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    Log5 tables

    by Ken Pomeroy on Sunday, February 27, 2011

    Over the next ten days, log5 tables for conference tournaments will be posted over at Prospectus.


    Why I won’t give up on Washington (or Kentucky)

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, February 25, 2011

    For ever and ever, analysts have put an emphasis on a team’s performance on the road when evaluating them. But is there such a thing as an otherwise great team being inherently bad on the road, even when taking home-court advantage into account? I don’t know the answer to that nor, I suspect, does anybody else. Oh you might think you know, but I’d like to suggest those people reconsider this idea.

    Don’t get me wrong, teams that play well on the road are generally going to be very good teams. That’s why one can predict a team’s home performance pretty well based on its work on the road. (More with respect to scoring margin than W-L record, though. Last season there was correlation of 0.39 between D-I teams’ home and road winning percentage. There was a correlation of 0.54 between their home and road scoring margin. This shouldn’t be…


    Can Derrick Williams set the three-point accuracy record?

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, February 24, 2011

    The current record holder for three-point accuracy in a season is Glenn Tropf who made 52 of his 82 attempts (63.4%) for Holy Cross in the 1988 season. Arizona’s Derrick Williams has made 27 of his 40 attempts so far this season, which is good for 67.5%. Of all the things Williams has done this season, that is the most amazing to me. It’s not that Williams is a great outside shooter, because he’s probably not “great”. But clearly, he’s good and nearly all of his 40 shots have been high-quality looks. Williams’ sparkling numbers have resulted from a combination of good touch and good fortune.

    This got me curious as to the chances of Williams - potential first round-pick for reasons that don’t have much to do with his ability to make 20-foot jump shots – breaking the three-point accuracy record. The only way to investigate this is to run the rest of Arizona’s season over and over. I did it one million times! And now I am exhausted.

    First, let’s look at the assumptions I used…


    The kPOY: If you have a problem, turn off your station

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    This week’s update of the kPOY sees Nolan Smith move into second as he continues his high-usage, efficient play, which is especially impressive considering Kyle Singler continues to misfire on a frequent basis. Meanwhile, Jared Sullinger posted a meager 11 and 2 in a win over Michigan State and then a more kPOY-like 25 and 6 in the loss to Purdue. But whatever gains Sullinger made with the numbers against the Boilermakers were offset with the disappointing team performance. The result is that Jimmer Fredette has increased his lead from last week. But he may be hobbled tonight against Colorado State, so stay tuned.

    (Standings through Sunday’s games. For those new here, this is an explanation of the kPOY.)

    1. Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young (Rating of .554, last week: 1st)
    2. Nolan Smith, Duke (.529, LW: 3rd)
    3. Jared Sullinger, Ohio St. (.512, LW: 2nd)



    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, February 21, 2011

    Included in discussion of the media mock-bracket exercise held by the NCAA last week has been the usual chatter about using more advanced methods in the selection room. I went on record last season with my thoughts on the process – those remain unchanged, so no need to repeat them here.

    My point today is that it’s foolish to expect the committee to readily adopt a new methodology. When one looks at how tempo-free stats have been accepted by various groups involved in the game (coaches, fans, media, and the committee), there’s a connection between those that embraced it first and their incentive to do so. Let’s look at each group individually.

    1) Coaches. Even before there were web sites displaying this information, a handful of coaching staffs had their own ways to calculate things like offensive and defensive efficiency.  And it figures, since they have the most…


    The case for mid-season firings

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, February 18, 2011

    Nearly two weeks ago, Wyoming decided to part ways with head coach Heath Schroyer. The national media didn’t care much until Steve Fisher decided to speak up on the MWC media teleconference last Monday, calling the move “inexcusable”. Actually, even at that point they didn’t care much until Fisher was reprimanded by the conference for criticizing another conference school. That’s when Andy Katz decided to reprimand the MWC for being “thin-skinned”. Others followed.

    I’m not going to suggest that firing a coach before the season ends should be a regular course of action for athletic directors across the country. However, I think there are appropriate situations where the best move for both the coach and his employer is to part ways mid-season. The result of such a move can benefit both the coach and the program he’s separating from.

    Most importantly, firing a coach mid-season is occasionally…


    The kPOY: With freshmen

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Slight changes at the top of the standings this week. Jimmer Fredette takes over first, largely on the strength of his team’s 38-point win at Air Force (who is probably better than you think). Fredette somehow logged 35 minutes in that one. Perhaps Dave Rose is angling for the kPOY? Nolan Smith moves into third after his performance in the 79-73 win over UNC. A performance that gets an extra boost in the kPOY when you consider how awful his teammates not named Seth Curry were.

    (Standings through Sunday’s games.)

    1. Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young (Rating of .542, last week: 2nd)
    2. Jared Sullinger, Ohio St. (.523, LW: 1st)
    3. Nolan Smith, Duke (.503, LW: 4th)
    4. Jon Leuer, Wisconsin (.480, LW: 3rd)
    5. Jordan Hamilton, Texas (.470, LW: 5th)
    6. JaJuan Johnson, Purdue (.462, LW: 7th)
    7. Terrence Jones, Kentucky (.453, LW:…


    Conference prediction review

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Making predictions: fun! Looking back on predictions: less fun! But that is what this post is about. I promise some thought-provoking stuff soon.

    There are only a handful of conference games left and we have a pretty good idea as to the quality of the conference simulations run back on January 3rd. The facts are below, but really all you need to know is that based on the predictions for the favorite, one would have expected 20 of the predictions to have been correct. The best guess now is that 16 will hit, which is further proof that my game percentages are a little hot (especially for games in the distant future). That effect that gets magnified over 16-20 games.

    Percentages aside, it appears that every champ will have been in the top four choices of the simulations (Wisconsin, Memphis, or Bethune Cookman could change this) and 27…


    The kPOY: Pleasantly surprised

    by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    There are no striking changes in the standings this week, so let me just say that it was nice to hear so many people criticize the Cousy Award for omitting Jordan Taylor from its list of ten finalists. Yay, assist-to-turnover ratio! (I’m actually not that big of a fan.) But also, for scoring 30 points in a 54-possession game. That’s the big issue, people - Taylor’s team has fewer possessions to rack up counting stats than any other team in the country.  And yet, he’s still racking them up, and doing so with a historically low turnover rate.

    At any rate, the race for the kPOY hasn’t changed at the top. This is when I remind everyone how postseason games count in the kPOY, something the “other guys” can’t say. It’s probably for the best that the Wooden and Naismith don’t include postseason games because I fear they would…


    How much is Korie Lucious worth?

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, February 4, 2011

    I wanted the premise of this piece to be that people were thinking the Spartans could really use Korie Lucious about now. It turns out almost nobody is making that case. However, there’s still the notion that for tourney purposes, Michigan State must now be judged without Lucious, which in this case is unfair.

    Tom Izzo kicked Korie Lucious off the team on January 25 and Michigan State’s results have looked like this since:

    L Michigan 61-57 (Home)
    W Indiana 84-83 (Home, OT)
    L Iowa 72-52 (Road)

    The temptation is to say Michigan State is a different team without Lucious playing alongside Kalin Lucas. No doubt the three poor performances against teams in the bottom half of the Big Ten, two of them at home, do not speak well for the post-Lucious era, but the absence of Lucious probably has little to do with this.

    It’s difficult…


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