It’s been hard to get motivated to update the stats page this morning.
First, there is the matter of Ike Diogu hitting his 200th free throw of the season in Arizona State’s 75-73 win over Oregon State last night. Diogu squandered an opportunity to pad his total by missing seven of his 15 attempts.
Ike looks like he will come up short in his effort to topple the alleged modern-day record of 272 free throws established by Alonzo Mourning. With ASU on course for an NIT bid, he may get some bonus games to give ‘Zo a scare. But he probably will set a new Pac 10 record, which he also set last season with 243. With NBA scouts still cool on his pro potential, maybe Diogu will be back next season to give it another try.
The other big news was that the alma mater knocked off Duke. I’ve been resistant in talking about Virginia Tech even as they have surprised the ACC in game after game. Mainly because I’m a homer for the Hokies, and I try to be all about the objectivity around here. However, there are a few quirks about this team of interest to a wider audience.
1) With Thursday night’s win, they created an astonishing college basketball food chain, based on games this season:
VMI > Virginia Tech > Duke > UNC
When you hear someone presenting an argument that A beat B and B beat C so A is better than C, please ask them if they also think VMI is better than UNC.
2) In 12 conference games, the Hokies have been outscored by 94 points, but sit at 6-6. Their Pythagorean winning percentage is .248, meaning with luck being equal, they should be 3-9 right now. Based on results from 2004 and 2003, it can be concluded that they have been one of the luckiest teams in the nation during conference play.
3) You can’t take their string of close wins away from them, and so Tech is on the periphery of the bubble discussion. With an RPI rank of 111, they are required to win their next five games, so an at-large berth is unlikely. Tech gets a lot of flak for their loss to #311 VMI, and rightfully so. But Tech is largely anonymous, and no one seems to be aware of the mitigating circumstances surrounding that loss: Hokies center Coleman Collins did not play against VMI.
The same Coleman Collins who had 14 points, 18 boards, and 5 blocks last night.
An at-large team shouldn’t lose to VMI for any reason, but do you think he might have made a difference? A one-point win would be overlooked a lot more easily than a one-point loss.
Further proof on how anonymous this team is: ESPN announcer Mike Patrick, in the waning moments of the Collins’ terrific performance, referred to him as part-time N.C. State center Jordan Collins.
The stat for today is opponents’ three-point production. It is the percentage of points a team’s opponents’ score on three-pointers. See the results on the stats page. This figure relates closely to defensive assist percentage. Teams that allow few assists, also allow few points from three. Which would seem to mean that assists are more likely on three point shots than two pointers. Which would seem to mean that assists are less of a positive stat (at least in the team sense) than I previously thought. Assists are more of a stat to assess how a team plays rather than how well they play. firstname.lastname@example.org?