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Here’s how effective WSU’s 10 most popular lineups were last basketball season

Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall liked giving his starting five a lot of time together on the court last season. The numbers show that is favorite starting five played 149 minutes together, by far the most of any lineup combination.
Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall liked giving his starting five a lot of time together on the court last season. The numbers show that is favorite starting five played 149 minutes together, by far the most of any lineup combination. The Wichita Eagle

There are plenty of websites out there that will give you an analytical look inside Wichita State’s 25-8 season.

KenPom will tell you WSU had the fourth-best offense in the country in adjusted efficiency. Hoop-Math will show the Shockers limited opponents to a 53.9 field-goal percentage by the rim, also a top mark nationally. And Synergy will prove that Landry Shamet was the most effective spot-up shooter in the country.

All of those are revealing statistics, but they only show the final result for Wichita State. What if you took it a step further and looked how each lineup combination helped WSU reach this final destination?

So I went back through last season’s play-by-play to examine the 10 most-used lineups by Gregg Marshall and the Shockers. Here are the results:

1. Landry Shamet, Conner Frankamp, Zach Brown, Rashard Kelly and Shaq Morris

Time together: 149 minutes (11.4 percent of total minutes)

Offense: 1.21 points per possession on 242 possessions (1.14 PPP team average overall)

Defense: 1.11 PPP on 247 possessions (0.99 PPP team average overall)

Offense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.24 PPP on 200 possessions (1.14 PPP team average overall)

Defense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.19 PPP on 205 possessions (1.06 PPP team average overall)

Outcome: This was Marshall’s most-trusted combination. It got the starting nod 14 times and played by far the most minutes of any combination. This lineup excelled on offense, pumping out elite scoring against any level of opponent, but struggled somewhat producing stops compared to the team’s average defense.

2. Landry Shamet, Austin Reaves, Zach Brown, Rashard Kelly and Shaq Morris

Time together: 100 minutes (7.5 percent of total minutes)

Offense: 1.32 PPP on 151 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense: 0.87 PPP on 171 possessions (0.99 PPP average)

Offense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.26 PPP on 105 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense vs. Top-150 teams: 0.86 PPP on 125 possessions (1.06 PPP average)

Outcome: This lineup was a rousing success, as earned seven starts together and outscored opponents by 24 points in those games before the first WSU substitution. The most surprising part about this combination is the level of defense it maintained over a pretty sizable collection (and it actually improved against the good teams). The 0.87 defensive PPP is the level of defense WSU was playing when it led the nation in defensive efficiency.

3. Landry Shamet, Conner Frankamp, Zach Brown, Darral Willis and Shaq Morris

Time together: 66 minutes (4.9 percent of total minutes)

Offense: 1.12 PPP on 113 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense: 1.03 PPP on 171 possessions (0.99 PPP average)

Offense vs. Top-150 teams: 0.93 PPP on 68 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.09 PPP on 66 possessions (1.06 PPP average)

Outcome: This lineup came out as an overall positive, but it really struggled when it went up against tough competition. They were outscored by 0.16 points per possession against top-150 competition and that difference grew to 0.25 against top-100 teams. It’s surprising this combination struggled so much on offense, especially against the tougher competition.

4. Landry Shamet, Austin Reaves, Markis McDuffie, Rashard Kelly and Shaq Morris

Time together: 54 minutes (4.1 percent of total minutes)

Offense: 1.23 PPP on 90 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense: 1.06 PPP on 86 possessions (0.99 PPP average)

Offense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.23 PPP on 88 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.06 PPP on 85 possessions (1.06 PPP average)

Outcome: This is the first lineup to include McDuffie and was basically only used in the second half of the season. Marshall went to this lineup to start the second half three times and to much success. The combination was right in line with the team’s defensive averages and added a little extra on offense to outscore top-150 opponents by 0.17 points per possession.

5. Landry Shamet, Conner Frankamp, Markis McDuffie, Rashard Kelly and Shaq Morris

Time together: 45 minutes (3.4 percent of total minutes)

Offense: 0.95 PPP on 76 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense: 1.07 PPP on 76 possessions (0.99 PPP average)

Offense vs. Top-150 teams: 0.93 PPP on 73 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.08 PPP on 73 possessions (1.06 PPP average)

Outcome: It’s a little bizarre how this is the same lineup as No. 4, just with Frankamp inserted for Reaves, and the numbers can be so different. While No. 4’s offense pumped out elite production, this combination for whatever reason really struggled to produce. This lineup ended as a negative for WSU, as it was outscored by 0.15 points per possession against top-150 competition.

6. Landry Shamet, Conner Frankamp, Austin Reaves, Rashard Kelly and Shaq Morris

Time together: 32 minutes (2.4 percent of total minutes)

Offense: 1.17 PPP on 53 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense: 1.09 PPP on 55 possessions (0.99 PPP average)

Offense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.19 PPP on 42 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.11 PPP on 46 possessions (1.06 PPP average)

Outcome: Our first sighting of a non-traditional lineup. This three-guard combination didn’t give WSU as much of an offensive boost as expected and surrendered a little on defense compared to the team’s averages. Nonetheless, it still outscored opponents by 0.08 points per possession.

7. Landry Shamet, Austin Reaves, Markis McDuffie, Darral Willis and Rauno Nurger

Time together: 31 minutes (2.3 percent of total minutes)

Offense: 1.24 PPP on 50 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense: 1.40 PPP on 52 possessions (0.99 PPP average)

Offense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.12 PPP on 34 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.60 PPP on 66 possessions (1.06 PPP average)

Outcome: It doesn’t take long to see what was wrong with this lineup. The defensive numbers are eye-popping, especially top-150 teams that were able to exploit this lineup’s defense for an astounding 1.60 points per possession. And if you look at top-100 teams, then the defensive PPP rises all the way to 1.77.

8. Landry Shamet, Austin Reaves, Zach Brown, Darral Willis and Shaq Morris

Time together: 27 minutes (2.1 percent of total minutes)

Offense: 1.25 PPP on 55 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense: 0.81 PPP on 47 possessions (0.99 PPP average)

Offense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.21 PPP on 43 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense vs. Top-150 teams: 0.78 PPP on 37 possessions (1.06 PPP average)

Outcome: You have to keep in mind the small sample size, but this lineup proved to be one of WSU’s most successful on this list. The combination smoked opponents by 0.44 points per possession and that number held steady (0.43 PPP) against top-150 opponents. What was most impressive was the combination’s defense, as it limited top-150 teams to 0.78 PPP.

9. Landry Shamet, Conner Frankamp, Zach Brown, Darral Willis and Rauno Nurger

Time together: 26 minutes (2.0 percent of total minutes)

Offense: 1.31 PPP on 49 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense: 1.19 PPP on 48 possessions (0.99 PPP average)

Offense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.31 PPP on 49 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.19 PPP on 48 possessions (1.06 PPP average)

Outcome: This lineup is nearly identical as No. 3 on this list, as Nurger replaces Morris at center. Both of these lineups struggled on the defensive end, but this lineup with Nurger redeems itself with great offense. They played all of their minutes against top-150 competition and came away outscoring opponents by 0.12 points per possession.

10. Landry Shamet, Conner Frankamp, Markis McDuffie, Darral Willis and Shaq Morris

Time together: 26 minutes (1.9 percent of total minutes)

Offense: 1.02 PPP on 46 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense: 1.50 PPP on 36 possessions (0.99 PPP average)

Offense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.05 PPP on 43 possessions (1.14 PPP average)

Defense vs. Top-150 teams: 1.39 PPP on 33 possessions (1.06 PPP average)

Outcome: This was another combination that really struggled to find stops on the defensive end. That’s not good news when the offense was a tick below the team’s average efficiency, too. It’s a small sample size, but still, being outscored by 0.48 points per possession is hard to come back from.

Wichita State senior Markis McDuffie gives an update on how the summer is going for the Shockers. Nine of the 13 players will be new to WSU for the 2018-19 season.

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