Published on 20 February 2022 at 13:05

Diving into point guard play in our opinion is all in the eye of the beholder. Some like or prefer scoring point guards, others prefer taller and others like their point guards to simply run the offense. No matter what type you like the point guard is the most important piece to the teams and is the extension of the head coach on the floor. An elite point guard will often times know exactly what the head coach wants to get accomplished with the game plan and executes that plan well. An elite point guard controls the pace and tempo of the game and is extremely efficient with the ball. With the evolution of the game, the point guard has become more prone to become a scorer than strictly putting the players in places and running a team's offense.  We are going to try and evaluate, level and tier the BSC point guards. 


To rank and tier these players, we used several statistical categories that we will breakdown. We also needed a way to measure basketball IQ and that is difficult to do on film. Evaluation of the nuances of the game cannot be seen and one has to witness those qualities in person to get the full scope of the point guard position.  Without being in person and watching a player live we have no real idea the impact a player has with communication which is extremely important in elite PG's. So we used film and the P&R action to measure the decision, action, and IQ of a point guard in the conference. We also know that not all teams run the P&R as much as others. For example, Sac St runs a lot more P&R than UNC. We admit this is a flaw in are deep dive and is open for argument by some. We know it is not a perfect tool  for evaluation, but it is one that we can use to evaluate those areas of decision and action that we find so important. 

Let's take a look at the statistical categories to help us evaluate these players: P&R Poss/PPP, P&R % and PPP,  Total PPP, Transition Offense PPP,  3FG% +30 attempts, 3FG PPP, Spot Up PPP, , ASST:TO, RPG, FT% + attempts, total steals, DEF PPP and BSB#. Depending on where a players numbers are on each category based on Synergy we will assign a point value. Players will be tiered based on a total of points earned for these categories. Players will be assigned 5 points when they are ranked 1st in a specific category, 4 points for 2nd, 3 for 3rd, 2 for 4th, and 1 for 5th(double this amount for any category involving P&R).


For deep dive context we place a huge value on efficiency and ability to make high level basketball IQ plays in the P&R action.  We also use specific numbers to help us identify efficiency in those areas and others.  For example we use our BSB# which is all positive plays divided by all negative plays which then produces an efficiency number. A number 1 and over means they produce more positive than negative. Points Per Possession is also a number we highly value in categories for efficiency. There will always be room for debate on the placement of these players, we feel the results based on the study we have been doing during the season and have concluded this week, are well thought out. Players such as Diabla Konate and Regan Schenck could certainly be seen in TIERS 1 or 2 based on historical production, but the primary focus of our study was for this season alone. 


Earlier Film  Breakdowns of Darian White, Daylani Ballena, Lianna Tillman and Sophia Stiles

Darian White:

Daylani Ballena:

Lianna Tillman:

Sophia Stiles:


Our first area of study is the percentage of time spent in P&R action. Again because we needed a way to measure decision, action, and IQ we feel measuring the amount of time in this action is important. Below is a breakdown of the numbers.  We looked at this areas numbers two different times during the season. 2/2/22(60+ poss) and 2/18/22(100+ poss). All points for evaluation are worth double in this category. For example Lianna Tillman will receive 10 points for her rank of 1 in the first evaluation time period 2/2/22 and Darian White will receive 2 points.  

Player % of time playing P&R Poss Points
Date 2/2/22 60+ Poss
Lianna Tillman Sac St 62.6% 274 233
Daylani Ballena Southern Utah 44.3% 97 85
Esmerdlda Morales Portland St 41.4% 115 77
Sophia Stiles Montana 36.8% 67 37
Darian White Montana State 35.5% 140 106
Date 2/16/22 100+ Poss
Lianna Tillman Sac St 63.1% 369 296
Daylani Ballena Southern Utah 47.6% 146 127
Sophia Stiles Montana 43.6 127 86
Esmerelda Morales Portland St 42.5% 144 106
Darian White Montana St 36.9% 189 143

Our next area of measurement in the P&R is of the players number of total possessions in that action and their Points Per Possession(PPP) in that action. We have looked at these numbers two different times during the season starting  on 1/5/22(40+ poss) and 2/18/22(100+ poss). Like the previous section, all points are worth double in this category.

