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Weber’s O Signals Go…

It's been well documented that Briante Weber embodies havoc. The sophomore leads the nation in steal percentage, but the true measure of havoc is not found in a number. It's Weber's energy, his constant motion, his irrespressible elan that is the true manifestation of havoc.

Weber's steal and dunk in the opening minutes on Saturday against Butler–a certain photo of the year, according to CBS Sports–was exactly that kind of a moment, a brief look into havoc that was far more impactful than the one steal, and two points, that were reflected in the boxscore.

However I think we can see the absence of havoc through numbers. This hit me after Darius Theus stole a loose
inbounds pass and fed Weber, who outran every
other player on the floor to hit a transition layup. Two more points.

It may or may
not be Weber wreaking the havoc, but he is part of the transition
offense that results from the live ball turnovers. Those numbers add up to points. If havoc is working at an optimal level, these easy points–many scored by VCUs most active players, begin to add up.

Conversely, a lack of havoc may mean a lack of points for Weber. Transition scoring–those layups, dunks, and pullup 15-footers–is most definitely Weber's most dangerous offensive weapon. I believe there is a correlation between the effectiveness of havoc and Briante Weber's offensive output.

Let's look at his season to see if the numbers back this up. It's very important to note that the six lowest forced-turnovers games are also VCUs six losses.

In
VCUs six losses this year, Weber has made only four field goals (4-22, 18.2%) and averages
just 1.8ppg. He has eight assists and eight turnovers. In 23 wins, Weber averages 6.1ppg, dishing 72 assists against just 32 turnovers.

For what it's worth, Weber commits more than three fouls per game in losses (19 in six games) and has nine steals (1.5 per game). He hacks just twice a game in wins (46 fouls in 23 wins), grabbing 76 steals (3.3spg).

But it isn't solely about Weber's individual performance. While he's a big part of VCUs team defense, Weber is also the benefactor of havocy teammates. He impacts team performance but it is, after all, a team game.

In those six losses, here's Weber's offensive output, as well as the turnovers forced by VCU as a team:

  • St. Louis: committed 8 turnovers. Weber scored two points on 1-1 shooting.
  • Duke: committed 8 turnovers. Weber scored zero points on 0-2 shooting.
  • Wichita State: committed 13 turnovers. Weber scored zero points on 0-2 shooting.
  • Richmond: committed 13 turnovers. Weber scored zero points on 0-6 shooting.
  • LaSalle: committed 14 turnovers. Weber scored three points on 1-4 shooting.
  • Missouri: committed 14 turnovers. Weber scored six points on 2-7 shooting.

That's telling, but I didn't want to stop at the losses, as those could be due to a million factors. So I chose to take the six VCU victories with the lowest number of forced-turnovers to see if the emerging trend holds. It does:

  • Old Dominion: committed 15 turnovers. Weber scored 8 points on 1-4 shooting.
  • St. Bonaventure: committed 16 turnovers. Weber scored 8 points on 2-5 shooting.
  • Charlotte: committed 17 turnovers. Weber did not score and did not attempt a shot.
  • Alabama: committed 18 turnovers. Weber had 4 points on 1-4 shooting.
  • Rhode Island: committed 18 turnovers. Weber had three points on 1-3 shooting.
  • Duquesne: committed 19 turnovers. Weber did not score and missed all three shots.

If you add the six wins to the six losses, Weber has scored 34 points in the 12 games (2.8ppg) in which VCU has forced the fewest number of turnovers. In the 17 games in which VCU has turned over its opponent 20 or more times, Weber has scored 118 points, or 6.9ppg.

Does this really tell us anything? Here's what all that data tells me: if Briante Weber is scoring, it's likely in an open floor situation. And if VCU is in an open floor situation, something good just happened at the defensive end.