i say leave something alone for a change
Mailbag: Late Game Threes, Basketball And Football Recruiting Reassurances, The Poisoned Chalice Of Access
Go for three against MSU?
Frustrated after the end of the MSU basketball game. Simple question...if you have the ball down 2 points, with the chance to take the last shot, wouldn't you give yourself a better chance to win the game by running the clock down and taking the best three point shot you can get within the last five seconds?
Simplistically, Let's say it has a 35% chance to go in, and that your win % if it goes in is 100%. The other option is go to go for a two point shot with time left on the clock. What are your odds of winning with that strategy? Much worse, right? I'm no math major, but to me the odds go like this:
- generously, a 50% chance of making the shot, which then...
- gives your opponent a possession to win. Call it 50/50 that they take advantage.
- even if they don't, all you get is overtime, which lets call another 50/50 shot.
Maybe you can run the numbers, but it seems like your win % is something like 12.5%. You need three toss ups to go your way.
I'll hang up and listen...
It's a bit more complicated than that.
- Michigan isn't just worried about what will happen if they score. They're also worried about what will happen if they don't. Michigan had 20 seconds left when Bielfeldt tipped the ball in. If that had gone the the other way they had an opportunity to force a turnover or get another bite at the apple in the event MSU did not knock down both free throws. Even an 80% shooter like Denzel Valentine gives you a shot at the game about a third of the time.
- Michigan's tying basket was a off an offensive rebound. Off a two, yes, but even if it was a three the ensuing putback is still worth two.
- Your chance at a putback is greater if you aren't shooting a jumper. In the NBA, shots within 6 feet get rebounded at a 37% rate; threes at just a 26% rate. (Threes are still better than long twos at 21%.) Albrecht's shot was a weird floater, one that saw Branden Dawson checking Bielfeldt at the FT line in an attempt to prevent a three—the nature of that shot greatly aided the subsequent putback.
- Your chances of an OREB are zero if you wait for a three at the buzzer.
- Last second threes are generally bad shots because the opponent is maniacally focused on the three-point line. Albrecht's three to bring Michigan within striking distance was a good example of the phenomenon. To get any sort of look he had to take the shot a few feet behind the arc. See also:
Given all that the decision is far less clear. I'd be totally on-board with an open look that came out of the context of the offense. I would prefer it to any non-gimme two. But waiting for a do-or-die three is not good eats.
I don't have a problem with the way regulation ended. In that situation the imperative is to have a good offensive possession, hopefully quickly, and Albrecht's quick take got a decent shot that put Michigan in position for an OREB without bleeding much time.
[After the JUMP: talking people off various recruiting related ledges]
Ugh what's that on the right? Is that…real? Is that blue pants? Is that the international nautical sign for the letter J on our sleeves? Naw, it's a reply by Ghost of Bo in a Diary of the Week by the same Ghost of Bo, a scathing, front-paged parody of Dave Brandon's quest to create the future. Apparently the future means M's and internet memes on everything. Like Taylor Lewan down the path of the Jake Long Experience, Michigan is still 100% on track for the future envisioned two years ago by The Shredder.
The future does not stop at scoreboards, boxes, burro-bashing left tackles, and uniforms; it goes all the way to the upper lips of every fan. This as well began in the way back of 2009, when an enterprising young man named Pat, on advice from a group of fans dedicated to putting cookie dusters back upon the labia sebucula* of all Michigan men, flipped on a video camera and filmed M fans tailgating. Thus began the legend of Pre-Game Pat. Some (I'm guessing MGoreader) interviewed him for English class and Pat posted the text of the interview as a diary.
*I spent '09 trying to get [Mets 3rd baseman] David Wright to grow a mustache, hence the expansive vocabulary for lip whiskers, soup strainers, crumb catchers, lady ticklers, nose bugs, pushbrooms, mobile tea strainers, and the "Tiller Toothbrush."
In the Etc. section, MiS is keeping the candle burning on Upset Watch through these dark December weeks by previewing the bowl games. Ohio is playing Utah State in Boise, which didn't Ohio get in trouble for scamming the NCAA or something? Oh wait, that's the Ohio with nine wins this year. Oooh sorry. AceUofMer is back to covering Michigan wrestling. MGoBlog Mcrecruiting analyst Ace McAnbender interviewed WR/DB Marcus McWilson, another 2013 recruit with kind of a funny name. Nothing Mc about his game though. The #8 Wolverines faced unranked Wisconsin and avoided the upset only because the bottom of the order stepped up. And finally Section 1 is mad that Bacon had his speaking engagement canceled with U-M Club Detroit, presumably because..oh hell you know why and Bacon knows why; what we don't know is why all the superfluous equine flagellation? Don't answer that.