Player Poss 40+ Points Points Per Possession (PPP)
Date 1/5/22 40+ Poss
Daylani Ballena Southern Utah 57 poss 49 points .86
Darian White Montana St 113 poss 89 points .788
Lianna Tillman Sac St 171 poss 131 points .766
Cherita Daugherty Southern Utah 45 poss 33 points .733
Esmerelda Morales Portland St 70 poss 47 points .671
Date 2/18/22 100+ Poss
Daylani Ballena Southern Utah 146 poss 127 .87
Lianna Tillman Sac St 369 poss 296 .803
Darian White Montana St 189 poss 143 .768
Esmerelda Morales Portland St 144 poss 106 .736
Sophia Stiles Montana 127 poss 86 .677

The next last area of measurement in the P&R is the percent of turnovers committed in that action. We took a look at this on 1/5/21(60+ poss) and on 2/18/22(100+ poss). Once again, all points are worth double in this category 

Player % of TO in P&R
Date 1/5/22 60+ Poss
Darian White Montana St 12%
Lianna Tillman Sac St 12.9%
Sophia Stiles Montana 14.9%
Diaba Konate Idaho St 17.9%
Esmerelda Morales Portland St 17.9%
Date 2/18/22 100+ Poss
Darian White Montana St 9.5%
Sophia Stiles Montana 11%
Lianna Tilllman Sac St 11.9%
Diaba Konate Idaho St 13.3%
Esmerelda Morales Portland St 13.9%

Other analytical areas we used  to help evaluate each point guards efficiency and ranking. Points were awarded to the 5 best scores in each category. 5 for 1st place, 4 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd, 2 for 4th and 1 for 5th.  These numbers and the numbers from the scores in the P&R areas will be added up to Tier the BSC Top PG's. 

Diaba Konate .882 1.11 .960 10/31 32.3% 36/40 90% 1.4 55 3.1 31 .645 1.22
Jaiden Galloway .535 .421 1.0 11/33 32% 20/27 74.1% .9 50 1.6 31 .657 .905
Alexis Pettis .713 .776 .947 12/28 31.6% 33/59 66.1% .641 25 2.3 23 .589 .761
Sophia Stiles .778 1.02 .882 10/34 29.4% 30/45 67.1% 2.6 91 6.2 15 .729 1.35
Jessica Kirby .846 1.0 .875 14/48 29.2% 53/56 94.6% 1.32 81 6.3 37 .834 1.40
Darian White .779 .758 .873 16/55 29.1% 113/146 77.4% 1.8 95 5.0 62 .881 1.20
Regan Schenck .540 .305 .800 9/36 25% 18/28 64.3% 1.6 134 5.0 28 .890 1.18
Lianna Tillman .792 .810 .795 37/147 25.2% 44/52 71% 2.0 127 3.5 28 1.01 1.09
Daylani Ballena .815 .846 .717 13/54 24.1% 56/76 73.7% 1.55 83 2.3 23 .741 .949
Aloma Solovi .583 1.04 .706 4/18 22.2% 25/35 71.4% 1.10 54 1.5 20 .665 .928
Andie Zylack .562 .771 .556 7/36 19.4% 28/37 75.7% 1.38 67 3.4 17 .788 .975
Esmeralda Morales .721 .653 .866 31/103 30.1% 47/52 90.4% 1.25 72 2.1 39 .879 .970
Cherita Daugherty .765 .764 .865 15/32 28.8% 72/90 80% 1.21 80 5.9 29 .833 1.22
Hannah Simental .962 .892 1.15 40/104 38.5% 63/73 86.3% .913 42 1.6 27 .738 1.06



