landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
A few months ago, there was some discussion about whether the "Hot Hand" was a real thing, or simply the expected result of chance over time. A study in the 1980s ("The Cold Facts About the 'Hot Hand' in Basketball") suggested that believers in the hot hand were suffering from a "cogniitive illusion."
In that mgoblog board discussion a few months ago, I mentioned that I had come across a study disputing that original study. Unfortunately, I was unable to find it -- I had read it in a book that was given to me as a gift about a decade ago. I had completely given up on finding the study. However, I just moved into a new home last month, and while unpacking boxes this week, I came across the book! It's titled "Anthology of Statistics in Sports", Edited by Albert, Bennett, and Cochran, and printed in 2005. The specific study is titled "It's. Okay to Believe in the 'Hot Hand.'" The authors' conclusion was that the original study was flawed, and that there was strong evidence that streak shooting was a real thing.
The data set included several games from the 1987-88 NBA season, and had several big name players included in the analysis. One of those players, Vinnie Johnson of the Pistons, had a reputation as the ultimate streak shooter. The authors looked to see if Vinnie really did accomplish low-probability streaks at higher frequency than other players, and the answer was a resounding "yes." Fans were able to "make proper reputational attributions to those players who do the improbable and memorable more regularly than other players."
One of the more interesting results: When looking at the probability to hit the next shot based on whether the previous shot(s) had been made or missed, Dennis Rodman's numbers really jumped out. Probability after one make: 0.55. After two makes: 0.78. After 3 makes: 0.92. Conclusion: "success breeds success." As he hits shots, his probability of a hit increases. But then this: Probability after one miss: 0.63. After 2 misses: 0.69. After 3 misses: 1.00. Conclusioin: For Rodman, "failure breeds success." As he misses shots, his probability of a hit increases. As with everything else concerning Rodman, that's just weird. (Sample sizes diminished as the streaks continued, so this conclusion has to be taken with a grain of salt.)
Is there such a thing as off season bulletin board material? If so this ought to motivate the players and coaches as they work at building this program. Bob Hunter in the Columbus Dispatch (http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2008/11/23/osufb_hun...):
Put it this way: Ohio State-Michigan has suddenly begun masquerading as an OSU-Toledo game, a switch not without a touch of irony considering the Wolverines lost to Toledo this season.
But the rivalry is tottering not simply because Michigan has had an embarrassment or two, or because of an unprecedented five consecutive OSU wins in the series, or because Michigan has just finished the season 3-9, or even because the Buckeyes hammered their hapless rivals 42-7 yesterday in Ohio Stadium.
It is tottering because the Wolverines looked so weak yesterday that it's hard to imagine they're looking at a quick fix. This is a team so bad that even the rivalry couldn't lift it up, and this is a rivalry that injects so much emotion in the game that it sometimes makes mediocre teams look pretty good.
Rich Rodriguez is a good coach, but he's not Moses. After Michigan's woeful performance in the Horseshoe, it seems clear that for Rodriguez to lead his team out of the Big Ten's second division -- not even one of college football's lower-middle-class neighborhoods these days - it's going to take more than a few top recruits.
Hunter goes on to all but predict that Ohio State wins the next two meetings. And then gets in a litte dig:
Some rivalry, eh?
If this keeps up, those little gold pants Ohio State players receive for winning the Michigan game may eventually become worthless trinkets around here. They used be rare as a gold doubloon. Now they're like loose change. Fifth-year seniors have five pairs.
The Buckeyes fans are clearly enjoying things. But you have to think this kind of talk will serve as good motivation for Rich Rodriguez and the Wolverines as they work to regain their winning ways and the respect that comes with it.
File this away for the future.