Big City Classic Profile: North Carolina

Rather than meander through another tempo-free profile, let's do something different.  Justin basically posed the following question yesterday: If you're Johns Hopkins, which Tarheel do you target as a "must-stop"?  Let's go ahead and try to answer it.

Now, North Carolina has one of the most efficient offenses in the country (the Tarheels are ranked 10th nationally at 33.15 goals per 100 possessions).  It is my contention that Nicky Galasso is the hub from which all the nasty North Carolina spokes emanate.

As of right now, there are seven 'Heels with double-digit points: Galasso (36), Marcus Holman (23), Thomas Wood (20), Billy Bitter (20), Duncan Hutchins (11), Jimmy Dunster (10), and Pat Foster (10).  We know that these guys are producing, but how are they getting on the board?  In other words, who is helping whom among this bunch?

Well, I sat down and figured it out.  Ready?  Set?  PICTOGRAPH!

North_carolina_sharingedited_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

Here's how to read this priceless work of Microsoft Paint art:

  • Every player is color coded.  That's important, so don't forget it.  Write it down if you have to.
  • The PICTOGRAPH! is reflecting assists to and from each of these primary players.  So, Galasso has two assists to Hutchins; Hutchins has two assists to Galasso.  Remember: Follow the color coding. 
  • The assist numbers simply reflect assists between these players.  Assists to or from other players are not included.  Assuming that these seven players are the seven players that you'd be most fearful of to pump in a five-spot on you, I've limited the universe to just these guys.

It's pretty clear: Galasso is the juice in the machine. Whether he's allowed to flourish because Bitter demands extra attention is debatable (and, arguably, missing the point). Galasso gets everyone going, Bitter included (although Bitter has done a great job sharing the wealth as well).  Here are the goal-assist relationships:

WHO'S HELPING WHOM: CAROLINA
RANK TANDEM FREQUENCY
1 Galasso-Wood 10
2 Galasso-Foster 5
Galasso-Holman 5
4 Galasso-Hutchins 4
Bitter-Holman 4
6 Galasso-Bitter 3
Holman-Wood 3
8 Bitter-Wood 2
Holman-Foster 2
Holman-Hutchins 2
11 Bitter-Hutchins 1
Wood-Hutchins 1

Galasso has his fingerprints on everything.  Conversely, Dunster is quite happy to score all by himself, thank you very much.  He hasn't registered an assist yet this year.  What's even more fun is that nobody from this group has assisted him yet this year either.  That's working on an island, and he's performing.

So, if I want to slow a bunch of the Carolina offense down, I start with giving Galasso a hell of a time.  I'd then move on to Bitter and hope to hell that Thomas Wood doesn't play (although Foster has filled in admirably).

POSTSCRIPT

I think this chart my clear up any confusion.  It's an aggregation of the above. Among the seven players noted, who has helped and been helped the most:

WHO HAS HELPED AND BEEN HELPED THE MOST: CAROLINA
RANK TANDEM FREQUENCY
1 Galasso 27
2 Wood 16
Holman 16
4 Bitter 10
5 Hutchins 8
6 Foster 7
7 Dunster 0

I totally borrowed this idea from Luke Winn over at S.I.  If you like hoops, you should read his stuff.  He's super smart. 

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