Lianna Tillman Sac St (56): Tillman, the dynamic grad transfer from U of Pacific has added instant credibility to the Sac St basketball program.  Tillman a  player that can score in bunches, dish out assists, and provide an offensive punch the Hornets have not had in years has been one of the most entertaining players to breakdown all season. Tillman spends 2/3rds of her time playing P&R offense and has the benefit of collecting assists passing off to the 6’5 Natabou.  She has a variety of scoring moves with floaters, runners, pull-ups goofy foot, and off-hand finishes, The one drawback to Tillman is that she is a high-volume shooter and needs to get up shots in bunches to put up the numbers she does for the Hornets. Tillman in our opinion is a serious MVP caliber player. Unless the Hornets shock the conference and win the tourney she most likely won't win this award, but certainly has that potential. 


Sophia Stiles Montana (45):  Stiles is a stat stuffer who may surprise some to be in the top tier. Stiles is not as polished with the ball as the other top-tier point guards on our list, but because she does so many other things well such as to assist to turnover ratio, transition offense, rebounding ability, and defensive effort we placed her and she scored in the top tier. Stiles has the highest assist to turnover ratio of any player in the study and is second in rebounds per game in our analysis (6.2 RPG). Stiles excels in transition offense and is not afraid to get after it on the defensive end of the floor. If there was an area for improvement for Stiles it would be her 3 point shooting numbers.


Darian White MSU (40): White is one of the smallest physically on our point guard deep dive, but don’t let that fool you on her toughness. White has shot more FT attempts than any other player in this deep dive. A right-hander, White loves to attack going left, she even has a left-handed pull-up jumper she will let fly when attacking the basket. When finding teammates for scoring opportunities she tends to keep it simple and stays away from flash and risky passes. An area of improvement with White would be her spot-up 3 points shooting. She still has plenty of time to develop that craft and become more elite than she already is. White is a serious MVP candidate this year and if the Cat win the league don't be surprised to see her win that award. 


Daylani Ballena SUU (39): Ballena is our favorite player to watch in the P&R game for several reasons. Her ability to change levels, gears. give you hesitations, stops, and starts plus finishes over much bigger players with a layup or deadly midrange pull-up. Mostly we just like to watch her due to her pace and control of the game when playing this action. We also love Ballena’s willingness to pass advance in transition offense. She is always looking up the floor to put pressure on the defense and control the pace of the game. Ballena is a very high IQ player that does a great job of running the T-Birds and she will only get better as she matures. Too bad we will not be able to watch her career progress as the SUU T-Birds are leaving for the WAC




Esmeralda Morales PSU (32): Morales only a freshman will have plenty of years to showcase her talents for the BSC. Because she is so shifty and confident with the ball she can get by more athletic defenders in the P&R. She usually finishes with a pull-up jumper behind the arch or from the midrange. However, she has shown the ability to get to the rim and finish with contact for a smaller guard.  We would like to see Morales work on a two-foot floater or runner to add to her P&R game. She has shown at times she has this skill but will need to add this to her skill set to become a TIER 1 player. This young PSU team will only benefit with continued maturity and skill development and Morales will be a huge piece to the rebuild of the PSU program. 


Diaba Konate ISU (26): Some may feel that Konate belongs on the top tier of the BSC point guards and this may be true. However, her absence for a large percentage of the preseason and the Bengals managing her minutes early to make sure her health is steady before unleashing her against the BSC has been a factor. Konate is an elite defender, a unique athletic specimen for the BSC, and makes unbelievable plays on both ends of the floor.  She may well be a TIER 1 player after the BSC Tourney and if the Bengals win the trophy she will be a huge reason why. We look for Konate to continue terrorizing teams in the BSC for the next few years and anticipate her being a TIER 1  player in the future.  If her BSB# is any indication of her trajectory she is also an MVP caliber player. If there was one area Konate needs to improve is her outside shooting.  


