State of the program: Charlotte Men’s Basketball

by Mar 16, 2022Basketball

Photo creditBrett Rojo, USA Today SI

A Data-driven look into Ron Sanchez’s 4 years-to-date

data provided by barttorvik.com

With the loss to Rice Wednesday evening in Frisco, TX, Ron Sanchez has tallied at 50-64 (.439) record overall, while going 30-40 (.429) in Conference USA regular season play, per Wikipedia.

Under the leadership of Sanchez, Charlotte has been an above average but not a dominant team in the friendly confines of Halton Arena, posting a 35-22 record. When you get away from campus, things unravel as Charlotte is 15-42 on the road or at a neutral venue. The chart below breaks down the record year-by-year.

To add some context here, below are some additional details as it relates to Charlotte’s Strength of Schedule.

2022: 144th overall / 138th OOC
2021: 156th / 250th
2020: 156th / 213th
2019: 189th /173rd

Double digit Wins and Losses:

2022: 6 wins, 11 losses
2021: 3 wins, 8 losses
2020: 7 wins, 5 losses
2019: 2 wins, 11 losses

 16% of Sanchez games here have ended up with double digit victories, while 31% percent have ended up with double digit losses.

C-USA Team Rankings

CHarlotte’s C-usa positioning

2021-22: 8th
2020-21: 11th
2019-20: 6th
2018-19: 14th

4 seasons ago the NCAA implemented the NET Ranking system after piloting this during late-season games in 2017-18 season. If you need more info on this, read this post. Below is a breakdown of where Charlotte was ranked nationally and in C-USA over this period of time.

Charlotte’s average NET after 4 seasons is 217.

Stacking up vs Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 teams

Unsure what Q1, etc is? Check this out for more info; What Are Quadrant 1, Quadrant 2 wins? Lets dive into how Charlotte has fared vs. this metric over the past 4 seasons.

The data tells us that Charlotte is good at beating bad teams, and then struggles against everyone else. Over the cours of 4 years Sanchez is 30-16 vs Q4 teams, and 20-47 (.299) vs Q1-Q3 teams. Note this does not factor in games vs non-D1 competition.

The lone Q1 win was at Davidson in 2020-21. Q2 wins: @ UAB in 2018-19 and @ Western Kentucky in 2019-20.

Team + adjusted Efficiency rankings

*Lower is better than, except for Adjusted Tempo which only ranks pace of play*

**click on an image to enlarge it**

Shows the up-and-down tenure so far. After a vastly improved 2nd season, CLT regressed during the following season and clawed back inside the top 200.

Offensive efficiency is trending the way you’d want, and there was a notable improvement this year.

Defense is Sanchez calling card, and after year 2, and a top 100 defense, things looked as if they were trending the right direction. Years 3 and 4 haven’t resulted in the same level of defensive execution.

It’s apparent that offensive rebounding will not be a point-of-emphasis for any Sanchez team at this point. They produced a top 150 offense this year while being one of the worst offensive rebounding teams in the country. Imagine the boost from being simply average?

Under Sanchez defensive rebounding has been a strong-suit so far, never falling outside of the top 100.

Tempo, lack there of, has been a frustration for many. Charlotte picked up the pace some this year and experienced their most efficient offensive season yet.

takeaways

They data doesn’t paint a pretty portrait. There are a few bright points, but as of now the data is overwhelmingly unflattering. You might be curious about the bright points, but we’ve seen the offensive improvement from an overall efficiency standpoint, but we still deal with chronic droughts on that end. Defensive rebounding is solid.

Make no mistake about it, Sanchez was hired for his defensive pedigree & the pack line philosophy. Aside from the 2019-20 season, it simply hasn’t materialized on the court. That team had several solid individual defensive players with Drew Edwards, Malik Martin and a more capable interior defender in Amidou Bamba. Clearly Charlotte’s still looking to add the right pieces to properly execute the Pack Line here, and Sanchez has previously added transfers to fix those issues.

2022-23 Outlook

Murky? The inconsistency from season-to-season makes it extermely hard to project Charlotte’s potential for next season, and also the transfer portal impact hasn’t been felt yet.

Currently Charlotte has 1 commit signed for the upcoming season, Guard Nik Graves, and as of now there are 2 additional openings on the roster. It appears as Musa Jallow will rehab and return for one last go ’round, and Brice Williams is slated to return after redshirting this season as well. Also, tenured Niner Luka Vasic will come back for a final season as well, he started at Charlotte in 2018, the final season of the Mark Price era. 

The Niners will lose Austin Butler, Clyde Trapp Jr., Marvin Cannon and Perry Francois to graduation.

If I had to guess there will be a push to find help at the 4/5 spot. There was a clear flaw in our defense in pick and roll situations with our 5-spot. Personally I’d love to see more athleticism come in to help there, I think part of that is a lack of agility and ability to recover after hedging. Beyond that, I think you take the best player available. The only person on our roster who should have guaranteed starter spot/minutes is Jahmir Young. Reigning C-USA Freshman of the Year Aly Khalifa will certainly have a role as well, but with his defensive struggles I don’t think you can pencil him in as a sure-fire starter.

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