Cleaning out the inbox this morning…


I’m wondering if you’ve ever calculated these kinds of numbers for Grinnell College. They lead all NCAA hoops squads in scoring and must top all divisions in possessions.  Any numbers on them?


Let’s look at the two most notable college teams playing non-basketball.

Grinnell: 102.4 poss/40 min, OE = 110.1, DE = 113.6
Redlands: 115.2 poss/40 min, OE = 122.7, DE = 112.2

Both teams are off the chart on tempo considering the fastest D1 team is averaging around 80 possessions a game on the season. The offensive and defensive efficiency numbers are not unexpected given the two teams sacrifice defense to produce offense.

On a related note, Andy Glockner of jumped into the efficiency fray yesterday and latched on to the fact that North Carolina’s high tempo and efficiency makes them so scary. In terms of those two factors, UNC compares best to the Jerry Tarkanian UNLV teams. Tark’s Final Four teams were around 80 possessions per 40 minutes with an offensive efficiency of approximately 115-120. Thanks to the legendary Jazzy J’s historical stats site for the data.


Your reasoning is correct that Wake might have this happen once every 2200 years, but remember that there are 332 (?) division I teams. If they all have approximately the same FT % as Wake, a streak of 50 FTs in a row might be expected to happen once every seven years for a team in division I. So it’s more common than expected, but rare enough to notice when it happens.


I specifically focused on the chances of it happening to Wake for shock value, but I didn’t realize the numbers I chose would mean that it could happen in all of college hoops only every seven years. I think this goes to show just how important it was that primarily the good Wake shooters were involved in that streak. Especially when you consider that Jamaal Levy (46% FT shooter on the season) was the MVP of the streak, shooting only four free throws. If he traded a couple of attempts with Chris Paul (86%), we probably wouldn’t be talking about this.


I remember channel 56 from my days in Northern Virginia.  What I also remember, in addition to watching George Washington and A-10 tourney games was at every commercial break, since 56 didn’t run the commercials, coming back into the studio and having some guy named Mike begging, I mean begging, for money.  He could tell you the specific cost to them of broadcasting the games, and pretty clearly some of the lesser games must have been dirt cheap.

Thanks for the great memory.


The thing I didn’t mention in this post, was that channel 56 was a public station, so it aired things like Sesame Street and Electric Company in the morning, and at night they brought you the cavalcade of college basketball. Roger is right – this guy Mike who ran the station would come on during commercial breaks of the more popular games and do what amounted to a pledge drive.

At halftime, he would say something like "It cost us X dollars to get this game, and so far we only have Y dollars from you tonight. We aren’t going to be able to keep getting games like this if we don’t get X dollars before the end of the game." Substitue a number between 1,000 and 2,000 for X, and a two-digit number for Y. So it always felt like they were losing tons of money on the deal, but somehow there were still a dozen or so games on the air next week.