Thursday, February 3, 2011

Free throws and “Luck”

In light of today’s great post on Free Throw Plus by John Ezekowitz, I thought I’d share something I noticed a couple days ago. I had heard some Twitter chatter about Illinois consistently ranking low in Ken Pomeroy’s Luck metric, which essentially tells you which teams have tended to be on the right/wrong side of close games. (They’ve fared no better than 158th in the past 7 years.) It made me wonder if they were doing something specific that would lead to their low ranking. So, I decided to see if any of the stats kept by Pomeroy correlate to “Luck.”

Using 2010 team stats, here’s what I found. I highlighted SOS-related stats in yellow, offensive free throw stats in green, defensive free throw stats in red, and bolded tempo. The bars at the right represent the magnitude of the correlation, but keep in mind that the sign also matters:


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Defensive Score Sheet: Kansas@Texas Tech

[For explanation of what’s below, check out the original Project Defensive Score Sheet post.]

This one will be quick, as it wasn’t a very intriguing game, and I’ve got a busy day. Here’s the table, notes after the break.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Defensive Score Sheet: Kansas State@Kansas

[As always, check out my first Project Defensive Score Sheet post for information on what this all mean. Also, shout out to Ray Floriani for taking a cue from by good/bad shots tracking, and doing it for St. Bonaventure.]

Sorry this is so late. I promise tonight’s game against Texas Tech will be up tomorrow. Here’s the table. My thoughts are after the break.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Time of Possession & single-team pace

Ohio State’s narrow escape against Northwestern last night presents a great opportunity to talk about an idea that I floated on Twitter a few days ago: keeping track of time of possession (TOP) for basketball teams. That was inspired by an absolutely fantastic post by Rohan Cruyff, who used shot clock data to break down NBA teams’ pace into offensive and defensive “Speed Indexes.” His basic idea: a single number that represents the pace of a team and/or game doesn’t really describe what happens on the court. A fast-paced game can be cause by one team playing at a normal speed, but the other team shooting super early in the shot clock.

Or, as happened last night, a slow-paced game can be caused by one team running the clock down on every possession.

I went through the play-by-play for last night’s game and recorded how much time elapsed on the clock before the first action (shot, turnover, or foul that leads to free throws) of each team’s possession. Here’s what that distribution looked like for each team: