WSU BASKETBALL: Appreciating The Offense

An improved Reggie Moore is part of the reason the offense is more potent this year.

I know the offense had a bit of a rough go of it on Saturday, but I think we need to pause for a moment and properly appreciate what this team is accomplishing on that end of the floor this season.

Does everyone remember all the gnashing of teeth at the end of the last season over losing Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto and what that would do to the offense? Yeah, all they've done this year is put up a higher adjusted offensive efficiency than they did last year.

Consider, via Kenpom.com (go subscribe already!):

Year Adj. Eff. eFG% TO% OR% FTR 2P% 3P% 3PA% A%
2012 108.5 53.0 20.8 31.0 43.3 52.1 36.5 34.7 59.5
2011 106.5 51.6 18.2 28.2 36.0 51.0 35.2 34.4 51.7

Without Klay, this team shoots better -- seriously, look at the three point percentage in about the same number of attempts without the conference's best three-point shooter a year ago -- and gets to the line more. Without Casto, this team rebounds better (the defensive rebounding percentage is improved, too, so it's not like it's just on one end). Only the turnovers have held this team back from having a truly superb offense.

Brock Motum obviously has a lot to do with that, but he doesn't account for all of it -- the guys around him have performed better than Thompson's supporting cast last year. You can see that this group shares the ball better than last year's group (in the assist percentage), and I think a lot of that has to do with Reggie Moore facilitating from the point rather than Thompson dominating the ball while looking to score. That's not a knock on Thompson, by the way -- he did what his team needed him to do. But this team does seem to get more easy buckets than last year's team.

Additionally, prior to the Washington game, the Cougs had what I would consider to be the best four-game run of offense under Ken Bone; against Oregon State, Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State, the team scored 1.19 points per possession with the lowest output being 1.11 against the Wildcats -- the second-best defensive team in conference play. There have been better point per possession runs over four games in Bone's tenure, but they've come against much weaker, nonconference competition.

Add it all up, and you've got the third best WSU offense of the Ken Pomeroy era, behind only the two tournament teams, whose adjusted efficiencies were 112.6 (2007) and 115.9 (2008). That's pretty darn impressive for a squad that lost an NBA first round pick and its best post player.

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