Best of the Board (Much Better Than the Diaries This Week Anyway)
PHOTOBOMBING, or PHOTOBROPPING, or HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BROMB
So at the hockey game a few weeks ago some dude went to go get his picture taken with this year's edition of FSD's official attractive females of the species and got, well, another member of the species. Then you did this. In answer to Papa Kass, that was posted noon Friday and I write DDs on Thursday nights so the Photobomb counts as this week.
VOTE FOR ME, I'M CRAIG JAMES BIATCH!
I once took a business trip to Dallas during election season. This is how I learned that in Texas wearing a cowboy hat means you are running for office. If you're really serious you'll have a ranch or a slaughterhouse in the background. So guess who's gettin' his cowboy hat on!
On this here blog we have a strict policy of No Politics. So if the good people of Texas do the right thing, this may be the last time we ever have to talk about Craig James. That means never again having to debunk those nasty and completely false rumors about how Craig James killed five hookers while at SMU.
CAN YOU NAME THAT GAME?
I like this new challenge, posted by Yost Ghost earlier this week. The answer's in the thread but it's more fun to try to figure it out for yourself. If that one's too hard, here's some in-stadium shots from a recent home game that's a bit easier to identify.
PROJECTING CURRENT M PLAYERS IN THE NFL
SalvatoreQuattro asks who's the best pro prospect on the team? I bet every blog has this thread pop up a few times a year, and like those threads we think our guys are all about two rounds better than the NFL probably will. Ours however comes with snide asides about the owner of that NFL team with the terrible name.
"If Dan Snyder had a nickel for each time he got challenged to a karate match, he'd be... well... even more of a rich asshole."
NEWSFLASH: OHIO STATE SAYS OHIO STATE ISN'T IN TROUBLE AT ALL
Some folks this week were a little surprised when soon-to-be-Buckeye-again Bri'onte Dunn tweeted that Urban assured him there's no more sanctions coming down the line.
Could it be true? Is it possible that the NCAA is so arbitrary/blind/stupid/incompetent that the stonewalling tactics of Ohio State actually worked? Is it even within the realm of possibility that the net result of practicegate ends up tangibly twice as damaging as 10 years of blatant violations involving everyone up to the president because Michigan made the spectacularly bad decision to fully cooperate and accept responsibility? Did the league really throw up its hands the minute their best witness got in whatever car Gee's buddy was currently lending him and drove it straight to the NFL?
Does Urban know something we don't? Well where do you think Meyer's getting it from? He's getting it from Smith, who thinks this whole thing should have been a two-game suspension for Tress. Or he's getting it from Gee, who is sure Ohio State has done nothing wrong because he didn't know, understand?
This is a way better defense than “We own the mistakes we have made,” or "We're sorry we accidentally practiced too much because nobody knows what counts as stretching; here's an exhaustive report on everything ever along with our recommendation for tangible, practical punishments that double in damages the benefits over our competition that we didn't receive." This response netted Michigan three years of probation (NCAA tacked on the third under its "always add something to show we're hard asses" policy) and 130 hours of lost practice time, not to mention a lifetime of having to explain NCAA's definition of "major violations" to stupid people.
Now watch a pro work:
People: Mr. Gee, if everything was the fault of Jim Tressell and firing him was your sole act of contrition, why was he invited back to talk to (i.e. coach) the team before the Michigan game?
Gee: It's cool guy, because, see, I didn't know about it. It was the players who wanted it (thanks uncle of UMxWolverines!).
Now look at the results. Gee deserves a raise. Oh wait, he just got one.
NEWSFLASH: MICHIGAN STADIUM HAS LOTS OF FANS IN IT
The 2011 attendance figures are out and this time we are very happy they don't count the 4th quarter of the WMU game. Unsurprisingly Michigan Stadium can fit a lot of people; we led the nation with 112,000 in attendance per. That's 102% capacity. TCU had 112% capacity. Considering a stadium at 102% capacity feels a lot like an elevator at 200% capacity, I'm kind of glad I'm not a Horned Frog right now. It's not even a frog; it's a lizard.
FERGODSAKES T-SHIRTS SELLING LIKE HOT CAKES NORTH OF OHIO
We had a question from one JeremyB about why he can't get him some "Michigan Fergodsakes" t-shirts. Good news Jeremy, you can get these babies in the MGoStore, minus the "MICHIGAN" part because copyright and what what. I was looking on the store this morning (it's just a few clicks away) and sales of shirts like these have gone way up recently. I think it's because Hoke has changed the tide on the rivalry. Hell people in Ohio are starting to order these shirts. Never in a million years I would have thought that. Selling Fergodsakes jerseys is a good start.
