"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
This is definitely one of the most bump-worthy things I've seen as a mod. Awesome work. JGB.
If you haven't played our free fantasy game yet on DraftStreet yet, this is the Saturday to try it. There's Michigan-Indiana. Florida-Ole Miss. Duke-FSU. Syracuse-Pitt. Kansas against a Big XII something or other. NC State vs. Miami. Lafayette vs. Ameri…say whaaaaa?
Okay so we're not adding the American and Lafayette rosters to this thing because there are already ALL THE ROSTERS (from the BCS teams) to make your teams. But seriously UNC-Virginia Tech. Arizona State at Washington. Otto Porter versus Saint John's.
And you will want every Otto, because there's $300 smackaroos we're giving out among the winners. Also if enough people sign up we get smackaroos. Also it costs you zero smackaroos. Also fun is had. And learning done.
How it Works
It's fantasy except instead of drafting one team at the beginning of the season they've broken it up into quick-hitting night leagues. Enrollment in our pool is free for MGoReaders, and there's $300 in the pool paid out among the Top 12 finishers as soon as the contest ends.
The contest will be salary-cap style drafting where everyone tries to assemble the best team out of the available players. You will have a $100,000 budget to build a team of 3 forwards, 3 guards, and 2 utility players. Each CBB player has been assigned a price based on their expected fantasy performance. You can adjust your roster up until the contest starts this Saturday at 11:00am EST, at which time your rosters will lock and the Live Scoreboard will be available.
Note: you can't be eligible for prize money, even though entry is free, if you're from Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Vermont, or Puerto Rico.
You're not allowed to make a team of all Wolverines.
Wherefore art thou Horford?
Stauskas is only $9,336. UNC goes up against Virginia Tech's awful defense and Dexter Strickland ($9,498) has been getting high usage of late, with P.J. Hairston doubtful with a concussion. SirDominic Pointer, a Detroit boy, has been on a tear for St. Johns's but remains cheap--that's probably because they face Georgetown's D. Lafayette's chili is way thicker and meatier. Sorry America, I'm a Lafayette man.
CLICK HERE to register for this week's league.
This diary was prompted by the debate from Tuesday between Brian and the Big Ten Geeks regarding the value of defensive rebounding. I read the Big Ten Geeks article that morning and had many of the same thoughts as Brian-I've never been a fan of the stops metric, particularly the way it was being used to compare players. As the debate moved to the value of defensive rebounding percentage, I decided to look through some Kenpom numbers to make a better argument for the importance/insignificance of that particular statistic.
|D-Eff Type||eFG%||TO%||DReb%||FT Rate|
A couple of notes. While I've labeled it as "DReb%", the statistic used was actually Opponent Offensive Rebounding %, hence the positive correlation with Defensive Efficiency (both statistics are "better" for the defense when the number is lower). TO% has a negative correlation because a higher TO% is "better" for the defense, so a high TO% would lead to a lower (read: better) defensive efficiency.
(It’s interesting to see how the Kenpom adjustments to efficiency change the numbers. eFG% and TO% consistently drop when adjusting for competition, while Dreb% and FTRate rise. The smaller deltas for this year makes me believe that this is a result of conference play and the leveling the playing field between teams that played non-conference schedules of varying difficulty, due to the relatively large proportion of non-conference game in the 2013 sample. I digress.)
It is well-known at this point that eFG% is by far the most important factor in defensive efficiency, but I was surprised that DReb% was the second most important factor (I had assumed it would be turnover rate). After seeing these results, I looked at the correlations between the four factors next.
So, there is a weak, but significant (with >340 samples) correlation between eFG% and DReb%. Going back to the correlations with defensive efficiency, I ran a partial correlation between DReb% and adjusted defensive efficiency, controlling for eFG%, which produced a value of…0.41. About the same correlation as TO% (a partial correlation for TO% is almost exactly the same as one without the adjustment, as you’d anticipate based on the low correlation between TO% and eFG%).
It looks like defensive rebounding is at least as important as the non-eFG% factors. What about the effect on the offensive end? Like Brian, I believe that steals should be valued more than other defensive statistics, so I went in assuming that we’d see some sort of correlation between TO% and Offensive Efficiency.
Negative correlations are due to lack of adjustment to defensive ratings for use with offensive efficiency (switching from lower = better to higher = better). However, from this, we can clearly see that defensive rebounding is just as important as any of the other defensive factors when it comes to offense. Michigan’s offense this season has shown this fanbase how defensive rebounding can trigger the break, but it is even more evident when you watch other leagues, where fewer teams put an emphasis on transition defense and sending players back on a change of possession and the game often breaks down into 2-on-2 or 3-on-2 runouts in each direction.
