You all can exhale now. The NCAA updated their RPI to correct a lot (but not all) of the errors in it.
Let’s close out the week with some more e-mail from witty and thoughtful readers.
Do you really think Georgetown is better than GW? This really boggles my mind because I think G’Towns only real “big” win was against Duke. They beat a Notre Dame team by three (the Irish can’t win a close one this year), Cincinnati, St. John’s, and a bunch of crackerjackbox teams. Granted, George Washington has played a softer schedule than the local 7th grade CYO team but I don’t see Georgetown as head and shoulders above the Colonials. I won’t even get into the George Mason comparison.
Am I crazy? Perhaps it is the fact that I am a GW alumnus that makes me see things through gold and blue glasses but I would really like reasons as to WHY Georgetown is better.
Plenty of responses from GW fans to my DC area power rankings yesterday. Good news, with the win over Xavier, I have vaulted GW past George Mason into #2. With respect to Georgetown, last night was GW’s most impressive win to date. Georgetown had that game against Duke, which is really hard to dismiss. And Roy Hibbert is part man, part ravenous beast, albeit a beast that moves in slow-motion. That’s my entire reasoning.
See, I don’t really have a lot to go on with GW. Last season, they were fairly decent. This season they’ve had four games to judge them by, and that’s still a small sample. For instance, Houston beat LSU and Arizona, and based on that you’d think Houston was a top 20 team, when in reality they are not even close.
From what little I have to go on, GW should be ranked in the 15-20 range. Now, Georgetown I am a lot more confident about. Because they have played a few games, both in and out of conference, against real competition. And I think they’re a little better.
On your blog yesterday, you made a reference to Adam Morrison and J.J. Redick being light years behind Shelden Williams defensively. I’m confused. I know Williams was defensive player of the year last year, but in the Duke games I’ve watched this year, I’ve seen little other than his shot-blocking (statistically, add his steals) that shows his reputation is warranted. I also noticed that, on your stats pages, Duke’s defense offers the lowest percentage of three-point shot attempts to FG attempts in the nation. That would imply that either Duke’s perimeter defense is stingy or its interior defense is generous, relatively speaking.
I checked box scores game by game for points scored in the paint. I realize that PIP is not solely a function of Williams’ defense, but I hypothesize that a dominant interior defender and shot-blocker would intimidate and prevent other teams from scoring in the paint. Other than the games vs. Drexel, Memphis, Georgetown and Texas, for which I could not find PIP information, here’s the summary (with game-by-game statistics following):
Total defense – 62.8 ppg (1005 total pts)
PIP 34.0 ppg (544 total points)
54 percent of pts scored vs. Duke have been in the paint
Total offense 77.2 ppg (1313 pts)
PIP 32.75 ppg (524 pts)
39.9 percent of Duke’s points have been in the paint
While not a total sample, this does include interesting stats like Duke being outscored in the paint by Virginia Tech by 22 points, by 6 pts vs. Valparaiso, by 16 pts vs. Wake Forest and by 32 pts vs. NC State. Additionally, non-majors Boston University scored 68 percent of their points in the paint; Davidson scored 58 percent inside; and Valpo scored 62 percent in the paint. I realize I didn’t take efficiency into account, but is there a reason why nearly everyone considers Williams a stellar defender despite Duke’s weakness inside?
(Full disclosure: I’m an Indiana fan and started wondering about Williams’ reputation after watching Marco Killingsworth run wild vs. Duke earlier this season.)
Great stuff and you present a compelling case to question the Landlord’s defense. A case I must disagree with.
First of all, let’s lay out Williams’ personal stats: 24th in blocks, 144th in steals, 75th in defensive rebounding. I’ll admit that defensive stats can be misleading at times, but Shelden is one of only two players ranked in the top 150 in all three areas that can be measured for an individual (South Carolina’s Renaldo Balkman is the other).
But the reason nobody shoots (or makes) many threes against Duke is because of the way their defense plays. It’s like an inverted Dick Bennett-style D. No matter how far an opposing player is from the three-point line, there is a defender glued to him. I don’t think teams play Duke planning to avoid taking threes. But once the game gets going, there just aren’t any opportunities to launch a perimeter shot. So to avoid a shutout, teams have to score in the paint.
I think K does this partially because he has Williams, and also because upsets tend to occur with terrific three-point shooting games, and this defense eliminates that option. But either way, I think it’s unfair to say teams are trying to attack the Landlord because they perceive he can’t play D. They attack the paint because they usually aren’t given a choice.
In your blog entry for 2/2/06, you state that:
“I have said very little about the RPI this season, because it’s just tedious. I’m more concerned with identifying who’s god/bad/mischaracterized…”
As a life-long Kansas fan, my faith has always instructed me that:
god=Danny Manning (why else would his supporting cast be known today as “TheMiracles?”)
bad=anyone from Mizzou
mischaracterized=lots of teams (and it’s been ~2000 years since the Pharisees won on the road).
But if your system offers better answers to these eternal questions, I’ll try to approach it with an open mind.
In all seriousness, I really enjoy your site!
This is the proper way to report typos to me, people.
Have a nice weekend.
Line o’ the Night
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts Seth Colclasure 25 7-8 5-6 4-4 1-1 3 0 0 0 0 23 Result: Win. Valparaiso 99, Centenary 73.
Colclasure does one thing well and that’s shoot threes. He’s been doing it real well lately. Since the first matchup with Centenary on December 29th, Colclasure has made 36 of his last 56, 64.3%.