Personnel Report: Oregon

Dylan Burkhardt
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We’ve already looked at Oregon’s statistical profile at a high-level, but here’s a closer look at the Duck rotation as we get closer to Thursday’s match-up.

Dillon Brooks – #24

The first thing that stands out from Dillon Brooks’ shot chart is how effective he is in the middle of the court. He attempts 58% of his shots between the lane lines and touts a 61 eFG% on those attempts.

Brooks is effective in the middle of the floor because almost without relent he puts his head down and gets two feet in the paint off the bounce. He can drive right or left and just bullies his way to the rim. There’s nothing fancy about his takes to the rim, but to attempt 42% of his shots inside of five feet and still make them at a 62% clip is impressive considering how many of them he creates for himself off the bounce.

There are very few players with the size and frame that Brooks has who can put the ball on the floor and attack. He grades out in the 93rd percentile in isolation play (including passes) and the 90th percentile in pick and roll play (including passes). Often times he doesn’t even need a ball screen as he’s one of the most complete iso scorers left in the NCAA Tournament.

Brooks is not only one of the most-efficient players on this list, he’s also one of the biggest at 6-foot-7. Whether DJ Wilson (or Zak Irvin in smaller lineups) can contain Brooks off the bounce has to be one of the first concerns for the Wolverines.

Tyler Dorsey – #5 

If Brooks controls the middle of the court, Dorsey plays on the wings off the kick. He’s an elite shooter from the field and has been on a tear with an effective blend of three-point shooting and shots at the rim.

46% of Dorsey’s used possessions are catch and shoot attempts and he has a 58.7 eFG% on those shots, per Synergy. Another 22% of his offense comes in transition where he grades out in the 89th percentile, but he’s also effective in the ball screen game.  With a fifth of his possessions used in the pick and roll, he grades out in the 89th percentile nationally in terms of overall efficiency.

Dorsey, a former five-star recruit, might not be a complete player given his average passing numbers but he can change the game with his pure scoring ability.

Jordan Bell – #1

Bell is known much for for his defense than his offense and rightfully so. The 6-foot-9, 225-pound junior has a 6-foot-11 wingspan and is projected a second-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Bell is long, mobile and aggressive definitely and he’s dominant on both backboards. He’s nationally ranked in offensive and defensive rebounding rates, block percentage and steal percentage and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Bell is not just a help-side shot-blocker, he also appears to be versatile enough that Dana Altman will have no problem switching Bell onto Walton in the ball screen game and seeing how he does. That move worked for Louisville to negate Walton and Bell appears to have the traits (length, quickness and mobility) that you’d like in that situation.

Offensively, most of Bell’s scoring comes at the basket where he’s an elite finisher (69%).

He’s only hit a couple of shots outside of five feet this year, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be anchored to the post. Oregon will move him all over the floor in pick and pop, pick and roll, post-up or dribble hand off action and he’s an impressive passer from multiple areas of the floor. Here’s a reel of a few passes out of the high post, from the perimeter or on the block.

Payton Pritchard – #3

Freshman point guard Payton Pritchard starts at the one for the Ducks and has played very well. Dillon Brooks wants people to know that Pritchard is “not a typical white boy” and that he can play.

Pritchard’s overall shooting numbers are just okay — 46% on twos and 37% on threes while attempting more threes than twos — but his statistics are better than most freshman starting point guards. He’s a solid passer and shows the ability to pick up steals as well.

Dylan Ennis – #31

Pritchard shares the backcourt with another guard who has enough experience to make up the difference. Ennis started his career in 2011-12 at Rice before transferring to Villanova for two seasons. He opted to take a graduate transfer to Oregon last season (yes, he transferred out the year before Villanova won the National Championship) before injuring his foot and taking a medical redshirt. Now the 25-year-old Canadian plays an integral role in the Oregon lineup as a 6th-year senior.

Ennis is a glue guy, but he’s the best kind of glue guy: one who can make open shots. He’s 49-of-132 (37%) from deep and is also one of Oregon’s better perimeter defenders. He’s not as effective finishing at the rim, but he has to be guarded closely on the perimeter.

Casey Benson – #2

Benson is the only guard who comes off the bench for the Ducks. He’s 6-foot-3, 185 pound and is a 42% three-point shooter on the season. 59% of his shot attempts are threes and he made 23-of-44 (52%) in Pac 12 play.

The key here is to run him off the line. He grades out in the 87th percentile nationally with a 63 eFG% on catch-and-shoot opportunities which make up 60% of his used possessions, per Synergy, but he’s just 1-of-10 on all jump shots off the dribble and he only made 9 two-pointers in Pac 12 play.

Kavell Bigby-Williams – #35

Bigby-Williams has stepped into the void left by the Chris Boucher injury. He’s a 6-foot-11, 230-pound junior who has been playing 14 minutes per game since Boucher’s injury. The Londoner shoots just 48% from the field (all on twos) and had struggled with turnovers, but he has size and decent shot-blocking numbers in limited playing time.

When Bigby-Williams is on the floor — either as a backup five or a second big at the four — Michigan has to look to attack. Those situations should provide more optimal mismatches than the standard small ball Oregon lineup.

All shot charts via Krossover.

  • AC1997

    I don’t love having Wilson guard Brooks. While DJ has done a lot of good things this year and this tournament, he’s not a very good perimeter 1-on-1 defender and gets blown by too easily. It seems like Irvin should draw that match-up, but with the Ducks playing 4 small guys I’m not sure how this will work. Maybe we see more Duncan Robinson with one big in this game than we did against Louisville.

    Dylan – how do you see the match-ups playing out defensively?

    • If you go small and put MAAR on Dorsey, Irvin on Brooks and Duncan on Ennis and Moe/DJ at the five, that is pretty reasonable.

      If you go with Michigan’s standard starters, I have a hard time seeing DJ guard Brooks … or anyone else. Will be interesting.

      • mikey_mac

        This is probably the optimal lineup for UM in this one, but it does completely disadvantage UM length-wise, wasting what could be an advantage.
        We’ve seen Irvin really become a defensive asset, but Brooks is like the final exam.

      • GTFOmycourt

        My memory is foggy but didn’t both DJ *and* Irvin do a decent job when guarding Lonzo, Bridges and Nigel? Maybe I am mis-remembering but Brooks seems to present similar challenges that have more or less been met, consistently, I thought.

        I remember DJ struggling against Leaf big time but doing pretty good against Ball…

  • shielste

    Does Brooks draw fouls and shoot a lot of free throws? If he’s as aggressive as his shot chart looks, and with his size and athleticism, it seems like he’d draw a ton of fouls. Looks like he’s been pretty automatic at the stripe in March, shooting 26/31 in 6 games (5 attempts per game) (he’s a 74% FT shooter on the season).

    • His FTA/FGA is modest (31%) but he does draw 5.4 per 40 which is pretty good.

      • rlcBlue

        The FTA/FGA number is modest because he takes so many shots – he takes over a third of Oregon’s shots when he’s on the floor. Boucher was second on the team in shot %, so Brooks may be taking even more now.

        • FTA/FGA is a rate stat though so it shouldn’t matter how many shots.

          He’s taken 115 FTs and 357 shots.
          For comparison, Walton has 165 FTAs and 382 FGAs. Despite taking more threes, Walton gets to the line more often (43% FTA/FGA) even with a lot of shot attempts.

          • rlcBlue

            I didn’t put that clearly enough. The reason he has a modest FTA/FGA while having a notable FD/40 is because he has a high FGA/40. Once he gets off the bench, he’s in shooting position.

            Brooks missed a lot of time this year – he was injured at the beginning of the season (causing the Ducks to flounder in Maui) and then sprained his foot in January and missed more time. He only played 54% of Oregon’s minutes this year (compared to Walton’s 86% of Michigan’s).

          • I’m a big fan of Brooks and I think I get what you are trying to say, but again FTA/FGA accounts for that because it’s a rate. However often you shoot, how many minutes you get — those things won’t affect FTA/FGA.

            Now the high FD/40, that could be elevated a bit because of playing time, but you’d expect (well I’d expect) more correlation in his FTA/FGA.

          • rlcBlue

            Your shot chart for Brooks is pretty revealing – he evidently does a lot of what Beilein wants our guys to do: pump fake at the 3 point line and then drive past the paratrooper all the way to the rim. The analyst in the OU-URI game called him a “straight-line driver.” He’s not Melo Trimble, driving in order to draw contact; he’s going to the basket to throw down a dunk.

          • Yeah, he’s going to drive right at you and try to dunk over you. Then let you know about it.

          • shielste

            So…..more like a Lebron driving the lane than a Paul Pierce?

    • shielste

      A side note, Brooks is from Mississauga, ON, Canada, which we know as the home of Nik Stauskas.

  • rlcBlue

    So I’m trying to decide if I’m overreacting to how many shots Brooks takes – having one guy take a big chunk of the team’s shots is something I associate with small conference teams, not good majors. I looked to see how often Michigan has faced a major conference opponent that has a starter who takes a third of his team’s shots while on the floor. The answer is not very often. Here is the Michigan-opposing major conference player with the highest TS% for each of the last seven seasons:

    Player Year TS%
    Brooks 2017 33.4
    Petteway 2015 33.4
    Smith 2013 32.7
    Petteway 2014 32.0
    Battle 2011 32.0
    Scott 2012 31.2
    Uthoff 2016 30.7

    Only encore Terran Petteway took as many of his team’s shots as Brooks does. But the number doesn’t predict much of anything: we’ve had no trouble with Nebraska and even in the lousy part of 2011 we handled Penn State, but Uthoff’s Iowa team slapped us around mercilessly, Mike Scott’s Virginia team brushed us aside like a toothless Lhasa Apso, and we’re just now healing the hurt inflicted by Russ Smith’s Louisville team.

    When I got back to 2010 I found that Peedi Sims had a TS% of 32.0, higher than any opposing player; this sort of confirmed my impression that good major teams don’t usually do this…