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    The Unexpected

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, December 9, 2005

    Here’s a game-by-game summary of the most disappointing offense in the nation - the Stanford Cardinal (using raw efficiency):

    Opponent Season DE (Rank) Stanford OE UC Irvine 94.8(135) 93.9 San Francisco 110.0(311) 92.1 Cal Poly 112.3(319) 105.9 Montana 96.7(164) 102.8 UC Davis 111.2(315) 92.5

    Stanford has played three of the 25 worst defenses in the country in raw efficiency terms. And in all three cases, Stanford made those defenses look better - in two of the games, much better.

    Part of the culprit is that the guards have shot poorly.

     Effective field goal % 2005 2006 Grunfeld 55.0 41.2 Hernandez 53.0 44.7

    I would expect Hernandez to come into form eventually. Grunfeld is coming off a serious knee injury and was one of the nation’s most improved players last season. He’s the one to worry about. Stanford needs both of these guys to be effective in order to…


    Bear Market

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, December 8, 2005

    Missouri State is really starting to worry me. Last night they went to 5-0 and although they haven’t played a killer schedule, laying a smack down on Oral Roberts in a hostile environment is something meaningful. The Bears had another fine offensive performance despite an off night from sharpshooter Blake Ahearn (0-for-6 on threes, 2 points, 3 turnovers). The next potential feat of strength occurs a week from Thursday when they travel to Arkansas. An MSU win there and the SEC West may be demoted to mid-major status for the remainder of the season.

    In other news…

    - The Bruce Pearl era at Tennessee has gone well early on. I’m speaking mainly from a style standpoint.

     Adj. Tempo (Rank) 2006 2005 Tennessee 80.1 ( 6) 67.3 (233) UW Milwaukee 69.5 (203) 72.1 ( 49)

    It’s not surprising the two transformations have taken place, with Pearl introducing the pressing…


    Keeping Up With The Joneses

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, December 7, 2005

                               FG    3pt  FT   Reb
                          Min  M-A   M-A  M-A  O-T   A F S TO BLK Pts
    Joseph Jones           39  9-15  1-2 16-19 6-13  2 2 0  3  0   35
    Result: Win. Texas A&M 72, North Texas 70.

    While A&M’s pre-conference schedule is slightly more challenging than last season, it should be noted they don’t leave College Station until 2006. So even though the 5-0 Aggies are one of the 25 remaining unbeatens, we won’t know much about them for a while. One thing you should know is that center Joseph Jones will continue to get to the line in droves. This season he’s made 82% (31-38) of his free throws, a significant improvement over the 63% he shot from the line last season, helping to fill some of the scoring slack left by the early departure of Antoine Wright.


    Stats Stuff

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, December 6, 2005

    So by now you should know that you can click on the stats link at the top of this page and get to the treasure trove of team-by-team pace-independent stats. I’m not going to give a remedial course on what these stats mean. You can click on the links in each page to get a guide on how to interpret the data you are viewing. If that doesn’t clear things up for you - and it may not as I am not exactly Johnny Wordsmith - the Big Ten Wonk created a library with information on such stats, both at the team and individual level, and how they can make your life simpler. Of course, you can always head over to Hawkeye Hoops to get another angle on the benefit of this stuff.

    One thing I do want to point out is the somewhat quirky way I calculate…



    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, December 5, 2005

    If you tune to the Turner family of networks in the next four weeks, you can’t help but see “A Christmas Story” playing a couple hundred times. And there’s that one scene where Ralphie does something stupid, I can’t remember what it was, but it all unfolds in slow motion and he utters a fake expletive as it’s happening. And that’s exactly how a last-second half-court heave from Sean Dockery played out in my world. The minute he launched it things didn’t look quite right. Everybody acted like it had a chance. And as it descended, it was headed right for the hoop. And that’s when the word began to leave my mouth. You see, when you root for a team, as I do, that has won exactly five NCAA tournament games in its history, well, beating the #1 team at their place, and finishing the game with an 12-0…


    Possession Stats!