Allison Kirby ID (24): Kirby is a hard-nosed, no-nonsense player that runs the team for the Vandals. No one area that stands out in Kirby’s game to us other than her toughness and efficiency is some specific areas (BSB#,  RPG, FT%, and Total PPP). Kirby is a steady shooter from midrange, is the best rebounding guard in this whole study, and does a solid job of putting the other players on the floor in place to score in Coach Newlee’s high-scoring offense. To be honest, if it was not for the numbers in this study we may not have seen Kirby as a TIER 2 player, but credit to her for being more efficient than we thought she was. 


Hannah Simental UNC (20): Simental who just recently took over the starting point guard position from Galloway in our opinion was more of a shooting guard than a point guard. She was not on our list of initial point guards until the staff at UNC made the switch. For someone that shares time at the point position, she has produced some efficient numbers (Total PPP,  #FG%, FT%,) Because of these efficient numbers Simental was placed on TIER 2. Simental is an extremely solid shooter and based on the numbers she is the best shooting PG in our study. Shooting 38.3% from 3 is one of the very best 3FG percentages in the entire conference.  We would not have placed Simental in this study last year and we may not in any future PG deep dive, but this season due to her production at this position and her continued role in this spot we decided to add her to the study. 


TIER 3: 

Jaiden Galloway UNC (15): Galloway the starting point for UNC for a majority of the season has been coming off the bench as of late. Galloway is an efficient shooter from midrange, behind the arch, and is also a pesky defender with 31 total steals this season. She has an overall defensive PPP of .657 and is sure to play a role for the remainder of the season for the Bears. 


Alexis Pettis EWU (12): Pettis a talented freshman from Los Angels has to provide a solid one-two point guard punch for the Eagles. Pettis provides a solid one on one defender and a player that can score out of the P&R action. Pettis is an excellent spot-up shooter with a PPP of 1.04. and is a great complimentary piece to Zylack who oftentimes shares the backcourt with Pettis during the game. An area of improvement for Pettis would be her assist to turnover ratio of .641. 


Regan Schenck NAU (12): Schenck no stranger to being an elite point guard in the BSC has not had the season we thought she would have in the scoring and shooting department.  Also because we place such a huge emphasis on the P&R she did not receive point opportunities others received. She could have been easily placed in Tier 1 or 2 based on last year's and her career numbers. As we stated earlier we are basing our deep dive on this season. However, Schenck is the elite passer and set up player in the BSC with a total of 134 assists on the season.  She currently holds the all-time career assist record at NAU and will only add to that number as the season winds down.  Schenck is one of the better rebounding guards let alone players in the conference which helps when starting the great transition offense of the Lumberjacks. 


Cherita Daugherty SUU (7): Daughtery was a late addition to our deep dive like Simental. Normally playing alongside Ballena, she does a lot of the same things for the T-Birds that Ballena does. It is also our opinion that Daugherty would be a starting PG for any number of teams in the BSC. Extremely athletic and efficient, Daugherty does not make tons of mistakes and has a positive assist to turnover ratio Her BSB# of 1.22 also ranks top five in this study just behind Kirby, Stiles, Konate, and White. Those two numbers alone as well as her ability to play in the P&R game place her in this deep dive. 


Aloma Solovi Weber St (6): Solovi is not like any PG in this study. She does not look to score, does her job of running the team, and has a solid transition offensive game either dishing or scoring (Trans PPP 1.02). Solovi is more interested in setting her teammates up to score than looking to score herself. Solovi is a solid defender that does her job on that end of the floor. Due to Matthews, Torbert, and Hickock doing a majority of the scoring, Solovi does her job of putting the Wildcats in their offense and playing her role with a positive assist to turnover ratio of 1.5


Andie Zylack EWU (1): Zylack who starts, but splits time with Pettis is a solid P&R guard that has the ability and shiftiness to get by defenders and share the ball. With an assist to turnover ratio of 1.38, she ranks 6th among the other guards in this study. Where Zylack needs to improve is her shooting from mid-range and from behind the arch. Often Zylack was just out of the top 5 in areas we studied and did not receive any points. Zylack missed a few games earlier in BSC play and it was noticeable to us the Eagles were missing her ability to calm down and run the offense. 

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