However, after all of this, I still believe that defensive rebounding is overrated as an individual metric. I'm not complaining about Jordan Morgan’s season, but he just isn’t a defensive game-changer in the way of Jeff Withey, Anthony Davis, Fab Melo, Nerlens Noel, or even A.J. Hammons. As has been stated, his high “stops” count is due to both Michigan’s excellent team Dreb% and Morgan's high individual number. His block and steal numbers are very low (his block% is 7th on the team, lower than all other starters, McGary and Horford). I might even argue that his presence has some effect on Michigan’s defensive philosophy and their inability to prevent three-pointers. With Morgan not a threat to alter shots inside, Michigan has to constantly switch on screens in order to prevent easy dribble penetration and 2-on-1 scenarios. They can’t fight over the top of screens to better challenge outside shots.
There was a great example of the effect that a shot-blocker has in the Iowa-Purdue game from Sunday, where Iowa’s players often had Purdue defenders trailing them after screens, but could not drive inside easily due to Hammon’s presence. Unfortunately, there weren't any Youtube highlights for that game, so I had to make due with the Michigan-Purdue game for an example.
First, Morgan sets a good screen for Burke. Hammons did not follow Morgan out to the perimeter, and you can see Ronnie Johnson start to fight through the screen at the top.
Burke is around the screen, but Johnson has followed him, preventing Burke from pulling up for an open three. Hammons is still in the paint, while Morgan is about to roll to the basket.
Finally, Burke has picked up the ball, unable to penetrate past Hammons or shoot over him. Purdue's defensive philosophy has helped remove the threat of a 3 from Michigan's balls-screen offense. Fortunately for Michigan, D.J. Byrd is still afraid of Burke and is about to jump in to help off Stauskas, leaving him open for a soon-to-be-bured 3. Not the best result for my example, but good for Michigan.
Further validating the importance of having a shot-altering presence: Correlation between block rate and defensive efficiency is very high (0.51), largely due to its influence on effective field goal % (correlation of 0.61).
This is all part of the bigger argument that the Big Ten Geeks make in their response to Brian's criticism-that post players/taller players should score higher on defensive metrics. Taller players can more easily influence defensive play away from their man, and playing on the interior puts you in better position for defensive statistics on every possession. Seeing as the objective of a perimeter defender is usually to prevent a single player from scoring/impacting the game, the best argument or evidence for an Oladipo or Craft would be to compare single game statistics vs season numbers for their primary defensive responsibility. They can’t impact the entire opposing offense and accumulate statistics in the same way as a Hammons or Berggren, but that’s a difference between the roles of perimeter defense and interior defense rather than a gap in defensive aptitude. You wouldn't want either of those guys I just mentioned chasing Trey Burke around the perimeter the way Christian Watford did, briefly, in last year's Indiana game. While Watford may have been successful initially, Burke got over the surprise and went on to score 18 points on 9 shots.
In my opinion, the best way to statistically evaluate individual defensive impact would be something similar to what Ace posted on Tuesday, evaluating lineups and considering an individual player’s ability to improve team defensive statistics while they are in the game. Now, this isn’t as fair to players like Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht, who are rarely on the court with four other starters (theoretically the better defenders), but we could make an initial assumption that the other rotation players are all roughly equivalent when analyzing an individual player. It’s also unfair to players like Trey Burke, who might play 90% of the team’s minutes any given night and have a limited sample of largely garbage time minutes against which to compare the impact of their absence. That said, it would provide a better picture of a player’s ability to influence the opponent’s offensive strategy and results.
I am very curious to see the 3PA/FGA ratios and 3P% isolated for Michigan's three centers. Even though the team defensive philosophy remains the same for all three,it would be enlightening if opponents were taking more threes (or lower quality threes) depending on which player was protecting the paint. Ken Pomeroy wrote a blog post this week discussing the Syracuse zone and its (limited) ability to force lower quality three point attempts. Any effect at Michigan would likely be much smaller than that seen at the schools discussed in his post, but would still be worth examining.
(Click the Image to See Full Size Version)
Go ahead, my friends. Put it up, take a lap around the office. You deserve it.
Friday Fun will celebrate last Saturday, one of the Greatest Saturdays in the Offseason since last year's Most Greatest Saturday in the Offseason. Don't miss it.
Some new formatting news for the New Year:
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Wednesday here at MGoBlog and on its official home page. Also, don't forget to check out the Friday Fun, my weekly single panel comic based on trending Michigan events, available on Twitter and the home page every Friday.
