Contributions from Young, Wilbekin make impact

By Adam Silverstein
March 10, 2011

By Malik Grady – OGGOA Columnist

Comparing the 2010-11 version of Florida Gators basketball with the team as it was constituted in 2009-10, it is quite obvious the group as a whole is drastically improved. In addition to playing better defense, something Adam previously touched on, Florida is shooting better and turning the ball over less.

Up 1.6 percent from the field (46-44.4 percent) and 3.3 percent from downtown (34.6-31.3 percent), the Gators are more efficient than they were last year, making approximately the same number of baskets per game in fewer attempts.

Where and why has this slight but integral positive change come from? For one, the returning players are showing a newfound cohesiveness. Then there is the departure of guard Ray Shipman (transferred to Central Florida) and forward Dan Werner (graduated). Sophomore F Erik Murphy and some of the other young reserves have stepped up to replace the minutes previously occupied by Shipman.

Statistics show that the greatest difference is the combination of losing nearly 30 minutes per game from Werner and adding the 35 combined minutes that emerging freshmen Patric Young and point guard Scottie Wilbekin have contributed.

Neither Werner last season nor Young and Wilbekin this year shoot the ball often, but the duo’s shot selection and efficiency have made their production markedly different.

[EXPAND Click to expand below!]

Werner Young Wilbekin Young/Wilbekin
3PT 19/73 (26%) N/A 11/37 (30%) 11/37 (30%)
2PT 34/87 (39%) 40/69 (58%) 16/36 (44%) 56/105 (53%)
FG 53/160 (33%) 40/69 (58%) 27/73 (37%) 67/142 (47%)

In 30 games, Young and Wilbekin combined for 64.7 percent more two-point baskets (56) than Werner did (34) in 34 games; the duo has also hit 26.4 percent more overall field goals (67-53). From three-point range, though Werner made eight more than Wilbekin has so far, it took him 36 additional attempts to do so.

In the other aspects of their games, the Young-Wilbekin combo has eerily similar production to Werner’s last year:

Werner Young/Wilbekin
PTS 4.6 5.8
REB 4.1 5.0
AST 2.0 2.1
TO 1.5 1.4
STL 1.3 1.6

Standing out the most is Young’s penchant for blocking shots. He has 26 rejections in 30 games, which easily dwarf’s Werner’s five in 34 contests.

Photo Credit: Associated Press[/EXPAND]


  1. Tim says:

    I though Ray Shipman transferred to UCF to play football…

  2. GatorCooken says:

    Great column! I love the number crunching articles. Can’t wait to see these freshman get better and better.

    P.S ( Didn’t Shipman transfer to UCF, not Miami? Only reason I remember is because he said he was going to play football, which is pretty unique of a transfer)

  3. charlie says:

    Sorry, Malik and Adam but the numbers don’t support your thesis that this year is any more efficient that last year’s version. A 2% increase in FG% is only one basket a game and 3% increase is 1/3rd of a 3PT basket. I’m not sure how you can claim those changes make us more efficient, the numbers don’t support that theory. I do buy that our shot selection is much improved, but the FG% isn’t any different.

    The most substantial change in the past year is our defense.

  4. Andrew says:

    The change is less boneheaded Werner mistakes and chucking up ill advised 3s. My consolation after last season’s football debacle was a bball season w/o Werner…

  5. Big O says:

    Dan Werner was a nice kid and he tried hard. However his production was poor and his career a disapointment. Aside from the occasional charge on drfense, when he was in the game it was like playing one man down.

  6. Charles says:

    Great way to show how these two freshman make the team better and show more promise than Dan Werner. those are both upgrades over last year. There were too many times the bench as a whole didn’t make the team any better. These guys do and that’s something to hang your hat on.

  7. Basshole says:

    Good read. Another factor that adds to the positive production of these two and won’t show up in box scores is these guys help improve the defense as charles mentions above. When Young comes in he seems to bring energy and Wilbekin is a great perimeter defender (great game against UT’s Hopson).

  8. Malikg says:

    @Charlie et. al.,

    I’d argue that even slight improvements across the board can easily make the difference between winning and losing, especially when playing close games against good teams. I didn’t include Ken Pomeroy’s Adjusted Efficiency Ratings (mostly because they’re not as easy to parse as simple percentages), but Florida has improved both offensively and defensively in both this year.

    Also, despite Werner’s versatility defensively last year, the combined defensive output and minutes by Wilbekin and Young have been more effective on that end of the floor as well, in my opinion.

    2010 – UF (21-13)
    Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 112.6
    Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 94.9

    2011 – UF (24-6)
    Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 115.6
    Adjusted Defensvie Efficiency: 92.9

    That’s a combined five-point difference in overall efficiency on both ends of the court…

    • charlie says:

      I see your point, however I’d venture to guess that the opponent FG% is lower than last year (along with turnovers and blocks going up). I think that’s what drives the Donovan offense. The best Gator teams have used good D to propel the offense. I think that’s why the FG% isn’t terribly different; last year we had to outscore, this year we can win with less shots even though the percentage isn’t any different.

      Good article though, I really like looking at the stats. It sometimes gives you information that you might not catch just watching them on TV. Keep up the good work, guys!

  9. CH says:

    Yes! A stats guy. Can I request an article Malik? I saw a KY fan do this last year. She was testing the impact of upper classman on the NCAA Tournament champions. i.e. can a team of freshman make a run to the championship? How important are seniors? She took the past decade of National Champions and “graded” the amount of impact maturity had on the championship teams.
    To start, seniors were given 4 pts, Juniors 3 pts, Sophomores 2 and Freshman 1. She then took the average minutes each player played during the year multiplied by “age grade (4,3,2,1)” and combined them for each team. Divide that combined number by the total minutes. This told her how much impact seniors had on the winning teams compared to freshman impact.
    With Florida’s senior class this year, I think the fans on this site would like to see the outcome. If I remember correctly only two of the past 10 champions were below 3.0 – junior average. One of those teams was the Oh Fours.
    Hope that makes sense.

  10. Malikg says:


    I think that calculation would be a little biased, since it only keeps track of minutes and not actual production, and obviously there are other variables as well.

    However, just doing a quick calculation (without checking the numbers as well as I would for a full analysis), the number I come up with for this year’s Gator team is 2.81, putting them pretty close to that Junior average you mentioned.

    Personally, I think for a program like Florida that signs great but not consistently “1-and-done” level talent each year, it’s more important to sustained success to have good BALANCE throughout the classes, which we see this year and it looks like will continue in the near future as well.

    This year: 3 seniors, 2 3rd years (Rosario & Walker), 2 sophomores, 5 freshmen (including Larson)
    Next year: 2 4th years (Rosario & Walker), 2 juniors, 4 sophomores, 3 freshmen (including Larson again)

    That kind of balance is best for Florida, a program which to me is JUST outside of elite status (to me, one which reaches the Sweet 16 consistently) but has shown the ability to make numerous Final Fours, giving it a bit of an “Elite” ace up its sleeve, if you will.

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