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    Move the Line Back

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, January 19, 2005


    Wake Forest missed but one free throw in 53 attempts over the past two games against North Carolina and Florida State. Yet that miss cost them a win. Taron Downey clanked one with 4 seconds left in regulation that would have broken a 76-76 tie against FSU. The miss ended an NCAA record streak of 50 consecutive free throws made by Wake Forest. It adds further evidence that we're in an era where free throws are like layups. Really, they need to move back that line.

    (By the way, there's been a discernible negative effect of playing UNC. Call it The Carolina Hangover. Each of UNC's four ACC opponents have lost their next game. Overall, UNC opponents are 4-12 in their next contest.)

    Back to the free throws. This incarnation of my blog essentially started with a post analyzing Kansas' poor free throw shooting in the 2003 national championship…

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    Channel 56

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, January 18, 2005


    Back in the day, when ESPN was still showing Australian Rules Football on a regular basis and college basketball was not available every night, there was an over-the-air channel that was basically what the Full Court package is now. You could see quite a few games from all the big conferences. You know, the Southwest Conference, The Big Eight, the Metro. Remember them? Plus the SEC and WAC, among others. This thing was channel 56, and if you lived in northern Virginia in the mid '80s, you know what I'm talking about.

    The thing is, while 56 was basically today's Full Court - it mostly relied on the syndicated packages for each conference - it was only one channel unlike the multi-plexed Full Court system. This meant that a lot of games were broadcast by tape-delay. The concept wasn't all bad though. When Bob Knight threw the chair across the…

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    Game Diary: Boston College/West Virginia

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, January 17, 2005


    13-0 Boston College tried to maintain its unbeaten record and 11-2 West Virginia was hoping to make people forget that they had just lost to Marshall. Through the miracle of streaming video, I was able to file this report as if I were attending the game, or even merely watching it on TV. Here are my uncensored musings...

    1st half

    15:50 BC 7, WVU 5 - West Virginia has a Princetonesque offense. There are a lot of back-cuts, it's very deliberate, they take the open three, and they get few offensive rebounds. The 1-3-1 zone they employ is forcing BC to take a lot of time to get a shot themselves.

    11:49 WVU 11, BC 9 - The first player to get in any kind of foul trouble is BC point guard Louis Hinnant, when he picks up his second foul. While WVU's offense is based on the perimeter,…

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    Three Point Production

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, January 14, 2005


    Today's stat is "three point production." It is...

    (Three pointers made x 3) / Total Points Scored

    View the season-to-date figures for this stat for every D1 team on the stats page.

    Three point production is just the percentage of points scored on threes. A team's offense that relies too much on the three tends to be more inconsistent than others. I think that this is due to two reasons:

    1) Three point shooting accuracy in itself is less consistent than two point shooting accuracy and free throw production. Hot nights from the perimeter will be offset by cold nights.

    2) Balance is a good thing in basketball. One dimensional teams typically don't fare well because they are easier to defend.

    (Speaking of consistency, it's time for another installment of "Ike Diogu: Chasing History." Last night, Diogu had his worst outing of the season in an 86-82 loss to…

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    ACC Love-Fest

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, January 13, 2005


    (Due to a problem with TypePad, this post, originally written Thursday morning, did not appear until Thursday evening.)

    Before I talk about the ACC, how about ESPN doing some more WAC games? Last night, UTEP visited the Biggest Little City in the World(tm) and jumped out to an early 24 point lead on Nevada. Nevada outscored the Miners by 31 over the next 15 minutes or so to take a 7 point lead mid-way through the 2nd half. This is when the sleep gods took me hostage. A see-saw finish to regulation ended when UTEP forced OT on a last-second three pointer by Filiberto Rivera, and then won in the extra session.

    -

    Another night of hoops on ESPN, another celebration of the Atlantic Coast Conference. While the ACC is the best conference in America this season - I don't care what the RPI says - it actually hasn't…

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    A Tale of Two Teams

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, January 12, 2005


    Two Big East teams with different margins for error...

