Subscribe!
CourtIntelligence powered by kenpom.com

The good stuff


At other venues...
  • ESPN.com ($)
  • Deadspin
  • Slate

  • Strategy
  • Whether to foul up 3 late
  • The value of 2-for-1’s

  • Philosophy
  • All points are not created equal
  • Brady Heslip’s non-slump
  • The magic of negative motivation
  • A treatise on plus-minus
  • The preseason AP poll is great
  • The magic of negative motivation
  • The lack of information in close-game performance
  • Why I don’t believe in clutchness*

  • Fun stuff
  • The missing 1-point games
  • Which two teams last lost longest ago?
  • How many first-round picks will Kentucky have?
  • Prepare for the Kobe invasion
  • Predicting John Henson's free throw percentage
  • Can Derrick Williams set the three-point accuracy record?
  • Play-by-play Theater: earliest disqualification
  • Monthly Archives

  • September 2014
  • July 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • July 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • November 2006
  • October 2006
  • September 2006
  • August 2006
  • July 2006
  • June 2006
  • May 2006
  • April 2006
  • March 2006
  • February 2006
  • January 2006
  • December 2005
  • November 2005
  • October 2005
  • September 2005
  • August 2005
  • July 2005
  • June 2005
  • May 2005
  • April 2005
  • March 2005
  • February 2005
  • January 2005
  • December 2004
  • November 2004
  • October 2004
  • September 2004
  • August 2004
  • July 2004
  • June 2004
  • May 2004
  • April 2004
  • March 2004
  • February 2004
  • January 2004
  • December 2003
  • November 2003

  • RSS feed

    The Boeheim exception

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, January 29, 2013


    For a few minutes on Saturday twitter was abuzz tracking the Eastern Michigan-Northern Illinois game. The only way a low-end MAC game has mass-appeal is if something extremely unusual happens, and in this case it was NIU’s four-point half that got people’s attention. The Huskies’ struggles continued to a lesser extent into the second half, and at one point they were 0-for-32 on three-point attempts. Sadly, Daveon Balls was successful on NIU’s final three-ball, keeping the Huskies from establishing a record for three-point futility that may have stood for a long time.

    When it was all over, there was something to be learned, though. More than just NIU’s offense is a disgrace to basketball. Hidden in the details of the circus-act of a game was that Rob Murphy’s defense probably has some control over its opponents’ three-point percentage.

    Read more...

    Weekend in Review: Longing for 1953 scoring levels

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, January 28, 2013


    The 3 most appealing games (according to FanMatchTM):
    1) Wisconsin 45, Minnesota 44 [51] (Saturday) The Badgers won the game, which was not really an upset. They also got more offensive rebounds (11-8) which was not really an upset, either, considering Minnesota’s woeful defensive rebounding. Of course, nobody like Minnesota anymore now they have lost four straight, despite the fact that three of those losses are to Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and a top ten team would be expected to lose to those teams anyway.

    Read more...

    Week in Review: A FanMatch failure

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, January 25, 2013


    The 3 most appealing games (according to FanMatchTM):
    1) Miami FL 90, Duke 63 [79] (Wednesday) It was so bad Dick Vitale returned his honorary Duke degree. The ‘Canes are now the favorite to take the ACC regular-season (I got them at 66%), thanks to a two-game lead over the field and a relatively easy remaining schedule. The damage was done with a 29-5 run to close the first half. Reggie Johnson was ineffective in his return (15 minutes, missed his only two field goal attempts) which makes this result all the more bizarre.

    Read more...

    A post about winning

    by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, January 24, 2013


    For the most part, I’ve gotten out of the game of sparring with those critical of analytics. I’ve tried to channel my inner Whelliston with a personal mission statement along the lines of “If you don’t like what I do, just go away.” There are enough coaches and media folks using this stuff that the work has been validated, and I get much more enjoyment out of doing research and interacting with people that are interested in it than getting involved with tedious discussions. If the use of analytics somehow makes you enjoy the game less or you feel like it’s voodoo of some sort, no biggie. There’s room for all of us at the college hoops table. You do your thing, I’ll do mine.

    (That said, if any coach or media type unfamiliar with analytics is willing to meet me even a quarter of the way, I’ll gladly spend time trying to help you better understand what we do and how it will help you. I totally get that this stuff doesn’t come naturally to most people.)

    Read more...

    Evidence that scoring margin matters

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, January 22, 2013


    Most people understand that scoring margin matters, at least when it comes to evaluating the strength of a team. So the conclusion from the data contained herein is not going to be a huge surprise to most readers. But the data itself is still interesting and I think it’s one of the simpler approaches to demonstrate this idea. First, let me set the table.

    I wanted to determine the degree to which scoring margin matters and if there was some point at which it didn’t matter anymore. I went about it like I did for the one-point study. There are obviously more sophisticated ways to do this, and I’m not suggesting this is worthy of being published in an academic journal, but the simplicity of this approach requires no leap of mathematical faith by folks who might otherwise be turned off by a more complex effort.

    I looked at all cases in the last ten years where there were rematches in a single season to see how well scoring margin in a home game predicted the outcome of the next road game (or games) in a series. I’ll present the results in three charts. The first one plots the scoring margin in the initial home game against the average scoring margin in the road rematch for those cases.

    Read more...

    Weekend in Review: Don’t eat ants, kids

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, January 21, 2013


    The 3 most appealing games (according to FanMatchTM):
    1) Michigan State 59, Ohio State 56 [60] (Saturday) John Donne penned the famous poem “No Man is an Island” in the 17th century. It would have never been written had he anticipated the Ohio State offense in 2013. Deshaun Thomas is clearly an island, and even though he was his usual productive self (28 points on 20 FGA’s, 2 FTA’s, and one turnover), no island is going to beat Michigan State this season without some sort of herculean defensive effort.

    Read more...

    Week in Review: When offensive rebounds aren’t enough

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, January 18, 2013


    The 3 most appealing games (according to FanMatchTM):
    1) Michigan 83, Minnesota 75 [66] (Thursday) Minnesota satisfied its appetite on the offensive glass, grabbing 14 boards in 30 chances (though many appeared to be in garbage time). But they didn’t have an answer for Tim Hardaway, Jr. and only had a few answers for Trey Burke (#3 in your program, but #12 in reality after the structural integrity of his jersey was compromised in the first half). The Wolverines led by as many as 15 with 5:53 left and were not threatened after that, posting 1.26 PPP, the most Minnesota has allowed this season.

    Read more...

    What would you do with Ryan Evans?

    by Ken Pomeroy on Tuesday, January 15, 2013


    Wisconsin’s Ryan Evans is possibly the first person to forget how to shoot free throws. Evans has gone from shooting 73% as a junior to 38% as a senior. I have data going back to 2005 and there are just two cases of a player seeing even a 20% decrease in their free throw shooting in consecutive seasons (minimum 100 FTA’s in both seasons). Nobody has done worse than a 22% drop.

    Normally, I’m rather reluctant to accuse a player of being in a slump. In any of the shooting stats where there’s always a significant chance of success or failure in any single attempt, there’s the potential for stretches of good and bad shooting that have little to do with a change in a player’s form. So reviewing a player’s stroke after a 1-for-10 night isn’t usually the best use of a coach’s or player’s time.

    Read more...

    Defending KO…again

    Ugh. I never thought I’d be writing two posts in the span of two weeks defending Kevin O’Neill. Let me just make it clear, yet again, that I think O’Neill was a bad hire and I have never understood the infatuation many people have with his skills as a head coach. Nonetheless, he was hired by USC and until yesterday was the head coach of its basketball program. I’m also not philosophically-opposed to mid-season firings. There are reasons to relieve a coach of his duties mid-season that are healthy for both the coach and the program he is being separated from. (An expanded defense is here.)

    Read more...

    Weekend in Review: Ole Miss has arrived

    by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, January 14, 2013


    The 3 most appealing games (according to FanMatchTM):
    1) Ohio State 56, Michigan 53 [60] (Sunday) During Michigan’s unbeaten streak, they were never really threatened. They trailed at halftime only once and never trailed by more than eight at any point in any game. The Buckeyes owned the first 14 minutes, jumping out to a 29-8 lead, but the Wolverines responded, eventually drawing even in the second half. In the end, Ohio State emerged on the good side of a close decision, and this game didn’t change much about my opinion of either team. Michigan won’t be invincible on the road and Ohio State relies too much on Deshaun Thomas offensively.

    Read more...

    Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >