By the Numbers: Making sense of UST's roaring start
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 16, 2015 08:50 PM
An improved offense (aside from Ed Daquioag's play) is paying huge dividends to the UST Growling Tigers early in Season 78.
Maybe outside the Thomasian community, nobody expected this blistering start to the UAAP season by the UST Growling Tigers.
The most obvious reason is Ed Daquioag, but there has to be another reason right?
So to try and make sense to this surprising 3-0 start of the Tigers that too the UAAP by storm, we go to their numbers from last season to this year.
For one, the Tigers' offense is a whole lot better this year averaging 69. 7 points through three games compared to only 62.4 in Season 77 which was only good for seventh place.
Last year, the Tigers only reached 70 points twice and their highest output was only 77 in a second round win against UP. For Season 78, the Tigers already eclipsed the 70-point marked twice.
The Tigers' total field goal percentage may not have improved a lot so far, only at 38.1 percent compared to 35.7 last year but UST has been dumping the rock exclusively down low.
UST is averaging 37.3 points in the paint, way up from 24.4 points last year on the strength of 47.1 percent shooting from two-point field goals. Thank Daquioag's slashing for that.
Other major improvements for the Tigers this year is they almost doubled their points off turnovers, averaging 21.7 points through three games compared to 12.7 last year.
Their third-ranked defense from last year, one of the few bright spots in Season 77, may be actually better for Season 78 as they only surrendered 64.7 points in three games against 66.4 points during their horrible 5-9 campaign.
The starters are also asserting themselves, led by Daquioag and Kevin Ferrer as UST's primary protagonists are putting up 59.7 points per game as opposed to only 43.1 in Season 77.
If there are areas to improve for UST to sustain its early success though, it has to be their three-point shooting. Already shooting an atrocious 22 percent last year, the numbers are actually down for the Tigers in Season 78 so far as they only shot 15.8 percent from deep.
Its understandable with the way their lineup is built and its always good when Ferrer is draining timely treys (see the FEU game).
Likewise, bench scoring needs to pick up for the Tigers as they only manage to get 10 points per game from their reserves.
It may be small improvements and relatively small sample size at only three games, but it is safe to say that the Tigers are playing to their strenghts this season.
That, couple with a light opening schedule (two of their three wins came from last season's cellar-dwellers) and Ed Daquioag's MVP level of lay, UST is rolling to start Season 78 and is only bound to get better.