare actually had a negative plus/minus. (Hint to Turgeon: Go small, press, run like hell, and utilize the team's strengths: shooting, athleticism and rebounding).

Hopefully, this leaves everyone with a better idea of how Maryland's team breaks down. I'll be sure to keep up with everything, and the numbers will only become more meaningful as the season continues. Again, if anyone has any questions on anything above or wants to know about something I didn't include, feel free to ask away.

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