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, December 2, 2005

    A stab at this season’s possession related stats have been posted. The plan is to update them daily, or mostly so, for the remainder of the season. There are a few kinks that I know about that need to be worked out of the system, but kick the tires a little and make sure everything is OK. I’ve spot-checked a few numbers - yes, LSU has an outrageous offensive rebounding percentage so far - but there may be some errors in there. With so few games played, there isn’t much value in the “adjusted” stats at the moment, but give it a couple weeks. Keep in mind, games against non-D1 competition are not included in the calculations. There are some other quirks I’ll get into on Monday, along with some more detailed explanations for the newbies. In the meantime, enjoy.

    Line o’ the Night
     FG 3pt FT Reb Min… 


    Brown Nosing

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, December 1, 2005

    Today’s post is more of the butt-kissing variety.

    For instance, there’s The Guy Who Gets It, Mike DeCourcy, and his remarks on how in some cases, offense can be ahead of defense at this time of year. Definitely not your typical analysis of early season action, but yet evidence of the usual claim that offense improves as the season wears on is sketchy at best. With that in mind, it’s disturbing that through last night’s action, average efficiency in Division I games was 96.0 (pts per 100 possessions). Last season, it was 98.9. And no, it’s not all Southern Miss’s fault. (Last night they continued a historic streak of offensive futility by posting 35 points in a loss at Arkansas.)

    The premier of the Mid-Majority Report is available for your iPod or whatever piece of machinery you use to play an MP3. Wasn’t I surprised to…


    Crewsin’ for a Bruisin’

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, November 30, 2005

    The biggest upset of last night? Army was beating UConn heading into the final media time out of the first half. The Huskies went on a game-ending run on both sides of halftime, and won an ugly 68-54 decision. UConn has been somewhat sluggish on offense without point-guard Marcus Williams this season.

    Opponent Pts Tempo Off. Eff. Pepperdine 75 72.7 103.1 Arkansas 77 76.4 100.7 Arizona 79 69.5 113.6 Gonzaga 65 62.9 103.4 Army 68 64.5 105.4

    (Tempo is calculated game possessions, and offensive efficiency is points per 100 possessions.)

    There are going to be a few opportunities to measure just how important certain key players taking extended absences, like Marcus Williams, are to their teams this season. UConn has five more games before Williams comes back. Rudy Gay and Josh Boone are having surprising troubles scoring on their own and the Maui version of Denham Brown didn’t show…


    Playing Catch-Up

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, November 29, 2005

    Before I drop some lines on you, what is up with Larry Eustachy’s Southern Miss team? For the second time in three games they failed to make the 35-point mark. Last night, they fell at home to Samford 52-33.

    It was the lowest point total in a non-conference home game in (at least) the last 10 seasons. In fairness, Samford plays the Princeton style and the game had only 49 possessions. But even with that in mind, it’s still a dismal offensive showing. Not to pile on any further, but even Toccoa Falls posted 37 points against Division I opposition last night.

    Now the week that was…

    Last Tuesday
      FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts Adam Morrison 52 14-28 4-8 11-12 2-7 4 2 2 2 0 43 Result: Win. Gonzaga 109, Michigan St. 106 (3OT)

    Gonzaga has gotten…


    Is Drexel For Real?

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, November 28, 2005

    The question might seem moot now, what with Drexel falling to Penn on Saturday (although Drexel was playing on very short rest). But the Dragons created some buzz with their run in the NIT Season Tip-Off. Drexel got to MSG on the strength of a win at Princeton and then against a Sam Houston State team that themselves had just won at Missouri. While in NYC, Drexel made #1 Duke uncomfy for about 39 minutes, and had #16 UCLA beaten before deciding to get charitable in the last 15 seconds.

    Anyone seeing those two games in the Garden certainly had to believe Drexel was a solid team, and that if they truly were the seventh-best team in the CAA as the conference’s media forecasted, then the Colonial was on par with the ACC. This is where we learn about the danger of sample size. Remember the team that produced the…


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