Stats show coaches' signature styles

John Calipari prefers to give best athlete the ball; Jim Calhoun doesn't like bigs to shoot

Originally Published: July 6, 2011
By John Gasaway | Basketball Prospectus
John CalipariAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesWhat's John Calipari's signature style? John Gasaway shows you with stats.

When we speak of "style" in college basketball, there's a tendency to start in right away talking about tempo. The speed at which a coach chooses to play the game is indeed an important marker of style, but by now I think we have a pretty good handle on who's fast (Mike Anderson, Lorenzo Romar), who's slow (Bo Ryan, Mark Turgeon), and who's somewhere in between (much of the rest of Division I). Interested bystanders like Ken Pomeroy and yours truly have been counting possessions for a while now, and the range of tempos displayed by 300-odd D-I programs year in and year out is at this point a matter of record.

Now, what about stylistic preferences besides pace? Do certain coaches run their offenses through certain positions year after year? Do other coaches show a decided tendency toward using their bench frequently (or not)? Let's take a look at the actual multi-year numbers and see how well they match up with the common wisdom.

Are all John Calipari offenses equally dependent upon an NBA-ready point guard?