Morning Five: 02.24.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on February 24th, 2012

  1. Ken Pomeroy is best known for his ranking system that appears to divide the new school from the old school, but his blog, which is much less publicized also produces some interesting analysis. His most recent posting from yesterday will certainly get some attention. In that posting Pomeroy analyzes the correlation between a team’s performance in the first half to the season versus the second half of the season for a specific statistic. In particular, Pomeroy focuses on 3-point shooting and the results may surprise you. We are sure that on a message board or e-mail thread this is sparking some furious debate. We are not sure that we buy everything that Pomeroy is trying to say, but we would love to see more discussion of this theory.
  2. Every week Luke Winn brings us excellent statistical nuggets, but this week he brings out one of our favorite relatively straight-forward ones where he looks at assist distribution and also looks at which player relies on those assists most for his scoring. The assist distribution statistic is the more widely used one (including at least once by ESPN last season without citing Winn’s work), but combining it with the assist reliance figure makes it a much more useful tool. We are sure that the analysis for most teams would be interesting, but the analysis for North Carolina and in particular its two super sophomores is noteworthy and will probably lead to a discussion about team dynamics among Tar Heel fans.
  3. We linked to the discussion of a Value Add rating system in college basketball earlier this season and if you have been waiting for such a system then this list of the 200 best players according to their “Value Add” is for you. One of the first things I look for when analyzing any new metric is how close does it fit with my beliefs. There are a few names on the list that seem strange, but for the most part the list seems pretty reasonable. By looking at offense and defense in a combined statistic it raises the profile of players that may get overlooked by people who just focus on big-number statistics like points, rebounds, and assists. Obviously, this system needs some more work as suggested by the fact that they made some tweaks from last year’s system.
  4. For much of the past ten years Larry Eustachy has the been the subject of many jokes, but this year might be the year that college basketball fans begin to look at Eustachy in a different light. Most of that will be due to his solid Southern Mississippi team, but at least some of it should come from pieces like the one by Pat Forde that take a deeper look into Eustachy’s life beyond a serious of unfortunate photos that hid a much more troubling problem. Having encountered many people who have had to deal with similar problems on a much less public stage, we hope that Eustachy continues to succeed in his battle with alcoholism much more than we care about whether or not his team succeeds on the court.
  5. It is probably the worst-kept secret in conference expansion, but Temple is reportedly in talks with Big East about joining the conference. The Big East is especially interested in making this happen soon because the departure of West Virginia to the Big 12 means that the Big East only has seven football teams for next season making next fall potentially embarrassing for the conference (more than just the usual product they put out on the field). Most conference moves surprise us initially, but this one has been so well choreographed and we have seen so many of these moves that we would be surprised if this did not happen.
nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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