[ed-s: bumped from the beoard]
[ed-yeo: added seed information]
Thought it might be useful to look through a poll archive and see who was #1 in the last January AP poll each year and where they finished the season. I went back to 1960 but, as you'll see, results in the early years are qualitatively different, partly because the tournament was smaller then but mostly thanks to UCLA. The January #1 made the final four 14 of 15 years from 1960-1974, a string weirdly followed shortly thereafter by a stretch where 4 of 8 got knocked out in the first round. In the last 30 years they've finished as follows:
- 4 won national titles
- 3 lost in title game
- 6 lost in national semifinal
- 7 lost in regional final
- 7 lost in round of 16
- 2 lost in round of 32
- 1 lost in round of 64
(Yes, the last 11 months of 1990 were a bad time for Missouri basketball.)
Seeding as we know it began in 1979. Since then, 25 of 34 January #1's were 1 seeds, 7 schools dropped to #2 and 2 dropped to #3.
The last January #1's to not make the tournament were Kentucky in 1954, banned for a point-shaving scandal, and Seton Hall in 1953, who chose to play in the then-more-prestigious (at least for east coast schools) NIT. Don't think we have to worry about either of those outcomes.
Here's the list (all teams were seeded #1 unless otherwise noted):
- 2012: Kentucky, national champion
- 2011: Ohio State, lost to Kentucky in regional semifinal
- 2010: Kentucky, lost to West Virginia in regional final
- 2009: Duke, #2 seed, lost to Villanova in regional semifinal
MemphisVacated, lost to Kansas in national final
- 2007: Florida, national champion
- 2006: Connecticut, lost to George Mason in regional final
- 2005: Illinois, lost to North Carolina in national final
- 2004: Duke, lost to Connecticut in national semifinal
- 2003: Arizona, lost to Kansas in regional final
- 2002: Duke, lost to Indiana in regional semifinal
- 2001: Stanford, lost to Maryland in regional final
- 2000: Cincinnati, #2 seed, lost to Tulsa in second round
- 1999: Connecticut, national champion
- 1998: Duke, lost to Kentucky in regional final
- 1997: Kansas, lost to Arizona in regional semifinal
MassachusettsVacated, lost to Kentucky in national semifinal
- 1995: Massachusetts, #2 seed, lost to Oklahoma State in regional final
- 1994: Duke, #2 seed, lost to Arkansas in national final
- 1993: Kansas, #2 seed, lost to North Carolina in national semifinal
- 1992: Duke, national champion
- 1991: UNLV, lost to Duke in national semifinal
- 1990: Missouri, #3 seed, lost to Northern Iowa in first round
- 1989: Oklahoma, lost to Virginia in regional semifinal
- 1988: Arizona, lost to Oklahoma in national semifinal
- 1987: North Carolina, lost to Syracuse in regional final
- 1986: North Carolina, #3 seed, lost to Louisville in regional semifinal
- 1985: St.John's, lost to Georgetown in national semifinal
- 1984: North Carolina, lost to Indiana in regional semifinal
- 1983: UCLA, #2 seed, lost to Utah in round of 32
- 1982: Missouri, #2 seed, lost to Houston in regional semifinal
- 1981 (tie): Oregon State, lost to Kansas State in round of 32
- 1981 (tie): Virginia, lost to North Carolina in national semifinal
- 1980: DePaul, lost to UCLA in round of 32
- 1979: Notre Dame, lost to Michigan State in regional final
- 1978: Kentucky, national champion
- 1977: San Francisco, lost to UNLV in first round
- 1976: Indiana, national champion
- 1975: Indiana, lost to Kentucky in regional final
- 1974: UCLA, lost to North Carolina St. in national semifinal
- 1973: UCLA, national champion
- 1972: UCLA, national champion
- 1971: Marquette, lost to Ohio State in regional semifinal
- 1970: UCLA, national champion
- 1969: UCLA, national champion
- 1968: Houston, lost to UCLA in national semifinal
- 1967: UCLA, national champion
- 1966: Duke, lost to Kentucky in national semifinal
- 1965: UCLA, national champion
- 1964: UCLA, national champion
- 1963: Cincinnati, lost to Loyola in national final
- 1962: Ohio State, lost to Cincinnati in national final
- 1961: Ohio State, lost to Cincinnati in national final
- 1960; Cincinnati, lost to California in national semifinal
Ok, so I'm ready to hit the hay, but I wanted to get this wallpaper up for those of you already looking forward to Saturday. Hope you enjoy it! I'll try to post a mobile version soon. Additionally, I will attempt to get another wallpaper for February up before Saturday. As always, I welcome constructive criticism and/or large sums of money.
Desktop Version (16:9, sort of):