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The Quest for 31

With Pierre Jackson and A.J. Walton out of eligibility, we have a total of 31 points per game to make up for, which begs the question: who is going to produce?

Nothing like a little bit of statistics and other math to liven up your Friday, right? In any case, I hope this post inspires some good discussion on who is going to provide us with brilliance next season, and who will bring disappointment. Let's get started.

To begin, we need to find 27 points out of our current roster if we wish to maintain the level of offensive success that we had last year as the country's 30th ranked offense (in ppg).

If you're like me, though, and you don't trust our backcourt's defensive capabilities going into the year, then we probably should try and find an extra 4 points per game from somewhere, making us a top 10 scoring team.

Now, those of you out there who took Ideas of Mathematics during your time on campus can tell us:

We need to find 31 ppg out of our roster.

At first this may appear daunting, but when you factor in the minutes that A.J. and Pierre shared per game, some fresh faces, some rebuilt old faces and a little bit of math, we'll find that it's fairly doable!

Also, here's a .gif to lighten the load before we do math.


We're going to first take a look at what I believe to be a very telling stat about a player's offensive production: Points Per 40 Minutes (so essentially if the player were to play the whole game, how many points would they score?). Please note that I'm only including guys here that were an actual part of the rotation.

Player Points per 40 minutes
Gary Franklin 8.9
Cory Jefferson 19.1
Isaiah Austin 17.4
Brady Heslip
Rico Gathers 13.7
Taurean Prince 23.1
Deuce Bello 10.9
L.J. Rose 4.8

In case you didn't know already, Taurean Prince is an animal. To put his pp40 into perspective, Pierre Jackson's was 22.8 last year. So let me state publicly, Taurean Prince is going to be an absolutely essential component of this team. I can't be the only one excited about Prince and incoming freshman Ishmail Wainright sharing/splitting minutes.

Okay next step: so if just this player group above absorbed the minutes PJ and A.J. they would average …

72.7 points per game.

So at this point, we've already made up 25.3 of our target of 31 points per game, which is decent, but only if you want to be on par with St. Bonaventure and Akron's 57th ranked offense.

(Holding off the dense math details on the above because this is already a dense post - if you want the math ask in the comments!)

Since all of the above was math, and is hard to discuss since it's rather cut and dry, we now have between today and the fall to discuss this extra 5.7 points. This is why I love basketball (and sports in general) - while there is a science there is also speculation (unless you watched Moneyball).

I'm willing to bet we see an increased production from both Austin and Jefferson, and between the two of them I see us easily shaving that down 3 points. I'm also going to assume my extrapolation of Taurean Prince, though I love him, is due to a rather unscientific sample size and say that those two things cancel each other out.

So where do those 5.7 points come from?

My best educated guess: Heslip, Wainwright, Kenny Cherry and Allerik Freeman.

What do you think? Let's talk about it in the comments. I'll offer more of my opinions of why these four specifically in them!