    First, there's West Virginia. WVU is a team that wins with quality three point shooting and great defense. The dependence on the jumper makes them a quality team prone to intermittent bouts of incompetence. That's how they can validate a win over George Washington with a win at NC State, then follow that up with a 38 point loss to Villanova. Last night, the Mountaineers lost 59-55 to a 2-10 Marshall squad thanks to a 13 to 3 deficit in made three pointers. Marshall was the best two-loss team in America entering the game, and it is a rivalry game that means more to the Herd than the Mountaineers, but you have to find a way to win that game. When the committee is splitting hairs over the final at-large bids, this will be an easy to put WVU on the…

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    No (NCAA Tourney) Admittance Without ID

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, January 10, 2005


    There is one individual statistic that is being dominated like no other this season.

    Free Throws Made  Diogu, Arizona State........136 Mendez, Niagara..............95 McGowan, Pepperdine..........94 Roberts, Mississippi State...90 Green, Oral Roberts..........88 

    No one goes to San Francisco Giants games to see Barry Bonds walk. And no one goes to a basketball game to see a player's ability to get to the line. But much like Bonds ability to draw walks, Ike Diogu's free throws are a big reason he is so effective. Diogu has played in 74 games in his two-plus seasons in Tempe, and has been to the line in every one of them. The guy goes to the line a lot, and shoots 85% when he gets there. This season he's made nine free throws per game. (By contrast, Kansas starter J.R. Giddens has played in 11 games this season and attempted a total of nine free…

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    Celebrating the West

    by Ken Pomeroy on Sunday, January 9, 2005


    What a crystallizing weekend of hoops. It's pretty obvious that the five best teams in the nation are Illinois, UNC, Wake Forest, Kansas, and Oklahoma State in some order. I can't believe someone from outside that group will get a #1 seed. Other random thoughts...

    -

    Those of us who thought that the Pac 10 race was between Arizona and Washington need to recalibrate our predict-o-meters. Arizona State belongs in the discussion as well after going to the Bay Area and sweeping Stanford/Cal with ease on Thursday/Saturday. Ike Diogu is simply the best player in the nation. More on that tomorrow. Nobody likes an "I told you so," but I'll say it in nine weeks when the Sun Devils are the Cinderella pick du jour to go to the Final Four.

    -

    Thanks to Paul Marigney's 30 points, Saint Mary's upset Gonzaga on Saturday. The Gaels have won eight in…

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    Total Rebounding

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, January 7, 2005


    Hello, Ken

    Thanks for your great work. I love the efficiency stats.

    A stat I would like to see kept somewhere is offensive rebounding percentage (plus defensive rebounding percentage = rebounding efficiency). As I'm sure you know, OR% = OR/missed FGA. DR% = DR/opponents' missed FGA.

    Michael

    I'm going to use Michael's idea with a few changes, defining offensive rebounding percentage as,

    OR% = your offensive rebounds / (your offensive rebounds + their defensive rebounds)

    and defensive rebounding percentage as,

    DR% = your defensive rebounds / (your defensive rebounds + their offensive rebounds)

    Then the two percentages can be summed to get Total Rebounding (TR). When TR is greater than 100, a team is better at getting rebounds than its opponents. TR is a much better way to measure rebounding ability than the NCAA's stat of choice, average rebounding margin, because TR eliminates the effect of shooting percentage.

    If your…

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    Shelden Williams is not Emeka Okafor

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, January 6, 2005


    But he's close.

     Williams '05 Okafor '04 FG% 57.3 59.9 PPG 14.5 17.6 RPG 12.3 11.5 BPG 3.5 4.1 

    Williams has averaged one less minute per game than Okafor did, but fortunately Duke plays at a faster pace than UConn did, making this an apples-to-apples comparison in terms of possessions played per game.

    Okafor was more skilled offensively, but Williams is not far behind. The difference in field goal percentage is offset by the fact that Williams gets to the line more, and is a better free throw shooter.

     Williams '05 Okafor '04 FTA/FGA .56 .50 FT% 64.8 51.8 PPWS 1.21 1.19

    PPWS is points per weighted shot, an idea created by John Hollinger and pushed further by Big Ten Wonk. If you do a google search for PPWS, you'll find Wonk's page describing PPWS sitting behing the Virginia Tech Department of Plant, Physiology, and…

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