LET'S TAKE A THREAD TO APPRECIATE HEININGER
BACK THE F OFF OUR GUYS MEYER/MUSCHAMP
Florida fans imagine they can poach Borges. Ohio State fans imagine they can poach Kalis. The proper response is to laugh in the face of such people until their eyes fill with the sudden realization of the utter lack of value in their existence, then angrily insist they remove their worthless subhuman forms from your presence, preferably following that with an act that is anatomically impossible. I do not know if that's how it went down, but you should know Urban isn't recruiting Kalis anymore and Borges isn't going anywhere. Would that we could say the same to people (probably Sparties) who want to move The Game to October.
SOMETHING FUNNY THIS WAY COMES
Six Zero posted the logo…and that's it. The new MGoComic strip starts Jan. 1. You're a tease, Six. A total tease.
HOW DO WE SAY HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM HOKE, DENARD, BORGES, MATTISON, AND LLOYD BRADY?
Like ah This:
That looks official what with its number and the Adidas logo and looking all like a thing that exists in the world. You still can't buy one (it errors out when you click on the monstrosity) but I think it's official enough to say that Michigan is going to look very, very stupid when they take the field against Notre Dame.
(new scoreboards new scoreboards new scoreboards not a cesspool of filth and corruption so deep Sepp Blatter is impressed deep breaths)
I'm not even going to check before I make this assertion: Get The Picture* has seized on last night's national championship game-type substance as an opportunity to tweak college football playoff advocates. Come on, baby…
Rainey on Charlie Weis’ excitement working with Florida’s pool of talent: “The first thing he said when he got here was that this is the most athletes he’s ever been around, so we felt good about that.”
Rainey on what to expect from the offense: “Fans are going to be happy again."
Well, if he's not going to do it I will: yeah, last night's game was a fiasco that resulted in a deeply unsatisfying champion. March Madness was too mad this year, leaving us with a 9-9 Big East team and a 13-5 Horizon team playing like DePaul and anyone else in the Horizon not named Cleveland State. I think we can say without qualification that the best team did not win this year. Whoever they were they didn't make the Final Four. At some point haters hating on a college football playoff will bring up whatever that was and say "QED."
That's a cost of a playoff, granted. But the NCAA tournament usually doesn't let it get that far. Over the past decade championship game participants have been almost universally great teams:
- 2009: Butler versus Duke. Butler was a Cinderella of sorts. They were also undefeated in the Horizon and had wins over
GeorgetownXavier and OSU; they were really good. They were 12th on Kenpom; this year's edition finished 41st. If having this year's Butler team make the final is a ding against playoffs, last year's Butler team making it shows a way in which basketball's system is vastly superior.
- 2008: UNC-Michigan State. UNC was a juggernaut that finished 34-4. Michigan State was 31-7 (with two of those losses to UNC) and won the Big Ten easily.
- 2007: Kansas-Memphis. Both one seeds from the chalk Final Four.
- 2006: Florida-OSU. OSU was 35-2 against teams not named Florida (like State they lost in the regular season to the eventual champion). Florida was 35-5. This was a very Kenpom final, as the teams were 2nd and 4th.
- 2005: Florida-UCLA. Florida was a three seed but finished the year #1 in Kenpom after their crushing tourney run. They ended up 33-6. UCLA was a two seed; they finished third.
- 2004: UNC-Illinois. Two dominant outfits, one seeds who finished 1-2 in Kenpom.
- 2003: Syracuse-Kansas. Kansas was a two seed that finished the year first in Kenpom. Champ Syracuse was a three that finished 7th. Their seeding was a little weird: they only lost five games before the tourney and had a couple of good nonconference wins to go with a very tough Big East schedule. It seems like they got dropped unfairly because they lost in their conference tourney.
- 2002: Maryland-Indiana. Kenpom ceases. Maryland was 32-4 and 15-1 in the ACC; Indiana was probably the most meh championship game participant in the last decade other than this year's duo, a 25-12 team that played a 12, a 13, Duke, and a 10 to reach the Final Four.
- 2001: Duke-Arizona. One-seed Duke ended up 35-4; Arizona was a two that beat one seeds consecutively to reach the final.
In the last decade three teams who shouldn't have been there reached the championship game, and one lost by 12 to a very deserving champion. The system has worked—found a more satisfying conclusion to the season than just having a poll—90% of the time over the past ten years. The BCS's strike rate… not so much.
Teams like Butler (last year), 2005 Florida, and 2003 Kansas who finished the year at or near the top of performance-based* computer rankings were given the opportunity to prove they were worthy of a title game appearance and did so; in football they'd have been shuffled off to some dork's personal fiefdom of waste and corruption. Fundamentally, the NCAA tournament works. It's not a system that makes sense for college football but it's the farthest thing from a failed playoff system in American sports.
*[I like Get the Picture a lot, FWIW, I just disagree with him wholly on playoffs. I poke because I respect. Disclaimers uber alles.]
**[As opposed to result-based. Margin of victory-ignorant systems like RPI and the BCS computers only consider results, not scores.]