The big WIN for 80-73 on the Hilton Coliseum of Ames, Cyclones lowa State Home court, gives the BIG XXI title to the RED RAIDERS.
Davide Moretti plays another extraordinary race, scoring 20 points with 4/6 from three points!
Champions for the first time in the long history of Texas Tech college.
This is the contribution of one of the most important commentators on college basketball in Texas.
“Here’s a list of qualified players that have shot 50% from the field, 40% from three, and 90% from the free throw line in conference play over the history of the Big 12 conference:
* Davide Moretti
That’s it. Not only did Moretti break this barrier, he also shot 53% from the three point line, meaning he cracked the requirements for the 50/50/90 club, which only 17 players in all of college basketball (with at least 100 FG attempts) have done since 1992-93 (data from Sports-Reference.)
Moretti’s efficiency in conference play has been absolutely incredible, and his play was essential in Texas Tech winning the Big 12 title. Last month I wrote about how Moretti’s development could be crucial to Tech’s future success, and since that point he’s continued lighting it up on offense in the midst of a nine game Red Raider win streak.
From a pure volume stat perspective Moretti has been the second best player for the Red Raiders. The Italian is averaging 14 points and 3.4 assists per game on 64% shooting from three during the win streak. He’s poured in 128 total points in that stretch despite only taking 59 shots. Moretti also averaged 1.4 steals per game in conference play, which ranked in the top 15 across the entire conference. He’s only averaged 1.3 turnovers in the last nine games compared to his previously mentioned 3.4 assists, which means his 2.6 assist/turnover rate is the best on the team.
Looking at Moretti’s advanced stats takes Moretti’s status from a high level role player to a legitimate star. For the entire season Davide ranks 11th nationally in offensive rating, however since the new year that number is eighth, which is first in the Big 12. Moretti is fifth in the country in true shooting percentage during conference play and is sixth in 3pt% among players with 50+ three point attempts. Moretti also leads the Big 12 across the entire season in both offensive BPM (Box Plus Minus) and the aforementioned offensive rating. Perhaps the most staggering advanced stat in favor of Moretti is his PORPAGATU! ( ”Points Over Replacement Per Adjusted Game.”- thanks, Bartorvik.) rating of 6.8 in conference. That number, which is adjusted for usage rate, is third in the country. The only two players with a higher PORPAGATU! rank are Zion Williamson and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston. Both of those players are likely first or second team All Americans, yet Moretti was barely a third team selection for his own conference.
Moretti’s production seems to have gone completely unnoticed throughout the college basketball world. Not a single media outlet has covered Moretti’s 50/50/90 Big 12 season, and very few individual analysts (i.e. Fran Fraschilla and Jon Rothstein) have even mentioned Moretti’s efficiency. This is a player that has put together a historic season shooting the basketball for the Big 12 champions and he is not even considered better than Derek Culver, Matt Mooney, and Desmond Bane. With all due respect to Matt (who’s a great player in his own way), his production on offense was considerably less efficient and less productive than his backcourt mate. Bane was essentially a higher volume, lower efficiency version of Moretti. While Bane averages nearly four more points, it came on 5% lower shooting from the floor, 8% lower from downtown, and on nearly 180 more shots. Culver missed ten games and played on a team that finished last in the league.
Personally I’m of the opinion that Moretti’s overall impact is way beyond what most believe. His ability to be a competent facilitator, a solid defender, and an elite shooter makes him not only one of the most improved players in college basketball, but also one that improves everyone around him. Moretti shooting over 50% at all three levels of the court in conference play provides potential spacing for all of his teammates. His ability to be lethal both on and off-ball allows Jarrett Culver to have a ton of versatility within the offense, which helps the team a ton.
Moretti has had an incredible season, regardless of how much recognition he gets. If he continues this pace through March it will be hard to continue ignoring Davide. A player that shoots nearly 52% from three doesn’t come around often, so lets take a moment to recognize his talent while it’s still in Lubbock.”